The Lone Mountain Compact

Dave Killion — May 19, 2011

The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) works out of Bozeman, Montana, where they demonstrate the ways in which the environment is degraded through government regulation and bureaucracy, and promote the use of markets and property rights for improving the environment in a process known as free market environmentalism –

“To back up their ideas, PERC researchers found real world examples of how FME was already working. To further the spread of FME from theory to action, PERC established a program to empower individuals – environmental entrepreneurs – by showing them how to use property, contracts and the market process to enhance environmental quality. PERC’s Enviropreneur Institute attracts people from around the globe who are seeking to put FME to work.”

For a taste of the calm, sensible approach advocated by PERC, please take a minute to read their collection of principles for preserving freedom and livability in America’s cities and suburbs; The Lone Mountain Compact. Here is a sample –

“The unprecedented increase in prosperity over the last 25 years has created a large and growing upper middle class in America. New modes of work and leisure combined with population growth have fueled successive waves of suburban expansion in the 20th century. Technological progress is likely to increase housing choice and community diversity even further in the 21st century, enabling more people to live and work outside the conventional urban forms of our time. These choices will likely include low-density, medium-density, and high-density urban forms. This growth brings rapid change to our communities, often with negative side effects, such as traffic congestion, crowded public schools, and the loss of familiar open space. All of these factors are bound up in the controversy that goes by the term “sprawl.” The heightened public concern over the character of our cities and suburbs is a healthy expression of citizen demand for solutions that are responsive to our changing needs and wants. Yet tradeoffs between different policy options for addressing these concerns are poorly understood.”

And the next time Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, or the World Wildlife Fund come knocking at your door, please consider making a donation instead to PERC, and help them promote meaningful, sustainable environmentalism.

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