August 12, 2005
Reality Check for greenies

...or at least the Anti-American greenies who seem to dominate the movement.

Scott Burgess has a link-laden post up at the Adam Smith Institute Blog which pretty thoroughly demolishes the arguments from the left about the United States being "the world's greatest polluters". In fact, in terms of greenhouse gasses, we're near the top (but not the worst), but for other air and water pollution, we're far cleaner than most of the rest of the world. He also points out that we spend an enormous amount (both in absolute terms, and as a percentage of GDP) on pollution controls; only two nations (Netherlands and Austria) spend as much per capita, and in absolute terms, only Germany and Japan are even close.

The only quibble I have with his analysis is that he uses GDP units as a measurement for greenhouse gas emission. The more extreme and vocal greenies are trying to stop production altogether, so GDP is not going to work to shut them up. They'd rather send us back to a pre-industrial era in which everyone is too busy in the fields (or the looms) toiling to survive, rather than "rape mother earth" with industrialization. Any GDP is a bad thing to those luddites.

posted on August 12, 2005 12:27 PM


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