Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation by Walter Block

Status: One Round of QC (11.27.2013)


Fix Notes:

copyright page: "ISNB" instead of "ISBN"

page xix: Under "Murray N. Rothbard": Should be a semi-colon

His 16 books include The Panic of 1819; Man Economy, and State; America’s Great Depression, The Ethics of Liberty; Power and Market; and Conceived in Liberty.

Page 4: bottom blockquote: Missing '('

The malfunctioning of the market system is, we think, both a reflection and a cause of some of our problems, however, and we urge a more realistic appreciation of how our economy really functions. Cordell 1976, p. 36).

Page 5: par. 5: under-priced (to match other usages in the book)

As a result, non-renewable resources are underpriced and are being extracted at excessive rates.

Page 18: par. 3: well-being (to match other usages in the book)

Presently, the one that will better maximize consumer wellbeing.

Page 22: bottom par.: one-dimensional

The shortcoming of this attachment to one- dimensional scarcity is that it overemphasizes the necessity of specific inputs in meeting society’s needs.

Page 41: par. 1: There is an accidental space before the closing period.

Leonard Waverman found that while energy accounted for only 6.2 percent of total expenditure for the average Canadian family in 1969, it accounted for over 8.9 percent of expenditures for the very poorest families with an income under $3,000, (Waverman, p. 85) . Clearly, the impact of higher energy prices on the poor is greater than for others.

Page 44: bottom par.: There is actually a space right before "Good will is at best [...]"

Page 51: first in list: dumb quotes -> smart quotes + a space needed

a disposal tax on some forms of packaging and on some"throwaway" products

Page 54: par. 3: "figure l" (lowercase 'l') should be a number '1'

For this reason, MC slopes upward; further bushels are obtainable only at increasing cost in terms of what is being sacrificed elsewhere. In figure l, the upward-sloping MC intersects the downward-sloping MB at a dollar price per bushel of PO at quantity WO.

Page 54: bottom par.: should be a number 1, instead of the lowercase letter 'l'

Similarly, if we begin at Wl, marginal costs exceed marginal benefits for units beyond WO

Page 54-55: The subscripts are capital letter 'O', and should be a number '0'

Page 60: par. 0: Footnote "7" should actually be a 4.

Page 65: Note on very bottom of page: reduction

The uniform redution means that for firm 1 the last unit of pollution reduction has a cost equal to a1, whereas for firm 2 the corresponding cost is a2.

Page 75: Table 5: "1975 Carlifornia standards" should be "California"

Page 76: Table 5: "1975 Califronia standards" should be "California"

Page 84: par. 0: Space after the parenthesis (could have been a typographical move?)

is dependent on a bountiful supply of old maids ( Hardin, p. 39).

Page 88: par. 1: Missing closing period at the end

The political marketplace does not respond to individual preferences as quickly as traditional markets, but at some point the response will be felt and politicians who continue to support transfers from consumers and tax-payers to conservationists will be defeated

Page 91: Under "Hardin, Garrett": “The Tradegy of the Commons” should be "Tragedy"

Page 95: first blockquote: There is a space before the comma after PBS:

PBS , “National Geographic Special: Playground or Paradise” (1983)

Page 114: References: The year should be italics, it is in the title of the book.

Hayes S. P., Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959).

Page 135: Footnote 10: There is a "1" at the very end. I removed it.

Page 135: Footnote 20: Is accidentally numbered "10"

Page 139: First blockquote: particularly

A recent shift of interest in that direction and a growing recognition of the importance of the analysis of politics, presage a new momentum in the development of economics, particulary in industrial organization, public choice and economic history (Cheung 1978, pp. 67-68).

Page 147: par. 5: the

In light of th near extinction of several furbearing species, state control of wildlife seemed like the only alternative.

Page 149: Second blockquote: Quotation mark should be removed.

The bottom line is better hunting, more shooting, and a happier end to each excursion. What more can the outdoor sportsman ask for?" (Fishing and Hunting News, April 1982, p. 8).

