Efforts to protect the environment in America have ignored the most powerful force for improving the environment: free people. The results of these misguided policies have been higher energy prices, lower incomes, less access to resources, and technological stagnation—often failing to produce tangible environmental benefits.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with fellow experts on the environment, has published a new benchmark for progress: the American Conservation Ethic.
The Ethic reflects every American’s aspiration to make the environment cleaner, healthier, and safer for future generations. It is based on eight basic principles that were first published in 1996 and provides a roadmap to environmentally sound prosperity.
Much of the policy that has come to guide American actions on the environment is not based on scientific integrity. Heritage’s Dr. David Kreutzer and Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist formerly with NASA who is a research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, examine this in a chapter on carbon dioxide:
Any discussion of carbon dioxide regulation must begin by noting two facts: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 emissions have likely contributed to the observed warming of the past 50 years. The calls for CO2 regulation, however, are not based on these facts; rather, the current regulatory hysteria is the result of misinformation regarding the projected future levels of warming, as well as exaggerations over how much any future warming could be attributed to anthropogenic CO2. In addition, extreme weather events are increasingly attributed to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, despite a lack of evidence for any long-term change in these events.