If so - then you ought to applaud capitalism! Don Boudreaux explains.....
Today’s most lethal pollutants aren’t industrial greenhouse gases
but, rather, pre-industrial dangers – still prominent in developing
countries – like “smoke from inefficient and dirty fuels such as dried
animal dung, crop residues and wood.” We in the developed world have
cleansed our environment of these most lethal pollutants by relying upon
the very ‘non-green’ technologies that chic environmentalists, ignorant
of history, portray as unprecedentedly horrific sources of pollution.
Indeed, industrial capitalism is history’s greatest anti-pollutant.
Asphalt and automobiles, for example, combine to cleanse our cities and
towns of the bacteria and insects (and stench) that are inseparable
from animal-powered transportation. The petroleum used to make asphalt
and to power automobiles is used also to make plastic wraps that keep
our foods unpolluted, and to produce pharmaceuticals that keep our
bodies cleaner and healthier.
To list all of the ways that industrial capitalism depollutes our
environment requires several volumes. Yet we need only look around our
homes for compelling evidence – evidence in the form of the solid (i.e.,
non-thatched) roofs above our heads and solid (i.e., non-dirt) floors
beneath our feet; potable water running from faucets; indoor plumbing;
antibacterial ointments and antibiotics; refrigerators and freezers and
laundry detergents and automatic washing machines and vacuum cleaners
and light bulbs and gas cooktops and electric heat-pumps…. The list of
ways in which the developed world has been cleaned by capitalism is