's writeup above rather incorrectly states the position of the USA
's Libertarian Party
, and in doing so suggests a rather misleading answer to ximenez
's question. In the libertarian view, it is just as much a violation of your rights for Boner Chemical to poison you or despoil your crops as it would be for your business rival or the Mafia to do so. Poisoning, after all, is an initiation of violent force; libertarianism opposes initiations of violent force.
The following paragraphs are taken from the section on pollution in the Libertarian Party's platform, available from the L.P. Web site at http://www.lp.org/: (Hardlinks added.)
Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights. Present legal principles, particularly the unjust and false concept of "public property," block privatisation of the use of the environment and hence block resolution of controversies over resource use. We support the development of an objective legal system defining property rights to air and water. We call for a modification of the laws governing such torts as trespass and nuisance to cover damages done by air, water, radiation, and noise pollution.
Toxic waste disposal problems have been created by government policies that separate liability from property. Rather than making taxpayers pay for toxic waste clean-ups, individual property owners, or in the case of corporations, the responsible managers and employees, should be held strictly liable for material damage done by their property.
(Note that the word "property" in the second
paragraph is referring to the toxic waste
itself, not the land polluted by it. The platform goes on to condemn the idea that toxic waste owners can avoid responsibility
by abandoning their property.)
As you can see, libertarianism is not only compatible with the protection of the environment, but indeed lends itself to the task. Present United States policy fails to hold polluters responsible for their infringement of others' property rights. A libertarian government of the sort promoted by the L.P. would not, as Democrat and Republican administrations have, let polluters get away with their crimes and leave taxpayers with the clean-up bill.