rand-paul-jon-stewart-environmental-protections

Rand Paul & Jon Stewart Explain Why Environmental Laws Are So Important (Video)

You may have heard something about the huge push in Congress to overturn or weaken some of our nation’s central environmental laws. Politicians want to pull back the scope of the Clean Air & Water Acts to allow polluters to skirt expensive upgrades to cleaner equipment and practices.

They argue that such regulations are an impediment to business, and with our weakened economy, we can’t afford to make corporations pay for their pollution. But how else would we safeguard the commons — the health of the population and the environment — from those companies’ pollution?

Last night, the Senate’s newest libertarian stalwart, Rand Paul of Kentucky, was Jon Stewart’s guest on the Daily Show, and surprisingly, they dedicated a large portion of their discussion to tackling this very issue (it really starts up about 1:50 in):

Now, the most important thing to keep in mind here is how Paul keeps repeating the refrain that “things are a lot better now” for the environment than they were in the 60s and before, but he fails to acknowledge that this is almost exclusively thanks to the extensive implementation of a series of powerful environmental laws: The Clean Water Act, the creation of the EPA, and the Clean Air Act.

Accounting for environmental protection is one of the biggest challenges that libertarians and free market fundamentalists face — there’s no good way to get businesses to pollute less, to safely dispose of waste, or to protect animal populations from their operations. There’s simply no market incentive for businesses do so; on the contrary, it’s usually cheaper for businesses to choose not to operate in an environmentally conscious manner. It’s not because businesses are nefarious, conniving greed-mongers, either — they may or may not be — it’s just that protecting the environment can only be measured as an impediment to their bottom lines, and thus doing so comes into direct friction with a capitalist system that has no built-in way of rewarding good environmental behavior.

Which is why we need those laws to be upheld — nobody else is going to protect the environment in a meaningful way.

Follow the Utopianist on Twitter and Facebook.

A version of this post first appeared at TreeHugger.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant is a founding editor of the Utopianist.. When he's not helming the Utopianist, he is TreeHugger's politics writer, contributes the Getting Samy Out of Burma column to GOOD.is, and freelances for the likes of Salon and Paste. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

131 thoughts on “Rand Paul & Jon Stewart Explain Why Environmental Laws Are So Important (Video)

  1. Rand Paul makes a point about responding to a milk spill with haz-mat teams. Well, he has a point, but I recall an incident in Boston, in which a tank of molasses burst, and killed 21 people, and injured another 150.

    Smart regulation is key, yes, but it needs flexibility to imagine the worst that can happen, too, and regulate accordingly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster

  2. Watching this interview made me cringe – Rand Paul doesn’t explain free markets correctly and Jon Stewart still doesn’t get free markets – and I love both of them.

    Free markets means you can do what you want so long as you don’t harm the other individual – this is based on property rights – which includes your body, according to libertarianism. This means that no one can pollute or poison your land or you – this violates the right to property and that the individual is sovereign.

    The free market is no self regulating – not completely. Libertarianism is not a philosophy to end all government – it is a philosophy to limit government and provide laws that protect people through property rights and not inefficient, corruption-prone regulation.

    Why can’t people get this? Because no one does research.

  3. 645488 395810Howdy! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the wonderful information you may have here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for far more soon. 807414

  4. 487099 593951Aw, it was an extremely good post. In thought I would like to set up writing similar to this additionally – taking time and actual effort to create a very good article but exactly what do I say I procrastinate alot and also no means manage to go done. 508387

  5. 27068 858720A persons Are typically Weight loss is undoubtedly a practical and flexible an eating strategy method manufactured for those that suffer that want to weight loss and therefore ultimately conserve a significantly a lot more culture. weight loss 682394

  6. 600690 811431Having read this I thought it was quite informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this post together. I once once again uncover myself spending strategy to considerably time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was nonetheless worth it! 981200

  7. 214702 113854If you happen to significant fortunate people forms, referring by natural means, additionally you catch the attention of some sort of envy in consideration of those types the other campers surrounding you which have tough times about this subject. awnings 708222

  8. 648443 556779Possible call for all types of led tourdates with some other fancy car applications. Several also supply historic packs and other requires to order take into your lending center, and for a holiday in upstate New York. ??? 910973

  9. 401973 252205Currently genuinely do not stop eating because there is however the decision which you will transform into. Function from your home us rrs often a fad for that who wants to earn dollars however nonetheless enough time requires most substantial occasions employing children and kids goes for as the modern habit. attract abundance 709414

  10. 32979 180651Most appropriate the human race messages function to show your and present exclusive chance with unique couple. Beginer appear system in advance of raucous folks will most likely always be aware most with the golden value off presentation, which can be a persons truck. finest man jokes 99808

  11. 927735 173109There a few fascinating points in time in this post but I dont know if I see these center to heart. There may be some validity but Ill take hold opinion until I explore it further. Excellent article , thanks and then we want a lot more! Put into FeedBurner too 305869

  12. 84681 811668The the next occasion Someone said a weblog, Hopefully so it doesnt disappoint me approximately this. What im saying is, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought youd have something fascinating to express. All I hear is often several whining about something which you could fix should you werent too busy looking for attention. 202184

  13. 826203 280308Hello there, I discovered your weblog by way of Google at exactly the same time as seeking for a comparable subject, your internet site got here up, it seems to be wonderful. Ive bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. 99966

  14. 219933 258560Of course like your website but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless Ill definitely come back again. 458101

  15. Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact used to be a enjoyment account it. Glance complex to far introduced agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  16. Hello there, I found your website by way of Google while searching for a related subject, your site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  17. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  18. Excellent site, and my articles is safeguarded with a Creative Commons permit, but I want to copyright it so places like eBaums World doesn’t steal my content. How do i get my entire site copyrighted?.

  19. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  20. Superb blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get comments from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!

  21. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  22. hi!,I love your writing so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence extra about your article on AOL? I need an expert in this space to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Having a look forward to look you.

  23. Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my web site thus i got here to “go back the favor”.I am trying to to find issues to improve my web site!I assume its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

  24. I am constantly signing out and in of my college website and it is rather annoying to always have to type in my user identification. It used to be kept, but then I updated Chrome and it won’t save… Anybody could show make Firefox remember that will be great. Thanks..

  25. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  26. The first piece is geotagging each blog post on some sort of map… The second piece is meshing those factors on a map with other people. Essentially we’d like several people of our team to provide updates regularly and post their locations to the same map..

  27. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a weblog site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided vibrant transparent concept

  28. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  29. I would really like to make a blog page but.. I’m just not sure what type of blogs get the most traffic? What kind of websites do you surf? I mostly browse photo blogs and fashion blogs. Simply getting a election here thanks!.

  30. hi!,I really like your writing so much! percentage we communicate extra approximately your article on AOL? I need an expert in this space to unravel my problem. May be that’s you! Having a look forward to look you.

  31. And so i created a secondary blog off my 1st one, but I today want my secondary blog page to be my personal or my main blog. So that as soon and I actually sign on the newer blog I made would be my default blog. If which makes any sense… Is there a method to do this?.

  32. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I really hope to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own website now 😉

  33. I like firefox A lot better than IE yet on certain occasions i might have a ff winfdow open and it shows the window error issue. i return and it had been firefox is already running or something t i find it difficult to use it….

  34. fantastic submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  35. Is it possible to make a spoiler switch in blogger blog posts? We don’t know javascript and understand very basic code only. I’ve truly tried duplicating snippets of javascript into my posts to try but many of them doesn’t work. Several only works in the create post window but after publishing it doesn’t work anymore. Most buttons just does nothing at all after becoming clicked. Any solutions?.

  36. I recently did a system bring back on my computer and also have yet to reload my antivirus software. Apparently somewhere along the procedure something called Antivi overtook my computer and I actually can’t do anything, not really get to my task manager to end the program. Any assistance?.

  37. Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

  38. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was searching for this info for my mission.

  39. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

  40. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  41. I can’t say for sure what “WordPress” is but if it has connected with the way I could have automatic updates of new posts from my blog page posted in my Twitter, than I’d like to know more about it… Make sure you & Appreciate it. * My blog can be a Blogspot / Tumblr blog..

  42. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular BlogEngine.net.Thethoughts you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  43. Hello, you used to write fantastic, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

Comments are closed.