We desperately need the separation of economics and environmental science. Both disciplines attempt to understand processes of great import to our well being--but other than that, the two subjects are unrelated. Currently, the political ideology of environmentalism is conflated with the science of ecology and its sister disciplines. To accurately understand and evaluate changes in our environment such as pollution or climate, rigorous efforts must be maintained to keep these issues distinct--in our research, our schools and especially in our political deliberations.
Robust (though controversial) economic theory and empirical evidence exists which shows the entire process of government manipulation of resource management is a disvalue. The most efficient users and providers of scarce resources are being penalized at the expense of those who are less efficient or even wasteful. With either cap-and-trade or a carbon tax, the price system is disrupted--and true costs are incalculable. No one can make intelligent economic decisions because prices no longer reflect supply and demand but instead are the result of the political agenda of special interests.
Those who wish for our scarce resources to be wisely used should be screaming loudest against these political distortions of resource allocation. But failure to distinguish between the laws of economics and the laws of the physical world blind them to the destructive effects of their environmental policies.
Until we end the pollution of our science by political ideology (of any type) we will be unable to discover real and lasting solutions for sustainable prosperity.
Note: I originally had this scheduled to post tomorrow, but upon reading a similar post at Voices for Reason, I have decided to post it today instead.