Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fighting Ecology

Michael Phillips has written a blog encouraging us to fight Ecology, in which he urges us to do things which are inconvenient for ecologists.

While I am a sort of rebel at heart, and have committed some utterly stupid things in my life because I resented being told what to do, I don't feel I can wholeheartedly endorse Phillip's position.

When he points out that some of the things which have been done in the name of ecology which have produced negative effects, such as the increase in the world's affilictions for malaria in underdeveloped countries because DDT has been banned worldwide, I agree.

But when it comes to increasing the use of Styrofoam simply because ecologists are trying to ban them, I feel that is senseless.

Banning airports, which restrict result in travel restrictions, and congestion in airports, may not be convenient to Phillips, but at the same time, I believe that if there are costs which affect others in expanded airports (such as noise, air pollution, greater car traffic congestion) these costs need to be met and paid for by the people who directly benefit from the expansion.

It is not always easy to get the benefit users to pay for all the costs of a particular service, and it is quite likely that some of the costs may not even be known until many years after something has been put into place, but that doesn't mean that we need to place roadblocks into the path of development simply because we cannot foresee the dangers which lie in the future.

In the end I object to and resist laws imposed by politicians based on vested interests, either for or against specific interests and I fear we have far too many laws which do exactly this.

Somewhere I remember reading about a proposition that ALL LAWS should automatically expire after a certain period of time unless they are specifically renewed by the legislators. This could go a long way in at least providing a way to escape from many of the senseless laws that do more harm than good, or benefit only specific vested interests which are not apparent when the laws were passed.

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