Sunday, April 13, 2008

Natural resources

"Robert Kennedy, Jr., might be correct that electricity is best provided in Chile by means other than hydroelectric dams (Letters, April 8). His presumption, however, about the source of prosperity casts doubt on the quality of his argument.

Mr. Kennedy opposes dams because he wants to protect "nature's bounty." But nature is not bountiful. If it were, human history would be one of prosperity and long, healthy lives rather than one of oppressive poverty and short, miserable lives. Nature is miserly. The bounty that Mr. Kennedy presumes comes from nature is, in fact, the relatively recent product of human creativity and industry unleashed by free markets - and now threatened by the mindless worship of nature.

Donald J. Boudreaux"

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