January 11, 2007

Always blame markets, capitalism and globalization

I have picked three recent examples of blaming markets and capitalism for environmental problems caused by the absence of property rights, markets and capitalism:

From Biotropica, in a paper by William F. Laurance:
At present, economic markets provide few if any incentives to slow deforestation. [...] Moreover, in tropical frontier areas in Brazil, colonists are required to "improve" (i.e., deforest) the land in order to make viable claims for land title.
From National Geographic (found via Globalisation and the Environment), in an article by Scott Wallace that also acknowledges the fact that the Brazilian government often requires deforestation to grant land titles:
The market forces of globalization are invading the Amazon, hastening the demise of the forest and thwarting its most committed stewards.
From Treehugger (also via Globalisation and the Environment), talking about soil degradation due to communal goat farming in China:
[T]he Tragedy of the Commons [...] describes the inevitable outcome of a capitalistic market economy where the resource costs are not fully calculated in the production costs.

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