Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 3No. 3


The Environment Goes to Market

Sharon Beder


Abstract   Environmental economists argue that environmental degradation has resulted from the failure of the market system to put any value on the environment and that, because environmental assets are free or under priced, they tend to be overused and abused, resulting in environmental damage. The solution offered—which is being used by those in power to avoid the need for fundamental change in power relationships and social institutions—is to put a price on the environment. This approach assumes that environmental problems can be solved through the extension of the market. It is an approach that reinforces the very social values that are at the root of most environmental problems