I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Friday, May 28, 2010

A Libertarian Environmentalist Agenda

I was recently in a discussion with folks who expressed skepticism that a libertarian could ever be an environmentalist. You need a strong government to defend the environment, was the general gist of their argument.

But, any government big enough to save the environment is a government big enough to harm it. BP may have dirtied the gulf, but it took a government to tame the Mississippi to the degree that shoreline of the gulf coast is retreating and shrinking due to the lack of silt that used to replenish the coast. BP is going to dirty the shorelines; the army core of engineers was able to sink thousands of square acres beneath the waves. It took a government to drain the Colorado River to the point that it turns to dust before it reaches the Pacific. It took a government (not our own, fortunately) to drain the freakin' Aral Sea. And, it took a government to pump our atmosphere full of radioactive particles from above ground atomic weapon testing.

So, I think the real question should be, how can a person care about the environment and NOT be a libertarian?

If I were ever to be elected president (I would place higher odds on the rapture occurring), here’s my five step environmental program. My goal isn’t a complete libertarian takeover of every aspect of American life. I’m just shooting for implementing a handful of libertarian ideas to produce a healthier planet.

1: Stop all farm subsidies. Right now, we warp markets to encourage American farmers to grow more corn than the world can consume. In a free market, farmers couldn’t make a profit from overproduction. Our corn monoculture requires the use of petroleum-based fertilizers that distort the ecosystem in immeasurable ways, and damages once fertile lands by compressing them. On a side note, I’d legalize hemp, which would provide a nice transitional crop for some of the corn farmers, and is rugged enough to grow on some of the land damaged by our present policies, helping restore the soil.

2: Eliminate federal funding of new highways. Slap toll booths on the existing highways we choose to maintain. Urban sprawl was made possible by the federally funded interstate system and the fact that use of these highways has no [i]perceived[/i] cost. Whether or not you believe the auto exhaust contributes to global warming (which, personally, I doubt), if we drove less, there would be fewer incentives for oil companies to drill holes a mile beneath the ocean. And, even the most hardcore global warming skeptic has to admit that if we cut the number of miles driven by a substantial percentage, we’d have cleaner skies, water, etc.

3: Bring the boys back home. Wars are never good for the environment. Bring home all those diesel guzzling humvees and tanks and warships and permanently park all our fighter jets. And if you think plastic water bottles all over the landscape is bad, it's nothing compared to the litter of unexploded cluster bombs.

4: Break up the government enforced monopolies of current power companies. Let power companies charge whatever they damn well want to charge. Public power companies have their rates approved by politicians in exchange for monopoly rights to supply power to given areas. The low price we pay for energy as a result means that new technologies face hurdles in becoming cost competitive. The current government plans call for subsidizing new technologies with tax dollars, or inflating old technologies with carbon taxes. But, you could just take government dollars out of the picture and let power companies charge whatever they wished. As rates went up from big companies seeking higher profits, smaller companies would be able to enter the market. For instance, if you were Walmart, and were building a new store, you could choose to do business with local power companies that were going to gouge you, or you could work with an energy contractor to cover the roofs of your multi-acre store with solar panels and install turbines on your lamp poles to capture the updraft from your parking lot. Consumers at the mercy of a price-gouging power companies might respond by purchasing energy efficient appliances and choosing smaller, more energy efficient houses.

5: If we must have public lands, then at the very least let’s charge companies that use these lands for profit ungodly fees. Right now, the cost of leasing public land to drill and oil well or mine for copper or graze your cattle is trivial compared to the profits generated from these activities. Of course, an alternative solution might be to sell off public lands at preferred rates to conservation groups, and allow them to simply not allow drilling, mining, grazing, etc. We could use the money raised to help pay off public debt.

How about it? Would anyone vote for me?


Loren Eaton said...

I think you would find this very interesting. P.J. Hill essentially argues for a free-market environmentalism.

James Maxey said...

Interesting. I'll see my local library has a copy.

佳順 said...

北台灣視訊aio34c正妹 69成人網 080視訊聊天室iww 線上免費看成人片 百分百成人圖片 辣妹妹影音視訊聊天室 視訊交友551281 kk 視訊聊天室 免費a片 sex-情色視訊 夜未眠成人影城 視訊聊天網 aaa片免費看短片 正妹交友go uouo 視訊聊天交友 hi5 tv免費影片 av女優王國 546視訊聊天室 免費影音視訊聊天室 ut 視訊聊天室 sex story,辣妹影片直播 hilive成人情色網 線上a長片 美眉脫內衣影片 sex888入口aio甜心寶貝直播貼片 彩虹免費av影片 亞洲東洋視訊辣妹影片 視訊交友網fm358 love104 影音城 qk999成人論壇 免費視訊gogo 拓網學生族視訊777美女 免費成人影片sex,av女優 a 免費影片觀賞 免費視訊topchurch 免費線上 aa 片試看85CC 高雄援交本土自拍天堂 成人視訊elove 臺灣情色網hilive tv 546 視訊聊天室 線上免費av影片 視訊ggoo xvediox松島楓免費影片 免費聊天室 aa影音視訊聊天室 一對多視訊免費視訊辣妹 j 我愛 78 論壇 免費 a 片 兼職援交 免費a自拍偷拍g世代論壇

Izgad said...


That is the sort of godless agenda that I would vote for. :p

I refer to myself as a green libertarian. My big plan is to take down suburbia and the car. We can start doing that by cutting all government bailouts for car companies, oil, privatize highways and government loans for housing. I may hate New York but my model city is Manhattan. Our society should be structured that unless you live in a rural area, are physically handicapped or are the significant other of someone who is, or work in construction there should be no reason for you to own a motorized vehicle.

Imagine if BP had had to negotiate with a private company in order to drill for oil in the Gulf Coast. We would not be in this mess.

Izgad said...

Also check out the book Suburban Nation by Andres Duany.

建霖 said...

喜歡你的部落格,讓人流連忘返 ........................................