Today my colleague Laura Huggins and I spent an hour or so with Sandrine Bélie, a member of the European Parliament representing the group, Europe Ecologie. It was a fascinating conversation and I learned a lot. Here are some of the points I made:
(1) Protecting the environment requires real resources, which have competing opportunity costs.
(2) Across time and cultures, wealthier is healthier, safer, and more environmentally sensitive.
(3) Things that have no owner and no price are prone to exploitation.
(4) Public lands by definition are political lands, and predictable pathologies follow.
(5) Markets work through trial and error, experimentation, and feedback. Their constant search for efficiencies subjects ideas (both new and old) to ruthless, systematic testing. This is a far more efficient and equitable process than relying on decisions made by politicians and their business cronies.
Thanks to Sandrine for a great discussion.