Monday, February 27, 2006

Free Market Environmentalism

Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren take up the issue of privatizing public lands here. They make some nice points:

Private property will end up in the hands of those who value that property most. Public property, on the other hand, will end up in the control of the best organized and the most politically powerful. If environmentalists are right that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to keep our public lands wild and free, then they would have everything to gain and little to lose from privatization. If their suspicions about the preferences of "the rabble" are correct, then we might see more commercial uses of public lands. Either way, the public will get what it wants, and what's so bad about that?

Indeed. For the life of me, I cannot understand why environmental organizations prefer that lands be federalized when such action necessarily requires the perpetual lobbying by those groups to ensure that the lands are "protected." Think about it, if the Sierra Club owned Sequoia National, then there is no reason to worry about GWB, Gail Norton, et. al. sanctioning the logging of the forest - just throw up a "No Trespassing" sign. But, I suppose that would just take the issue away from demagogues like RFK Jr. who obviously care more about the limelight and power than actual progress. Typical.