Saturday, July 4, 2009
Why Do Conservatives Hate the Environment?
I am trying to figure this out. It seems that conservatives in general take the tack of "exploit, use-up, its your right to use your property as you wish regardless of consequences to others." Reading a recent article in the NY Times, I was struck that the conservative justices always side with the companies. Once of the greatest problems with the capitalist economic system is that it is virtually incapable of regulating externalities. Attempts to regulate these externalities end up much of the time being struck down by the courts or by conservative governments. They argue that it is bad for business and violates people's property rights. I fail to recognize how making people accountable for the damage they cause violates anyone's rights, and I think that the true cost of making any product should be charged to the business. If we need to make them competitive, charge environmental tariffs to environmentally damaging goods imported here. All in all, I believe that the environment is vital for our continued health as a society (and as a species) and the constant aversion to environmental regulation based on short-term complaints is absurd.