Grounds For An American Environmentalism

Below is an excerpt from a work I view as Libertarian, but which nevertheless provides strong support for environmental protections (as well as health care and education) within that tradition.  It is surely an idea unwelcome by some, but I consider it Jeffersonian, and it is where I stand.

If you are a libertarian who lives in the country and appreciates the land; who like any libertarian wonders why or if one really must pay with taxation for services which seem to have very little to do with your life; but who nevertheless wonders why or if the earth must be subject to the ravage of heavy industry, for a corporate ideology; this work is written in defense of you. I here intend to give the grounds on which a ’Country’ libertarian may defend the governments role in protecting the land, water, and air from destruction. This is no simple task.

Our forefathers, whose work is the foundation on which most American-Libertarian theory is based, were not in a position to appreciate what would become of our earth 250 years later. They were very concerned with structuring a government ’by the people, for the people’; they were very concerned to avoid a State which would infringe upon the rights of its citizens for causes which were not the people’s own; and were concerned to lay the groundwork for a free-market economy with upward mobility. It would not be until the time of Teddy Roosevelt that there would be sufficient appreciation of the destruction to the earth enabled by technology, at least among ’The White Man’, to do anything about it at all.

Despite some appreciation, little has been done on a theoretical foundation for Libertarian thought which may encompass Environmentalist ideals. Part of the problem, of course, is that the Corporate libertarian does not want to address the environmental issue, and it is the Corporate libertarian who holds the libertarian wallet.

Another part of the problem is that a modern media rarely wishes to cover any position which embraces the ’L’ word. So I ask that if you are among an urban populace puzzled by the lack of support you may receive for your issues from the country at large; who stands in defense of civil liberties; but does not appreciate the country’s resistance on issues related to the environment, health care, and education. This work is also for you. In it, let you find both footing and understanding.

The final part of the problem, which I seek to address here, is that people are so busy fighting from what they perceive to be their interests that they rarely stop to ask whether their position is correct.