Property Rights and the Public Good

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An interview, for CBC Radio’s Ideas program, with Patricia Adams, Elizabeth Brubaker, and Lawrence Solomon. A discussion of the environmental, economic, and social harm wrought in the name of the public good, both in Canada and in the Third World, and of the counterbalancing protections offered by traditional property rights regimes.

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Property Rights in the Defence of Nature: CELA Review

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In his forward to Elizabeth Brubaker’s book, Property Rights in Defence of Nature, Anthony Scott writes that her arguments are "clear, vigorous (and) convincing." I’ll grant that the arguments are vigorous. But Brubaker’s brief treatise on the universal virtue of property rights as a bulwark against environmental destruction is not convincing.

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Property Rights in the Defence of Nature

By Elizabeth Brubaker

This book draws on cases from England, Canada, and the United States, showing how the common law of property has for centuries been a force for environmental protection, while contemporary statutes have allowed polluters to foul private lands and public resources alike. It argues that individuals and communities should be entrusted with the task of preserving the environment and that, with stronger property rights, they would regain the power to prevent much harmful activity.

Published by Earthscan Publications Limited and Earthscan Canada, 1995

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Property rights in the defence of nature

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Over a century ago, in 1885, Antoine Ratté filed a lawsuit against several of Canada’s most notorious polluters. That suit and the government’s reaction to it established a shameful pattern that governs pollution across Canada to this day.

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Nature’s Case for Restoring Strong Property Rights

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In this presentation to a Student Seminar on Public Policy Issues in 1994, Elizabeth Brubaker describes the ways in which individuals and businesses use property rights to protect the environment and how, when governments take away property rights, the environment suffers.

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