The Winston Salem Journal waxes magnanimous on WalMart’s efforts to save on fuel costs. Efficiency means less carbon dioxide emissions, you know:
"Even better news is on the horizon. Wal-Mart says that it will save an additional 10 percent on mileage within a year and it hopes, by 2015, to experience a 100 percent improvement over last year’s mileage. The savings to the environment, in terms of carbon-dioxide emissions, are considerable. So, in addition to serving its stockholders, the company is also reducing pollution."
So why are we congratulating them? It’s as if industries routinely look for new ways to be wasteful. But companies are constantly – constantly – looking for cost-saving and efficiency measures, which work toward the bottom line. That’s what they do. (That’s what they’ve always done.) WalMart just had enough sense to brand their effort as "green" in this climate of alarmism. Why do you think air pollution has sunk to record lows despite no new CAFE standards in 25 years? Markets always seek efficiency. Using less of something means more profit. It’s Economics 101 and yet the media are somehow surprised.
For the economically uninclined, check out the Ultimate Resource by Julian Simon.