Conspiracy 5/22: Save the rhinos

T he last male northern white rhinoceros, named Sudan, recently died. His daughter and granddaughter are the last of his species. Hundreds of thousands of the animals roamed African plains 100 years ago, but they were exterminated for their valuable horn. But this story makes no sense without context. Cows, pigs, and chickens aren’t wiped […]

And primates and tigers and elephants
and whales and…

By Mark Luedtke

The last male northern white rhinoceros, named Sudan, recently died. His daughter and granddaughter are the last of his species. Hundreds of thousands of the animals roamed African plains 100 years ago, but they were exterminated for their
valuable horn.

But this story makes no sense without context. Cows, pigs, and chickens aren’t wiped out for their valuable meat. Because they’re valuable, they thrive in capitalist economies ordered by property rights. The missing context explaining the extinction of the rhinos
is socialism.

The socialist conservation problem, called the tragedy of the commons, is well-understood. If you don’t understand it, Wikipedia explains it well. Yet around the world people still try to conserve resources with socialism, which results in disaster.

Socialism destroys the environment. Intellectual analysis told us that all along, but the whole world saw it when the Berlin Wall fell. Behind it was a blighted environmental hellhole. Germans fled filthy, impoverished East Germany, subsequently cleaned up, for clean, wealthy West Germany

Socialism led to the extinction of innumerable species of animals and threatens many more. Because analysis and observation have proven this, anybody who advocates socialism to protect the animals or the environment is either stupid or evil.

Yet it’s the only method the leftist media entertains.

In contrast, Daniel Fernández Méndez explains why capitalism is good for the environment. “Greater economic freedom entails greater development, which in turn leads to greater environmental quality because consumers demand it,” he writes. “Furthermore, the protection of property rights ensures that environmental externalities are minimized. This view relates to economics and study programs that combine economics and environmentalism.”

If entrepreneurs destroy the environment, they can no longer profit from it. The profit motive leads to conservation. Furthermore, in more economically free countries, because consumers can afford it, they demand a cleaner environment. Since consumers control capitalist economies, producers must meet their demands.

Méndez examines data and concludes, “With the data analyzed, we can see that capitalism suits the environment. The greater the economic freedom, the better the environmental quality indexes. The ‘cleaner’ countries do not export their pollution by relocating companies. In fact, ‘cleaner’ countries do not even invest in the
‘dirtiest’ countries.”

Fortunately for all of us, heroic entrepreneurs invest in saving endangered species. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas invites you to visit their baby southern white rhino born on February 17. Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary dedicates 173 acres to over forty rescued big cats and other endangered species. The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado contains over 450 animals on its more than 9,000 acres.

Smaller facilities fund the rescue and breeding of endangered species with expensive hunts. Reuters exemplifies leftist hypocrisy on the issue. “Hunting associations say these ranches help to conserve endangered animals that would otherwise become extinct—because as long as ranch owners are making money on these threatened animals, they will keep breeding them. Animal rights advocates challenge this logic on the basis that the animals are bred to be killed—and view these hunters as cruel, lazy and cowardly,” writes Lena Masri.

Cows are bred to be killed, and they’re not in danger of going extinct. Every creature on Earth is born to die. This criticism shows leftists are really against capitalism, not for saving species.

A bigger crisis looms in the oceans. Because of the tragedy of the commons, fisheries are being overfished the same way rhinos were overhunted. The UN estimates Asia could run out of fish by 2048. The date is probably exaggerated, but if nothing changes, fisheries around the world will collapse like dominoes in the next few decades.

The solution is obvious. The long-established legal and moral practice of homesteading unclaimed resources should be applied to fisheries. The people who fish them should be granted ownership as privately-held businesses. Shares should be allocated by how long people have fished them and how great their catch has been historically. The people who depend on those fish and know them best will preserve and grow the resource to maximize profit for the future, benefiting everyone.

But we have to get governments out of the way. They ban ivory, making it more profitable to poach elephants and rhinos. Governments wage war on private zoos, reducing the market value of endangered animals. Their treaties prevent fisheries from being privately owned, sustained, and grown over time. They drain aquifers and lakes which should be homesteaded too.

If you really care about the environment, embrace capitalism, private property rights, and homesteading.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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