You are here

OpenMarket: Lands and Wildlife

  • LOST Washing Up To Our Shores Once Again

    October 1, 2012
    The United National Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Simultaneously, there has been a push for the U.S. to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). Though signed, the treaty was never ratified by the U.S.; and for good reason. LOST redistributes wealth away from developed states, such as the U.S., and discourages innovation and investment. LOST replaces hundred-year-old sea boundaries for member states, regardless of being a coastal or land-locked state. This can potentially reduce the extent of sovereign territory of the U.S. For example, Niger, a predominately desert country in Sub-Saharan Africa, at least 400 miles away from the nearest ocean coast-line, is allowed the same relative amount of ocean territory as Greenland, the world’s largest island. LOST also creates a governing board for the...
  • If Demography Is Destiny, We're Screwed (So To Speak)

    August 23, 2012
    "Things will get better." Such sentiments frequently fall from the lips of ever-loving economic optimists who -- while noting the current distressed condition of things -- nonetheless insist that recessions have come before, and have always been followed (eventually) by recoveries. I know a few of these optimists, and they’re quite right -- to a point. Because what these sunny souls forget is that every recovery depends upon a plentiful supply of Earth’s most precious resource -- human beings. And it is a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce, especially in the industrialized democracies. Until recently, the United States was famous for bucking the plummeting birth-rate trend that has haunted other advanced countries for years. But apparently Americans are now caving to the peer pressure (“Come on, Yanks! Everyone’s -- not -- doing it!”). According to a recent report in...
  • Decoding The Malthusian Fallacy

    August 6, 2012
    The writings of Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) inspired Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle to condemn economics as "the dismal science." Witnessing the deplorable crowding, poverty, and disease of England's dirty cities and struck by a grim historical record of famines and epidemics, Malthus embodied academic pessimism. The work that made his reputation and popularized his name was An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus felt he was a Cassandra, admonishing utopians to beware of a catastrophic inevitability they could not see: The human population would inevitably exceed the carrying capacity of its environment.
    This natural inequality of the two powers, of population, and of production of the earth,...
  • Remembering Elinor Ostrom

    June 12, 2012
    Among the individuals with whom I wish I could have greater opportunities to exchange ideas is Elinor Ostrom. She passed away today, and now I must pursue that conversation indirectly -- via her writings, her colleagues, and my recollections of those few conversations I did have the opportunity to enjoy.
  • Give a Man a Fish

    May 18, 2012
    Those with an interest in conserving our oceans’ fish stocks and those with an interest in promoting private property should both be interested in my latest short study at CEI, "Give a Man a Fish." Here’s the introduction:
    Some policy makers and environmental advocacy groups are beginning to realize that the solution lies not in further government regulation, but in investing fishermen with property rights. However, government bureaucrats are also attempting to utilize this insight to gain even more power over fisheries, threatening to derail the momentum toward a more rational allocation of ocean resources. That would be bad news for both fish populations and the people who depend on them for their livelihood. The oceans are an important source of food and income for people around the world. In 2007, proteins from fish...
  • The Remote Sensing Problem

    May 7, 2012
    Over at the Washington Post, in discussing the coming crisis in weathersats, the editorial board can't resist taking an ignorant dig at George W. Bush:
    The reasons for this outlook are many — some overspending on certain projects to the harm of others, costly congressional mandates that diverted resources, and a recent rocket accident. Even if those factors were ignored, says Dennis Hartman, the chair of the panel that produced the report, agency budgets would still be too low to keep the country’s earth observation system in reasonable shape. The NRC proposes restoring NASA’s earth observation satellite funding to the level seen in the late 1990s — before President George W. Bush reprogrammed money from those satellites into things such as...
  • When Commodities Analysts Should Stick To Commodities

    May 1, 2012
    Some analysts at Barclays attempt to understand the business case for Planetary Resources, and massively fail:
    Their calculations are based on Nasa’s forthcoming OSIRIS-REx mission, which aims to launch a probe in 2016 to pluck samples from an asteroid called 1999 RQ36 and bring them to Earth. The mission’s acronym stands for “Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith...
  • How to Fix U.S. Water Policy? Less Government, More Market Pricing

    April 18, 2012
    Late last week I received an invitation to testify in the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on H.R. 2664, "The Reauthorization of Water Desalination Act of 2011." We've posted the full 20-page testimony; my oral remarks before the committee appear below. The push for politically juiced desalination projects is a diversion from the actual problem; the absence of market pricing to allocate water scarcity.
    I am Wayne Crews, VP for Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and I thank the committee for this Tax Day invitation to speak on H.R...
  • Further Space Property Rights Responses

    April 9, 2012
    Since my previous post on media reaction to CEI's press briefing on Thursday, Popular Science has provided a good report as well. But in this post, I want to address co-speaker Jim Dunstan's critique of the concept, which he presented at the event, and is now available on line at TechFreedom. I should start by noting...
  • Regulation of the Day 199: How to Catch a Tuna

    November 21, 2011
    Authorities confiscated an otherwise legally caught bluefin tuna because it was caught with a net. The government intends to sell the fish and keep the money.


Subscribe to OpenMarket: Lands and Wildlife