Page 161: par. 2: CO2 (Letter 'O', not the number '0')

This means cutting back on C02, which is considered the chief greenhouse gas, but also methane, nitrous oxides, and CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), all of which also are believed to trap heat radiating from the earth.

Page 161: par. 2: the comma should not be included in the subscript

Methane is considered particularly dangerous because, even though it is a “trace gas” (existing in very small quantities) it traps twenty times as much heat as CO2, molecule for molecule.

Page 162: par. 4 (right below "Global Warming"): CO2 (Letter 'O', not the number '0')

The claim that the climate is getting warmer goes back to the 1890s when Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist, contended that the unprecedented amount of C02 entering the atmosphere would eventually lead to global warming. Since then, scientists have generally agreed that the amount of C02 in the atmosphere is increasing.

Page 164: par. 2: CO2 (Letter 'O', not the number '0')

Only about half of the 5.5 billion tons of carbon produced per year by the consumption of fossil fuels turns up in the atmosphere as CO2, explains Solow, and climatologists assume that the rest is stored in the ocean.

Page 164: par. 4: CO2 (Letter 'O', not the number '0')

If there are far more plankton due to the increased CO<MV>2<D>, there will be more droplets, which reflect more sunlight than normal clouds do and therefore would help cool the earth.

Page 165: par. 2: CO2 (Letter 'O', not the number '0')

No strong evidence of warming caused by C02 or other greenhouse gases has been found so far. Even the evidence of global warming itself is less than conclusive.

Page 169: par. 4: CFCs

A number of chemical companies are making large investments in “soft” CFCS, which break down before they reach the stratosphere. But these are not as effective as their “hard” counterparts.

Page 170: par. 2: dumb quotes -> smart quotes

Indeed, a New York Times headline which hammered home the urgency of the matter—"Hickory Disappearing, Supply of Wood Nears End: Much Wasted and There’s No Substitute"—was typical.

Page 176: Footnote 5: Missing a space in between "p.39"

Page 176: Footnote 11: Missing a space in between "p.37"

Page 176: Footnote 24: Missing a space in between "p.433"

Page 176: Footnote 26: Missing a space in between "p.11"

Page 176: Footnote 27: Missing a space in between "p.5"

Page 177: Footnote 28: Extra space between opening quote and "Aircleaners in the Ocean"

Page 178: Footnote 55: Missing a space in between "p.46"

Page 178: Footnote 60: dumb quotes -> smart quotes + needs a space

S. Schneider,"The Greenhouse Effect: Science and Policy,"

Page 196: par. 1: AIDS

But as AIDs sufferers and the families of those who have died waiting for federal approval of new drugs can attest, “zero risk” is actually a very dangerous strategy.

Page 205: par. 3: dumb quotes -> smart quotes

In addition to their implications for stewardship and conservation, three-dimensional ("3-D") property rights also play an important role in stimulating creative and anticipatory investments.

Page 213: Footnote 32: "Martin t. Katzman" should be changed to an uppercase "T"

Page 217: par. 3: Footnote 2 is missing a space after it.

Page 238: par. 2: dumb quotes -> smart quotes

Thus, within the standard law of trespass—an invasion of person or property—"battery" is the actual invasion of someone else’s body, while “assault” is the creation by one person in another of a fear, or apprehension, of battery.17

Page 247: Missing a space in between "p.707"

One is the curious argument that “just as the employer gets and benefits from the gains for his worker’s activities, so too should he be required to bear the losses from these activities” (Epstein 1977, p.707).

Page 247: end of blockquote: Needs a space

the endlessly repeated formula of “respondeat superior,” which in itself means nothing more than “look to the man higher up”(Prosser 1971, p. 459).

Page 247: par. after end of blockquote: Needs a space

“In hard fact, the reason for the employers’ liability is the damages are taken from a deep pocket.”(Prosser 1971, p. 459).

