A study from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has named acid rain as the cause of the declining population of Wood Thrushes. This bird breeds in eastern
It seems that economic efficiency is the only realistic way to examine the apparent Wood Thrush dilemma. Our economy would certainly suffer from greater regulation of the Midwestern power plants in an attempt to save the Wood Thrush and other affected species. If action were taken and power plants and other polluting industries were more strictly regulated throughout the Midwest and eastern parts of the county then it seems likely that the costs incurred from lower outputs/less polluting outputs would get passed on to the consumer. If prices were pushed too high we certainly wouldn’t have achieved efficiency. It does seem unlikely that strenuous pollution legislation will be passed when considering the benefit to millions of people provided with power and other goods produced by polluting industries. Could it be that the market has already determined the efficient amount of acid rain causing pollutants? I would tend to think so considering the millions of Midwesterners (and probably Easterners) provided with power at a reasonable price at the cost of some amount of calcium in northeastern soils.