This paper summarizes the state of the academic literature on the implications of environmental justice.
Robert K. Fleck, F. Andrew Hanssen
Environmentalists, politicians, and scholars express concern about a "race to the bottom" in environmental policy. Yet economic theory indicates that a race to the bottom in environmental policy is highly unlikely, and there is little evidence that such races have, in fact, occurred.
The public trust doctrine is a little-known bit of legal history that is now touted as an ancient rule of law that allows governments to control property long presumed to be privately owned.
Malthus will always be associated with the idea of a social and economic trap, in which population grows faster than food production. But Malthus did not believe in a population apocalypse, as many of his followers do today.
Terry Anderson, Laura Huggins
In the past, the economy of the western United States depended on converting natural resources into lumber, metals, and hydroelectricity. More recently, the relationship to natural resources has moved from extraction toward protection. But this shift has led to acrimony and gridlock.
Land trusts and one of their important tools, conservation easements, are major forces in today's environmental movement. Conservation easements are partial interests in land that prohibit intense development.
In the early twentieth century, L.A. purchased water rights by buying up farmland and conveying the water back to L.A. These purchases created a legacy of distrust and suspicion, as people began to view the trades as theft. Gary Libecap takes a second look at the L.A.-Owens Valley transfers.
With abundant rainfall, the southeastern United States has rarely experienced conflicts over the allocation of water. But that is changing. As population grows, the demand for water grows, and when periodic drought occurs, disputes can result.
This Policy Series challenges a popular romantic myth--the idea that Native Americans had little regard for property rights. The experience of Native American salmon fishing off the northwestern coast of the United States and the southwestern coast of Canada refutes this notion.
This essay, "Eight Great Myths of Recycling," by Daniel K. Benjamin, exposes the errors and falsehoods underlying the rhetoric. It clarifies the appropriate role of recycling, based on history and market relationships.