Environment Technology

Environment Technology

Governments vs. Markets: Julian Morris on Environmental Protection

Posted by admin on May 29, 2012 in Environment Protection with 25 Comments


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

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason.tv’s YouTube channel to receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.

Duration : 0:28:37


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  1. felpalucheMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #1

    Worthy post.
    Worthy post.

  2. StereoSpaceMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #2

    Good presentation. …
    Good presentation. Thanks.

  3. JesseForgioneMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #3

    “It’s better to be …
    “It’s better to be wealthy, because then you have access to clean drinking water.”

  4. 4lifejackhammerMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #4

    never in the …
    never in the written history of the world has business had free-rein. Never will they; businesses only “rule” what they own. Until they have a monopolistic state who can tax people and give favored businesses special privileges. Then they rule more than what is voluntary.

  5. 4lifejackhammerMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #5

    the fact is that …
    the fact is that government regulators and representatives were bribed off. No amount of legislation will change that.

  6. 4lifejackhammerMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #6

    it also would not …
    it also would not have happened if local governments, whose funds are more heavily tied to the gulf than it is any oil money, were made owners of the gulf waters. Heck, we can go one step further and say that if individuals owned the land under the gulf, then they would not have approved of faulty construction. We can also say that government denial of oil-rich land for drilling (where it is significantly safer) caused the demand for deep-sea drilling first place, etc.

  7. SquashDog01May 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #7

    Possibly more than …
    Possibly more than I? This is highly doubt that. Getting your history form the op-ed page of the huffington post is WORSE than getting it from Glenn Beck. I DARE you to take a look at individuals like Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Smith, and other Classic Liberals. The fact that you talk about “interpreting” history scares the out of me. Mao “interpreted” history too, that obviously worked out well. His tenure in office killed an estimated 60,000,000 people by the way.

  8. mylunalovegoodMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #8

    more precisely, the …
    more precisely, the BP spill is an example of government not working for the environment, and allowing too much leeway and deregulation for business. Had government worked, the BP spill – indeed drilling without sufficient preparation and oversight of safety measures would not have happened.

  9. mylunalovegoodMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #9

    have done, possibly …
    have done, possibly more than you, but it is what you look at and how you interpret power struggles, that determine your point of view. This “government is bad” argument is simplistic and simply makes no sense. Government will exist to serve everyone, or only the most powerful (i.e. the wealthy) Government is simply a tool, wielded with skill and balance or as a blunt instrument. Government doesn’t kill, only people kill. – to paraphrase.

  10. mylunalovegoodMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #10

    I would say that …
    I would say that the BP spill is NOT an example of government and business working together. I would also say that there are tons of those around. Government is not perfect, neither is free-rein business, never has been, never will. they are 2 essential ingredients in society. without some restraint interests soley of wealth become tyranny, without democracy and freedom, government is tyranny. BOTH are essential.

  11. SquashDog01May 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #11

    I suggest reading …
    I suggest reading history then. Loads of examples.

  12. 4lifejackhammerMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #12

    The BP spill is a …
    The BP spill is a great example of government and business working together. Let’s do it again.

  13. mylunalovegoodMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #13

    LeOiFZionN I …
    LeOiFZionN I disagree with you, government “creating” or not has nothing to do with it. Government has a job of regulation and administration of infrastructure. Business has a different job. the two need to work together. I am no more interested in Exxon determining what is good for me or the environment than the government. Yes, it IS in the interest of Exxon to extract whatever they can and postpone or ignore consequences when possible.

  14. LeGioNoFZioNMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #14

    STOP SAYING UM, …
    STOP SAYING UM, seriously

  15. CapitalistPhilMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #15

    I disagree. The …
    I disagree. The government cannot create. It redistributes. It takes from one place and moves to somewhere else. Let me ask; does BP or Exxon have a vested interest in destroying the planet? Of course not. They want to make as much as possible, and that’s done by creating energy, providing a product. They will invest in making sure when the oil runs out they will still be the top providers of Energy. The profit motive will always work itself out.

  16. CurtHowlandMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #16

    Seriously, do you …
    Seriously, do you think Marx invented collectivist action?
    So you don’t know that the first three English colonies in North America were founded as forced communes, which is why they starved, until the Plymouth colony re-established Capitalism and private property rights, which caused the bumper-crop and Thanksgiving feast of 1623?
    Egypt was a dictatorship, even though the word had not been invented yet. Doesn’t change the facts.

  17. CurtHowlandMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #17

    Sounds like John …
    Sounds like John Locke’s “leave as good as you take”

  18. OhNoyateMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #18

    Funny. Especially …
    Funny. Especially the part about the reservations being the epitome of communism. You’ve just applied a contemporary political character to a pre-Columbian culture. Will you next propose that ancient Egypt was run by Zionists? What else does your crystal ball have to say?

  19. dbill27May 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #19

    Not a very good …
    Not a very good break down.

  20. mylunalovegoodMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #20

    private enterprise …
    private enterprise protecting the enviroment? Since when? NO experience of that at ALL! It is not a simple either /or equation – meaning government bad/good, private enterprise bad/good. It is a balance. For every example of green technology developed by business in this video and equal number of examples of environmental spoiling and degradation can be given. for every example of bad government interference,2 of government help in development and freedom can be given.

  21. mylunalovegoodMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #21

    private enterprise …
    private enterprise protecting the enviroment? Since when? NO experience of that at ALL!

  22. JETZcorpMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #22

    That 7.2L also got …
    That 7.2L also got well over 400hp with the six-pack setup (the 390hp quote for the six-pack was a joke, especially considering it would match a 426 Hemi in the eighth-mile). And to get 500+ horsepower from a 3.6L you put forced induction on it (which is the case for the Porsche 911 GT2 you got those numbers from). Boosted motors from the days of yore can get ridiculous numbers. Regardless, you’re absolutely right that efficiency has gone way, WAY up, as have safety and features.

  23. PatriotsRepublicMay 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #23

    You are most …
    You are most certainly not a Libertarian. As for your nonsense, I can provide evidence to back up my claim. Other than the Indian reservations which is the epitome of communism in our country, you have no real statistics that come from any truly reputable source to back yours up.

  24. Hashishin13May 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #24

    Also go look at …
    Also go look at home amny nuclear “tests” the governments of the world have done, its absurd. I think private defense agencies would be less showy at which benefits all living things.

    Not to mention the indefensible horror that is DU(Depleted Uranium). Basically the US government has been shooting up various areas of the world with URANIUM which will take ove a billion years to break down. I don’t see any private group getting away with that, people would be more suspicious of them.

  25. Hashishin13May 29, 2012 - 8:20 am #25

    @Oh 400+ years of …
    @Oh 400+ years of libertarian free market environmentalism? Not even close. Imagine how much more money there would be if the government wasn’t stealing 50%+ of people’s incomes?

    You should watch the clip about the hunting ranches in the south that had more then quadrupled the number of certain endangered antelope, deer and buffallo they imported. Guess who eventually shut them down, I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t the market.

    Govs just create complacency by saying they are protecting it.

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