What has benefited nature more, ecology and environmentalism or economics and the free market? Believe it or not, Matt Ridley from PERC, says economics: “Despite all the dire predictions of environmental doom, for decades, environmental trends have been mainly positive, from forest cover to pollution levels. Why? One big reason is ‘land sparing’ in which technology—tractors, fertilizers, pesticides, the use of fossil fuels instead of wood and fiber, and now genetically modified crops—allow humans to produce more from less land. That leaves more land for forests and wildlife. In other words, the unintended effects of technology actually make a bigger positive difference to the environment than the legislation to create nature reserves.

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