,Greener than Thou: Are You Really An Environmentalist?

Greener than Thou: Are You Really An Environmentalist?


Publication Date: November 2008

Publisher: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Author(s): Terry L. Anderson; Laura E. Huggins

Research Area: Economics; Environment

Keywords: Free market environmentalism; Land management; Global warming

Type: Book


In six insightful chapters, Terry Anderson and Laura Huggins make a powerful argument for free market environmentalism. They break down liberal and conservative stereotypes of what it means to be an environmentalist and show that, by forming local coalitions around market principles, stereotypes are replaced by pragmatic solutions that improve environmental quality without necessarily increasing red tape.

Combating the tendency to equate being green with environmental red tape requires rethinking the role of markets in providing environmental quality. The authors suggest ways in which free market environmentalism can do that by first recognizing that, in the words of conservationist Aldo Leopold, "conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest." They illustrate how such incentives are already leading to environmental improvements and ultimately show that whether the issue is management of public lands, water or air quality, or even global warming, free market environmentalism can provide an alternative to command-and-control regulation.