Environmentalism in perspective

Gernot Wagner, being interviewed by Andrew Price at Fast Co.Exist:

Should you buy the local apples that have been stored for months in a cool house somewhere, or should you buy the fresh apple flown in from across the world? Or should you not buy apples at all when they are not in season and risk not getting enough vitamins?

You’d go positively crazy trying to figure out what to do, and you’d miss the big picture: That, at the end of the day, none of that really matters.

Wagner hits the nail on the head. Unfortunately, we’re beyond the first and second generations of environmental issues—the ones that were easy to solve like acid rain or overburdened landfills—and are now dealing with more intractable problems like climate change.

The more I read, the more I tend to agree with people like Wagner who believe that economic approaches will be the best way to tackle environmental problems. Education and awareness can open people to the possibility of change, but economic incentives can really affect it.

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