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Author Topic: Seriously, though, how would a libertarian society address global warming?  (Read 27391 times)
Jaime Frontero
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July 05, 2011, 05:16:18 AM
 #101

ownership is really the right to borrow a government's capacity for violence against trespassers, no?

Not if I can help it.

*cocks gun*

The government doesn't even protect us anyhow. Americans aren't entitled to it according to a court ruling.

what do you think ensures your ownership of anything?

your little gun (or my big and well-used one) mean nothing, against what can be brought to bear.

the guns we own are for personal protection against the occasional lone crazy.  they're useless against governments, criminal gangs, etc.  if you think they are, you're sadly deluded.
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July 05, 2011, 01:36:29 PM
 #102

Well, because it's not pretty, of course. People have a right to look at pretty land. Even if its not theirs. Especially if its not theirs.

That's one good reason. Here are a few more:

1. Perhaps the owner will die one day, and someone else would like to be the owner of it?

2. Perhaps the vegetation and ecosystem which was stripped off of it contained information in its natural complexity that current technology could not understand, but future technology will.

3. Perhaps the drainage networks that the land depends upon on either side are severely disrupted, resulting in issues downstream.

4. Perhaps it disrupts the migration routes of fauna, which has a disruptive effect on the ecology outside of the owner's jurisdiction.

5. Perhaps his mining equipment pollutes the environment, both in the air and in the water, which flows downstream.

6. Perhaps his mining equipment makes excessive noise for his neighbors.

7. And most importantly, by picking this low hanging piece of fruit, it's no longer there for prosperity. He would've been better off abstaining, and biting the bullet by developing more efficient technologies which would obviate the need to strip mine in the first place.


Basically this, all of this.


Case in point:  We've got quite a problem ( newfound problem) with bears and an emerging issue with mountain lions in my area (area meaning the entire central part of the state).  This problem is entirely due to excessive new home building in previously heavily wooded areas.  The habitat of the bears and cats is being destroyed in favor of MORE new homes (yup, why not build more new ones when we can't even sell the supply we've got).  The home builders are building these homes on THEIR OWN land, obviously.  However, their poor decision making affects me in multiple ways - the most obvious of which is the wildlife now wandering through my backyard.  So what someone chooses to do on THEIR OWN land, tens of miles away from my land, negatively affects me directly.  It also has more indirect affects.  This increased supply of homes lowers the potential selling price of my home.  It destroys large forest areas that were an important ecosystem to the area I live in.  As more animals wander out and end up getting killed or relocated, the evironment around me changes for the worse.  All because of what someone did on THEIR OWN land.


No man (and no piece of land) is an island unto himself.  The sooner the liberkids learn this, the better off they'll be.

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July 05, 2011, 02:59:39 PM
 #103

Sounds to me like you're free to build a fence.

It also sounds to me like you have no idea what a Libertarian is.  If you do please enlighten us.
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July 05, 2011, 04:17:51 PM
 #104

Do you really want to adopt the general principle that people may not damage their own property because others might like it after they die?

Are we referring to whether you plant a tree or pour a concrete pad on your quarter acre already zoned for residential use? Or are we referring to 500,000 acres (or even 500) of as of yet uncontaminated wilderness? Because although in principle the issue might be the same, practically speaking, they are not. My arguments lean towards the latter, rather than the former. Once we clarify that point, we can continue.

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Sure, and perhaps not strip mining will cause damage that we cannot currently understand. If you're going to get to just make up things based on nothing, well I can make up things in the other direction too.

No, you don't get a pass on that one. Otherwise, I could argue that perhaps me causing destruction at some random location might result in getting the attention of some little kid riding his bicycle, and by doing so, he didn't ride his bike down Crocker Street at the other end of town and get run over by a car. We can entertain hypotheticals all day long if you want.

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If they damage other people's stuff, your gripe is with the legal system, not the free market.

This is a classical reactive stance, rather than proactive. Damage done is damage already done. You may not be in a position to rectify the damages done. Nor is it likely that you will even compensate others for the interim even if you can rectify the damage done.

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If they're allowed to damage other people's stuff, your gripe is with the legal system, not the free market.

See above.

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If they're allowed to damage other people's stuff, your gripe is with the legal system, not the free market.

See above.

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If he's allowed to disturb other people, your gripe is with the justice system, not the free market.

See above.

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That's completely pointless. We're much better off making ourselves more prosperous so there will be a prosperity. Delaying technological innovation to conserve resources that are unlikely to even have any use in the future is completely pointless. When we solve fusion, all the coal, oil, and gas we conserved will have been for nothing. And every extra day it takes us to get there is more misery, suffering, and damage.

Your completely laissez-faire system will continue to pick the low hanging fruit rather than self impose restrictions upon itself. By doing so, it actually delays the solving of problems like fusion, instead of accelerating them.

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July 05, 2011, 04:22:57 PM
 #105

People would have more money to spend on projects they believe in perhaps some even 4 times as much. More money would flow to entrepreneurial projects and also charity. When taxes are lowered, that amount gets higher. You wouldn't have these big state funded corrupt "authority" organizations controlled by few people.

You are correct that more wealth would allow more people to engage in projects beneficial to creating a sustainable economy. But you are incorrect in assuming that more wealth would eliminate the existence of entities which continue to pick the low hanging fruit, and engage in unsustainable activities which ever erode our natural wealth.

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July 05, 2011, 05:09:12 PM
 #106

This is a classical reactive stance, rather than proactive. Damage done is damage already done. You may not be in a position to rectify the damages done. Nor is it likely that you will even compensate others for the interim even if you can rectify the damage done.

Silly libertarians, only wanting to punish crime that has actually been committed.

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July 05, 2011, 05:25:22 PM
 #107

Silly libertarians, only wanting to punish crime that has actually been committed.

Is that really our disagreement? I think it's more along the lines of what constitutes damage and what doesn't. If you believe doing X is not detrimental, and I do, then there exists a difficulty in determining what those laws are governing X. It seems clear to me that both groups are not in disagreement over following laws, but what those laws are and who enforces them. I've been rather clear on what X is, what it does, why it should be prevented, and how.

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myrkul
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July 05, 2011, 05:55:06 PM
 #108

Silly libertarians, only wanting to punish crime that has actually been committed.

Is that really our disagreement? I think it's more along the lines of what constitutes damage and what doesn't. If you believe doing X is not detrimental, and I do, then there exists a difficulty in determining what those laws are governing X. It seems clear to me that both groups are not in disagreement over following laws, but what those laws are and who enforces them. I've been rather clear on what X is, what it does, why it should be prevented, and how.

I think you may be right here. I contend you have no right to sue because I ruined your scenic drive to work. You seem to disagree.

I suggest that if you would like a company to not strip mine a patch of land, that you give that company an economic incentive. I'm sure, if you get enough like-minded people together, you could make up the cost difference between strip-mining and more 'gentle' ways of doing it, with very little individual cost.

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AyeYo
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July 05, 2011, 06:01:37 PM
 #109

Silly libertarians, only wanting to punish crime that has actually been committed.

Is that really our disagreement? I think it's more along the lines of what constitutes damage and what doesn't. If you believe doing X is not detrimental, and I do, then there exists a difficulty in determining what those laws are governing X. It seems clear to me that both groups are not in disagreement over following laws, but what those laws are and who enforces them. I've been rather clear on what X is, what it does, why it should be prevented, and how.

I think you may be right here. I contend you have no right to sue because I ruined your scenic drive to work. You seem to disagree.

Unstated assumption: no actual evironmental damange is taking place, the damage is purely superficial.

WRONG


I suggest that if you would like a company to not strip mine a patch of land, that you give that company an economic incentive. I'm sure, if you get enough like-minded people together, you could make up the cost difference between strip-mining and more 'gentle' ways of doing it, with very little individual cost.


You mean like establish a government and regulatory agencies to fine the company if it harms the environment too much?  Sounds like a great idea!  How would we go about getting this new idea rolling?  Oh wait....

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July 05, 2011, 06:13:11 PM
 #110

I suggest that if you would like a company to not strip mine a patch of land, that you give that company an economic incentive. I'm sure, if you get enough like-minded people together, you could make up the cost difference between strip-mining and more 'gentle' ways of doing it, with very little individual cost.


You mean like establish a government and regulatory agencies to fine the company if it harms the environment too much?  Sounds like a great idea!  How would we go about getting this new idea rolling?  Oh wait....

I advocate asking people who agree with you to help defray the cost of paying off the company for it's extra costs.

You advocate hitting people over the head and taking their money whether they agree or not and using that money to force the company to comply.

See the difference?

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July 05, 2011, 09:02:51 PM
 #111

I wrote before "You wouldn't have these big state funded corrupt "authority" organizations controlled by few people".

So what exactly would you have? Because I'm not clear on this.

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Most species that has ever lived on Earth are now extinct - most of them not due to human activities.

I think we're in agreement that any species that went extinct prior to humans existing on this planet did not go extinct due to humans. Let's refrain from discussing the extinction of species prior to the existence of humans, as I'm sure that if you try, you can find more species extinction events in a period of time spanning billions of years, then say, the last 13,000 years.

However, if you wish to engage in a discussion about species extinction events in any given 13,000 year period, precluding exceedingly rare and cataclysmic events such as asteroid impacts that occur on average every 70 million years, then I think we can have a discussion. Pick your 13,000 year period. I've picked mine. It started 13,000 years ago.

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The planet has been through worse things than humans since its creation.

Yes, it has. Giant asteroid impacts, of which there have been a few. Totally irrelevant within the context of discussing the effects one species, society or civilization has upon the world's ecosystem.

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If by sustainable activities we mean activities that reduce the well being of people and animals, don't you see that happening today even with all the governments, laws, and police forces?

