Environmental Markets vs. Environmental Socialism: Capturing Prosperity and Environmental Quality

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It is hard to date the beginning of environmentalism. It might have started when the Reverend Thomas Malthus in 1798 penned An Essay on the Principle of Population. Therein he postulated that humans would continue to reproduce until the population demands exceed their ability to produce food, after which famine, disease, and pestilence would check population growth in a “Malthusian trap.” His postulate continues to permeate environmental thinking. For example, in the 1970s, the Club of Rome, armed with data and computers, predicted precise years when we would reach the limits of the world’s resources.

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