Conservatives are all over the board on this issue, but they are relatively united in the belief that government policy should not be based on the idea that we can successfully regulate human activity so as to reduce global warming. Many conservatives disbelieve the effectiveness of such proposed policies. Most are simply opposed to further restriction of liberties that would transfer more power to the government and to the environmentalist left.
Edwin Stafford, an associate professor at Utah State University, notes here that Wal-Mart is spending half a billion dollars to “reduce fossil-fuel greenhouse gas emissions over the next seven years.” He says that some conservatives think this will be money wasted and that some liberals think that it doesn’t go far enough. But he makes several interesting points arguing that Wal-Mart’s initiative will be both good for business and for the environment.
Stafford argues the initiative will:
- Improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing the cost of goods and creating less pollution.
- Cause innovation that will reduce the costs of environmentally friendly technologies, making them more generally available.
- Set new industry standards that competitors will end up following, thus reducing costs and improving the environment across the board.