Newly confirmed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would rather hop out of bed and ride a horse to work—which is what he did on his first full day in office on March 2.
Following the news of President Trump’s unpredictable first weeks in office is draining enough, imagine being part and parcel to the action? While some of Trump’s inner circle seems to derive energy from all the chaos and turmoil, it’s safe to say that most federal employees are sitting tight and probably losing sleep. Trump has proposed major cuts to a number of important domestic programs, and Congress isn’t providing much reassurance in the way of stability. It’s as if every day’s agenda is driven by Trump’s tweets, which are in turn driven by what’s on morning television. No wonder some of us would rather stay in bed.
Newly confirmed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would rather hop out of bed and ride a horse to work—which is what he did on his first full day in office on March 2. Zinke, who was confirmed by one of the most generous margins of the Trump administration, 68 to 31, was a U.S. representative from Montana before being nominated to his new post. He now leads a department that manages a fifth of the land in the United States, about 500 million surface acres, plus a lot more underground in the form of natural resources.
While Zinke is not an outright climate change denier in the vein of some of his Cabinet counterparts and has expressed his opposition to selling off federal lands—two highly controversial standpoints that have entered the GOP mainstream—liberals are worried that he will prioritize public land use and development over environmental conservation and biological diversity.
Once again, the Trump administration is stacking their cards in favor of the fossil fuel industry. Zinke is another climate science-denier with ties to Big Oil who won’t lift a finger for real climate action. His agenda will put communities in danger and, if the coal moratorium is lifted, would spell disaster for the climate. People across the country have been resisting the fossil fuel industry’s grasp on public lands for years, and we’ll continue fighting to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Greenpeace USA climate and energy campaigner Diana Best said that unlike Trump, “Zinke can string a coherent sentence together, but don’t be fooled. As Interior Secretary, Zinke will sell out the American people for corporate interests in no time, giving away more public lands to private development, undermining efforts to modernize the federal leasing program, and compromising the Interior’s charter to manage lands to serve the interests of all Americans.”
If Zinke is ruffled by the opposition, he hasn’t shown it. Since being confirmed, he’s made quick moves to give more agency to hunters and fishers on public lands. His first directive in office was to repeal an Obama administration directive that barred the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle in national parks and wildlife refuges. He also signed an order directing bureaus and agencies that manage federal land to look for ways to expand hunting, fishing, and recreation.
Over the past eight years “hunting, and recreation enthusiasts have seen trails closed and dramatic decreases in access to public lands across the board,” said Zinke in a statement. “It worries me to think about hunting and fishing becoming activities for the land-owning elite.”
That sounds like some Trumped-up populist rhetoric.
In a move likely to only increase environmental groups’ reservations about Zinke, on Monday he announced that the DOI will offer 73 million acres of offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development, saying that “opening more federal lands and waters to oil and gas drilling is a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy independent.”
Seemingly satisfied with these directives for the time being, on Tuesday, Zinke tweeted out a stream of photos of him settling into his new office. While everyone else was pulling their hair out over Trumpcare and Obama wiretapping accusations, Zinke was setting out his knife collection. Who’s jealous?
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.