John Stossel

Fish and Wildlife Service officials said they were "not available" to talk with me about this. Instead, they posted a video on YouTube that says they work "with" landowners: "The Service has many voluntary partnership-based programs that can provide technical and financial assistance to manage species."

That sounds nice, but the government's handbook on how to work with them is an onerous 315 pages long.

The environmentalists so torment those who resist their schemes that some landowners tell each other, "If you find an endangered species, shoot, shovel and shut up!" That's mostly a joke. But it does happen, and it's one more way government regulations backfire.

Throughout the world, most reductions in pollution have been achieved because of capitalism, not government control.

Fracking for natural gas reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Even much-hated coal and oil provide benefits. Science writer Matt Ridley says, "Burning of fossil fuels is helping the rainforest in the Amazon to grow."

Ridley also points out modern industrial farming allows people to grow more food on less land, and so people cut down fewer trees. "New England used to be 70 percent farmland -- it's now 70 percent forest."

You can even see the difference between areas that get greener and ones that don't from space: The Dominican Republic is noticeably greener than its immediate neighbor, Haiti, mainly because the Dominican Republic uses fossil fuel instead of burning wood from its forests for fuel, as Haiti does.

Industry and technology, not regulations, are humanity's greatest contribution to the environment. Leave people their freedom, and they come up with new, smarter, more efficient and thus cleaner ways of doing things. Stifling that process with regulation isn't "progressive."


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate