Without raising any questions of conscience

Yesterday, while being lectured on the virtues of turning off unnecessary lights, I found myself thinking about carbon taxes. One of the reasons that I don't find appeals to personal environmental virtue very compelling is that I hold the heretical (for a radical) view that the various environmental problems that face us can best be addressed through market based solutions. The basic problem, as I see it, is that free markets have failed to appropriately distribute environmental costs because those costs are treated as externalities rather than included in transaction prices. The solution therefore lies in regulations which correct these failings of free markets.

A question, then, is what to think of environmental nagging. On the one hand, widespread sensitivity to the environmental impact of our choices is likely to enhance the political prospects of the sorts of reforms that I favor. On the other hand, self-righteous prigs are annoying as fuck. It's a pickle.

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