Table of Contents
The earth is like our home but we always fail to look after it just like we look after our own homes. Every day people are polluting it with trash and we don’t think about the future and the coming generations. We need to recognize the problems that are facing our environment and come up with ways of saving the planet and making it a healthy environment for living. The environmental crisis that the world is facing is responsible for the increase in human suffering and if it doesn’t stop, it risks the human life becoming extinct on the planet.
Pigou believes that since private decision makers fail to take into account all costs, then there is the need for political intervention in order to correct the market failures as he sees it. Thus in cases where paper mills dump their wastes into water or air while disposing of their wastes, it imposes costs which are unwanted to the society and they are not even held accountable for their deeds. Therefore there is an overuse of the water and the air by the private decision makers for disposing of wastes and the real users of these resources such as swimmers are forced to bear the costs. For that reason, Pigou recommends that a political process should be used to tax and make regulation for the polluters as this will help to counter this failure of the market as well as maximize the natural resources’ value. According to Pigou teachings, political analysts together with the economists have an assumption that when the central government has a correct account for all the benefits as well as the costs, then the resource allocation is socially efficient. This book tries to recognize the costs as well as the incentives of human action coordination rather than having an assumption that human beings are and will always be altruistic (Cawley, 1993, p35).
It is very important to recognize that incentives guide human behavior. People are more like undertake an activity if they are sure that the costs are reduced and the benefits are increased. There are also contracting costs and information costs which make it hard for suppliers as well as consumers in markets and in politics to have coordination between themselves in order to enjoy the trade gains. Free market environmentalism has a more consideration of economic values and it ignores environmental values. It also does not pay more attention to rights distribution and ignores allocative institutions that are important (Terry Anderson & Donald, Leal 2001, p13).
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Market-based environmental policies
We should not continue to rely on policy mechanisms which are costly and more established. Market mechanisms have achieved very little penetration since new environmental regulation has not been so much. Environmental regulations also seem to hesitate in moving regulation toward instruments that are market-based. Policymakers need to adopt new incentive programs on the national level just as they are incorporating market-based instruments use on the public as well as the local level. On the global level, market mechanisms are useful in responding to diffuse sources problems. We could protect the environment by properly designing the revenue-neutral tax policy whereby the charges of carbon will be offset by reducing or eliminating payroll and other taxes. This could also help to in reducing distortions as well as promoting the growth of the economy (Terry Anderson & Donald, Leal 2001, p13).
Selling environmental indulgences
Based on the current influential diagnosis, the environmental despoliation problems come from incentives that are skewed which face agents when pursuing their different goals. Low costs make people consume a commodity more since some of these costs are external. If agents are forced to pay for full costs, they conduct more activities than they would have done. The standard legalistic approach works by having to manipulate rights as well as duties.it specifies what people must do and what they may not do and attaches penalties if these commands are violated. The latest economistic approach operates by manipulating incentives. This article, therefore, tries to bridge the gap within the discourse of environmentalists. Environmental indulgences are set against an assumption that there will be permission of some pollution, the work of environmental indulgences being the allocation of those permissions to specific people. In religion, indulgences served to give time for a sinner to serve them in purgatory. They were given by officials in the church and were given to the people who had sinned. According to (Stone & Norton Company, 2012, p122), most environmentalists could take an indefinably spiritual attitude on nature. Religious leaders believe that selling of religious indulgences is selling what is not yours to sell. They also object to selling that which is unsalable instead of permitting that which is permissible. Green taxes render wrongs right and seem to agree that it is fine to pollute the environment as long as you pay for it. If we cannot allow every person to do something, then nobody should be allowed to do it. An economist believes that making those who spoil the environment pay for indulgences is helpful in enforcing policies whereby green taxes should be used in providing disincentives for spoiling the environment. If the charges for whatever reason are higher then there is great disincentive effect (Terry Anderson & Donald, Leal 2001, p23).
According to stone, incentives make it easier to make a person do something such as tax credit while deterrence makes it hard for someone to act. Individuals can easily adapt as they have control over their own behavior. Whenever they are confronted with penalties or rewards, they can easily change their behavior. The problem is loyalty as individuals do not change as they hang on to old ways, actions as well as choices (Cawley, McGreggor & John, 1993, p29). The givers should have the ability to implement a consistent policy of giving reward or penalties to behavior and therefore the target should be capable of calculating and know what to do and how to act. The receiver should be willing to make modifications in his behavior and worry about the future costs and rewards. Positive inducements yield goodwill as well as reciprocity while negative inducements yield executive bureaucrats. Stone in her book does encourage the policymakers to use her rubric in fighting their favored policies. She believes that everything is political even policymaking.
These sections reinforce my thinking in environmentalism in that I think that the government’s way of taking action with regard to the environment should be tied to the manner in which individuals want to live. The policies goal should be providing incentives for individuals to do that in green ways. Solutions which harness markets as well as encourage, not bullying, people in doing the right thing will be the only thing that will bring progress. Penalties, as well as punishment which do not bring the change and the progress which we need, should be rejected by policy-making in the process of political as well as policy leadership’s need for recognition. Things that harm the environment should be made illegal for instance dumping of waste in the sea. Policymakers should put prices on activities which harm the environment as this will make people who have certain licenses to consider other ways of dumping their wastes such as recycling because it gives them an incentive to do so. Nevertheless, change comes from within us. We have to recognize the damage that we are inflicting on the planet ourselves then do what we can to minimize it (Terry Anderson & Donald, Leal 2001, p18).
Human interference with nature is supposed to be restricted or minimized urgently. This will help to preserve life, for the sake of the planet and human species. Natural resources should be set aside in preventing damage which is as a result of contact with humans or their activities for instance logging fishing etc., and replace them with other human activities, for example, tourism and recreation that do not cause harm to the environment. Laws and regulations need to be enacted in order to preserve the natural resources and our environment.
We can do it today.
- Cawley, R. McGreggor & John Freemuth. (1993). “Tree Farms, Mother Earth, and Other Dilemmas: The Politics of Ecosystem management in Greater Yellowstone.” Society and Natural Resources, 6, 41-53.
- Cawley, R. McGreggor. (1993). Federal Land, Western Anger: The Sagebrush Rebellion and Environmental Politics. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
- Dryzek, J. S., & Schlosberg, D. (2005). Debating the Earth: The environmental politics reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Stone, D. A., & W.W. Norton & Company. (2012). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
- Terry, L. Anderson & Donald T. Leal (2001). Free market environmentalism, revised edition. London: Palgrave.