Election Day is Wednesday, so I’ll soon move on to other things, but I’m still irked by the Ontario NDP’s attempt to cast the Green Party’s ideas about putting prices on people’s use of Ontario’s natural resources as a form of privatization. I cannot fathom how making environmental abuse cost something, rather than be free, is a bad idea. For some people, apparently, the idea that some things should be beyond price, on some level, gets flipped around to the idea that putting a price on those things for practical purposes is an act of denigration.
Better to let the environment be despoiled, apparently, than to do something as base as making despoiling it — gasp! — expensive.
Tim Haab of Environmental Economics essentially addresses this point in a post that concludes:
Whenever someone asks me, how can you place a price on something as invaluable as the environment, I ask them: How can you not put a price on something as invaluable as the environment when most people act as if it is free?
Pricing the environment forces people to recognize that the environment has value.