Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surely curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”     Robert A. Heinlein

December 14, 2009

Free Market Capitalism: Good for the Environment?

by Stephen Littau

Anyone who is really paying attention to the global warming debate will notice that reducing carbon emissions and wealth distribution go hand-in-hand.

Or do they?

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann wrote a very interesting article which makes very much the opposite point.

The goals of the climate change crowd are not reduction in global warming but the enactment of a world-wide system of regulation which puts business under government control and transfers wealth from rich nations to poor ones under the guise of fighting climate change. Should the emissions come down on their own, as they are doing, the excuse for draconian legislation goes, well, up in smoke.

The facts are startling. In 1990, the year chosen as the global benchmark for carbon emissions, the United States emitted 5,007 millions of metric tons of carbon (mmts). Kyoto specified that emissions must be reduced to a level 6% lower than in 1990. For the U.S., that means 4,700 million metric tons.

American carbon emissions rose year after year until they peaked in 2007 at 5,967 mmts. But, in 2008, they dropped to 5,801 and, in 2009, the best estimate is for a reduction to 5,476. So, in two years, U.S. carbon emissions will have gone down by more than 500 mmts – a cut of over 8%.

President Obama has pledged to bring the U.S. carbon emissions down by 17%. He’s halfway there.

All this without government regulation, taxation, or phony “carbon credits”.

In all honesty, I really don’t know what to make of the science behind the man made global warming debate* but I have been a skeptic since the issue has been part of the public debate (and long before the whole ClimateGate scandal broke). I don’t doubt the phenomenon of global warming at all; the earth has warmed and cooled many times over billions of years without the intervention of man. Why wouldn’t the earth warm up again regardless of man’s intervention?

My skepticism aside, the fact that carbon emissions are being reduced on the part of private actors without government force isn’t all that surprising. Over the last several years, global warming “awareness” has been broadcast on an almost daily basis and the market has responded.

As a general rule, I believe that reducing waste and increasing efficiency is not only good for the environment but also cost effective. Being environmentally conscious should not mean sacrificing quality or increasing costs.

A good Capitalist wants to have the car with the best mpg rating without sacrificing safety. It’s not because the Capitalist is necessarily concerned about man made global warming nor that s/he wants to “stick it to the BIG oil companies” but simply s/he wants more bang for his/her buck (greedy Capitalist!).

On a personal level, I use the reusable shopping bags not because I am overly concerned about too many plastic bags filling up the public landfill but simply because the reusable bags are stronger. I am quite willing to pay the $2 it costs to buy the stronger, reusable bag because it means fewer trips between my vehicle and my home without fear of the bag tearing in the process.

Many of these “green” innovations have benefits beyond combating pollution.

But even if everything Morris and McGann writes is true and even if the Kyoto targets are met (or even exceeded), this will not be enough for the global warming extremists**. If carbon emissions are reduced by 17%, they will move the goal posts and demand 20 and 25% reductions. When these goals are not met, the extremists will demand more government regulation despite what the free market has achieved on its own.


*I’m not a climatologist and neither are most people who will read this post.
**As they also point out.

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9 Comments

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brad Warbiany, Bags_Feeds. Bags_Feeds said: Free Market Capitalism: Good for the Environment? http://bit.ly/6DyTA7 [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Free Market Capitalism: Good for the Environment? -- Topsy.com — December 15, 2009 @ 12:47 am
  2. Hi! Lets see if i can explain it in a new way for you. Pretend the Earth is a dog. Shaving the hair off-of the dog… is considered human intervention, correct? Yes, the dog naturally gets warmer and colder, but a dog without hair… will go beyond getting warmer, and will actually sunburn. You can tell the human a thousand times… that the shaving of the dog causes the sunburn. Apparently, only AFTER repeated dog sunburning and dog suffering… will the human decide that it maybe isn’t a good idea to constantly shave the dog.

    When humans are constantly trying to shave-off the trees, plants, and anything else that’s peddle-able to fellow human… the Earth will sunburn. Experts in Earthburn, as best they CAN BE experts in Earthburn, are showing us all indicators that Earthburn is happening, and that it can “cascade” and can become irreversible, if not so already. You might have already killed your dog because you want to shave it and sell the stubble SO FERVENTLY. Money/wellbeing is SO rationed, that lumber/farmer/miner people (Earth-hair shavers) have no choice. They have to try to peddle EVERYTHING… because of capitalism.

