This is in response to some good questions/points by reader Actually Thoughtful in my previous post.
Indeed environmental restrictions have made a contribution in cleaning up the environment. But technology, awareness and the overall continued path of progress have also made major contributions. And keep in mind that placing stifling regulation on industries at home often prompts them to move to countries where they are allowed to produce more pollution, and more cheaply. So the net result is MORE pollution, not less, and lost jobs. I guess we could impose rigid environemntal regulations on poor coutries like China, India, Mexico etc., but if you’re honest you have to agree that they just aren’t that far yet.
This reminds me a little of the bio-fuels debacle. Sure biofuels are renewable and can cut fossil fuel CO2, but we have seen the far greater unintended catastrophic consequence on food prices and accelerated deforestation. This is one example of the importance of thinking things through first. Sending the masses and policy makers into an uncontrolled, panicked stampede won’t work. Best is to explain it over time, and step by step we’ll get there in an orderly way. Hard working people are capable of understanding.
On feeding the hungry, huge progress has been made thanks to great strides in agricultural technology, expansion of free market principles throughout the globe, improved transportation and logistics, refrigeration and information management. Adam’s Smith’s invisible hand has played a huge role. Indeed the environment does best in developed, free-market oriented countries.
Ideology? I prefer to leave it out of science.