The New Ledger: A Conservative View of the Environment

by Benjamin Domenech on 12:46 pm January 28, 2009

A few colleagues of mine got together to launch a new web publication, The New Ledger. I encourage you to check it out – it’s got a neat combination of hand-picked aggregated content, sorted Daily Reads each morning, and longer form opinion pieces from smart folks and good writers.

I have the feature today, on The Right and the Challenge of the Environment. I hope you’ll check it out – I’ll be editing the Conservation section of the site going forward.

It’s true that the free market is, oftentimes, the enemy of the environment. It’s one of the greatest forces for freedom in the world, yes – but when it comes to many of the issues, I believe the marketplace espouses a view that is focused on the short term, not the long. It often makes perfect financial sense to operate at the narrow edge of irresponsibility, to stamp your feet about government ignoring property rights and bureaucracy passing ridiculous regulations, because it’s true that such things are often fundamentally unjust. Yet the actors in the market don’t usually evaluate land or sea in terms of stewardship – they evaluate it in terms of the immediate bottom line.

But that’s only half the story. The other half is the fact that overwhelmingly, the vast number of nations that can afford to make the decisions to protect and conserve land and sea, and be good stewards of the resources and creatures within them, are those that are thriving members of the global marketplace.

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