Libertarians and the Environment

in environment •  last year 

Libertarians hate the planet! That is the refrain from those who love the government. Not only is this statement false but it is intentionally so. Collectivists, Statists, Globalists, Fascists, Socialists, Communists, Democrats, Republicans, or any other group that believes that putting protection of the environment in the hands of government and global corporations is a good idea push this narrative for one purpose, profit. The real answer to the question, “How do we protect the environment?” is private property and free markets.


I know that many people have been trained to have a knee jerk reaction away from the thought of free trade as a solution. The media, who are controlled by the same government and owned by the same corporate monsters, tell us every time there is a disaster that the state is the only solution. They blame “Capitalism” for creating the problem. Greed is what makes corporations take short cuts on safety or environmental protections. This is easy to prove false. The cause of this lack of caring is the government itself and the regulations it imposes.

Before I get into how exactly the free market is the solution, I will first prove how the government is not. Since the early part of the 20th century, largely since 1913, there has been a push to give more and more control of everything to the central government. This has been true not only in this country but all over the world. The ideas of a free market that grew after Adam Smith in 1776 have taken a back seat to regulation and control. Although this country certainly was influenced by the free market, it never actually has adopted it.

Based on this understanding lets dig into how good a job Government has done at regulating and protecting the environment. The short answer is, terrible. Before getting into specific cases where central planners fail, I do need to point to the biggest cause outside of regulation and market interference that destroys the environment. This is namely the ability of any government to dress up its people in silly costumes and have them murder each other over imaginary lines on a map. Today it is usually over economic control of oil or gold. Obviously I am talking about war.


Think about all of the environmental devastation this practice causes. In WWI both sides dug trenches all over Europe, spilled all sorts of trash and chemicals everywhere, and even used poison gas not only against each other but the plains, woods, and nature that the war took place inside of. Take those awful abuses to WWII, the world repeated similar destruction to the environment. Our government took it to a whole new level and dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan. The effects of those two bombs are still being felt today.

Fast forward to the more recent wars, at the end of the first gulf war, the Iraqi government set oil fields on fire. This pumped poison into the skies. All over the world our bombs and bullets scatter death to the environment. Imagine the effect that the spent Uranium alone has had in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, or Afghanistan. “War is the health of the State,” is a quote by Randolph Bourne and is certainly true, but war is also the death of a healthy environment.

Outside of war, the government and their friends in big business are almost as destructive. This first example is not an outlier, it is the rule. In the Soviet Union, a perfect example of state control, the Aral Sea is a lake that at one time was considered one of the world’s most magnificent lakes. The socialist environmental department diverted the two rivers that fed the Aral to the surrounding farms in a collectivist plan to grow better crops. The work was completed in the 1960s. The loss of water to the Aral equaled the combined volume of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Some observers called this “Ecocide.” Most of the environmentalists at the time agreed that it was one of the “worst environmental disasters in history.” This was a planned disaster, not an accident. Government decided that economics was more important than the environment. Today the Aral Sea is a, “pond of poison.” The extensive use of pesticides and chemicals in the surrounding farms continue to make it unusable. The nearby government regulated Uranium plant stored its waste poorly and it also added to the destruction.

The central planners had managed to destroy the very farms they had set out to “help.” They not only polluted the water, but the air and land as well. Environmental analyst Philippe Rekacewitz pointed out that the strip mining of the area, under government observation, of nickel, copper, and phosphorous destroyed the ecosystem. He continues with explaining that, “the sulfur dioxide emissions alone amounted to 600,000 tons per year.” The government was not finished with these attacks on mother Earth. In what was formerly a beautiful arctic wilderness, the government deforested thousands of acres and devastated the area causing acid rain and more chemical runoff.


I will concede that this is one example and is an awful one, but it is not alone. Let’s bring this home. At the Gold King Mine in Colorado, in August of 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally dumped over a million gallons of toxic waste material into the Animus River. CNN reported, “Officials said they believe the spill carried heavy metals, mainly iron, zinc and copper, from the mine into a creek that feeds into the Animas River. From there, the orange water plugged steadily along through the small stretch of winding river in southern Colorado and across the state border to New Mexico where the Animas meets the San Juan River.” They continued with, "The magnitude of it, you can't even describe it," and, "It's like when I flew over the fires, your mind sees something it's not ready or adjusted to see."

