Over the weekend, Donald J. Boudreaux — George Mason Unversity professor and “adjunct analyst” at the Exxon-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute — wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune called “The case for neglecting global warming.” He argued that the “documented health gains that people in the West have enjoyed over the past five or six generations” can be attributed to capitalism. Therefore, the government shouldn’t work to stop climate change because it would impede capitalism:
Those of us who recognize these important benefits of capitalism…are reluctant to yield power to governments to tackle global warming. … [I]t’s a perfectly legitimate stance for truly reasonable people to conclude that the best policy regarding global warming is to neglect it — and let capitalism continue to make us healthier and wealthier.
Big business recognizes that strong environmental policies and capitalism aren’t mutually exclusive. According to a recent report from the Climate Group, an international environmental charity, “43 multinationals — including Bayer, BT and DuPont — saved a combined $11.6 billion last year by improving energy efficiency, reducing waste output and harnessing solar power.”
The best policy regarding global warming is to neglect Boudreaux.