Jane Shaw Stroup’s Commentaries
Each year, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has a dinner in Washington, D.C., honoring the economist Julian Simon, who died in 1998. Simon was a rare optimist in the fields of population and natural resources. He disagreed with most environmentalists of his day (especially in the 1980s through 1990s). They feared passionately that growing population would overwhelm agriculture and industry and that the world would run out of natural resources such as oil and minerals.
Can history help us understand today’s panic over global warming? While the Earth is warming and human activity is probably contributing to it, the overheated efforts to make people fear the long-term future suggest that this is more of a crusade than a rationally considered enterprise. Extreme fear of global warming is negatively affecting politics, the economy, the media, international relations, and education.
Economists like Samuelson failed to understand economic growth in developing countries. Unbeknownst to them, cost-reducing innovations in transportation and communication led to increased trade and lifted people out of poverty. The Industrial Revolution benefited only a small portion of the world. Trade spurred prosperity and development on its own.
This guest post by Shawn Regan is a substantive analysis of the recent proposal by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management to allow leasing of public land for conservation purposes. Regan is vice president of research at the Property and Environment...
Yes, data from the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Index send a resounding message: Economic freedom brings about environmental protection. Why? Because economic freedom leads to prosperity and only prosperous countries can truly protect their environment. Are you skeptical? More.
California’s extreme drought will force rationing of water or higher prices, say John McKenzie and Richard McKenzie. Raising water prices has a great advantage: “Higher water prices can increase the state’s available water supply—without additional rainfall or...
Pressuring plastic producers to recycle their products has gone on for decades. But two writers at the Atlantic have now concluded, “Plastic recycling does not work and will never work.” In the U.S. in 2021 only 5 percent of all post-consumer plastic was recycled. Furthermore, they say that the plastic producers deny this and those denials are “reminiscent of” the tobacco companies in making false claims. (For years, many tobacco firms rejected the idea that cigarettes caused cancer.)
Planting trees to sequester carbon and prevent carbon dioxide emissions has become very popular (whether it is accomplishing much or not). Now the New York Times reports that the effort to save the world is causing local ecological harm by bringing in non-native species.
Greenland ‘s ice mass is melting—but more slowly than it did a decade ago, and its level right now is about the same as in the 1930s. But little of this information reaches the media or even the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)…