There are two ways to show you are green. One is to preach, sue, lobby and spend; the other is to find ways to nudge people in environmental directions by changing their economic incentives. Greener Than Thou demonstrates with fascinating case histories –ranging from Alaskan halibut to Bolivian bees to Mexican jaguars – how much more can be achieved the second way.
—Matthew Ridley, scientist and author of Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
STANFORD—For many policy makers, whoever can outgreen the other gets to set the regulation, and if you don’t jump on the bandwagon, you risk being left behind altogether, say Hoover fellows Terry Anderson and Laura Huggins in their new book Greener Than Thou: Are You Really an Environmentalist (Hoover Institution Press, 2008). Anderson and Huggins, however, question the long-held assumption that implementing green (environmentally sound) practices requires regulation.
Instead, the authors discuss how the concept of free market environmentalism is providing a way of thinking about environmental policy that emphasizes the important role of markets, incentives, and property rights. At the heart of the concept, the authors explain, is a system of property rights to natural resources. Those rights, whether held by individuals or a group, create inherent incentives for owners to use resources wisely because the wealth of the property owner is at stake if bad decisions are made. In short, free market environmentalists strive to transform environmental problems into assets.
Free market environmentalism, pioneered in the early 1980s, was first laid out in a book by the same name, coauthored by Anderson and Donald Leal, in 1991 and revised in 2001. Free Market Environmentalism received the 1992 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award.
Terry L. 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 research institute in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on improving environmental quality through property rights and markets, and professor emeritus at Montana State University. Anderson is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (Stanford University Press, 2004), coauthored with Peter J. Hill, which was awarded the 2005 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award and You Have to Admit It's Getting Better: From Economic Prosperity to Environmental Quality (Hoover Institution Press, 2004).
Laura E. Huggins is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and director of publications at PERC. Huggins is the author, along with Anderson, of Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity (Hoover Institution Press, 2003). She also recently edited, with Anderson and Thomas Power, Accounting for Mother Nature: Changing Demands for Her Bounty (Stanford University Press, 2008), Population Puzzle: Boom or Bust? (Hoover Institution Press, 2004), and Drug War Deadlock: The Policy Battle Continues (Hoover Institution Press, 2005).
Greener Than Thou: Are You Really An Environmentalist?
by Terry L. Anderson and Laura E. Huggins
|ISBN: 978-08179-4852-8||$15.00 paper|
|ISBN: 978-08179-4851-1||$25.00 cloth|
|148 pages||September 2008|