Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site.
Last updated 06/20/10.
Libertarians are often grotesquely anti-environmental in terms of
regulation. (Though some do like market-oriented pollution rights.)
They frequently repeat anti-environmental propaganda. In addition,
they generally reject all government interest in population control.
Population: Delusion and Reality
Amartya Sen's sensible consideration of government solutions to
overpopulation problems. Refutes notions of "laissez-faire" being
the best policy. This is treated at much greater length in his
Development As Freedom.
With Liberty and Justice for Some
by Ernest Partridge. An excellent, short, big-picture criticism of
libertarianism. It first criticizes libertarianism in
general, and then with respect to environmental problems.
by Ernest Partridge. Exposure of Julian Simon's Corunucopian
follies as invalid due to basic ignorance of ecological principles,
atmospheric science, and thermodynamics.
Environmental Justice and "Shared Fate"
by Ernest Partridge. A refutation of libertarian dismissals of
fair compensation for environmental injustice.
The importance of the current extinction crisis.
Two extropian libertarians didn't think extinctions were important, and
thought libertarianism was the answer. Mike Huben explains it to them.
Correcting anti-environmental myths.
Jim Norton's terrific catalog of rebuttals to specific
anti-environmental literature and its fallacies.
Lies, Damned Lies and the Litany
Jim Norton's large collection of hostile reviews of Bjorn Lomborg's
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World.
Lomborg's book is a classic example of accusing opponents
(environmentalists) of one's own sins. It's a piece of brownlash
propaganda that takes a severe and well-deserved drubbing.
Eban Goodstein and Hart Hodges'
The American Prospect
article that documents overestimated costs of environmental
regulation by all sides and explains why regulation has always been
much cheaper than expected, even by proponents.
Earth in the Balance Sheet: Economists go for the green.
"... I would be hard pressed to think of a single economist not
actually employed by an anti-environmental lobbying operation who
believes that the United States should protect the environment less,
not more, than it currently does."
The Hooey School has its points on the environment, but...
by Molly Ivins. She takes Julian Simon to task.
Capitalism, Right Libertarianism and the problem of "externalities?"
Gary Elkin's brief explanation of the problems capitalism causes for
The Village Voice's critique of Interior Secretary Gale Norton, with
predictions of how she will abuse her power for libertarian purposes.
A Critical Assessment of "Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths".
The Cato Institute, heavily funded by tobacco companies, hired Levy and
Marimont to denounce statistics about smoking related deaths. This
article refutes their key arguments, finding them unscientific and
Takings: Rhetoric, Not Substance
Professor F. Patrick Hubbard presents the big picture of takings,
showing that the issues are not as presented by the takings ideologues.
Where the Public Good Prevailed
article detailing public health successes in lead, fluoride, and
Efficiency, Sustainability, and Access Under Alternative
Elinor Ostrom provides a broad introduction to and overview of the
factors that make some managed commons successful and more practical
than private property. Essential reading.
Varieties Of Institutional Failure
James Acheson describes failures of resource management by markets,
private property, government, and communal management. Libertarian
emphasis on the first two only is inappropriate.
The Tradable Permits Approach to Protecting the Commons: What Have We Learned?
Tom Tietenberg provides an overview which shows how despite their market
gloss, tradable permits are a sophisticated government program, and
privatization in a very limited sense.
Sixteen Myths About Population: Part 2 - The Belief That Population
Growth Poses No Threat
Refutes two common libertarian claims: "population growth stimulates
economic growth" and "technology will solve all problems".
Rethinking the Think Tanks
article detailing the corporate financing of anti-environmental
propaganda from thinktanks like Cato.
I think I despise anti-environmentalists as much as I do anti-evolutionists.
P. Z. Meyers (of
fame) presents a really good story about "deranged libertarian
right-wing anti-environmentalist science deniers." Not a straw man:
we've all seen their work at CATO and other locations.
The Denialists' Deck of Cards: An Illustrated Taxonomy of Rhetoric Used to Frustrate Consumer Protection Efforts
Chris Jay Hoofnagle details the public relations methodology of CATO and
other anti-consumer, business-funded organizations. Count how many of
these you've heard on your favorite topic: global warming, for example.
The Man Who Wants To Northern Rock The Planet
Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist is telling the rich what they want to hear
Matt Ridley joins the ranks of cornucopian libertarians with a similarly
error-ridden and cherry-picked set of arguments.
Matt Ridley: Optimism without limits
Liz Else, associate editor at
shows skepticism of the Rational Optimist. Follow the link to the
experts criticisms where failed banker Ridley defends himself by
claining the experts are in it for the money: a standard denialist
tactic from policy entrepreneurs who ARE in it for the money.
Serial Mistake-Makers on Climate Change (Part I): On Matt Ridley and Bjorn Lomborg
Serial Mistake-Makers on Climate Change (2)
Howard Friel, who wrote The Lomborg Deception, points out the
weak basis of the arguments in Matt Ridley's :
a circle jerk of industry-funded pseudoscience PR and bad references.
The links here are to
Amazon.com, through their associates program, primarily because of the
review information. Books without links are generally out of print,
and can often be easily found at
AddAll Used and Out Of Print Search.
Good sites for bargain shopping for sometimes expensive new books are
Online Bookstore Price Comparison
AddAll Book Search and Price Comparison.
Both of those list applicable coupons. Another is
John R. E. Bliese
"The Greening of Conservative America"
A conservative refutes common conservative anti-environmental claims that are
much parroted by libertarians.
Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber
"Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With
Details of the public relations and brownlash manipulations of CATO, Steven
Milloy, and others.
Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
This document may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes if it is reproduced in its textual entirety, with this notice intact.