“… economists do not see the problem of pollution as one of eliminating it, but of finding the “optimum” amount of pollution, allowing for the costs, as well as the benefits, of pollution abatement. To most scientists, by contrast, the problems of pollution are purely technical problems—i.e. how does one eliminate it; not how much should one reduce it? To listen to some scientists on the question of water pollution, for example, one gets the firm impression that they regard the proper objective of policy as being to eliminate pollution entirely, and the costs side of the story enters into it only insofar as it means that they have difficulty in achieving this objective”.
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