Page 263: par. 3: Footnote "84D" -> "84"

Page 266: Footnote 5: Missing/Wrong quotation marks.

See the article launching this analysis by Ronald H. Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost, p. 10. For a critique, see Walter Block, ”Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights," pp. 111–115.

Page 266: Footnote 6: Missing closing quotation mark after “Injunction Negotiations: An Economic, Moral and Legal Analysis

Page 268: Footnote 17: Needs a space

“Apprehension”of an imminent battery is a more appropriate term then “fear,” since it stresses the awareness of a coming battery and of the action causing that awareness by the aggressor,

Page 272: Footnote 45: the 2 is not squared (it is in other areas in the book): “Torts: Trespass, Nuisance and E = mc2,”

Page 272: Footnote 46: Missing a space in between "pp.496-503"

Page 273: Footnote 56: double commas should just be one

Holman v. Athens Empire Laundry Co., 149 Ga. 345, 350,,100 S.E. 207, 210 (1919).

Page 273: Footnote 64: Needs a space

On the “tragedy of the commons” and private ownership, see, for example, Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,”pp. 1243-1248; Robert J. Smith, “Resolving the Tragedy of the Commons by Creating Private Property Rights in Wildlife,” pp. 439-468.

Page 276: References: Needs a space

Egger, John B., “Comment: Efficiency Is Not a Substitute for Ethics,”in Time, Uncertainty, and Disequilibrium: Exploration of Austrian Themes, M. Rizzo, ed. (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1979).

Page 277: Under "Epstein, Richard A.", there is a space that occurs right before:

_____,“A Theory of Strict Liability,” Journal of Legal Studies 2 (January 1973).

Page 325: Footnote 49: industry + consistently

[...] efficiency—these are the hallmarks of free enterprise in every other industy, and the present one is no exception.

But not all authors and organizations ostensibly devoted to applying free market principles to the environment carry through rigorously and consistantly with the logic of their own analysis.

Page 330: Footnote 85 is missing a period at the end.


There were inconsistent spacing issues between First Initial + Middle Initial. There were ~200 combined, and ~50 uncombined. I decided to combine nearly all of them.

Page 33: bottom par.: "E. R. Berndt" -> "E.R. Berndt"

A recent study by E. R. Berndt and David O. Wood finds that technological change in post-war U.S. manufacturing has been labour-saving and energy-using.

Page 52: par. 5: "A. C. Pigou" -> "A.C. Pigou" (matching style)

Full cost pricing as recommended by the Gamma group is very much in the spirit of proposals to deal with externalities suggested by economist A. C. Pigou in 1918.

Page 64: par. 6: "U. S. S. R." -> "U.S.S.R."

Well-known U.S. economist Marshall Goldman argues that the U. S. S. R. “is a chronicle of environmental disruption that is as serious as almost any that exists in the world (Goldman 1970, pp. 37-42).”

page 113-115: References:

Page 173: par. 3: "U. S." -> "U.S."

We have already seen how U. S. environmental policies have, quite understandably, been more responsive to powerful political interests than to the environmental problem at hand.

There were 4 "", 1 "et. al.", and 12 "et al.". I changed them all to "et al."

There were 11 "et al." italicized, I removed the italics to make them consistent.

I changed the underscores in the References sections to three "em dashes".

In the references section, whenever journals were referenced... there were 35 of these:

Journal of Law and Economics 18
Journal of Farm Economics 47

And there were ~9 of these (notice the comma between Journal Name + Journal Number):

Columbia Law Review, 60

I removed the comma to match current typography standards (this is the way we handle the journals + journal numbers at the Mises Institute). Plus it makes it consistent.


I moved all the footnotes to the end of each chapter (after References).

Page 300: I moved the table to before "Parkland" on page 299, and I "verticalized" the table.


  1. Another suggestion for EPUB here.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I will toss it on my list, hopefully I can have it converted by next week.