Yes, I do. It's due to human nature and greed. These things are not going to disappear in your fantasy utopia of libertarian governance. And let's be clear on what sustainable activities means. It's not just the well being of people and animals, although that is a part; it is the preservation of ecosystems which enable the natural processes of those ecosystems to continue to function.

I would encourage you to view the ideal economic system as an animal which lives in a symbiotic relationship with its environment, where that animal (the economy) has a digestive system which inputs nutrients into its digestive system and outputs waste which must be reabsorbed into the environment in such a way that the animal can continue its existence without biting the hand that feeds it.

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July 05, 2011, 09:39:29 PM
 #112

because everybody knows that actual, working climate scientists are all liars, and getting rich off a secret blockchain started by al gore.  have i mentioned that he's fat yet?

uh-huh.

One thing I learned about my short stint in academia is that most scientists are not so much concerned about truth finding as fulfilling arbitrary publication quotas and intellectual feather puffing.  Forget the pursuit of knowledge. Science is primarily about egos!

The incentives of the whole scientific establishment are screwed up.  Even  scientists themselves admit that the majority of publications are trash. 

In an inexact science like climate science, bias is almost inevitable because there are few rewards for objectivity and big rewards for exaggeration and populism.  I'm not saying that there is some great conspiracy; most scientists are probably biased without even noticing it themselves.

Having said that, there are a few notable exceptions (the true geniuses), and there is some objectivity to the scientific consensus.  It should just be taken with a great deal of skepticism.

Anthropogenic global warming probably is real, it's just far less predictable than climate scientist would like it to be.
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July 05, 2011, 09:50:09 PM
 #113


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The planet has been through worse things than humans since its creation.

Yes, it has. Giant asteroid impacts, of which there have been a few. Totally irrelevant within the context of discussing the effects one species, society or civilization has upon the world's ecosystem.

Which is functionally nil, long term.

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July 05, 2011, 09:56:48 PM
 #114

Which is functionally nil, long term.

I'm not sure what you're referring to here. I'm certain though that is not the effect one species can have on the environment though, as you and I both know that the human species has had catastrophic effects on the world's ecosystem. We've gone over this.

So what is functionally nil, long term?

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July 05, 2011, 10:07:36 PM
 #115

Humans make planet unfit for Human life, Human life either moves out, or dies off, Planet returns to equilibrium. Long term effect to planet: nil.

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July 05, 2011, 10:26:24 PM
 #116

Humans make planet unfit for Human life, Human life either moves out, or dies off, Planet returns to equilibrium. Long term effect to planet: nil.

So to be clear then, you're outlining two scenarios and one consequence.

Scenario 1. We die.

Scenario 2. We have to have the tech to go live off the planet, and find satisfaction in that.

Consequence: The Earth heals, but after we're gone.

Neither scenario one or two stand out as desirable solutions, so I can't see how you're winning your case by proposing them. As for the consequence, it all sounds good, but how do we in the here and now benefit from it?

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July 05, 2011, 10:37:14 PM
 #117

Neither scenario one or two stand out as desirable solutions, so I can't see how you're winning your case by proposing them. As for the consequence, it all sounds good, but how do we in the here and now benefit from it?

No, neither scenario is particularly pleasant. Here's a third: You make a way to do something without damaging the environment, that is as or more efficient than one that does, and make a whole load of money in the process.

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July 05, 2011, 10:38:47 PM
 #118

Even the people who started this Global Warming farce to make money of Carbon Credits have changed the term to Climate Change now because of being so embarrassed by the facts and being outed as fools and liars.

I doubt scientists had carbon credits reflecting in their eyes in the 1960's when they started actively studying global warming. And the concept goes back even further - Joseph Fourier came up with it in 1824.

In the 1980's global warming was already accepted more or less as a fact, but in general it was thought there would still be plenty of time.

The "sceptic" camp has only been vocal for the past ten years, really, though they slowly started to appear in the 1990's, right around the time it started to look like there would be strong world-wide will to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This would hurt profits from oil and coal badly, so it's no surprise that practically the whole climate sceptic camp is funded by them:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/04/900-papers-supporting-climate-scepticism-exxon-links

Whoever brings up current-day politics into the climate change "debate" doesn't know what he's talking about.


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July 05, 2011, 10:46:05 PM
 #119

Here's a third: You make a way to do something without damaging the environment, that is as or more efficient than one that does, and make a whole load of money in the process.

I agree. So you've come around completely to my view, which is that of ecological economics, as put forth by Herman Daly?

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July 05, 2011, 11:02:38 PM
 #120

Here's a third: You make a way to do something without damaging the environment, that is as or more efficient than one that does, and make a whole load of money in the process.

I agree. So you've come around completely to my view, which is that of ecological economics, as put forth by Herman Daly?

Hey, as long as you're not knocking heads to get your way, I'm OK with it. Hell, if you run an ad campaign that convinces people to use less efficient methods because they value the Environment. Just don't force anyone to do anything.

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