Resource Economics and Environmentalism

Posted on Freedom Advocates on March 3rd 2004

Summary: Michael Park reviews an enlightening audio lecture by economist George Reisman.

Full text:

Reisman follows (or leads, perhaps) the line of reasoning put forward by Wilfred Beckerman in his book on Sustainable Development, A Poverty of Reason. In this lecture, he outlines certain notions that help us to understand better how resource economics works. For example, he defines a natural resource in two different ways, both as something that finds its source in nature and further as something found in nature that is valuable to man as a good that can be used efficiently to improve the human condition.

Reisman discusses these opposing views of intrinsic and extrinsic valuations of nature and explains how environmentalism has adopted a collectivist view of the world which leads to state control over natural resources. Then, during his lecture and the following question/answer period, he argues that private citizens are the best stewards of natural resources.

Resource Economics and Environmentalism (2001) by George Reisman (Pepperdine University).
[Download MP3 (1:06:52)]


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