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# 12 Ron Paul is the most GREEN Candidate

September 16, 2012

Here is another important area where people have been dangerously and tragically misled. It has been the goal of the political establishment to discredit Ron Paul’s environmental stances through organizations such as the League of Conservation Voters and Republicans for Environmental Protection, who rate lawmakers’ voting records according to what THEY consider environmentally responsible: bureaucratic/legislative solutions. Paul is not surprisingly rated the lowest by these groups.

In a similar manner to how they characterized his views on issues such as welfare, Paul’s positions on environmental protection have been distorted and used to alienate him, making him appear radical or heartless, when he’s actually just being logical. It breaks my heart that so many have been convinced that Ron Paul doesn’t care about the earth or believe in global warming, or that he wants to take away our national forests so they can be developed and polluted by private businesses.

Once again all of these perceptions are completely backwards and false, but it’s been easy to mislead the public, because it’s another case of someone offering alternative approaches that address root causes, as opposed to the popular approaches condoned by big business and the political establishment (not sure why I still list those separately), which actually do nothing at all aside from helping big businesses dominate the market. Paul’s ideas APPEAR to run counter to green values, because they are unconventional and deliberately avoided and mischaracterized, but what he is offering is actually most effective approach.

Ron Paul understands that the most important and effective way to protect the environment is to restore and protect individual liberties and property rights. I know that sounds odd, but its something we’ve done an absolutely terrible job of for about the last 150 years, and this is the main reason there’s so much environmental destruction today. This argument usually makes environmentalists and conservationists uncomfortable because they’re use to big polluters and developers, who interpret “property rights” as being allowed to practice business however they want to without regulatory interference. Ron Paul pointed out very explicitly on Jay Leno that “this is where a lot of libertarians slip up,” explaining that property rights are actually supposed to protect the environment; if an energy company is polluting the environment, poisoning our air and water, causing acid rain etc, they are being destructive to individuals and private property. If a person’s body is effected by pollution, his/her rights as an individual are being violated.

We are free as individuals to not be harmed or poisoned. People can harm and poison themselves all they want, but if their pollutants are having ANY kind of effect on other people or their properties, they should be able to do what they use to: file for an injunction in court and have it stopped immediately. This was how it worked before the 1850’s when the government adopted a new practice of allowing companies to violate property rights for whatever they wanted to collaboratively define as “the public good,” ie: manufacturing and economic growth.

When this practice began, it became virtually impossible for farmers or property owners to fight against big businesses that were abusing their rights and destroying their land. The courts began ignoring complaints because they were on the side of the corporations who would do as they pleased with full control over the definition of -the public good-. Today they can even position their argument from an environmental stand point, literally stealing land from people WITHOUT paying them a dime, because it’s supposedly a wetland, or home to an endangered species and needs to be protected.

This shouldn’t be an issue because, under the constitution, if a privately owned land has to be seized by the government for the protection of natural resources or any other public good, that property falls under the category of eminent domain, and the state must pay the property owner its full market value. But as usual, federal regulations paved the way for institutions to trample all over this rule and do as they please. More importantly, even if the government was forced to pay for the land it steals, it has never been about the stated purpose of protecting public lands and so on.

Case in point, while I am very passionate about protecting endangered species (coming from a family of the most fierce conservationists you will ever meet), the Endangered Species Act itself was nothing more than a crony capitalist bill created under Nixon, for the purpose of controlling land for BUSINESS. If you research the bill, you will find a number of species included that are not even endangered, because these types of regulations have nothing to do with endangered spices, wetlands or otherwise. They are strictly about government owning land, not to protect, but to lease it out to large corporations for timber production, mineral extraction, grazing, FRACKING, or whatever is most profitable, once again rigging the system for big businesses to maintain their competitive advantage over small businesses, and not having to a single penalty for their pollution or destruction of the land.

That is the fundamental problem with government owing land, which brings us to the issue of national forests. There are certainly a few national forests that are well preserved, but they’re nothing compared to the hundreds of miles of restricted forest land, which only big businesses are allowed to access for their own wasteful and destructive purposes, along with military and atomic bases and testing sites, subsidized corporate crops such as corn and wheat, destruction of lands for federal highways and so on.

