Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Anti-market sentence of the day

Posted by Rich Sweeney on November 24, 2007

“What’s next, the L.A. police department trying to buy civil rights credits from Wisconsin?”

From May of 1992, that’s Christopher Blythe of the Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board at the advent of the SO2 cap-and-trade program. Of course the program went on to exceed even environmental economists’ expectations, paving the way for the current wave of CO2 cap-and-trade programs. Here’s the link from Time. The opening paragraph reminded me why I don’t read Time.

One Response to “Anti-market sentence of the day”

  1. Sarah Darley said

    Awesome quote, truly classic! Comparing police brutality to air pollution is certainly problematic, but I think it’s important to remind ourselves (meaning those who espouse environmental economics) that there is an important sticking point here. The idea of an optimal amount of a social “bad” like pollution is very hard for some people to accept, pragmatic though it may be. This issue often drives a wedge within the environmentalist community and broaches a discussion of the mutual compatibility (or mutual exclusivity) of societal ideals and societal realities.

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