Project 21’s Bob Parks Finds Hippie Ethic Alive and Well in Eco-Philosophy

From David Almasi:

“If it feels good, do it” was a hippie mantra from 40 years ago. Coincidentally, the same time as Earth Day was created (and first celebrated on April 22, 1970).

Just in time for Earth Day 2008, Project 21 member Bob Parks wrote a New Visions Commentary published in The Washington Times on April 19. In it, Bob observed:

Despite sensational rhetoric, very few people actually want to pollute. It’s not good business, and we all want clean air and water. When we get sucked into eco-panic, however, cooler heads seldom prevail. Sometimes the end result is a loss of costing jobs and even lives.

Bob discusses, in particular, the potential problems related to the recent green congressional mandate to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of compact flouresecnt bulbs (CFLs) containing toxic mercury that can cause problems if not disposed of carefully.

One can expect some second thoughts down the line about CFLs when more and more of them and their toxic contents mingle with our regular garbage. Bob points out this wouldn’t be the only time a hasty decision by environmentalists has lead to a policy retreat:

For example, there was the panic that our use of paper bags at the supermarket resulted in the unnecessary cutting of trees. With public pressure from environmentalists, paper bags were phased out (a cost naturally passed down to consumers) and replaced by lightweight plastic bags. A few decades later, environmentalists now complain that those petroleum-based plastic bags are winding up in landfills, are not biodegradable and should be phased out and be replaced with paper bags.

Still worse, however, is the environmentalist ban on the pesticide DDT that is keeping effective mosquito control – and an effective means of controlling the spread of malaria – away from the hundreds of millions of Africans who contract the deadly disease every year. Also, on the horizon is a potential reduction in the food supply and biofuels compete for food staples such as corn.

If it makes the greens feel good now, we’ll worry about it later. Remember – if it feels good, do it.

To read all of Bob’s commentary, click here.

To contact author David Almasi directly, write him at [email protected]. David Almasi is executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.