Once again, be careful what you wish for

by Sandy Ikeda

I’d wager that many of us who’ve lectured to our classes on environmental economics have at some point suggested that one way to eliminate pollution is to stop all forms of energy-consuming and pollution-generating production.  That would kill most of the human (and a lot of the non-human) inhabitants on earth, but it would probably preserve the natural environment (in the long-run, that is, after all those nasty carcasses get washed away).  The point being, of course, that there’s such a thing as having too little pollution, and that there are better and worse ways to lower pollution.

Next time, you might want to use this article from the latest (November 22, 2008) The Economist.  Thanks to skyrocketing gas prices (at least until lately), the housing collapse, and the impending recession, Californians may actually come close to hitting the ambitious targets for renewable energy and greenhouse-gas emissions mandated by Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger for 2020. Continue reading