Interference in the “free market” is always bad?

A great little exchange on the second-to-last Bill Maher show about global warming:

MAHER: Doc, let me ask – let me ask you this. This administration loves to pretend that there is a debate going on about scientific issues, because, really they’re a bunch of Jesus Freaks, quite frankly. So they pretend that people are debating, or scientists are debating, about evolution, when I don’t think they are. They certainly pretend that there’s a debate about global warming. Now, you’re a scientist. You hang out with scientists. Even when you guys are drunk, when there’s no cameras around, have you ever heard another scientist say he doesn’t think global warming is happening?

SCHNEIDER: I’ve heard a few, but the vast, vast majority believe not only that global warming is occurring and that we’re about a degree Fahrenheit in the planet warmer than we were a century ago, but the vast majority of those who know something about it believe that at least half of that in the last 30-40 years is due to our using the atmosphere as an un-priced sewer to dump our tailpipe and our smokestack wastes. And every time we try to talk about getting a tax on those emissions, they tell us it’s an interference in the free market, as if, somehow, we should get our garbage collected for free.

How true. Interference in the free market, beh. Well, guess what, economists? The free market doesn’t realize that the environment isn’t an infinite resource, and our generation and the few afterward will pay for that oversight.

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