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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 5: American Farmers Are Saving the Trees Through Innovation

On Tuesday, I wrote about how a recent study has found that there are more trees and vegetation today than there was 30 years ago, despite the fact that there are about 3 billion more people on the planet today than there was in 1980. One of the key reasons for this regrowth of trees around the world was agricultural abandonment, meaning we are using fewer acres to grow our food and these acres are now free for the trees. If one were to assume the gloom and doomers are correct, this should mean that food prices have skyrocketed and that there...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 4: Ridley: Rejoice, the Earth Is Becoming Greener

There's something you need to know about the doom and gloom surrounding the environment: most of it has no basis in reality. In fact, it seems like people who pretend to be environmentalists are the people who are least likely to appreciate how much the empirical data shows that the environment has actually improved in the last four decades. One way the environment has improved is the amount of trees on the planet. Despite the popular notion that deforestation is ruining the planet, a new study has found that there are more trees and vegetation today than there was 30 years...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 3: Would You Rather Mine in Venezuela? I Didn’t Think So

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. While anti-mining activists say they don't want mining in Minnesota, what they are really saying, if they are not willing to forego the items made with these metals and minerals, is that they want mining, they just don't want it here. But if not here, where? I often write about the state of the cobalt industry, where 40,000 children have...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 2: In Soviet Russia, Air Pollutes You

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about air quality in the United States, versus some other countries that have adopted more command and control economic systems. Russia/Soviet Union If command and control economies are cleaner because capitalism incentivizes pollution, then we should be able to look at examples of countries that were less capitalistic, or even hostile to capitalism, and see...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 1: Wealth Makes Health, Eventually

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about a phenomenon which is often referred to as the Environmental Kuznets Curve. The theory behind this idea can be summed up in these three steps: 1. When an economy is primarily pre-industrial and agrarian, the environment is usually clean and untouched by pollutants from industrial economic activities. 2. As the economy shifts towards development and...

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