Capitalism protects nature

The internet-based Ecole de la liberté (“School of Freedom”) publishes a new video of Corentin de Salle (access via a free account). In a seven-minute explanation (in French), the Belgian philosopher returns to the Kuznets environmental curve:

Environmental regulation is increasing as prosperity increases. Poor countries are generally not concerned about the environment. They start protecting their natural resources when they can afford it. When they become richer, they regulate emissions and then air quality. This process is only possible in democracies, where public opinion can influence the government. Prosperity makes it possible to develop environmentally friendly technologies and to repair the mistakes of the past.

He gives many examples of the environmental benefits of capitalism:

It is more environmentally friendly to import meat from countries with a temperate climate than to produce it in countries with a harsher climate. (…) Livestock production in Europe is a good example. The phenomenal subsidies devoted to livestock farming lead to intensive livestock farming that damages not only our environment but also the animals themselves. (…) A better idea would be to abolish tariff barriers and import this meat from South American countries where this livestock is raised serenely in huge green meadows. Unfortunately, these tariffs, equivalent to several hundred percent of the price of the good, currently prevent the realization of this common-sense solution.