If national forests and lands where owned by private parties and institutions, they would have a PRICE INCENTIVE to respect property rights and it would be in their economic interest to preserve and protect the land for as long as possible. When citizens can once again have the protection of their property rights and individual freedoms enforced, it will not be financially sound for businesses to abuse them, as they will no longer be protected by the corporate-federal regulations. Then the problem will go away and this is how the pricing system in free market is supposed to operate. It’s designed to phase out its own deficiencies over time, but the federal government has interfered and taken this ability away by removing the market entirely.

Why is it that there are still so many plastic products and materials such as Styrofoam when it would be so easy to manufacture bio-degradable alternatives? Because the government nationalized the waste disposal industry and it doesn’t cost anything to pollute! If the industry were privatized, a person would buy a piece of land to enter the business and create a landfill, l and then they would have a vested interest in protecting that piece of land forever. That means all of the garbage brought to the landfill would have to be environmentally friendly, and the landfill owner would have to charge a hefty fee for the inclusion of materials such as plastic and Styrofoam.

It would now really cost something to pollute, and the cost would then circle around back to consumers as they would start being charged to use paper over plastic, as it will now cost something to dispose of it. Naturally the consumers would choose the alternative, and the market for plastic bags would disappear. Gradually our stores would begin to fill up with environmentally friendly products instead. The federal government prevents this from happening, buy taking away the ability to have a market and a pricing system that allows the consumers to control the markets with their purchasing habits.

The government also bears some responsibility when it comes to oil spills, because when they occur in -public waters- the only fee they are required to pay is the value of the ship itself and the cargo, but not all of the terrible destruction that it creates in the territory. Does anyone else see something wrong with this? Don’t we agree that they should have to pay more? If it occurred in private waters, the penalties would be far more severe, and they would be directly responsible to the people of that land.

Furthermore, oil ships have preventative measures they can take, such as adding an outer haul (or layer) around their tanks. If one layer gets pierced, alarms sound, and the hole gets patched before an oil spill can ever occur. But this is very expensive, so the price of an oil spill doesn’t outweigh the price of adding a second haul. If someone like Exxon had to pay for their actual damage, they would have an unquestionable economic incentive to do the right thing and avoid this situation in the first place. As long as there are conditions that create incentives to do the wrong thing, the wrong things will always continue, and that applies to everything.

These are the reasons that Ron Paul does not believe in centralized bureaucratic federal solutions. THEY DESTROY THE ENVIRONEMENT and are plagued with waste and corruption. They also fail to factor in regionally specific conditions or micro-climates, which might be better served by the policies of that particular land. Ron Paul believes in local decision making because the people of a specific region are the ones who have the best understanding of their resources and have the most at stake in how those resources are managed, as they directly affect their lives. The federal government should get out of the business of environmental policy, allow states to democratically decide their own regulations and go back to simply protecting property rights and individual liberties because THAT is what prevents the most actual destruction. Is this starting to make sense yet?

We really could reverse the rampant destruction of the earth this way. Businesses could actually benefit from adopting improved eco-friendly practices. Some states would do better than others of course, but the most successful would lead by example, and progress would finally occur in the sprawling manner that it’s supposed to occur in. When states are allowed the freedom to control their own policies, the people have more power, because it’s far easier to change bad regulations at the state level. This also gives the people more power through the ability to “vote with their feet.” If one state’s not getting it right, I can move to another state that is, and I know that state will be different because it’s going to have its own independent policies that could better match my values. This would put more pressure on states to evolve and improve with the people so they continue to live there and help their economy.

Federal regulations PREVENT this, OK? That’s not just a libertarian fetish. The government (because of it corporate ties) is proven ineffective on this as we saw with ethanol, when it they subsidized corn farming at our expense to promote the use of bio-fuels, only to find out it’s completely inefficient. The result was an increase in the price of food and the crowding out of real alternative energy. Hemp would actually provide the most efficient ethanol, but thanks to the federal government, hemp production is illegal so there’s been no progress on that front. But there are so many alternative energy options we should be exploiting today, and OBVIOUSLY the government is not intent on helping us do that.

Why do people have to be convinced of this? Electric cars have been possible for nearly 4 decades, and we got to the moon within 10 years of stating that objective. Are you going to tell me we can’t have electric cars? The government has failed miserably in this category and we would be living in a very different world today if alternative energy was truly a part of corporate/political agenda in this country.

