Paul Krugman is at it again with a stunningly ignorant NYT op-ed on libertarians and the environment, “Phosphorus and Freedom.” As the author of a book on the libertarian perspective on environmental policy, I would like to respond.
comes into the picture in the form of agricultural runoff that pollutes
Lake Erie, recently making the Toledo water supply temporarily
undrinkable. Krugman blames this kind of thing on libertarians, who, he
says, endorse an idea of freedom that includes the freedom to pollute
one’s neighbor’s water supply.
Sadly, Krugman’s knowledge of the
libertarian position on environmental economics seems to be limited to
what he hears on talk radio and what he reads on conservative web sites
like Red State.
That is problem No. 1: Krugman pretends not to understand the
difference between conservatism and libertarianism. He should start by
reading Friedrich Hayek’s classic essay “Why I am Not a Conservative,” but maybe he can’t tear himself away from Red State.
to Krugman, libertarians believe that “anyone who worries about the
environment is engaged in scare tactics to further a big-government
agenda.” In truth, real libertarians care very much about environmental
issues. They just see them through a different lens than Krugman does. >>>Read more