Does Perry find this drop in pollution to be a victory for environmental regulation? Hardly. “Here we are 40 years following the first Earth Day, and none of the dire predictions above about environmental disaster has come true,” Perry writes, referencing predictions of doom by environmentalists from nearly a half a century ago regarding unchecked pollution. But, as Matthew Yglesias, a blogger at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, points out, those predictions were probably wrong because we regulated pollution (which was probably the point of the predictions anyway).
“In the real world, what happened is that we passed environmental laws, and conservatives argued that they would destroy the economy,” Yglesias wrote. “And yet here’s the economy, undestroyed. And here’s the environment, cleaned up.”