05.09.08

Revelation

Posted in Behavior, Resources at 12:25 am by justakim

I had a revelation today. Perhaps I am slow; behind the times…

As an environmental economist, I at least, believe that environmentalism is for everyone. If you were to truly account for all the externalities, it would be clear to everyone that we are not allocating our resources properly and the environment should be considered accordingly.

Everyone.

And yet, we are not particularly good at selling environmental considerations to individuals. If the truth is truly compelling, honestly logical, and the right thing to do, then anyone should be convinced. Each individual, no matter where they live, how they live, or what they believe in, should have the potential to see this reasoning. But when there is a focus on ethics, morals, and culture–things that are not universal–you miss out on what should be the compelling arguments. It is not the environmental culture that I buy into.

Now, I agree that there is due applause for the environmental movement embracing economic concepts. But these are merely tools used in the name of an older, unchanged philosophy, disjointed piece rather than insights to a larger whole. The market is far more complex than a credit trading house and a price signal. Markets and economics have so much more to offer. It is far more sensible to appeal to self-interest than to expect others’ utilities to bend to one’s will.

Environmentalists should know, more than anyone else, that one size does not fit all.

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