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Cleaned by Capitalism

I sent this letter today to the Baltimore Sun:

You again call upon government to force us Americans to reduce our emissions of CO2 (“Green and right,” November 2).  And like nearly everyone else demanding further regulation of markets in the name of environmental protection, you overlook the fact that the very markets that you want to restrain save millions of lives annually by making people’s living environments

For evidence, read Margo Thorning’s essay that appears today just inches from your own editorial.  In “Ending energy poverty,” Ms. Thorning reports that “About 1.3 million people – mostly women and children – die prematurely every year because of exposure to indoor air pollution from burning biomass for fuel.”  These deaths happen routinely in developing countries because people there have so little access to electrification, internal-combustion engines, and
mass-produced consumer goods that they must burn biomass in their homes.  So in developed countries – whose denizens enjoy ready access to electric heating, home delivery of fuel oil, and other life-saving wonders – the capitalism that people loudly fear might raise global temperatures a few degrees over the next several decades silently yet effectively saves thousands of lives each and every day.

Donald J. Boudreaux