Is it Earth Day again? I was planning to be in DC on unrelated business today, but I’m just as glad I missed it this time. I was in the DC area a couple of years ago and found the Earth Day protesters to be loud, uninformed and a bit silly. And the mess they left behind afterward was ridiculous.
I don’t want to rehash The Topic for the moment. But I will say this. People who are legitimately concerned about the environment are not marching on the mall today or backing an ill-informed anti-corporate agenda. They are in labs and offices all over this country, inventing new sources of energy and new ways to do old things with less mess, less energy and better results. Don Boudreaux has an entire series called “Cleaned by Capitalism” detailing how the free market has made our world cleaner and healthier. Occasionally, some guidance is needed from government — companies weren’t going to stop using lead out of the goodness of their heart. But mostly this happens because we the consumer demand a cleaner world.
If you want to know the kind of world the collectivists would leave us, read up on the environmental disaster that was the Soviet Union — Chernobyl, the Mayak explosion, Lake Karachay, the Aral Sea, the entire western portion of the Czech Republic. Hell, look at China right now. Even the beloved welfare states of Europe, for all their faults and the billions they’ve burned on cap and trade, have refused to embrace the anti-capitalism, anti-corporate bandwagon.
If we ever develop an energy technology that can replace fossil fuels, we won’t need a government mandate to get billions to stampede to it. Cleaner cars and energy-efficient computers don’t need laws; they are already wildly popular. We the consumers do not object to a clean, sustainable planet; we love it. What we object to is a bunch of people who take it upon themselves to command and control society, thinking they have the knowledge and wisdom to guide us to a smarter greener future. They have been consistently foolishly ridiculously wrong again and again. And all the marches and protest signs in the world aren’t going to change that.