Governments vs. Markets: Julian Morris on Environmental Protection


Which does a better job of protecting the environment: governments or markets?

Reason Foundation's Vice President of Research Julian Morris spoke at Reason Foundation's annual Reason Weekend and challenged the idea that regulations and energy subsidies will save us from environmental disasters. In fact, they help cause them.

When people are driven by profits and protected by property rights, Morris argues, environmentally friendly products will develop naturally.

Morris is the author of dozens of scholarly articles on issues ranging from the morality of free trade to the relationship between institutions, economic development and environmental protection.

Approximately 28 minutes.

Filmed by Alex Manning and Paul Detrick; Editded by Joshua Swain

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  1. nothing to see here. move on please

  2. False choice.
    Is this from the PEW survey?

  3. What utter bs.

  4. Moronic

    It’s impossible to establish property rights for air. How does he propose to contain the externality of air pollution?

  5. True, governments do tend to muck things up with bureaucracy and inconsistency as administrations change from one viewpoint to another. But we need a partnership of governments, NGOs and green businesses to to make a system that really works. The World Wildlife Fund has provided many examples or how this type of arrangement can work brilliantly.

  6. would it be possible to see/download the talk and the graphics?

  7. Wow, this talk was hard to get through, because Mr. Morris’s speaking tempo is jarring.

    But I’m dissappointed that he didn’t use the primary example of unsustianable development: Converting Coal, oil and natural gas into energy which increases the GDP. Of course, wealth (which GDP kinda measures) is good when its increasing, but western countries have just been depending on the gluttonous amount of energy content in fossil fuels to power their meteoric GDP rise. Whether you believe in Peak Oil or not, you must admit that fossil fuels won’t last forever and therefore our GDP ascent will eventually tumble.

    No other energy source comes close to the energy density of fossil fuels, they were an economic blessing.

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