The disconnect between economics and the environment is a common theme among the schemes promoted by environmentalists and politicians. Take curbside recycling:

Unlike commercial and industrial recycling — a thriving voluntary market that annually salvages tens of millions of tons of metal, paper, glass, and plastic — mandatory household recycling is a money loser. Cost studies show that curbside recycling can cost, on average, 60 percent more per ton than conventional garbage disposal…

“There is not a community curbside recycling program in the United States that covers its cost,’’ says Jay Lehr, science director at the Heartland Institute and author of a handbook on environmental science. They exist primarily to make people “feel warm and fuzzy about what they are doing for the environment.’’

Voters evidently support this stuff since the guys that propose it seem to get re-elected. It is ironic though that caring about the environment is reduced to just another consumer good, one that is actually forced upon us by politicians and environmentalists. I thought consumerism was what environmentalists abhor.

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