Of course, our government is better than the Soviets, right? Not really, USA today reported that the total amount of water that was contaminated was 3 million gallons. The cost to clean that up, they estimated, was 1.2 billion. Our EPA said, “nah, we are not paying for that.” The government who caused the problem refused to pay for it. The EPA actually said this, “paying the claims would discourage such cleanup efforts in the future.” How does that make any sense? So, who is cleaning it up? The farmers around the spill that is who is paying for it. The article says “no farmer has received a dime of compensation over a year later." The courts have refused to listen to the case. A spill caused by the government that affected two states, Colorado and New Mexico, will be paid for by the farmers who were victimized and the government will pay nothing, and protect nothing. What this should tell you is that the government should not be trusted to protect the environment.

The media is also complicit in covering up environmental disasters. In March of 2011 a tsunami struck Japan. The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was hit full force, sending radiation into the air and water. When is the last time we were updated? The American people assume the danger is over. In 2017, the guardian reported that the work at the plant was only 1/5 of the way complete. You read that right, in 6 years they are nowhere near done. How bad is it, surely they have the radiation stopped? Nope, the robots that are being sent in to fix it continue to die shortly after entering. No human can enter. That radiation is still pouring into the ocean and reaching as far as the United States and Australia. So, much for the media keeping us informed.


Government does not care about the environment. In 2010, an official from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said, “This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy.” The official continued, “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” In other words they use environmental policy to take from one country, namely the taxpayers in the US, and give it to rich people in 3rd world countries. The State has co-opted the environment to prop up governments all over the world.

If government causes so many disasters, has a profit motive to avoid costs, uses the media to cover it up, and generally could care less about protecting the environment, how can we hope to protect this world that we love so much? The answer may surprise you. The solution is the free market and property rights.
In the mid 1800s government controlled courts made a distinct departure from the ideas of property rights. Before this change your property was your property and what happened on it was your responsibility. On top of that what you did to someone else’s property was protected by your rights. To illustrate this Walter Block, uses this example. If you walk onto someone’s property and dump trash on their lawn it is undeniable that they have a case against you for damaging their land. If you poured that trash into their pond, again you would win a court case against them. How is it different if you pour out particles from a smokestack, or dump it in a stream that feeds your pond? It does not. The change that made this different was the idea of “the common good.” Conveniently the government protected the wealthy factory owners from litigation by saying that because what they made was for everyone, their factories and the poisons they pump are exempt or have limits to their obligation to pay for damages.

The best illustration of how this does not work can be found in the BP oil spill in the gulf in 2010. Our government has imposed a 75 million dollar cap on damages that can be charged on companies like BP. When the spill occurred Congress tried and failed to raise that cap to 10 Billion. In the headlines that sounded huge. Put that in perspective. BP, in 2010, reported 14 billion dollars in profit. If, the government had passed the increase, the stockholders in BP would have had to make due for one year with 4 Billion dollars in profit!

If we respected property rights this is what the cost would have been. According to Wikipedia, the width of Louisiana is 379 miles. If for every mile of the width of this state, which is widest at the coast, BP was ordered to pay the property owner the cost to repair the damage, which we can estimate at around 10 million dollars, the cost to the company just for the coast would be 3 Billion 790 million. Keep in mind this spill affected the coast from Texas to Florida. Easily this would have cost BP well over its profit. Add to that the next year when more oil washes up on shore, etc. Not only does honoring property rights put BP rightfully out of business but it also encourages other companies, who want to stay in business to focus on better protections. Another point also that I have to make is that the money would go to the people who actually were hurt by the spill, instead of other corporations and the government, who constantly fail to actually clean these messes up. As you can see, easily, property rights are a better solution than government. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how property rights protect the environment.


Many statists will ask, you keep saying that courts will decide if property rights have been violated, without government how does a local community private court have the power to force these companies to pay? Enter the free market, where government isn’t bailing out corporations, the free market decides who makes money and who does not. In the example above, let’s say BP said they were not going to pay, or were going to pay less. First the communities directly involved would choose to use other oil providers. The market would punish BP’s profits. How many people have family in the gulf? I do. If they refused to pay I would not buy their products. Let’s say that Illinois, which is right up the Mississippi River, bought some of the products that were damaged by the spill. In retaliation Illinois decides not to buy from BP. Indiana trades with Illinois and it affects their economy, so they boycott. It goes on and on. Trillions of dollars instead of Billions would be lost by BP for refusing.

