Todd Wynn
Economic Freedom: A No Regrets Strategy for Reducing Global Energy Consumption

A new report from Todd Wynn of Cascade Policy Institute


This empirical study exposes a relationship between greenhouse gas intensity, energy intensity and economic freedom. The level of a country’s economic freedom is a statistically significant and negative determinant of both energy intensity and greenhouse gas intensity. Countries with higher levels of economic freedom not only have more energy efficient and less carbon intensive economies, but over time these countries continue to decrease the amount of energy used and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of production. The merits of free markets and economic prosperity should not be overlooked as a potential method for reducing carbon emissions.

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3 Responses to “NEW REPORT – Economic Freedom: A No Regrets Strategy for Reducing Global Energy Consumption”

  1. Professor Terry J. Lovell, Ph.D. April 16, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Great work Todd!
    This is a wonderful empirical demonstration that FREEDOM-CHOICE-INCENTIVE models are always preferable to GOVERNMENT-FORCE-FINE models of organizational and individual behavior and operation. Of course these results are totally consistent with and predicted by the collective contributions of Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman (Free Markets REALLY Do Make Free People-Free People who tend to be more responsible-this is the inverse corollary to the Tragedy of the Commons and can be thought of as the Celebration of the Owned!).
    Almost without exception when we structure situations that emphasize freedom, asset ownership and the possibility of individual rational gain we get much better results (both individual and societal) than command and control economies can ever hope to achieve.
    As a culture we should always be striving to enact and maintain rational incentives to increase the desired behaviors and results. This is not only the most effective approach, but also and more importantly it is the morally correct path. The failed notions of coercive power controlling a free people and making them “behave “ as the bureaucrats demand is dead. Instead we should focus our efforts on incentivizing the best rational behaviors by rewards that society agrees to and supports. This is not only the cheapest and most moral course of action; it is also the most effective. Dr. Milton Friedman famously remarked that “Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.” The problem is that bureaucratic fury won’t accomplish anything. Friedman also pointed out that “Governments never learn; only people may learn.” When and how do they learn best and quickest-with the proper incentives in place?
    Again Todd-great work!


  1. Cascade Policy Institute - Oregon Public Policy » Worried About Climate Change? Promote Free Markets! - April 28, 2010

    […] Policy Institute’s (CPI) study reveals an interesting relationship between greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and […]

  2. The Oregon Catalyst - April 30, 2010

    Worried About Climate Change? Promote Free Markets!…

    Every day more and more Americans are growing skeptical of the climate change doomsday claims and plans to ration energy through cap-and-trade type proposals. Despite this, many environmentalists still claim that far-reaching government intervention is…

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REPORT: The Dirty Secret Behind Clean Jobs

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