I have long been of the opinion that the desire for individual liberty and limited government goes hand and hand with the desire to preserve the environment. Everywhere I look, the worst environmental disasters are in places with a command and control economy. Human creativity and the technological advancement that comes with it are the best means of both our economic prosperity and environmental preservation. I found a good example of this synergy in a recent Brattleboro Reformer article:
“As cell phones have spread, so have large cell towers — those unsightly stalks of steel topped by transmitters and other electronics that sprouted across the country over the last decade.
Now the wireless industry is planning a future without them, or at least without many more of them. Instead, it’s looking at much smaller antennas, some tiny enough to hold in a hand. These could be placed on lampposts, utility poles and buildings — virtually anywhere with electrical and network connections.”
This is made possible by the technological advances seen in this wireless industry, which makes for better and more efficient service as well as less of an environmental impact:
“If the technology overcomes some hurdles, it could upend the wireless industry and offer seamless service, with fewer dead spots and faster data speeds.
Some big names in the wireless world are set to demonstrate “small cell” technologies at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest cell phone trade show, which starts Monday in Barcelona, Spain.”
These type of advances, that serve both the desire for efficiency and and are less environmentally intrusive, are far more likely to occur in a free market economy where entrepreneurs are free to respond directly to the demands of their public customer base without the interference of some government bureaucracy. Another reason why free markets are more environmentally friendly is that they produce more wealth. Consumers of wealthy countries are less concerned with basic survival needs and can afford to put more of a focus on an environmental ethos. It is also easier for wealthy societies to clean up after themselves.