In this book the suggested response to excessive resource depletion was appropriate action by the government. In so far as the problem results from market failure — the failure of the market to reflect the preferences of the people — this is appropriate enough. Market failure is very pervasive and extensive action can be justified under this head. Devising the most appropriate action is rarely straigthforward, especially when account is taken of distribution, enforcement costs (both economic and psychic and transitional problems. It should also be borne in mind that enforcement costs depend to a considerable extent on the degree of voluntary compliance with the rules. But at least the remedy, since it conforms with public preferences, should receive political support.