The United People firmly hold that the government needs to protect peoples’ lives, property, and freedom from one another. In order to do that, the government must regulate the environment. However, though it is very easy to draw the line of lives over property, drawing the line between environmental groups’ freedom and someone else’s property rights is a different matter. Let’s illustrate with a few examples.
There is a village in China, called the ‘Cancer Village’, because 73.1% of deaths are caused by cancer. The village’s main source of water, the Laza River, is polluted upstream by a government owned mining corporation, the Dabaoshan Mining Company. This leads to a shortage of water for the villagers to drink, and poisonous crops for the farmers.
The United People would solve this type of problem by regulating air, land, and water, with the guideline of protecting one person’s life over another person’s property. In this case, scientific evidence clearly shows that many of the deaths in the village are caused by cancer, and can be linked to the cancerous river. The United People would then place limitations on the offending company, and enforce those limitations by taking away the company’s land if it fails to cooperate.
However, in cases such as the Clean Air Act, the United People would require extensive research and double blind experiments from multiple private institutions over several years to prove that such an act is necessary. Also notice that in the Clean Air Act, research was proposed with restrictions at the same time – educating and deciding in the same piece of legislation. Such an approach is both naive and counter intuitive. The United People firmly hold that such decisions hurt the economy and American lifestyles(as they require private institutions to allot more resources to processes that do not earn either the consumer or the producer any profit), and should only be made after extensive research, or during a national emergency. Since neither situation had arisen prior to the passing of the Clean Air Act, the United People oppose it.
Another reason the United People oppose over-zealous environmental regulation, is that we as a nation simply do not have enough information to make such large decisions. Several examples illustrate this point. As recently as the 1990s, scientists believed in global cooling, but now they believe in global warming. Proponents of the global warming movement cite things such as ‘scientific consensus’ as basis for their argument… but so did global cooling proponents. The problem is that human beings have just not been recording data long enough to make any sort of regulatory decision yet. The United People does not oppose regulation in and of itself – but it does oppose blind regulation, such as what is going on today.
Another case of human failure in environmental knowledge are Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3. In both cases, humans attempted to create a miniature environment on a small scale, and to regulate it themselves. In the case of biosphere 2, the experiments were failures. The first mission lasted two years, but only with oxygen injections from outside, and the humans inside constantly reported hunger due to scarcity of food. The second mission dissolved prematurely due to management conflicts.
In BIOS-3, the longest experiment was only about half a year, and dried meat was imported from the outside to support the inhabitants.
So to conclude; mankind is simply not prepared to regulate or understand a small environment, much less the global environment. And because of this, the United People is extremely skeptical of environmental regulations without scientific evidence that provides a direct link between cause and effect.