I love trees and animals. But I don't love the excessive regulations environmentalists force on us to protect them, as I write in my syndicated column this week:
Originally, environmental rules were a good thing. I love the free market, but it doesn't offer a practical remedy to pollution. I could sue polluters for violating my property rights, but under our legal system, that's not even close to practical.
So in the '70s, government passed rules that demanded we stop polluting the air and water. Industry put scrubbers in smokestacks. Towns installed sewage treatment. Now the air is quite clean, and I can swim in the rivers around Manhattan.
But government didn't stop there. Government never stops. Now that the air is cleaner, government spends even more than it spent to clean the air to subsidize feeble methods of energy production like windmills and solar panels. Activists want even more spending.
Sometimes the big spending backfires:
The environmentalists so torment those who resist their schemes, that some landowners tell each other, "if you find an endangered species, shoot, shovel, and shut up!" That's mostly a joke. But it does happen, and it's one more way government regulations backfire
For more on why capitalism and freedom do more against pollution than government control, the column is here.