Conservative approach to climate change comes up against tradition

A decade ago Idaho farm groups were pushing takings legislation that would have required state regulators to reimburse farmers when their regulations forced them to give up value in their operations.

If a rule, for instance, limited them to 2,000 head of cattle in an area where they had previously had 2,500, the state would have to make up the difference. Critics argued at the time that since the state could not afford the regulatory cost they simply would allow the 2,500 cattle even if there were water quality, air quality or simply smell issues.

At the same time the same farm groups were pushing what is now called “right to farm” laws which prevented neighbors of farming operations to file nuisance suits if they believed their own property rights were threatened by their neighbor’s operations. These two initiatives, aimed at preventing limits on traditional agricultural practices, presented an ideological conflict for liberty-loving Idahoans.

Most agreed with the takings legislation, which, by the way, never passed. But they never fought as hard against the “right to farm” laws, which have gone into effect. As often is the case, traditional values trumped strict ideology.

The principle that a neighbor can file a nuisance suit when his health or safety on his own property is threatened by others is more than 400 years old and at the heart of property rights law internationally. Most environmental protection law is based on this concept.

Part of the reason that legislation limiting nuisances suits has been popular is that traditional natural resource practices are valued in our society. And the tradeoff between reasonable regulation and property rights to replace individual suits has been accepted as the nuisances have become more complex and come from often thousands of miles away.

It is in this light that conservative commentator Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law talks about climate change. He writings in a guest opinion posted on The Atlantic , that he now is convinced that the climate is changing and that human activity is at least partially responsible.

He is arguing that conservatives like himself who believe that climate change is a nuisance rather than a catastrophe should not ignore those places where it will have impacts, like Bangladesh. There large portions of the country may be inundated if the oceans rise within the levels predicted in the next century.

He is asking that conservatives consider the same legal concepts that requires forest owners to pay their neighbors when they start a fire on their property and it spreads to the other’s forest. Alder makes a lot of other arguments designed to offer a conservative alternative to addressing climate change.

But like the neighbors of farming operations in Idaho, his ideologically based views are, for the near future, fighting up stream against tradition.

Award Winning

"The principal that a neighbor can file a nuisance suit... "

Rock, the only award you deserve is "Worst Paid Writer in the World".

You stink.
Your boss should be fired too.

All better

Oh yeah, like fixing that one thing makes it better. There are lots of other errors here Rock. You can't polish a trd. So why even make the "update"?

Here's the point- If you don't know how to spell basic words and don't care enough to stop and make sure your s* is correct, chances are you don't care enough to stop and consider what you are writing about- that means chances are your s* doesn't make sense, is wrong, or a flat out lie.
Proof is in the blog.

Um, Pimpster?

What is it between you and Rock? Everyday you're the first poster on here and laying the beat-down to the Rock. What did he do to you? Beat you for 1st grade class president? Kick sand in your face at the beach? Steal your 3rd grade girlfriend? Musta been something!


It's funny that some people think that.

What happens in Bangladesh in a hundred years.....

Sure has me motivated to live a "cooler" life to prevent the sea levels from rising. Live cool for Bangladesh - Yes We Can!

We get it; you don't care about anyone but yourself...

"All the same we take our chances, laughed at by pride; tricked by circ*mstances." Neil Peart

Look here brother...

Who you jivin with that Cosmic Debris?


Now what kind of guru are YOU?

Is George Harrison coming back?


You fry wants with that?

I don't know that the

I don't know that the hypocritical actions of the farmers are any different than what others are doing, especially environmentalists. They are all seeking ways to protect themselves and their industries, some at the expense of others. Is this any surprise to anyone? I disagree with you that most environmental protection law is based on the concept of property rights laws. Environmentalists are much more inclined to violate private property rights than anyone else.

Everyone Agrees...

that some regulation is neeed. That has never been the bone of contention. How much is the issue. When it comes to climate change and whether man kind is the cause of it all, then we have trouble. The real issue is whether we are the cause and if so by doing what and how much. That debate has been essentially stonewalled by those who say the debate is over and their side won and there is nothing more to discuss even to the point where dissenter's careers have been assulted. Logic tells us when one side demagogues an issue then they have something to hide. Corrupt scientists and politcal shenannigans tell us the old saw is right on and could not be more right. The BIGGEST of fish in that pond have made billions selling the climate change story and that alone is enough to cause suspicion. Climate change is now approaching that of an urban myth and its proponant's credibility is in doubt.

And you don't think deniers make money at this too?

Murdock, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and others are making a fortune off selling contrarian views, half-truths, outright lies and conservative demagogic opinion. You don't think the companies that stand to lose profits if greater controls on pollution and energy sources are restricted are motivated to fund those who would willingly cast doubt for a buck?

If you think scientists that believe there is a basis for global warming are only out for the money, you should be casting an eye towards those who would challenge such science. They have far more to gain and lose depending on the outcome of this issue.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

I'm waiting for that dammed MONOLITH before I up and die Jim!


You fry wants with that?