The Delaware River Basin Commission mounted a massive attack on pollution in their estuary, "hailed by many as representing one of the few triumphs of American environmental policy." The environmental equivalent is to relate dissolved oxygen to the biochemical oxygen demand of a river. The exasperation with which devotees of economic thinking regard the behavior of environmentalists and their political allies would be fully justified if everyone agreed the goals could be expressed according to economic rationality. Behavior so far does not show that economic is opposed to environ-mental rationality, but that both may be opposed to bureaucratic rationality, to the detriment of the lasting legitimacy of politics. Environmentalists know this much about economics: a rise in price means a decrease in use; less fertilizer also means fewer cars and less pollution. Uneconomic decisions may be justified on other grounds, such as charity or defense, but not so far that the economy ceases to produce wealth.