Author: Curtis Williams
In 1982, Murray Rothbard published a lengthy article titled “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution” which laid out a free-market, private-property-based approach to environmental issues. Discussing air pollution Rothbard concluded:
If A is causing pollution of B’s air, and this can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then this is aggression and it should be enjoined and damages paid.
In his view, the legal system, not government regulation, is responsible for solving environmental issues because:
In libertarian theory, it is only permissible to proceed coercively against someone if he is a proven aggressor, and that aggression must be proven in court (or in arbitration) beyond a reasonable doubt. Any statute or administrative regulation necessarily makes actions illegal that are not overt initiations of crimes or torts.
In reality, there is no such thing as “environmental issues.” There is only human conflict over the use of … Read the rest