Archive for the ‘Gearing up for Earth Day’ Category

Ayn Rand Center promises to have fun with man-hating enviros for Earth Day, so for fun I sent them a note

April 13th, 2011 No comments

A little birdy Tweet by the Ayn Rand Center for Corporate Individual Rights told me that the ARCs Voices for Rent-Seekers Reason blog is “Gearing up for Earth Day”, so of course I had to go take a look.

Here’s some of what I found:

As Earth Day (April 22) approaches, the Ayn Rand Center wants to help you understand the destructive campaign environmentalists have pursued for decades against energy production.

… [It is] clear that environmentalists are not so concerned about carbon emissions—they fight against every form of practical, cheap energy regardless of whether it emits CO2 (like fossil fuels) or not (like nuclear and hydro).

As ARC fellow Dr. Keith Lockitch explains …


the basic moral premise at the root of environmentalism is the premise that nature is something to be left alone—to be preserved untouched by human activity.

… This moral animus against human “intrusion” upon nature creates a basic conflict between the goals of the environmentalist movement and the needs of human life.


The blog post ends with a promise that (emphasis added)

on Earth Day, which is on Friday, April 22, we will be hosting a live Q&A session from our headquarters in Irvine, CA, where resident fellows Keith Lockitch and Alex Epstein will answer any questions you have about Earth Day, environmentalism, the recent nuclear scare in Japan, and related issues.

Besides some inaugural encounters at Mises Daily and the Mises Blog with Objectivist Dr. George Reisman,  readers might like to note that I previously commented on some of Keith Lockitch’s work relating to aid and development.

It certainly should not surprise my regular readers for me to note that I find the gist of the ARC post to be largely irrelevant, and productive only in the sense of offering a self-deceptive defense of a profoundly corrupted and statist ‘free market’.  Citizens of all stripes have every right to want to fight with others over:

  • how valuable government-owned resources (public lands, lakes and waters and marine resources) will be used or protected (as no private transactions to otherwise express preferences are possible);
  • levels of air, land and water pollution that governments will license companies to emit (rather than enforcing rights to prevent trespassing by others to person and property);
  • what energy sources that ‘the government-licensed and -regulated companies we call ‘pubilc utiities’ will invest in (at guaranteed rates) and what conservation measures they will embark on (as preferences can not be expressed via free transactions in competitive markets) – including nuclear power; and
  • what risks to the public at large (and what political activities) we wiill allow those massive and politically powerful risk-shifting and commons-privatizing machines we call corporations.

While I strive for an optimism that self-described principled libertarians will aim for a constructive engagement with people who are understandly dissatisfied with a system profoundly skewed by government, sometime my cynicism gets the better of me.

I already regret the following note that I sent via the comment form to the ARC bloggers, but hey, who knows?

Sadly, it looks like far from a ‘principled’ examination of the very negative roles that government plays in the destruction of resources and the other environmental and human rights issues that concern environmentalists, ARC wants to attack motives.

Examine the role of govenment owership of resources in destruction of the Gulf of Mexico, in overfishing and in fostering political battles for control of use of ‘public lands’? Doesn’t seem ARC is interested.

Examine the role of government in licensing polluting coal plants, stripping govt-owned lands for coal, owning TVA and others which have large fly-ash pollution, and licensing mountain-top remval practices that destroy the rivers shared by others? Will ARC sympathize and point to government refusal to protect private property (thus leading to political battles over regulations), or simply bash enviros?

Will ARC examine the negative role of government in granting monopolies to utility companies, thereby leading to wasteful pricing and lack of choice -as well as costly crony capitalism in the case of nuclear power, which gets rate guarantees and liability waivers?

Will ARC examine the role played by government in creating corporations in the first place, in a form that embeds moral hazard and exacerbates ‘agency problems’, by legislatively telling shareholders they have no liability for the damages the legal fiction they own might cause to others? Will  ARC even notice how abuses arising from the corporate form have given rise to the modern, corrupt regulatory state?

I’m on pins and needles, just waiting to see how principled and productive ARC is going to be!

By the way, I had some comments for Keith a couple of years ago: Not #Climate Change Welfare, But Capitalism and Free Markets? A few thoughts: TT’s Lost in Tokyo #tcot #p2

I AM hoping for productive comments that address the role of government (and of the commons-destroying corporations they’ve created) rather than the motives of those nasty ‘capitalism’-hating enviros.



“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Richard Feynman

Categories: Gearing up for Earth Day Tags: