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    Earth Day Special: Private Property Protects the Environment

    This Sunday marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. Over the years, the day has become more focused on political activism and less on personal decisions that individuals can make to help the environment. Hundreds of thousands of self-identified environmentally-conscious people travel to Washington, DC to demand that the federal government act to “protect” the environment.

    Most of these activists want the government to impose more environmental regulations on businesses. But many of them fail to realize that big businesses are also lobbying for regulations to reduce CO2 emissions. Big businesses often pretend to be environmentally-friendly but their underhanded motives aren’t as pure. They know full well that strict environmental regulations will close down many small businesses which will result in less competition in the market place. Big businesses despise competition from the little guys.

    Major corporations are not the worst polluter on the planet. The title goes to the U.S. Federal Government. According to blogger W.E. Messamore,

    The federal government is the single largest consumer of energy with 500,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles. In 2009 alone, the government’s bill for utilities and fuel totaled $24 billion, so it’s no surprise that the government’s carbon footprint is 123.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.

    123.2 million metric tons! How could anyone trust the largest polluter on the face of the Earth to protect the environment?

    Please. There is no denying that the environment isn’t in the best shape. Pollution, trash, and air smog are major environmental problems. Regardless of political affiliation, we all want clean air and clear water. But the government is not the solution to achieve these ends.

    The key to protecting the environment is private property rights. People tend to take better care of their land when they own it. They have an incentive to conserve and improve their resources over time.

    Government owned land is a different story. The same incentives do not exist for "public" land. Most public parks are covered with trash and debris. Nearly all rivers and bays owned by the government are extremely polluted. This is because no one has a vested interest in taking care of the land.

    True environmentalists should advocate for private property rights, not more government intervention.

    5 comments
    Monk Mann
    04/22/2013

    Actually, private property can only protect the environment to such an extent. If the owner decides to sell or use the property for other means, then he can't be stopped.

    It's also possible that the reason why government-owned land is used for debris is because there's no other place to dump refuse.

    Ed Brady
    04/21/2012

    The climate has and will always change regardless of human activities. There is no standard for non-climate change. Humans have had the luxury of mild climate for 8 thousand years and now think it is some kind of entitlement. There is no climate welfare. The climate will probably change radically colder in the near future and we will need all energy resources and technologies available to survive when that time comes. How will it help to have costly government regulations draining human energy and savings that could better be spent advancing methods for our survival during the coming cold?

    There is no need to be concerned about global warming.

    The present global warming started approximately 25 thousand years ago and is about to end as a new ice-age begins.

    http://www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/New_Data/

    The “Vostok Ice Core Data” indicates that long before the industrial age, temperature change caused an 800 year delayed change in the atmospheric CO2 level and that was misinterpreted to be the cause of the temperature change. It was not.

    According to the Vostok data the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is 380 ppm = 0.038% = 0.00038 and is a very small proportion. The difference between natural and man made CO2 is less than 0.008% = 0.00008 and probably has as much influence on the earths temperature as its magnitude suggests.

    If the periodic temperature cycling is as consistent today as it has been for the last 450 thousand years in the Vostok data, an ice-age is due to start soon and it has nothing to do with human activity or the 0.038% of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Now you can be alarmed about the new ice-age instead.

    Ed
    Equestrian Support Specailist

    christian kowalski
    04/20/2012

    500000 buildings - more proof that the monstrous Washington Machine needs to be drastically trimmed.

    Brian_R
    04/23/2012

    From the graph "Data 1" in your link, it looks like the temperature isn't affected by C02 concentrations because of the large spike in CO2 without a corresponding reaction in temperature in the ice core extractions. This spike in the CO2 level is from the increased use of fossil fuels over the past 150 years during the industrial revolution; therefore, human activity has caused a very noticeable increase in C02. This spike is way bigger than any other part of the graph over the past 420,000 years.

    The article states that the reason why the temperature hasn't reacted correspondingly during this "spike" in this graph is probably because of the oceans acting as a heat sink which delays the increase in atmospheric temperatures. They also say, "there are recent indications that the oceans are now warming, which will reduce their ability to act as a heat sink" so, we do need to be concerned about human influence in climate change.

    Another important point from the next page is that these ice core samples were take from Antarctica which is in the southern hemisphere. The article points out that the southern hemisphere is less affected by global temperatures than the northern hemisphere which makes these core samples even less reliable: "It seems the northern hemisphere is affected more by global temperature changes than the southern hemisphere."

    Even stronger evidence of human activity influencing climate change occurs on the next page. If you look at the graphs on this page www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/Closer_Look/index.html, you'll see that there is a correlation between C02 and other greenhouse gases, and the Earth's climate. These graphs are more accurate because they are taken from air measurements and not from ice cores: "After 1958, the data are from annual air measurements, not ice core proxies, and are therefore of higher quality." The graphs show that the exponential increase in CO2 from fossil fuels during the past 150 years during the industrial revolution is highly correlated to temperature increases.

    It's clear in these articles that the writer believes that human activity does affect climate change and that we should be concerned: "As Wallace Broecker likes to say, the Earth's climate system is "an angry beast" and one that we should not be poking with sticks, which of course is exactly what we are doing with all our carbon dioxide and other GTG (greenhouse trace gas) emissions."

    Ed Brady
    04/21/2012

    The climate has and will always change regardless of human activities. There is no standard for non-climate change. Humans have had the luxury of mild climate for 8 thousand years and now think it is some kind of entitlement. There is no climate welfare. The climate will probably change radically colder in the near future and we will need all energy resources and technologies available to survive when that time comes. How will it help to have costly government regulations draining human energy and savings that could better be spent advancing methods for our survival during the coming cold?

    There is no need to be concerned about global warming.

    The present global warming started approximately 25 thousand years ago and is about to end as a new ice-age begins.

    http://www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/New_Data/

    The “Vostok Ice Core Data” indicates that long before the industrial age, temperature change caused an 800 year delayed change in the atmospheric CO2 level and that was misinterpreted to be the cause of the temperature change. It was not.

    According to the Vostok data the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is 380 ppm = 0.038% = 0.00038 and is a very small proportion. The difference between natural and man made CO2 is less than 0.008% = 0.00008 and probably has as much influence on the earths temperature as its magnitude suggests.

    If the periodic temperature cycling is as consistent today as it has been for the last 450 thousand years in the Vostok data, an ice-age is due to start soon and it has nothing to do with human activity or the 0.038% of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Now you can be alarmed about the new ice-age instead.

    Ed
    Equestrian Support Specailist