    Now, about capitalism… the thing that causes people not to care about Earthburn because they HAVE TO BE more concerned about wellbeing coupons (money). You DO see the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA one dollar bill, right? You DO see the servitude infestation in capitalism, right? And do you see the “pay up or lose your wellbeing” Chicago mob-like felony extortion widespread within capitalism? Do you see the “join or starve” felony extortion done to the 18 year olds… by this ugly competer’s church called capitalism? See how forcing competer’s religions onto 18 year olds… kills membership in the cooperator’s church (Christianity/socialism)?? Do you understand that AmWay (American Way) (New World Order) got “the exclusive” (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) accepted in supply depots (stores) and leverages 18 year olds into the organization via that felony activity as well? (It puts AmWay-coupon slaving requirements called price tags… on all the survival goods). Do you understand how farmyard pyramids work… from your childhood?? Remember?? Upper 1/3 are “heads in the clouds” while the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world’s knees in their backs? Still with me? Do you see anything illegal, immoral, or just plain sick… in any of this pyramid scheme’s activities?

    Us American Christian socialists are still patiently awaiting the natural fall of the pyramid-o-servitude, or the busting of the free marketeers felony… by the USA Dept of Justice. Us Christians are VERY CLOSE to issuing a cease and desist order until the servitude and inequality goes away… which means it turns into a commune. Commune is a word we LOVE when used in the word “community”… but its one the caps HATE when used in the term “commune-ism”. Go fig. PROGRAMMED!!

    Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ to see a full color picture made way back in 1911, when capitalism was first discovered to be a con/sham instigated by the Free Masons/Illuminati. Folks sure bought into the thing… hook, line, and sinker just the same. The caps didn’t even check if a string was attached! Now THAT’S easy fishing, eh?

    Time to level the felony pyramid scheme called capitalism. Abolish economies and ownershipism worldwide, and hurry. Economies just cause rat-racing, and rat-racing causes felony pyramiding. BUST IT, America! Look to the USA military supply/survival system… (and the USA public library system) for socialism and morals done right. Equal, owner-less, money-less, bill-less, timecard-less, and concerned with growth of value-criteria OTHER THAN money-value. Quit doing monetary discrimination immediately, and make it illegal. There are MANY measurement criteria of “value”… not just dollars. Try morals, efficiency, discrimination-levels, repairability, etc etc. Economies are cancerous tumors, and to cheer for their growth… is just insane. Profiting causes inflation, so if caps LIKE inflation, and if they LIKE a terrible time in afterlife when they meet the planet’s ORIGINAL OWNER before caps tried to squat it all with ownershipism, then keep it up with the felony pyramiding. I dare you. While us Christians are finally bulldozing that pyramid scheme back to level, lets make servitude and “join or starve” (get a job or die) illegal in the USA, and lets level the architecture seen in USA courtrooms, too. Right now, USA courtrooms are church simulators or “fear chambers”, by special design. Sick.

    Isn’t that back-of-the-dollar pyramid… a Columbian freemason symbol? And WHERE is the USA gov located? District of Columbia? (Not even part of the USA!). How much more blatant can ya get? The “Fed” runs a pyramid scheme called the free marketeers. If you’re using the “federal reserve note” certificates, or using no-other-living-thing-on-the-planet entitles of ownership, you’re bought into a servitude/slavery con/sham… called capitalism. Pyramiding 101.

    Pyramids will NOT shade the Earth, nor suck-up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Only Earth-hair (plants and trees) does that. Now you understand, right. But since you won’t listen to anything except your own beliefs on the subject, go “out there” and pour yet another slab of concrete and put up another “busyness”… which is a little pyramid scheme of inequality and servitude, using pyramid papers from the bigger pyramid of inequality… whose symbol is right there on the back of the 1$ AmWay wellbeing ration coupon.

    Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
    (anti-capitalism-ists)
    Bessemer MI USA

    Comment by Wingnut — December 15, 2009 @ 2:00 am
  3. Wow. What an incomprehensible tirade. It reads like some sort of stream-of-consciousness thing…or maybe your cat was walking on the keyboard?

    Anyways…I’ll pick out just one little gem: You don’t actually say who is supposed to be this planet’s “original owner”? Is it God? Or Santa Claus? (They both sound like fairy tales to me.)

    Later,

    s.s.

    Comment by Steve S. — December 15, 2009 @ 5:06 pm
  4. As a sidenote, the decline in carbon emissions may also be due to the collapsed economy. Fewer commutes, fewer things bought, etc.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — December 15, 2009 @ 9:06 pm
  5. Steve… thanks for the kind words. Do YOU think the myriad of “holy crap-grade miracles” seen very widely on the planet and especially within nature… happened via happenstance? Or do you think there is/was a plan and/or planner(s)? Got another possibility?

    And within all the miracles seen in nature, seeing ANY of those miracles… using economies or entitles of ownership? Seeing any advertising in non-human nature. Any mercantiling? Any price tags?

