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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The LP on Earth Day
Alex, can you indicate which of the texts in your list you think best addresses the points I raise at ?
The online edition of Ruwart's Healing Our World doesn't even come close -- as I quote Rob Power agreeing in the link below.
Here is the Environment plank I was proposing up until yesterday: "Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights, and so is verifiable endangerment of a species or ecosystem in which any non-consenting individual has a property right. Economic progress ultimately helps the environment, because as people grow wealthier they demand the cleaner environment that they become able to afford. Degradation of the environment only happens where there is no definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, wildlife, and electromagnetic spectrum. Government is not only the biggest polluter, but it enables even more pollution by failing to protect those individual rights in resources. Markets are the best mechanism for protecting the environment, because they can factor the consequences of pollution into the cost calculations of each potential polluter, and encourage the owners of a resource to preserve it. Markets also allow consumers to reward and punish producers for their impact on the environment. Such market mechanisms are the only fair and effective ways to stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required for protecting our environment and threatened ecosystems from such potential threats as anthropogenic global warming."
The language above prompted some interesting PlatCom discussion about environmental Kuznets curves, Pigovian taxes, and the Pollution Haven Hypothesis:
Then yesterday, there finally became available a copy of the original Temporary LP Platform from before the first convention.  I immediately proposed adopting its environment language, like so: "Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources.  Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights, and so we support effective and judicious anti-pollution laws. Such laws must set forth objective standards for determining what are reasonable and unreasonable emissions.  In recognition that much of our pollution problem has arisen because air and water are treated as "free", we shall work for the establishment of pricing mechanisms based on property rights in the air and water -- thus providing economic sanctions against pollution.  We oppose all attempts to transform anti-pollution efforts into a general movement against technology, or the use of anti-pollution efforts to destroy personal freedom."
I'd love to know who wrote that original Temporary Platform.  It was the best one the LP has ever had -- and it just might help us produce an even better one in Denver.