65 votes

Liberals Shocked when out-debated on the Environment

I was recently on a back country skiing expedition. My group was staying at a communal back country cabin called Uncle Bud's Cabin. It's a 6 mile treck in and the cabin is located just below tree line at 11,380ft.

We met and made friends with another group staying at the cabin that was comprised of 4 friends celebrating there 60th birthdays. They were very interesting and good people, but fully stuck in the matrix. One was your typical bush defending "conservative", another a full blown liberal, and the other two somewhere in between, although they all believed in global warming.

As conversations sometimes do, ours ended up on politics. I sat back and mainly listened and asked questions. I usually don't try to associate myself with a label. I find that if you can do that you can really explain the philosophy without constantly fighting the stigma of someones particular stereotype.

I was able to establish some credibility amongst the group simply by asking good questions. They appreciated my perspective on foreign policy when I challenged them to view things from the shoes of others (specifically the Pakistani as was appropriate at that point in the conversation) and how we would feel if another country was meddling in our politics as much as we do in theirs.

Then one of my friends announced that I was a libertarian and suddenly my roll of asking the questions was gone and many of the questions came my way.

I was first challenged on public lands as they were popular amongst the group and we were all out enjoying the beauty of this national forest. I explained the tragedy of the commons and they were mildly satisfied, but the show stopper came when I explained the libertarian stance on pollution. This is what I said:

"Libertarians don't believe in regulations because they are too weak. Regulations essentially say that a certain amount of pollution is acceptable and the costs of that acceptable amount would be spread throughout society. I believe that the polluter should pay the full cost of the pollution"

They were intrigued and asked how you could do that.

"It certainly isn't an easy issue, especially when you have pollutants that float around the air or through streams, but I can't imagine that it would be any harder than setting an arbitrary acceptable level and regulating that. The key to it all is a strict enforcement of property rights, but unfortunately long ago the courts ruled that your property rights can be infringed upon for "the greater good".

Then I followed up "as long as we accept this system of regulations large corporations will spend billions lobbying to get favorable regulations so that they can dump trillions of dollars worth of pollutants on us. If we made them pay the full costs of their operations including the cost of pollution they would, hopefully, use those resources to come up with innovative ways to actually reduce the amount they are polluting. The incentive structure would be in place to reward good behavior. With regulations the winners are the ones with the best lobbyists."

No one wanted to argue with that. They almost seemed perplexed that they agreed with this "radical" thinking. The biggest liberal in the group seemed very surprised that he was stuck with nothing to say, he simply said "well, at least you have thought this through. most libertarians I talk to just want to smoke weed and haven't thought about issues past that"

Another just said they completely agreed with it.

The conversation was good and went on to many other topics, and as we parted for the evening the bush defender said "well, I think I'm going to just vote straight libertarian next election". Winning.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Thank you for that story.

Thank you for that story.

I too have found that asking questions

seems to work better than trying to pound something into someone's head. Your response was great. I'm going to bookmark this post.

he simply said

"well, at least you have thought this through. most libertarians I talk to just want to smoke weed and haven't thought about issues past that"

I'm so sick of hearing this stupid line of BS... It just makes me want to scream!!

Since you have had this conversation and thought it through, can you explain to me why someone would think that supporting property rights would make one a racist? When discussing Ron Paul with someone a while back they insinuated that he was a racist based on that (and the newsletter thing they always fall back on)... it puzzled me as to what property rights had to do with racism so I wasn't sure how to respond to that.

Ron Paul convert from the Heart of Dixie

Because they don't understand

Because they don't understand core principles. They have no idea of the importance of property rights. The media plants idea's into peoples heads, and Ron Paul being racist is one of them. I usually attack this issue like this.

1st I tell them that it is the same property rights that would allow a black business owner to refuse business to the KKK.

On top of that most minorities I talk to say they would prefer to know if the owner is racist so that they could refuse to give them their service.

It seems to me like it is a very poor business decision so the only person that this helps is the racist business owner who is prevented from going out of business due to his own idiocy.

Great points made here

Great points made here

A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.

If private property rights

If private property rights were to be strictly enforced, any business owner could disallow certain races or groups of people from entering their private place of business. After all, it is their property, right?? So some people choose to associate strict enforcement of property rights with racism.

A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.


If it was discovered, by most of us, that a business worked that way, we would also have the right to not use them. Being part native American (full blooded native American great great grandma got her census to say "white"...lol), Irish, and who knows whatever, I could be offended by many people who, historically hated us. Oh, I was Catholic, in the past, too. KKK did not like them! As we all progress in our advancement in our thoughts, our world gets better! Like MLK, I long for the day that men are judged, only, by their character, not by skin pigmentation (or on which side of the tracks they were born).

it's not racism, it's

it's not racism, it's preference.

Brilliant and STRONG Kung Fu!


What would the Founders do?

Love it!!!

...and I work in Vail. You were pretty close?

"The only thing we die with is our own personal integrity!" LRH
Vail, CO
Freedom and Liberty for Eagle County, Colorado. www.flecc.org

really close

I was just outside leadville.

I love vail, one of my favorite mountains.

How's your season been?