So how about this for an idea… How about we END subsidies for oil companies and NEVER AGAIN go to war to protect oil-related interests. That is what Ron Paul advocates to save the environment, because it would result in the price of oil rising to what it’s supposed to be, creating MARKET INCENTIVES for alternative energy sources. Let the oil and dirty energy markets self destruct and allow us to finally evolve and make progress in these areas that have been hindered for so long by corporate/political institutions. Stop believing that government will help us with this. And don’t be afraid or put off by the idea of looking to the market for better solutions, dirty as that sounds.

Numerous conservation and wildlife organizations such as Duck’s Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy have done so, purchasing hundreds and thousands of acres of wetlands and wilderness, through voluntary contributions, to preserve important habitats and protect their ecosystems; as opposed to letting the government own it and lease it out to destructive companies only concerned about their bottom lines. In one of these instances, oil was discovered on the lands purchased by the Audubon Society. It technically would have been within their rights not to allow the extraction of the oil on their private property, but instead they actually allowed it, participating to make sure the wildlife wasn’t affected, and then they used the money from the oil company to buy thousands of additional acres to protect for future generations and the health of the planet.

Another major issue that’s become is global warming, which Ron Paul DOES believe is real. He has NEVER stated otherwise, although he has been vocal about how it has been used as a globalist scheme. It’s not a question of whether climate change is real or fake, or dangerous, at this point. It is a question of how much we contribute and what we needs to be done. There are credible voices on every side of this discussion. Environmentalists generally get angry when they hear this, but only because of how “green movements” are been co-opted and derailed by all of the usual interests. I use to react angrily to opposing arguments about this too, until I realized that many of those who argue that we’re not the top contributors, are not against taking action and do not argue against the fact we are destroying the planet.

I’ve heard many climate change “skeptics” state that the way we’ve used our natural resources is a disaster, and that there are many reasons to stop using oil. Peak Oil, for example, shows us that we’ve used up over half of the world’s petroleum. Once extraction has reached the maximum rate, production will terminally decline. Eventually the price of oil will spike too high for anyone to afford, triggering a rapid collapse of industrial civilization as we know it. This is a very important reason to address oil use regardless of global warming, but I’m sure those two things will work together nicely.

It’s unfortunate that corporate scientists and PR firms distort these varying perspectives to lump everyone together with those who do not care about the environment. What a fabulous job of shutting down the discussion and making people not want to listen to each other. But what is far damning is that the issue of global warming itself has been co-opted by big business. It’s a way to make obscene profits and advance globalism through the use of carbon taxes etc. This results in added confusion around the already complicated issue and encourages the idea that the Global Warming isn’t even real and doesn’t warrant serious discussion and research.

Personally I don’t know if how much people contribute to climate change, and frankly I don’t care. That isn’t the point. We have to stop using oil either way. As far as the reality is concerned, I’ve heard arguments against it such as the ice age theory. But there is a frightening inconsistency in weather patterns since the industrial revolution, so whether global warming began with us or not, I personally believe we are contributing, and rising sea-levels are an absolutely terrifying reality. Personally I’d rather err on the side of caution, and do what we can to address the issue.

Ron Paul agreed on Bill Maher’s Real Time, that we are definitely contributors to Global Warming, but then again so are volcanoes, which we can’t do anything about.  Then he added that we should still do what we can to reduce emissions. He repeats this point on his official website, where he offers more details about his stance on the issue and acknowledges both the evidence and the validity of the concerns about Global Warming. The goal is to reduce our emissions, and the answer to that lies not in the centralized power of a federal/corporate bureaucracy, but in a properly managed free market system, as counter-intuitive as that might sounds.

Yes there are those, namely on the right, who hate environmentalism because they don’t believe it’s important and it just gets in the way of profits, or worse, because they don’t believe environmentalism is a part of God’s plan, because come rapture time, the earth’s conditions will no longer matter. Ron Paul is the farthest thing from this, and do not make the mistake of thinking that anyone who has a differing view about global warming is one of these people. If someone presents a free market solution to our major environmental issues that actually works, is does not translate into a win for the anti-green right.

And so what? Why should it matter to us if the right solution comes from the market as opposed to the government? What difference does that make? Shouldn’t our concern just be about the environment? Who cares about all of the ideological associations of these distorted terms and entities, and who actually gives a damn which side has more of the blame at this point? We’re talking about monetary reform. It would allow the market to function properly, without all of the corruption that causes these problems. Why waste time fighting over things like the market vs the government, if there are alternate means of achieving our objectives? This is a good place to start my next chapter…

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