    How do YOU think the miracle-filled planet… came to be? Mankind can’t even duplicate photosynthesis, and there’s quadrillions of plants which do photosynthesis perfectly, and continuously. What man or creature seen on the planet… can even start to create photosynthesis? Or how about a squirrel liver? Raccoon pancreas. Can any man (or woman) get EVEN CLOSE to designing or building one of those. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    I think you had better refresh your belief in Santa Claus… because its better than any explanation for all these miracles… that YOU could come up with, I suspect. Something VERY powerful is nearby, and “it” or “they” are watching and recording every “try to own Earth materials” thing the capitalists are doing… while the rest of nature… isn’t doing those things. Time to own up to the miracles everywhere you look around you. Time to think about how they happened, yes? You and I are a fart in a windstorm compared to Earth-maker powers… and you know it.

    Wingnut
    Anti-cap

    Comment by Wingnut — December 16, 2009 @ 5:19 am
  6. Wingnut

    I guess I am trying to figure you out. In one sentence you say “you and I”, meaning humans are just a fart in the windstorm. Yet your whole tirade is about how humans, or more particularly capitalists, are going to bring about the destruction of earth through carbon pollution.

    I agree with you that we are just a speck and that God and nature are far more powerful then we ever could dream of. Because of this I doubt very much that humans are the main cause of any so-called global warming. The more likely cause is the sun and other natural occurences. They are far more powerful then anything that we little humans are doing upon this earth. In fact, nature has a funny way of counteracting many things that occur.

    Comment by TerryP — December 16, 2009 @ 8:47 am
  7. Hi Terry… thanks for trying to figure me out… I’m honored. You misquoted or misinterpreted me, though. Never did I say that humans/we are “just” a fart in a windstorm… and I claimed we are ONLY such when compared to whatever made the planet. Humans are actually not JUST a fart in a windstorm, but every single bit of a wonderful and miraculous fart in a windstorm. Our bodies, minds, interactions, each is one of those aforementioned “miracles”. Quite amazing… but still no planet-building skills. We’ll be lucky if we can build a peaceful and equality-based civilization… ever.

    As far as humans being the cause of global changes of potential catastrophic outcomes, I don’t know. But I’m going to keep an eye on the experts and on those who study such things… and see if I can find out. Terry, you said “natural occurences” which I found interesting. Is the existence of humankind… a natural occurrence? Are human actions and decisions… a natural occurence? *shrug* Is spanking, scolding, or imprisoning those who do things deemed as crimes against the Earth… natural? When something IS deemed as natural or human nature or instinct… does that make it OK, good, or right? WHO gets to be the judge of what is natural and what isn’t? Rough area of town, huh?

    But yes, you’re right. I don’t know for sure… if humans… shaving the Earth over and over until bald… can cause enough impact to lead-to climate troubles. And you may be exactly right when you say that Earth might have a way of correcting and compensating. Could the wiping out of all of mankind… be one of Earth’s natural corrective measures? If you KNEW that the Earth operated that way, would you try to head it off at the pass? Do we have the budget to study whether its time to begin heading it off at the pass? Do we care about those who have seen SOME indications of trouble? Or do we care about money and owning, instead? Where are our priorities? Are “economies”… and the rat-racing they cause… getting in the way of potential work at “the pass”? Are we worrying about economies at a time when we SHOULD be worrying about our non-monetary rear ends?

    THESE are the big questions… and likely we each have varying opinions on such. In general, though, I’m a guy who “believes” that… the more plants/trees, the better. I also have a dream that humans ONLY eat fallen foods… things that fall off of plants/trees… or animals that die ONLY of old age or natural causes. Trees, plants, orchards, groves, all in-line with that all-fallen-foods dream of mine… so I will always stay tree hugger because of that belief. And, I’ll always stay anti-capitalist because… pyramiding is disgusting. The great pyramids are out in the planet’s sandbox for a reason… and that’s to remind us what to study here in this reality. And, I believe the great pyramids were built by communes and volunteers, and not by slaves or social hierarchical inequality systems such as capitalism.

    Best regards… thanks for the comments!
    Wingnut

    Comment by Wingnut — December 16, 2009 @ 2:40 pm
  8. @Wingnut:

    I’ve never understood why some people think that “God did it” is a better explanation than “I don’t know”.

    Sure there are plenty of magnificent and mysterious things in this universe, many of which I will never understand. But I’ve never seen any evidence of a “higher power”, and even if there was such a thing, I can’t imagine why it/they would give a shit about any thing we do on this planet.

    Comment by Steve S. — December 16, 2009 @ 4:36 pm
  9. Hi again Steve and readers. Interesting comments. I’ve seen myself think exactly like that… until I came to a realization about 10 years back.

    Notice how you said… “Sure there are plenty of magnificent and mysterious things in this universe, many of which I will never understand.”

    Allow me to add that even the best of scientists and scholars don’t understand “many of which”, either.

