Yes, a lot of trees have been cut down to make today's newspaper. But even more trees will probably be planted in their place. America's supply of timber has been increasing for decades, and the nation's forests have three times more wood today than in 1920. "We're not running out of wood, so why do we worry so much about recycling paper?" asks Jerry Taylor, the director of natural resource studies at the Cato Institute. "Paper is an agricultural product, made from trees grown specifically for paper production. Acting to conserve trees by recycling paper is like acting to conserve cornstalks by cutting back on corn consumption."
The Tragedy of the Dump is a simple problem better resolved with... private responsibility. Your trash is already your private property. You should be responsible for getting rid of it. You should have to pay to get rid of it- and you should pay whatever price it takes to insure that your garbage doesn't cause environmental problems for anyone else....
Once people switch to this pay-as-you-throw system, they throw away less-typically at least 10 to 15 percent less. Some shop differently, some take their names off junk-mail lists; some recycle. Instead of following (or ignoring) arcane rules and targets set by politicians, they're personally motivated to figure out what's worth paying to discard and what's worth diverting to a recycling bin. Those who want to recycle for spiritual reasons can do so; others can recycle whatever makes economic sense to them.
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