Environmentalism and Economic Freedom: The Case for Private Property Rights

13 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2011

See all articles by Walter E. Block

Walter E. Block

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business

Date Written: July 21, 2011

Abstract

This paper shall attempt to reconcile environmentalism and economic freedom.

Before making this seemingly quixotic endeavor, we must be sure we are clear on both concepts. Environmentalism may be non controversially defined as a philosophy which sees great benefit in clean air and water, and to a lowered rate of species extinction. Environmentalists are particularly concerned with the survival and enhancement of endangered species such as trees, elephants, rhinos and whales, and with noise and dust pollution, oil spills, greenhouse effects and the dissipation of the ozone layer. Note, this version of environmentalism is a very moderate one. Moreover, it is purely goal directed. It implies no means to these ends whatsoever. In this perspective, environmentalism is, in principle, as much compatible with free enterprise as it is with its polar opposite, centralized governmental command and control.

Suggested Citation

Block, Walter E., Environmentalism and Economic Freedom: The Case for Private Property Rights (July 21, 2011). Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 17, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1892376

Walter E. Block (Contact Author)

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business ( email )

6363 St. Charles Avenue
Box 15, Miller 321
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
(504) 864-7944 (Phone)
(504) 864-7970 (Fax)

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