Bruce N. Ames
Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
University of California at Berkeley

Terry L. Anderson
Senior Associate
Political Economy Research Center

Larry P. Arnn
President
Claremont Institute

Barry Asmus
Senior Fellow
National Center for Policy Analysis

John A. Baden
Chairman
Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment

C. Edwin Baker
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
Independence Institute
Golden, Colorado

Joseph L. Bast
President
Heartland Institute
Chicago, Illinois

Mikhail S. Bernstam
Senior Research Fellow
Hoover Institute

Walter Block
Senior Research Fellow
Fraser Institute

Clint Bolick
Director
Landmark Center for Civil Rights
Washington, D.C.

James Bovard
Associate Policy Analyst
Cato Institute

Sam Brunelli
Executive Director
American Legislative Exchange Council

Eamonn Butler
Director
Adam Smith Institute
London, England

John Carlson
President
Washington Institute for Policy Studies
Bellevue, Washington

Alston Chase
Author: Playing God in Yellowstone

Lucy Clark
Associate Director of the Judicial Studies Program
Manhattan Institute

Kenneth Clarkson
Director
Law and Economics Center
University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida

Robert Allan Cooke
Director
Institute for Business Ethics
DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois

John W. Cooper
Executive Director
James Madison Institute
Tallahassee, Florida

D. Allen Dalton
Director
Center for the Study of Market Alternatives
Caldwell, Idaho

William J. Dennis, Jr.
Senior Research Fellow
The NFIB Foundation

Tom DiLorenzo
Director
Center for Economic Education
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Becky Norton Dunlop
Former Assistant Secretary of the Interior

Stephen Gold
Executive Director
Citizens for the Environment

John C. Goodman
President
National Center for Policy Analysis

Robert E. Gordon, Jr.
Director
National Wilderness Institute

Mark Greenfield
Executive Director
Heartland Institute
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Michael S. Greve
Executive Director
Center for Individual Rights
Washington, D.C.

William M. H. Hammett
President
Manhattan Institute

Stephen H. Hanke
Professor of Applied Economics
The Johns Hopkins University

Robert Hawkins
President
Institute for Contemporary Studies

Steve Hayward
Director
Golden State Center for Policy Studies
Claremont Institute
Sacramento, California

John M. Hood
Publications and Research Director
John Locke Foundation
Raleigh, North Carolina

Edward L. Hudgins
Deputy Director Economic Policy Studies
Heritage Foundation

Sherwood Idso
Adjunct Professor of Botany & Geography
Arizona State University

Kent Jeffreys
Environmental Policy Analyst
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Bruce Johnson
Research Director
The Independent Institute

Barbara Keating-Edh
President
Consumer Alert
Modesto, California

Jo Kwong
Director of Public Affairs
Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Kathy Kushner
Research Fellow
Hudson Institute

Donald Leal
Research Associate
Political Economy Research Center

Dwight Lee
Adjunct Professor
Center for the Study of American Business

Tex Lezar
President
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Dallas, Texas

Greg Lindsay
Executive Director
Centre for Independent Studies
St. Leonards, Australia

James H. Miller
President
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Joseph A. Morris
President & General Counsel
Lincoln Legal Foundation
Chicago, Illinois

William C. Myers
Executive Vice President
South Carolina Policy Council
Columbia, South Carolina

Madsen Pirie
President
Adam Smith Institute
London, England

Virginia Postrel
Editor of Reason
Reason Foundation

Lawrence W. Reed
President
Mackinac Center
Midland, Michigan

Scott J. Relan
President
Mississippi Center for Public Policy
Oxford, Mississippi

Michael Sanera
President
Barry Goldwater Institute for Public Policy Research
Flagstaff, Arizona

Thomas R. Saving
Director
Center for Education and Research in Free Enterprise
College Station, Texas

