On Earth’s Day, some disruptive proposals

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By Jorge David Chapas | April 22, 2015

Today April 22, it is celebrated once more Earth’s Day. A lot of media, schools, companies and environmental organizations are sending messages and campaigns in favor of the environment, Regrettably, they do it based on assumptions and questionable premises and what is worse, they launch solutions that no only deteriorates yet more the natural resources but they generate collateral effects that we usually don’t associate with them (discretional nature, corruption and less jobs.)

In this context, I think that more than a celebration we should reproached that “splendid” idea. The environmental quality that a lot of US cities enjoy these days is not product of the existence of EPA, but despite it. The reason why this is possible is because the US has clear property rights, there’s investment on climate, entrepreneurship and innovation and the certainty of punishment still exists.

The EPA was the model to follow for a lot of countries around the world and the result was the Earth’s Summit in 1972 in Stockholm, in which the lot of the international agreements and laws were made and those are the ones that today hold back world commerce and keep poor countries poor. That is why I congratulate Jay Lehr’s initiative (American scientist and Heartland Institute’s director) who on July 2014 promoted an initiative to replace EPA with a Plenary Committee of the 50 states which would operate with only 20% of the federal agency budget.

In Guatemala we have an institution name MARN, which would also has to disappear that same as EPA in the US, and be transformed in a (4 year) Transitory Commission functioning with only a 20% of budget and its only function should be to watch over the liquidation of the institution and to design legal instruments that allows the definition, defense and transfer of the property rights relating to the resources that they supposedly manage and protect.

But those alternative proposals are of little importance to the people in the governments on Earth’s Day, especially in countries like Guatemala and our particular situation today. However, Barak Obama, contradicting Dr. Lehr, launched an Earth’s Day message, in which he insists again in the “great menace” that climate change generated by human activity represents. I don’t agree with this argument and because of that I invite you to read the articles that we have published on this site.

He also said that 2014 was the warmest year and that climate phenomena such as rain, droughts and forest fires have been more severe y frequent in these last years. It would be worth for you to check independent scientific sources and to observe that both arguments are not true.

“Climate change can’t keep being denied” Obama said. Of course, just a few are denying that. What we climate skeptics doubt is the cause, no its existence, because we maintain that it always have existed and that human activities’ influence is negligible if compared to, for example, sun’s influence in the world’s climate system. We don’t support relief course of actions that usually are being implemented by means of legislation, Burocracy and subsidies (for clean energies for example), but we do agree in implementing course of actions so we can adapt to those sporadic climate phenomena by means of the legitimate government functions: some quality public projects that could minimize the risks of those events.

Today, on Earth’s Day, we invite you to NOT let yourself be deceived by government and market solutions that can only lead to self-destruction. We invite you to think outside the box… and to consider that one solid solution to solve environmental problems is the property rights. And if these are surrounded by conditions like certainty of punishment, free markets without privileges, is very probable that the environmental problems could be resolved peacefully and that the environmental quality of Guatemala and the world would be better.

Jorge David Chapas is a guatemalan entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Rana. Friend of CEES and PERC.