Author Archive

Environmentalists for School Choice

Last year I met Dr. Bart Danielsen, the Founder of Environmentalists for Education Reform. What a brilliant concept! As a long-time environmental economist, and urban economist, I should have recognized the vital importance of the connection between at least the “school choice” part of the urgently needed transformational education reform and environmental impact, not to […]

Does it Matter if Alleged Climate Change is Alleged to be Human-Caused?

Three things happened recently to prompt this plea for clearer thinking on the issue of alleged climate change. A fund-raising letter from the Environmental Defense Fund, a once fine environmental policy think tank that has lost its way on “Global Warming”, which was the subject of the letter. Paul Jacobs Common Sense column, which focused […]

A Way Out of The Endangered Species Mess

Too many environmental issues are seen as crime and punishment problems.  The bureaucratic process that implements the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the results. That process produces too few environmental benefits, too many economic losses, and an unnecessary infringement on individual liberties. Far more species go extinct waiting to be listed as endangered […]

Diminishing Returns to Dam Building and Other Supply Solutions

“Megadam Projects not Successful” highlights what many in Texas and elsewhere will see as an inconvenient, but critical, truth: there are diminishing returns to structural solutions to water scarcity problems. One reason that it is inconvenient is that there is a lot of money in dam building, and another is that water planners and municipal […]

Real Water Markets: Another Leadership Imperative

Political and economic freedom plus the rule of law and free enterprise yields the prosperity that we enjoy, and its absence explains why most of the world lags so far behind us. Its absence also explains why some sectors of our economy lag so far behind the rest. We use our resources more wisely than […]

Using Benefit-Cost Analysis to Protect the Environment

Increased use of Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) could either improve or harm the environment. As usual, the devil is in the details. Since the beneficial (=correct) use of BCA is readily achievable, the political momentum behind increased use of BCA should be seen as an opportunity to improve environmental decision-making. Lobbying efforts and political capital should […]

The Global Warming Fiasco

Leadership to focus debate on the critical questions has never been more important.  Devastating consequences lurk for those asking the wrong questions. A lot of research money and newsprint has been allocated to whether the planet is warming or cooling (the concern in the 1970s), and whether humans are responsible. But those questions are relatively […]

Environmentalism: Achievements and Mistakes

Nearly forty-four years ago, the first Earth Day energized the environmental movement. The event gave form and substance to long-simmering concerns about the environmental side effects of free enterprise. It empowered the leaders of the environmental movement to pursue safeguards through the political process. Unfortunately, environmental leaders made a very costly, fundamental error at the […]