I should have been an economist. This fact came home to me Monday evening at a Montgomery County Green Party Meeting. As the earnest activists discussed the importance of defeating a proposal to loosen pesticide regulations, I found myself utterly uninterested in this objectively important battle. The two issues that matter to me more than any other are economic injustice – more particularly the wealth and income chasm between the ultrarich in America and everybody else, most particularly the tens of millions impoverished by conservanomics – and the onrushing environmental cataclysm wrought by anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
While the first of these concerns is inarguably economic in nature the second might seem closer in spirit to the aforementioned yawn-inducing pesticide battle. My passion for AGW certainly stems from concern for the millions of species inhabiting our green earth and the desire for the glories of bio-diversity and sustainability to be passed on to future generations. But my solution is pure economics – let’s tax the hell out of fossil fuels. In contrast, I can’t identify as simple a response to the problem of dangerous pesticides – a continuing the ban is proposed but that seems so blunt and inelegant and, in fact, may prove problematic in light of our densely populated hungry planet. It may be more essential to reduce population by attrition first before cutting the planet’s food-generating capacity.