From: Lee Daniel Crocker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Feb 04 2002 - 14:48:10 MST
On Mon, 4 Feb 2002, Damien Raphael wrote:
> Out of curiosity... if it _were_ proven beyond scientific doubt that
> our emissions were warming up the planet, to dangerous levels, what
> would the libertarian response be? Note that "suing the polluter" isn't
> obviously effective here, since the polluters are just about everyone.
> Conversely, one Drextech scenario has been people sucking so much CO2
> out of the atmosphere to build diamondoid structures with that a new Ice
> Age gets triggered. Same question applies.
In a "pure" anarchocapitalist state, "sue the polluter" is indeed the
solution, which you rightly point out is difficult, but not impossible.
Especially since plaintiffs are still likely to outnumber defendants.
In a mixed libertarian-leaning democracy-compromise government, the
government would set an overall total limit on the allowable amount
of some certain emission (or extraction), and issue trading rights.
Companies would buy and sell pollution rights on the free market; the
total level of pollution would be fixed (hopefully at roughly the
sustainable level), but who did the pollution would end up being
whoever produced the greatest benefit from it and was therefore able
to offer the highest price. Higher prices would encourage research
into alternatives, and lower prices would encourage some people to
buy up the rights and bury them, reducing the overall levels.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lee/> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC
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