In most countries the government is the largest beneficiary of pollution.
It is therefore very difficult for the Government to stop pollution which it relies on.
No pollution can occur without the governments sanction, and when it does pollute, who is going to make it clean up?
Government has to be as responsible for its actions as anyone else.
By turning to government for environmental protection, we've placed the fox in charge of the hen house.
Obviously, owners make better environmental guardians than renters, when resources are owned by no-one (the government) they are not cared for properly.
Indeed, ownership of wildlife can literally save endangered species from extinction. Between 1979 and 1989, Kenya banned elephant hunting, yet the number of these noble beasts dropped from 65,000 to 19,000. In Zimbabwe during the same time period, however, elephants could be legally owned and sold. The number of elephants increased from 30,000 to 43,000 as their owners became fiercely protective of their "property." Poachers didn't have a chance!
We never worry about cattle becoming extinct, because their status as valuable "property" encourages their propagation.
Markets are NOT to blame for environmental destruction overseas or at home. Example: China does what it does because of the trade off value it sees. They destroy the environment because they value the industrialization. It's a trade off. They sell the health of their land for industrial prosperity. It's a way of showing what they value more. Markets are simply the MECHANISM to accomplish this, they're not the cause. People's desires are the cause... and they ain't going away soon.
Capitalism saves environments! You've got to make sure there are more trees around if you're in the paper or lumber industry... otherwise you're soon to go out of business! China killed it's panda's under communism, now they're saving them in their move towards capitalism... because they're cute and we all want to pay money to see them, feed them, and hold them! The Pandas, that is, not necessarily the Chinese people.