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PERC Reports

The magazine of Free Market environmentalism

Volume 17, No.1, Spring 1999

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Consequences of Climate Change

  During the transition to climate change, some species will be favored and some disfavored. The net economic consequences will depend on whether and how quickly humans take advantage of the changes. Most discussions of large-scale ecological change simply assume that the consequences will be harmful and that centralized government action is the best wayContinue reading "Ancient Apples"

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Ancient Apples

Duchess of Oldenburg, Maiden’s Blush, Esopus Spitzenberg, and Black Gilliflower. These are not exactly household names for those of us on the threshold of the 21st century, but they were as familiar to early American settlers as Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious are to us today. These ancient strains have all but disappeared from commercialContinue reading "Ancient Apples"

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Ashes to Concrete

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is more than an old adage to several American companies. It is the key to their financial success. These firms are recycling the ash from trash incinerators and coal-burning electric generating stations and giving it new life as a construction material. It can be used in concrete, cement,Continue reading "Ancient Apples"

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Engineering Nature

When employees of a Toronto business complained of headaches, irritated eyes and lethargy, all symptoms of the increasingly common “sick building syndrome,” their CEO called in a biologist. Typically, the answer has been to hire a phalanx of engineers and drain the bank account in an effort to alleviate the problem. In this instance, however,Continue reading "Engineering Nature"

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Logging for Conservation

The Nature Conservancy, known for preserving landscapes by buying land and development rights, is considering logging as another tool to protect forest land in Virginia. As the coal industry has begun to wane in the southwest portion of the state, timber cutting has increased. According to a survey by the state Department of Forestry, theContinue reading "Ancient Apples"

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Soaking Up The Sun

Sun and shade are working together at the International Airport in Sacramento. The largest free-standing solarport in the country has a photovoltaic system that tracks the sun across the sky, providing electricity to the power grid and cool parking spaces to airport visitors. The solarport measures 393 feet long, 30 feet wide and 14 feetContinue reading "Ancient Apples"

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Straw Houses

Withstand Huffs And Puffs To many of us, straw is nothing more than brown stubble left behind after the harvest. Once considered an agricultural waste product, straw is the basis of a cost-effective and energy-efficient building material, providing an alternative to expensive lumber. In Perrytown, Texas, on the high plains of the panhandle, Cindy ThyfaultContinue reading "Straw Houses"

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