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Project Report:
FREE’s conference series in Environmental Stewardship and Economics for Religious Leaders.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


This year’s offering, “Breakthrough: Ethics, Economics, & the Environment” was held September 8-12. The fundamental objective of this program was to explain to religious leaders how economic analysis and the free market process can help further environmental ends while avoiding unintended, negative consequences.


One expected outcome of our conferences is for participants to leave with a better understanding of economics and environmental stewardship policies at local, regional, and national levels. John Wilson, editor of the influential and widely read Books & Culture published in Christianity Today, wrote this in his weekly e-newsletter:

“I attended an encouraging conference for “Religious Leaders”...organized by the Bozeman-based Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE).... The folks at FREE…are a delightful band of contrarians who combine a passionate love for the natural world with a deep appreciation for the virtues of free markets (and for the explanatory power of economic principles more generally).

You’ve heard biologists rhapsodizing about the structure of DNA? These folks talk about the market in the same way. But they’re good listeners, too, and they don’t limit the conversation to people who share their views across the board....”

Mr. Wilson nicely summarizes what we believe to be a key to FREE’s continuing success. We demonstrate a sincere concern for environmental quality while recognizing the importance of ethics, economic progress, and responsible liberty.


The fundamental objective of every FREE’s program is to show how within carefully designed institutional settings free markets can improve environmental quality.


Our programs target a national audience. We explore how economics can promote constructive solutions to issues that may affect the national economy, e.g., climate change. Economics teaches us how the market process, including voluntary organizations, can help us achieve our environmental goals.

Information Dissemination

Our conferences target seminary professors and nationally well-known religious leaders with the assumption that they will influence religious groups across the nation.

The initiation of our proposed conferences is timely. Meetings are being held around the U.S. by various religious groups to specifically discuss these issues. Unfortunately, while all serious analysts agree that using economic principles and sound science leads to better environmental policy, this message has been discounted or neglected by many religious professors and leaders.

Project Link

  Related Organizations
Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE)  

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662 Ferguson Rd
Bozeman, MT 59718

(406) 585-1776
(406) 585-3000 (fax)


Mr. Pete Geddes
Chairman, FREE

Posted 8/19/2008 12:36 PM
Updated   2/17/2009 11:38 PM

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