Yahoo! is carrying an ABC News item that an Iranian general now claims the ability to strike 35 US military bases with a new missile system. It turns out that it’s both harder to shoot US troops with medium-range missiles and less likely that someone would be angry enough to do so with all military personal garrisoned at home.
Daily Archives: July 5, 2012
The environmentalist “is a totalitarian socialist whose real objective is to revive socialism and economic central planning under the subterfuge of ‘saving the planet’ from capitalism.”
is someone who is actually interested in solving environmental and ecological problems and protecting wildlife and its habitat. He does not propose having government force a separation of man and nature by nationalizing land and other resources, confiscating private property, prohibiting the raising of certain types of animals, regulating human food intake, etc.
He describes how the modern environmentalist movement sprang from the ashes of the socialist movement after the demise of the Soviet Union and its satellites some twenty years ago. This, he says, helps to explain the term watermelon – those who are “green” outside but “red” within – and how environmentalists are always so bent on using the force of the state to realize their totalitarian ends.
A great deal of research and scholarship has gone into the theory of free market environmentalism (FME), or actual conservationism, and some cases where the market has been allowed to work have shown how effective FME can be. My goal here is to highlight one such case and describe some of the theory behind it.
The best way in which to defend the property of individuals and ensure the environment is protected is to do away with so-called public property. By ensuring that every last thing may be homesteaded the tragedy of the commons will cease. Allowing individuals to defend their property rights will provide all the incentives necessary for would-be polluters to reduce or eliminate their harmful or damaging behavior.
Because we tend to jealously protect our things it is natural that environmental concerns would be taken care of in the same way. Individuals don’t want thieves coming into their homes and taking their things, and therefore take precautions to mitigate the threat of robbers. In the same way, farmers don’t want rustlers, poachers, or wild animals to threaten their livestock, so they erect fences, build barns, and employ guards. The same is true for all other property, including endangered species, waterways and the atmosphere.
In the early 1990s Africa was facing a declining elephant population and some estimates suggested the beasts would be entirely extinct within a few decades. In an effort to preserve the animals an international organization met in Europe and agreed to ban the ivory trade. This of course would only incentivize black market commerce, so Africans, the ones who actually had a direct interest in the issue, ignored the ruling and employed their own program.
The governments of several African nations decided instead of socializing it all, to privatize the elephants. Land owners would sell hunting permits for tens of thousands of dollars and thus had a substantial interest in protecting the game animals. The result was that elephant populations boomed in those countries under new management and the revenue generated from the permits allowed investment to take place that otherwise would have been impossible.
Anyone doubting whether such systems can’t work long-term, or believes they couldn’t be applied to other species, ought to ask why there never seems to be any diminishing chicken, pig, cow or other livestock populations. The answer of course is that property owners have huge incentives to protect and propagate their stock.
Finally, a note on environmentalism in general: According to subscribers of man-made global warming or climate change theory, if you don’t believe the consensus among the scientific community you’re anti-science. The issue has been settled, they say, and we’d all best get on board. Failing to join with them means you’re not only anti-science, but you’re obviously a misanthrope, since the very future of humanity is at stake.
Recall, there was a consensus on the issue of the Earth being the center of the universe in the 15th Century. It was the dissenters who finally showed the truth. And what of the hair-brained notion of the earth being round, and not a flat surface, as virtually everyone once believed? Even modern science is not immune to such revision in light of new information. It was only last year scientists made a discovery that could change everything regarding the speed of light previously held as undisputed fact. True environmental science is not consensus based, but instead involves a healthy amount of skepticism and curiosity.