Politics or Scholarship?

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The libertarian utopia of a society in which the individual is completely sovereign over his or her private domain would lead to an environmentalism so extreme that it would preclude human life. Nor is free market environmentalism really a libertarian solution: it is just a way of empowering state decisions on pollution.

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The environment is the libertarian Waterloo: it reveals the flaws of the doctrine in a way that seems to ensure that no "answer" is forthcoming. Rather than hoping for a miracle that would preserve their fundamentally political self-conception, perhaps the best thing libertarians can now do is put their dreams of changing the world on hold while they attempt simply to understand it.
Jeffrey Friedman, "Politics or Scholarship?Politics or Scholarship?"
The pricing of environmental goods that is generated by free-market environmentalist devices relies on an initial political determination of how much a given pollutant should be reduced. A government must first decide which pollutants to control, then by what amount, before it can know how many emissions permits to issue. The market in such permits does not replace politics; it supplements it by providing the most efficient means for achieving politically determined ends... free-market environmentalism is statist at its core.
Jeffrey Friedman, "Politics or Scholarship?Politics or Scholarship?"