January 11, 2010 | Commentary on Economic Freedom, Energy and Environment

It's Economic Freedom That Will Save the Earth

The best way to create sustainable environmental policies around the world is to increase economic growth and the standard of living.

A shadow hung over the Copenhagen Conference last year. The credibility of sophisticated climate science has been tainted by allegations that key scientists and institutions manipulated data and access to publications to support the case for global warming. Still, many around the world would support sensible, cost-effective strategies to minimize the risk of man-made global climate change.

The inconvenient truth, however, is that the mammoth government regulatory schemes discussed at Copenhagen are both prohibitively expensive and unlikely to work -- the worst possible combination in any cost/benefit analysis.

There is a better way.

For 15 years, The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal have been measuring economic freedom in countries worldwide. Our historical evidence and volumes of supportive social science research demonstrate that economic freedom is good not only for individual economic advancement, but for the progressive values and public goods that people seek for society as a whole.

It’s simply better to live in a free society. Higher levels of economic freedom lead to higher living standards and healthier human development. Greater economic freedom provides more choices and improves the quality of life by opening opportunities and promoting innovation.

About the Author

Ambassador Terry Miller Director, Center for Data Analysis and the Center for Trade and Economics and Mark A. Kolokotrones Fellow in Economic Freedom
Center for Trade and Economics (CTE)

Anthony B. Kim Research Manager, Index of Economic Freedom, and Senior Policy Analyst
Center for Trade and Economics (CTE)

First Appeared in Fox News