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Political Environmentalism: Going behind the Green Curtain (HOOVER INST PRESS PUBLICATION) [Paperback]

Terry L. Anderson

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Book Description

May 1, 2000 0817997520 978-0817997526 1st Edition
Documenting a range of examples, Anderson and his contributors boldly confront specific environmental laws, asking whether they were motivated by environmental or strictly political concerns, whether they are cost-effective, and whether they generate effective or perverse results.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For the past thirty years, citizens have naively accepted political environmentalism as the main, if not the only, way of solving environmental problems.... Perhaps the time has come to give free market environmentalism a chance"--Terry L. Anderson

Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has consistently taken the high moral ground, calling for political action in the name of the public interest. But while legislation such as the Wilderness Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and Superfund has been put on a pedestal above public interest, the fact remains that environmentalists are simply one more special-interest group, lobbying for laws that suit their needs regardless of the net effect on society--and driving legislation that costs the American economy billions of dollars a year.

In Political Environmentalism, Terry Anderson and his contributors show how environmental special interests have indeed provided the high moral ground for economic special interests who stand to gain from legislation that hampers competition. The book documents a range of examples of how politics and environmentalism mix to produce strange bedfellows and perverse results. It shows, for instance, how clean air and water legislation based on technology standards actually results in dirtier air and higher costs to consumers. It tells how wilderness designations and Superfund sites are usually determined more by economic interests than by any other factor. And it reveals how the Endangered Species Act puts property rights up for grabs in the political arena--doing little to save species but consuming considerable resources in the process.

Throughout the book, Political Environmentalism boldly confronts specific environmental laws, asking whether they were motivated by environmental concerns, whether they achieve their goals, whether they are cost-effective--and, most important, whether they in fact generate perverse results.

About the Author

Terry Anderson, the John and Jean DeNault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the executive director of PERC - the Property and Environment Research Center, a think tank focusing on market solutions to environmental problems located in Bozeman, Montana, and professor emeritus at Montana State University.

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More About the Author

Terry Anderson is the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the executive director of PERC (the Property and Environment Research Center), a think tank in Bozeman, Montana, that focuses on market solutions to environmental problems. His research helped launch the idea of free-market environmentalism and has prompted public debate over the proper role of government in managing natural resources. He is the cochair of Hoover's Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity Task Force.

Anderson is the author or editor of thirty-seven books. Among these, Free Market Environmentalism, coauthored with Donald Leal, received the 1992 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. A revised edition was published in 2001.

His most recent publication is Tapping Water Markets (RFF Press, 2012). Other books include Greener Than Thou: Are You Really an Environmentalist? (Hoover Institution Press, 2008) and Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity (Hoover Institution Press, 2003), both coauthored with Laura Huggins. His book, with Peter J. Hill, The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (Stanford University Press), was awarded the 2005 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Anderson's research, which has also focused on Native American economies, recently resulted in a coedited volume, Self-Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans (Stanford University Press, 2006). He has published widely in both professional journals and the popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and Fly Fisherman.

In March 2011, Anderson received the Liberalni Institute Annual Award in Prague in the Czech Republic for his "Contribution to the Proliferation of Liberal Thinking, and Making Ideas of Liberty, Private Property, Competition, and the Rule of Law Come True." Previous recipients include Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, and Vernon Smith.

Anderson received his BS degree from the University of Montana in 1968 and his PhD degree in economics from the University of Washington in 1972, after which he began his teaching career at Montana State University, where he won several teaching awards.

Anderson is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and archery hunting, especially in Africa.

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