Lynn Scarlett
Vice President of Research
Reason Foundation

William C. Schilling
Executive Director
Wyoming Heritage Society
Casper, Wyoming

Timothy Seibel
Director for Land Use and Environmental Studies
Claremont Institute
Montclair, California

Jane S. Shaw
Senior Associate
Political Economy Research Center

Randy T. Simmons
Director
Institute of Political Economy
Utah State University

Julian L. Simon
Professor of Business Administration
University of Maryland

S. Fred Singer
Director
Project on Science and Environmental Policy

Joe M. Sloan, Jr.
President
California Conservation Coalition
Whittier, California

Fred L. Smith
President
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Robert J. Smith
Director of Environmental Studies
Cato Institute

Fritz S. Steiger
Executive Vice President & CEO
Texas Public Policy Foundation
San Antonio, Texas

Richard L. Stroup
Senior Associate
Political Economy Research Center

Martin J. Summers
Research Associate
Institute of Economic Affairs
London, England

Judy Swafford
Director
Southwest Policy Institute
Edmond, Oklahoma

Jerry Taylor
Legislative Director
American Legislative Exchange Council

Robert Taylor
Fellow
Institute for Humane Studies
Fairfax, Virginia

David J. Theroux
President
The Independent Institute
Oakland, California

Norman Ture
President
Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation

Ronald Utt
Vice President
National Chamber Foundation

Michael Warder
Executive Vice President
Rockford Institute
Rockford, Illinois

William W. Weston
President
Foundation Francisco Marroquin
Stuart, Florida

Elizabeth Whelan
President
American Council of Science and Health

Aaron Wildavsky
Professor of Political Science & Public Policy
University of California at Berkeley

Not all task force members agreed with every recommendation. In some cases, the authors have made other recommendations in other publications. The consensus was that the proposals made here would be a vast improvement over the current system, however. Task force members served as individuals, not as representatives of institutions.

###

This task force report has taken a fundamentally different approach to solving environmental problems. Rather than focusing on government, we chose to focus on the world's five billion people. In doing so, we sought to understand how and why individual entrepreneurs have been successful in preserving and maintaining ecologically sensitive natural resources even in opposition to government policy. We discovered that individuals are most likely to succeed when there are institutions that make the achievement of environmental goals consistent with the pursuit of self-interest.

Unfortunately, under current institutional arrangements, too many people find that environmental destruction rather than conservation is in their self-interest. Most of our environmental problems arise because resources such as air, .water, forests and many species of birds, fish and other wildlife are owned in common. Because these resources have no owners, they have few protectors and defenders. Because there is no market for these resources, people have poor incentives to maintain their value.

Whether driving a car or working in a factory that contributes to air or water pollution, in most places people realize no economic gain from the reduction of pollutants and bear no economic cost if they cause an increase in pollutants. To make matters worse, people increasingly discover that if they make their property attractive to endangered species, they can be subjected to extreme economic hardship from government rules and regulations.

The institutions that have worked well for us in other areas of economic life include private prop­erty, free markets, a price system and methods for punishing people who violate the rights of others. Until recently, most people believed these institutions could not be used to achieve environmental goals. But careful study reveals many of them already are being used to help conserve ecologically sensitive resources by different people in diverse places.

  • In England and Scotland, private property rights give owners economic incentives to protect rivers and streams from depletion by overfishing and from unwelcome trespassing by polluters.

  • In Zimbabwe, where people have a right to the proceeds from elephant hunting and ivory sales, elephant herds have increased by one-third over the past five years — under the vigilant protection of local villagers.

  • Moreover, new technological developments hold the promise of allowing us to extend market-based institutions to new frontiers – to the air, to the ocean, to ground water and to endangered fish and other wildlife.

Progressive environmentalism believes we should use science, technology and our knowledge of social institutions to empower people and make the achievement of environmental goals in their individual self-interest. Government is needed to create the legal framework. Within that framework, people should be free to experiment and innovate to solve problems which large bureaucracies are unlikely to solve.