Thoughts and observations on Green Arrow, classical liberalism, freedom, comic books and matters of social justice.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Green Arrow Conservationalist

Al Gore is a kook. Let me get that out in the open. Environmentalist has become tantamount to saying “big government tree-hugger.” Thoreau wrote about government, “It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.”
When the federal government interferes with environmental issues you get more regulation, less civil liberty, and failed objectives. As noted by the Property and Environment Research Center, “Since 1993, the number of regulations proposed or issued by the Environmental Protection Agency has increased 20 percent. The costs of complying with national environmental regulations have risen from $53 billion in 1980 to over $150 billion today.” This mirrors the effects of other governmental interventions.

Not unlike liberal vs. classical liberal there is an acceptable alternative to the “green movement” mentality; that of free-market environmentalism. As described by the Future of Freedom Foundation, “Free-market conservationists use the voluntary mechanism of the market. They purchase land they want to conserve. And as with all voluntary transactions, both parties involved are better off than they were before.”

Private ownership is the hallmark of freedom. When people are allowed to own property, especially that kind which is deemed environmentally vital, they will preserve and conserve that land to ensure its continued value. One of the tenets of the Property and Environment Research Center is that, “Private property rights encourage stewardship of resources.” This requires no governmental offices, positions, laws, and regulations. If you create financial incentives those land owners will do everything they can to profit and the fruits of those efforts will be shared by everyone in some fashion.

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