    Then, in the next line, you said… “But I’ve never seen any evidence of a “higher power””

    In a way, didn’t you contradict your first sentence? NO HUMAN can understand MOST of the things going-on around them. Yes, there is no “hard evidence” of a nearby higher power, except for everywhere you look… including TONS of things on your own body.

    Think about the ear. First, a Fibonacci-shaped outer ear, and then the eardrum that re-grows itself, then the hammer, anvil, stirrup, (three little bones hanging from the ceiling that play drums)… that drum being the inner ear membrane, which has fluid on the backside, and those tiny bones move that fluid into and out-of a snail-like thing called the cochlea… which has tiny hairs inside, different lengths for the different frequencies that we hear… and those hairs are attached to the 8th nerve in the back of the skull, and then our minds are able to sort-through a myriad of “fluid-caused hair movements” and then EXACTLY determine/discriminate whether we’re hearing a car horn or a saxophone being played. And guess what? There’s hearing systems on MANY animals, plants, and insects, too.

    Shall we talk about the other 4 senses? Skin alone… is a totally unbelievable miracle… a true show-stopper extraordinaire. Your body is coated with it. And yet you claim you see no evidence?

    Yes, I once said that, too… until I opened my eyes. I started MY epiphany with the hobby-level study of bugs. Know what I found? 5932 semi truck loads of “OH MY GOD”-grade miracles and amazements. Am I’m STILL TALLYING!!!

    No higher power, you say? Ahem. But don’t be in any rush to attach any dogmas to it. First, just grapple-with what you see around you, and own-up to its “Holy Crap!-ness”. Just own-up to “something big is happening here” and then start experimenting and testing nature things. Notice the amount of “Fibonacci” number sequences that are seen within nature (also called the golden mean, or phi). ( http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci/ This site is an expansive and non-commercial site. Explore it thoroughly, and you will be a different person afterwards).

    Isn’t math/science about the most provable religion we have, so far? You bet. But you can prove the miracles yourself, with a magnifying glass, some binoculars, maybe a beginner microscope, and by attempting to hand-feed every living thing on the planet… bugs, birds, woodland quadrapeds, fellow humans. ALL living things… react to attempts at love and affection. Sometimes it takes them awhile to see that you are attempting that, though. Be true to yourself and the animals… they can smell your intent. If you fish with hooks and artificial lures… consider dragging real food and no hooks. Consider firing corn at the deer instead of bullets. If there IS someone(s) or something(s) standing over our planet…. proud creators, they might be curious as to why there is so much fighting going-on. On the off-chance that they are watching their creative “experiment”, show them something different. Show some love… and I think you’ll see a helping hand in return.

    I, personally, have become changed since I started studying nature, and I think I’ve been given some help in the “gaining intelligence about nature” area of town. It takes loving curiosity, though. You shouldn’t “lure” the animals and/or bugs with false hopes/trinkets. Call them into interest in you… with food/smells… that’s ok. BUT… give them treats when they show up, and observe and learn. DO NOT capture or confine. Instead, find their curiosity. You are as amazing to the animals and bugs… as they are to you.

    Ok, that’s plenty of sappy and flower-child for any single posting. (Wingy spits some sugar coating out of his mouth). You understand, though, Steve. You’re not dumb at all, I can tell. You can see all the miracles, and they are the hard evidence. Don’t think of the Earth creators as being humans. That might help.

    IF those Earth creators didn’t consider themselves “higher” than you, could you reciprocate and NOT call them/it “higher”?

    What if there was a “front-side you” (the you that exists here and now)… and a “back-side you”… the one that works during sleep, and ensures that front-side you keeps its heart beating and keeps breathing while it sleeps). Now lets say the back-side you… got together with a ton of other back-siders… and built a planet for the front-siders to do experiencing/learning within? The back-siders aren’t necessarily “higher” than the front-siders, but they are DESIGNED for planet building. They can’t do experiencing like the front-siders can. So, its a cooperative. The front-siders go experiencing in “realities” and planets… and the back-siders (the other you) builds realities.

    THAT would be a new way of “looking around”, eh? Go study how some Native Americans think about nature and Gods… and you might just find out that Wingnut is spewing stuff that is not so far-fetched. It ALL needs proper investigation… and we’re a bit too broke and enslaved by the use of economies… to get any quality studying done. That’s why I do it at hobby levels.

    What I could tell you about Pharoah ants! Now THERE’S a wonderful creature. 6 months of Pharoah ant studies (personally done on a shoestring)… changed my life… and that’s just one study. I could tell you a substantial amount of magic about fish, muskies in particular. And the squirrels… phew… they are truly amazing, too. Take food to the woods/parks, be loving, and learn tons. Fun! Flip-off anyone who thinks you are being namby-pamby in your Doctor Doolittle adventures. :)

    Thanks for the comments!

    Comment by Wingnut — December 22, 2009 @ 5:10 am

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