Expecting the free market to fix global warming is like trying to pound nails with a saw
The massive wildfires that have been rampaging across the American west this year are not purely natural disasters. They are partly products of the unnatural disaster of climate change – “unnatural”, in that the ultimate responsibility for global warming belongs not to physics but to our economic system. Nicholas Stern, the former chief economist of the World Bank, calls climate change the “greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen”. Sadly, climate change is only one – albeit a whopper – of the countless market failures that degrade our lives.
Purposeful collective action is the overarching solution to market failures
Robert S Devine is the author of Bush Versus the Environment and The Sustainable Economy: The Hidden Costs of Climate Change and the Path to a Prosperous Future