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The Failing Business of Conservation

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New York Times
October 8, 2008

Earlier this fall, Bobby McCormick, PERC senior fellow, spoke at the annual meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Madrid.

His comments were part of a recurring theme at the conference, calling for more hard-headed business aprroaches to conservation in order to make real and measurable progress. A New York Times reporter found this change in focus sufficiently compelling to write the following story “The Failing Business of Conservation.”

Folowing are the sections related to McCormick:

“Robert McCormick, a professor emeritus of economics at Clemson University, put it bluntly when he said that the movement needs to recognize the cost-benefit calculus that motivates individuals to act.”

“Rather than looking at the current implosion of banks and financial institutions as a signal to abandon market-models, he suggested, conservationists instead should bear in mind that the best way of preventing a “tragedy of the commons” — in which everyone competes ruthlessly for increasingly scarce resources like water — might well be to put a price on them.”

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