Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ah, capitalism...

"Would you like a paper receipt or an email?" asked the Dick's Sporting Goods Store clerk as my wife and I made our purchase yesterday afternoon. We chose email. The experience called to mind the New York Times article I read a couple hours earlier titled Heat Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raises Fears. And why so? Well, one less piece of paper means one more piece of a tree out there sucking all that carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Ah, capitalism; that system that inspires profit-seekers to produce their wares as efficiently as possible. And how about all that Internet commerce: Businesses, large and small, the world wide are harnessing the web to reach customers while breaking a whole lot less ground, spreading a whole lot less mortar between bricks, and burning a whole lot less fossil fuel. I know, you armchair environmentalists are thinking yeah, but all that stuff has to be shipped. Which means trucks, trucks, dirty dirty trucks everywhere! Well, as it turns out, capitalists are discovering yet another way to squeeze profit out of a buck; by shipping on cheap-(and clean)-running natural gas vehicles (per this other NY Times article).

It seems to me that environmentalists ought to be lobbying government to step aside and unleash (as opposed to step in and leash) that spontaneous, nature-saving phenomenon we call free-market capitalism.

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