A lesson that environmentalists should have learned about socialism after the Iron Curtain fell is now striking a bit closer to home. Liberty frees people to solve problems, including environmental problems. Bureaucracy entrenches problems, including environmental problems. Bottom line: Capitalism is better for the environment than socialism.
Nightline ran a piece on a group calling themselves the “Greywater Guerillas.” This is a group of environmental activists doing exactly the sort of voluntary action to conserve water that conservation minded conservatives and libertarians love. They’re revamping plumbing to recycle waste water from sinks and showers to water yards and gardens and flush toilets. One of the group’s founders estimates that she saves 100 gallons of water a day.
The problem…they’re in California.
This shouldn’t be a problem, after all California is ecologically minded and constantly suffering water shortages (in spite of being right next to 1/3 of the liquid water on earth). Ah, but you see, California is also one of the most regulated places on earth. If you’ve bought any electronics lately you’ve likely noticed the label that it may contain lead which is “known by the state of California to be a carcinogen” as if any rational person intends to let a child eat the innards of a CD player? Yeah, that California. And, in that California, you have to have a permit to install a greywater system (the technical term for what these folks are doing). A system that passes the requirements could exceed $10,000 in costs, not including the cost of the permit. The systems they are installing start at less than $100 for a system to divert sink water for flushing toilets.
Who else has a greywater system in his home? Not Al Gore, not John Kerry….George W. Bush.