Can libertarian principles impact the prevailing coercive statist-environmentalist concept of "sustainability" that FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education, calls a scam?
A graduate student at Stanford University's prestigious School of Design was looking for unique viewpoints on environmental issues when he came across an article posted on the Libertarian News Examiner, "How going green goes against the environment" by Garry Reed.
"I ran across your November 27, 2011 article," civil engineering graduate student Adrian Biggerstaff wrote in an email, "and I am very interested in interviewing you in the near future."
Biggerstaff went on to explain, "I feel your perspective and commentary will greatly assist my design-think group in building an understanding of what "sustainability" means to people today.
The interview, conducted via telephone by Biggerstaff and his design partner, Lindley Mease, on January 20, 2013, lasted nearly an hour and fifteen minutes.
Their final project, they explained, "is to increase students' understanding of the design thinking process through and exercise focused on determining what 'sustainability' means to people today and creating a workable, human-centric framework for sustainability."
Seven people with diverse backgrounds were interviewed for the project, including four farmers and ranchers, a community organizer, a recent immigrant computer programmer from India and, of course, a libertarian.
"The information we extracted from the conversation with you was extremely unique compared to the others," Biggerstaff reported.
Some unique, libertarian-inspired information, presented to the class last week as part of a summary of all of their interviews, included:
1. "Sustainable measures cannot be imposed by coercion; they must be win-win, non-government implemented solutions."
2. "Imposers of sustainable regulation/policy must seek result-based measures rather than just imposing an ideology or seeking more power over people."
While the "Imposers" in point 2 contradicts point 1, the rest is certainly compatible with libertarian ideals.
"One question came up during our presentation," Biggerstaff said, which was "Did you ask him how he recommends dealing with situations where people do not uphold their part of an agreement?"
Biggerstaff said that he didn't, but "I reinforced that the nature of a win-win solution does not involve coercion, so it is not likely that people will not hold-up their part of the agreement."
But the answer might be to simply dis-invite an uncooperative person from participating.
To what extent will libertarian principles impact the final presentation given to the class at the famed d.school?
Full report in March.
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