Environment Technology

Environment Technology

What is the libertarian solution to global warming?

Posted by admin on December 18, 2012 in Global Warming with 10 Comments


OK, I’m a libertarian, and I do believe that global warming is occurring. But the vast majority of solutions I’ve seen proposed are either a wealth redistribution scheme (the US and other "rich" countries give loads of money to poorer, and often terrifyingly corrupt, countries so they can develop greener industries), or limit individual or corporate rights (the government taxing "bad" cars, foods, or actions to control behavior).

So is there a solution to the Global Warming problem that doesn’t involve government mucking around in people’s lives, raising taxes, or restricting what companies can and can’t do?

Well, a hard push towards nuclear power would be good. If people could only lose that illogical fear of nuclear power plants. France get’s 80% of it’s power from nuclear power, why can’t the U.S.?

BTW, I don’t think global warming is as big of a catastrophe as it’s being drummed up to be, but the fact is that we still need to advance technologically and get better sources of energy. I just don’t think it is a good idea to do it based on a ridiculous hysteria that gorebull warming is.

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  1. Martin MDecember 19, 2012 - 2:04 am #1

    the only thing i can think of is deregulation of the nuclear industry, which would make nuclear energy cheaper than coal, but may also be dangerous.

    Currently nuclear power needs government subsidy just like renewables due to uncertainty in plant building cost, which is related to the regulations.
    References :

  2. SquirrelDecember 19, 2012 - 2:48 am #2

    The Libertarian answer would be those people and companies. Ideally the private sector would develop a sense of morality and responsibility on it’s own. If the consumer as a mass would only purchase from environmentally friendly companies, than companies would ‘go green’ as a competitive effort. After all individual competition among private individuals is how the Libertarian believes this world should go round.
    References :
    My daddy’s a wack job!

  3. HeadtaterDecember 19, 2012 - 3:22 am #3

    Deregulation and a free market solution. Libertarians believe that the people are in fact responsible enough to make choices without the government butting in.

    First of all, deregulate and allow cleaner energy sources like nuclear technology. Also, remove the CAFE standards. CAFE is basically giving a minimum to work for. Instead of trying to get the highest fuel economy possible, the automakers are trying to make it just above CAFE. People have proved that they will buy cars with high fuel economy ratings. If people will buy it, companies will make it. No government intervention needed.

    People, especially in this day and age, are more and more willing to buy "green" products. Opening up free market solutions will force companies to not only make products more environmentally friendly, but make them economically sound. If subsidies and massive tax breaks are given and ‘greenness" mandated, then companies have little reason to compete for customers.

    Read "The Revolution: A Manifesto" by Rep. Ron Paul. The book is priced well and an easy read but it is very informative.
    References :

  4. jagsfanDecember 19, 2012 - 3:46 am #4

    Well, a hard push towards nuclear power would be good. If people could only lose that illogical fear of nuclear power plants. France get’s 80% of it’s power from nuclear power, why can’t the U.S.?

    BTW, I don’t think global warming is as big of a catastrophe as it’s being drummed up to be, but the fact is that we still need to advance technologically and get better sources of energy. I just don’t think it is a good idea to do it based on a ridiculous hysteria that gorebull warming is.
    References :

  5. BaccheusDecember 19, 2012 - 4:35 am #5

    I think this shows where a libertarian philosophy breaks down. It is not easily applied either to international problems nor to problems involving economic externalities. Libertarians believe the government should not restrict the right to own guns, for example; they however do not believe people should be allowed to shoot guns in crowded buildings and do believe one important role of government is law inforcement to protect the rights of the innocent. Libertarians do acknowlege that my rights will sometimes conflict with your rights; my right to shoot a gun, your right to not be shot; my right to own a barking dog in the yard next to you, your right to peace and quiet in your own home. Government in a Libertarian society can make and enforce laws designed to keep me from hurting you or from restricting your rights. Likewise, Libertarians genenerally do not believe any company has the right to destroy the public air and water through polution: the general philosophy is that we all – individuals and companies – are responsible to pay our own costs and enjoy our own profits. In order to have companies pay for for the damage they do you your air, government regulation and enforcement is required. With Global Warming, it requires putting a cost on the greenhouse gasses produced and requiring companies pay for the damage they cause. If a company wrecks your house, they should pay for it; if company wrecks your climate, they should pay for it. That is the intention of free-market approaches such as the cap-and-trade treaties. If a company emmits CO2, they must pay by buying the rights to emmit it or the produce offsets such a planting trees elsewhere. Companies who develop technologies to emmit less CO2 will become more profitable and those who emit more less profitable. That is a Libertarian approach in theory but it does involve governments and treaties.

    If you truly believe that a workable Libertarian society would allow companies or individuals to do anything without restrictions, then I think you should think some more. No philosophy that does not restrict one from taking the rights and materials from another is workable. In this case your right to safety and wealth is being taken by others. Let’s just have everyone pay for the damage they do.
    References :

  6. Randall EDecember 19, 2012 - 4:57 am #6

    Libertarians don’t force the taxpayers to subsidize "solutions" to "problems" that haven’t been proven to exist.

    Man-made global warming hasn’t been proven to exist.

    It warmed about a degree in over a century, and in the last decade it hasn’t warmed any further. And over the last year it’s cooled slightly. There’s no "problem" in need of a "solution."

    References :

  7. peter.jungmannDecember 19, 2012 - 5:18 am #7

    Most libertarians I know are sensible enough to know that human beings couldn’t possibly effect the climate of the earth.
    References :

  8. Charles MDecember 19, 2012 - 6:08 am #8

    The problem is not liberal, conservative or libertarian, the problem is the concept of strong man control rather than the rule of law. When the law can be twisted and worked to make one group stronger and another group weaker there is a problem with the law. Our founding fathers designed a form of limited national government to get away from the different forms of strong central governments that had plagued civilization since Babylon. Central governments need an enemy to fight and conquest for loot to appease the mob. And this is the problem that has led to disaster time after time, a conquest based system always has and always will teeter on the verge of collapse. The solution is production for use with surplus traded and it would work because it has always worked when tried until a raiding conquest group came along and broke it.

    http://www.ssa.gov/history/sinclair.html

    References :

  9. BobbyDecember 19, 2012 - 6:45 am #9

    As I understand Libertarians, they would have no solution to this problem or a lot of others. They just want government to "butt out" of everything. This will not stop pollution, greed, waste of resources, or global warming, or perhaps even crime.
    References :

  10. klemDecember 19, 2012 - 2:33 pm #10

    You’re looking for the libertarian solution to a non-existant problem. The earth has been warming since the end of the last glaciation 20000 years ago. You’re falling for the hype that humans are responsible for it.

    Will the earth continue to warm? Probably for a few centuries more. Will the earth go back to another glacial period? Most definitely eventually.

    If you beleive we should move away from fossil fuels, the best way to achieve that is by making renewable fuels cheaper and better than fossil fuels. A tall order. We’ve got alot of fossil fuels al over the world and we’ve been using them for millenia. Wind turbines do not compete well, but they are pretty to look at (the real reason people like them).

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