I'm tired of everyone throwing out the "it's not sutainable" argument for doing something against the forces of pure economics. God damn it, if it's not sustainable, it'll fail. Then we'll do it differently. If it's so freakin' unsustainable, then we ought to sit back and watch it fail. We need not take any action against it - if it is unsustainable the way it's being done now, it follows that into the future, that will not be the way. Why tamper with it pre-emptively? Why not let market forces and the private sector identify what is being done unsustainably, and allow them to innovate to create new ways?
I imagine the Easter Islanders felt much the same way about their wood supply - hey, there are lots of trees, seems like an infinite supply, so we don't need to conserve, and besides, we have pretty good trade relations with the guys on the other side of the island, and we can always get them to give us some wood. Unfortunately, the guys on the other side thought the same way, and felt that even if their path were unsustainable, market forces would kick in and force them to start to conserve, but, hey, why do so pre-emptively?
The fact is, arable land is not an infinite resource, even if it seems so to us in Canada. I would expect there are land use pressures on Californians and Chilean farmers. You do understand that by "market forces" you mean that the future value growing crops would have to exceed the present value of money garnered from developing land? That is almost an impossible bar, so any individual farmer will always
sell their land if they can.
Anyways, I'm not an expert on any of this. I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people to jump in and explain why land use laws are beneficial. However, I am pretty skeptical that market forces will yield the most efficient outcome for society.