Global warming as a market failure

June 9, 2010 | By | Reply More

At CNN, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway portray climate change as another victim of free market fundamentalism:

Since the early 1990s, there has been a sustained history of attempts to undermine any science that suggested that contemporary industrial society might be doing irreparable harm to human health and the natural environment. This included the science that demonstrated the harms of DDT, the dangers to children of second-hand smoke, the causes of acid rain, and the reality of the ozone hole. Often the same people were involved in several or even all of these attacks. The common feature in all these cases was a link to think tanks promoting free markets and opposing government regulations.

One doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the pattern: People are loath to admit that our free market system has created problems that the free market has proved ineffectual to solve. Nicolas Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank, has called global warming “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.”

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Category: global warming

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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