The Success of Environmental Regulation

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"The Success of Environmental Regulation"

In the 1970s, many scientists felt that the planet was on an unsustainable course in terms of pollution. Which is how we had the blossoming of the environmentalist movement. The creation fo the Earth Day holiday. The growth of “green” parties in Europe’s multi-party system and the rising influence of environmental interest groups in the United States. We passed the Clean Air Act and created the Environmental Protection Agency. And as Mark Perry from the conservative American Enterprise Institute points out these environmental policies worked and the air is now far cleaner:

earthday1 1

Except because Perry, like most conservatives, is completely unwilling to admit that liberals have ever been right about anything somehow reads this as evidence that environmentalists were wrong. You see, according to Perry we had all these proclamations of ecological doom and yet things have gotten better—silly greens!

In the real world, what happened is that we passed environmental laws, and conservatives argued that they would destroy the economy. And yet here’s the economy, undestroyed. And here’s the environment, cleaned up.

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