In his book Freedom!, Adam Kokesh has a section on environmental issues. Like me, Adam values the environment. This is how he ends the section,

“A free market system will provide for the optimal usage of natural resources and properly value them, from the least to the most precious. Owners make better guardians than renters and governments rob us all of our chance to take responsible ownership stake in our planet. Through conscious consumerism, or the usage of ostracism and boycott when necessary, we can all play a role in setting appropriate standards for the use of natural resources. Regardless of our personal views on what resources are important, turning to coercion to protect them will only serve the needs of government sponsors.”

I am a proud Libertarian, and I believe in the individual. The free market and property rights are the tools that a free people have to help the environment. Nature and this planet are sacred to me. It is obvious to me, that the accusations against Libertarians are nothing more than propaganda. I as an individual take steps to do as little damage as I can to this world. I am not perfect but I certainly care more than those in the government or global corporations.

By @marcus.pulis (Press Secretary)


Freedom!, A. Kokesh
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, K.D. Williamson

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Doesn't China have less government regulations and more pollution?
I think the government should protect life and liberty and I think some of our environmental regulations do make sense.

Just imagine if we used the above suggested and let people take control of situations like happened with BP, no one would be in control, we'd have to wait for all those affected to gather round and decide how to deal with it, start a boycott of the company to apply pressure all while letting oil continue to spill into the ocean.
The article talks of fair and free global trade but doesn't address the concern that since we've gone to globalization agenda CO2 has increased substantially. There is a direct correlation in some research that has shown despite all the actions taken CO2 have not decreased but increased and the explanation for that increase can be see happening as the expansion of globalized trade increased over the years. There are thousands of more trucks on the road delivering goods and services greater distances than there every was before. If you read the treaties involved with trade there is language in there that basically states environmental concerns cannot be cause to hinder the flow of trade globally. That's exactly what happened a few years ago with the dolphins being caught in tuna nets. The US passed restrictions on what type of netting could be used to catch tuna without harm to dolphins, that only tuna caught using this netting could be sold in the US. The world trade body objected and said that third world fishermen couldn't afford these types of restrictions, so the US said the requirements would be for coastal waters and they still objected. That's how we came about the labeling procedure on tuna cans that say dolphin safe, it was the only compromise the world trade body would accept. Anybody can continue to trap dolphins in their nets the only safety factor dolphins have is the conscious decision of buyers to buy only tuna labeled as caught free of dolphins.

So yeah it just kills me when I see people argue about having to pay more for something then in the next breathe complain about global warming, it's no wonder that these people can't see what perilous conditions some of these people in China and third world countries live in to produce their cheap products.

I'm not that concerned about global warming and CO2 but I am VERY concerned about eating plastic. I think people would care more if they realized how much plastic they are eating and the pollution that is in our oceans. I think we should cut money we give to the UN and use it to clean up the oceans. We should also put more pressure on countries like China to be cleaner. China and other countries need to end air and water pollution.
You might want to sign up for @dustsweeper so I can upvote you and have it count.

On the site it says that it doesn't work for people you up vote just for the votes that people give you that fall short.

Correct. You don't want upvotes people give you to count?

Okay I sent in two dollars sbd to dustsweeper to see how that works out.

I really didn't understand it much, what is the article trying to say that if you don't make .28 cents in up votes or a person's up vote isn't worth .28 it don't count or if someone up votes you and it doesn't add up to a whole penny, like it's a fraction of a penny.

Nothing below .020 gets paid out.

Hey....where's my upvote?, just kidding.

The truth is that the government has failed in keeping the environment save. It now left for individual to do their best in saving the world from environment disaster

This is a wonderful article. I find that we often can't even get to discussing some of the details of how a liberated society would function with such issues because people cannot even get their heads around one tenth of what you are saying.

I think that it's important to note that courts and jurisprudence have existed since before our current brand of governments and it would be feasible to still have courts to help enforce private property rights so long as individuals consented to the use of such a form of arbitration. In your BP example, the company might have preferred to submit itself to the mercy of a sound but independent court rather than to feel the wrath of the free market and at the same time, the free market could still function in dishing out punishment if it was not satisfied with the court's intervention.

