Let’s leave out the fact that the government, with all its massive programs and subsidies, is by far the most damaging to any “environmental” interest.
The environmentalists are anti-corporation, anti-private property.
But it seems to me that in a free market without the enormity of regulations and EPA standards there are two basic scenarios: a) the corporation itself owns the land and “environment” surrounding its operations or b) the surrounding area belongs to someone else. In the former case, it is in the self-interest of the corporation to make sure that its own property is suitable for long-term productivity. Without the resources, it cannot make money. In the latter case, there is a property-rights issue at stake which, under the principle that it is a crime for someone to breach the person or property of another, would prevent the corporation from doing potential damage. Damage would result in a lawsuit.
Thus the great pre-emptive nature of the Enviro-fascist (as I like to call them when I think I’m a “pretty funny guy once you get to know me”) vision is unneeded. Personally, I am far more interested in the increased productivity and economic benefits of corporate activity (in the free-market) than I am about the environment. People > nature.
The leftist counter to my claim that “damage would result in a lawsuit” might be this: well then how come so many corporations can get away with damaging others’ property today?
This makes an important mistake regarding the structure of today’s fascist system: the government does not enforce property rights for the victims of its friends. Is this not the great lesson of the nature of the State?
Government, not the corporation, is the source of the moral hazard.