Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Economics of Green:

Junk Science: The issue [of New Scientist magazine] features eight articles that New Scientist editors believe justify their editorial entitled, “Why economic growth is killing the planet and what we can do about it.” Presented below the editorial is an ominously drawn graph purporting to show how global temperatures, population, carbon dioxide concentrations, GDP, and loss of tropical rainforest and woodland have dramatically spiked upward since 1750, and how species extinctions, water use, motor vehicle use, paper consumption, fisheries exploitation, ozone depletion, and foreign investment spiked during the 20th century. The editorial concludes that “the science tells us that if we are serious about saving the Earth,” economic growth must be limited.

Oh geez. It's economic progress and technological advance that will preserve the planet. By contrast, governmental regulation always results in unintended consequences and creates perverse incentives which insure that, as with most cases of central planning, the totalitarian, Luddite policies proposed by the editors of New Scientist would have precisely the opposite effect.

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