A central debate about many environmental issues (at least among those who recognize the problem is real) is how to address it. Two competing…

A central debate about many environmental issues (at least among those who recognize the problem is real) is how to address it. Two competing philosophies polarize this debate. They are the free market system versus state/federal intervention.  Industry (and conservatives) prefer self regulation and free market system where competition and consumers demand sort out the good behaviors from the bad. The logic is that a company that pollutes their environment would get less business from appalled consumers and thus have incentives to be safer or “green”.   On the other hand, governmental intervention (often supported by liberals) intends to force industry to follow a set of standard safety rules and limits on pollution. They argue that voluntary control does not work without transparency. This battle was well illustrated in the film Food Inc as well as the film “What Lies Upstream” (available for rent on youtube) concerning the efforts to pass legislation to protect our food or water. The battle is currently being waged over how to deal with climate change and carbon emissions. So, where do you stand on this political issue- Do you side more with the free market approach or the regulatory approach? Of is there a third way? Support your position with facts, examples, experiences, history lessons etc.

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