Thank you, and absolutely true about courts. Part of the problem is that so many people are brainwashed into going directly to the State to solve any issue, which never actually does anything except grow the state.

Nature and this planet is not only sacred but also scarce if you take a bird's eye view of the whole universe so far. So scarcity increases the value of this planet and should be plus must be taken care of.

I could not agree more, in my own spirituality we see that we are literally standing on the remains of our ancestors. This planet is precious, and we should treat this world as our mother, respect it.

Though we are from different parts of the world but when you talk about the Planet Earth, we are on the same side mate.

The government does not care about the freedom of its people, the care of the environment matters less

Agreed, the individual can be the change.

This post reminds me of the history lesson my father used to tell me. Apart from that, I took my time to read every bit of it and I was just schooled.
Thank you for this insightful teaching about happenings in our environment and the government role. I really gained a lot.

Thank you, this topic is dear to my heart.

I can't imagine how radioactive the ME is right now with all the depleted uranium bunker busters we have dropped on them. Then they ship all our industry to China and let them skirt environmental rules and fuel a throw-away economy which is much worse for the environment that doing our industry in-country, following environmental rules, and getting full use out of and fixing items.

also false because you live on a plane, not a planet.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

The governments really came to hurt us, ambition and greed play important roles, in my country the extraction of unchecked hydrocarbons and the search for gold has led to unpleasant environmental destruction, the mismanagement of these productions, give way to the accelerated loss of precious natural resources such as water! The solution must be found now

Libertarianism encourages freedom of radically where every individual is given the recognition that they have a right to organize his life respectively. The freedom that is owned by an individual is limited only when it has been violating the rights of others. We don't need justifications from others or the community to make decisions for ourselves.

We all want to live peacefully.
We all want fair treatment.
We all want to be prosperous.
We all need freedom.
We all need love.
We all suffer under statism in the political thought of making the country as the center of all power.


invite to a cry of freedom.
Freefom .........freedom .......freedom
Supporting you as President of the United 2020.
That will bring the United in freedom.
Support I always accompany and I'll invite friends to support you @adamkokesh

I will continue to support you as you say


I'm ready 100% for freedom @adamkokesh
invite to a cry of freedom.
I am always motivated with Mr. @adamkokesh. each of my posts is kebebeaan, this is one of them
calling it an inspiration @adamkokesh
Thanks for this

well in real life I boycotted BP and a lot of other people did too and that didn't really matter too much because most people just buy gas when they need it or where it is cheapest. So they would take a smaller hit than they did anyhow. It wasn't 75 million dollars either, they paid $20.8 billion under threat of government force.

Hello mate hope everything goes well with you. if you are intrested this is a humble gift for you hope you accept it and like it. This is the picture: And that's the video:

TheProgressiveParent I think it is. It just comes off as ridiculous to the ideological leftist environmentalists. A better argument IMO is that the free market stimulates innovation. There is great demand for green energy products, therefore the innovation that stems from the free market would result in more green energy/carbon emission reducing products.

The world will survive if the government is wiser in making peaceful decisions rather than relying on the twilight of its weapons to be [email protected]

As time passes, governments will continue amassing much power and control. And there's no difference here: capitalists and socialists (communists). They are all cut from the same cloth.

When it comes to the environment, they are not ashamed to speak in the open what they've done to the mother nature. It's been so common that sometimes they don't even hide the atrocities. It's like I'm going to tell lies and I don't care If people buy them. Anyway, justice will back me up because I own it.

That's the way real governments - not the moppets (presidents) - think nowadays. There are not principles. And if someone stands out to even speak out against them, they send a brainwashed officer to to shut him off.

Great post very well said. It's true the governments of the world don't give a shit. We need people to be held responsible with the currently system corporations just pay off and hide behind their name with a free market they would be held accountable as you say I mean.

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster I think is the worst for well centuries. The effect its having on the world is devastating and will continue for years. If a free market was present I do think that not only would it be more common knowledge but would have been cleaned by now 💯🐒

Fuk the government.
Kokesh for president :D
I moved away from all that political bollocks in England and am now educating people on how shit the gov is and to release their inner potentials :D