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Free Market Environmentalism Paperback – February 3, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0312235031 ISBN-10: 0312235038 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Revised edition (February 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312235038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312235031
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Terry L. Anderson is Executive Director of the Political Economy Research Center (PERC), in Bozeman, Montana and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Donald R. Leal is a Senior Associate at PERC, editor or author of three books, and contributing author to six books that cover various aspects of environmental policy.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on February 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
As the title suggests, this book provides a manifesto for "free market environmentalism" (FME). It's a seminal text for that community, which argues (surprise) for free-market solutions to environmental problems.

The book makes its case effectively, and open-minded people on all sides of these debates can learn something from the book. Chapter 2, "Rethinking the Way We Think," is particularly valuable in making the reader think a second time about things she thinks she knows. The selection of topics in the rest of the book (fencing ranches in the western US, bureaucratic land-use mandates, user fees for recreation in national forests, global warming) is pretty random but tolerably representative. Some suggestions are more plausible than others.

The ideological side of FME wants to make markets look like the solutions to all problems. The real FME claim is that, if government chooses to achieve some environmental goal, it can achieve that goal at least cost by developing market solutions. For example, tradable emissions permits achieve a given level of emissions efficiently, but you still have to decide the emissions level politically, and have bureaucrats enforce the levels. Similarly, user fees might raise the value that national forests place on recreation use, and might reduce crowding at some sites - - but the "real" market solution would be to sell national forests to the highest bidder, sell national parks to Disney, and so on.

Anderson and Leal don't actually propose such sell-offs but the ideological version of FME would advocate them on the basis of logical consistency. A healthier recognition of the limits of FME, and the role of politics, would serve their agenda better.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "jposkey" on August 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a real eye-opener. It shows how sometimes the private sector is much better at protecting the environment than the government is. It builds from early examples in the 19th century up through effective private-sector efforts today. At the same time, it points out how government programs sometimes worsen the very problem they seek to correct.
Some people might not believe its notion that the private sector will always do the right thing. And, of course, it won't. However, this book is a good guide to the growing movement to find a better way to protect the environment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kellyrh on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I am a Geography student in college and found this text entirely relevant to every issue that my professors bring up as confusing. Not so! I'm not saying that our environmental issues will be easy to fix, but they are definitely fixable using the ideas in this book. Hopefully more intellectuals will read this book and realize the actual truths vs. the truisms every politician would like them to believe.
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