There Is No Earth Day Without Private Conservation

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Today is Earth Day, and NPR and the rest of the media are celebrating government and its environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act and green energy transformations. Joe Biden will be delivering celebratory remarks.

The presumptions remain that free market capitalism tends to pollute and destroy, that sustainable development is something other than what markets can do of their own accord, and that markets are anti-environment.

Instead, most areas around the globe where environmental destruction is rampant are those where property rights are absent or confused, and a “tragedy of the commons” prevails: airsheds, watersheds, public lands, endangered species and their governance all come to mind. Endangered species laws, for example, can set landowners and species at odds by forbidding activities on the property in question in counterproductive ways. It could be otherwise, with landowners incentivized to protect and save species rather than “shoot, shovel and shut-up.”

Read the full article on Forbes.