How Free Markets Empower Green Markets


“It constantly amazes me that defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions.”
Lawrence W. Reed

How does a free market create a more environmentally friendly business economy?

Reasonably, many voters hesitate to vote for free market political candidates due to concerns that unrestricted and unregulated businesses will naturally choose the least caring routes for profits. Another concern is that a free market will require individuals to shop more wisely (whereas individuals will regularly shop for the least expensive and most efficient product/ service). This simply is not true and here is why:

The free market would create more competition for corporations such as Wal Mart. These corporations would then be forced to offer the best products (green) at the cheapest prices (or fail). Therefore, the responsibility of the consumer to shop wisely would not be required due to the business practices of the corporations who must keep the best products (green) at the lowest prices because that’s what customers want.

A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody could open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market would have no taxes,eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market would not allow bailouts, allowing businesses to have setbacks, and avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. These economic freedoms would enable new competition to compete more efficiently.

Would a free market allow businesses to operate using brown energy?

Yes, A free market would allow businesses to utilize brown energy, but would not offer them bailout money while allowing anybody to open a green company right next door. However, not forcing new competition to pay taxes or purchase licenses would enable new competition to invest that money into the business to more efficiently compete. Then new competition could offer a more efficient (green) product or service at an equal or lesser price to drive the corrupt corporations out of the market. Corporations (like Wal-Mart) will always choose the more efficient product or service if the price is the same or less.

The free market is a solution to climate change that does not require any form of force, coercion, extortion, or incarceration. It is the pragmatic and ethical solution.

Respectfully, are there any other solutions which do not incorporate force, coercion, extortion, or incarceration? Just to clarify, if anybody doesn’t pay taxes then that person will go to jail. Because of this, using any tax dollars is a form of theft called extortion.

Does supporting a free market simultaneously support anarchism?

“Although I wish the anarchists luck, since that’s the way we ought to be moving now. But I believe we need government to enforce the rules of the game. By prosecuting antitrust violations, for instance. We need a government to maintain a system of courts that will uphold contracts and rule on compensation for damages. We need a government to ensure the safety of its citizens–to provide police protection. But government is failing at a lot of these things that it ought to be doing because it’s involved in so many things it shouldn’t be doing.”
A 1973 Interview with Milton Friedman – Playboy Magazine

In other words, if a business is polluting the property you own (whether by damaging your air via dangerous inhalants, damaging your ground via fracking, etc) then you would rightfully be able to sue that business. After enough lawsuits and not receiving bailout money then that business will have to either change its methods of operation, increase the prices (driving them out of the market), or run out of funds to continue operating.

“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.” -Milton Friedman

What if a corrupt corporation that uses brown energy buys out new technology that utilizes green energy?

The free market would not allow patents to exist. Therefore, the corporation may offer new competition money in exchange for the new competition to cease production. However, thousands of other entrepreneurs across the globe would be able to create this new technology and possibly accept the same offer from the corrupt corporation. But this would not be a wise decision for the corrupt corporation because eventually it will lose all funds from the purchases. All of which still would not prevent the  next new company from utilizing the new technology, driving the corrupt corporation out of the market.

In opposition, would disallowing patents be detrimental to new businesses because big corporations could simply mass produce more of the product without requiring the purchase of a patent?

“Up to 25 million of our customers are going to use this [new technology]; it’s very motivating. And not just 25 million of our customers but other companies tend to follow us. You know it takes a few years but other companies tend to copy us if it works.” –Steve Jobs

In other words, it takes time for new technology to prove itself to be beneficial. In addition, it takes time for any competition to replicate, and they may never precisely emulate the new technology.  This amount of time would allow new competition to attain profits and create more efficient (green) technology of their own in abundance.

To further illustrate:

For 125 years, Coke’s secret recipe has remained one of the most heavily guarded trade secrets in the world.

“The [Coca-Cola] company has always said, and as far as I know it’s true, that at any given time only two people know how to mix the 7X flavoring ingredient,” Mark Pendergrast, historian and author of For God, Country and Coke told This American Life. “Those two people never travel on the same plane in case it crashes; it’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual and the formula is kept in a bank vault.”

The libertarian party is the largest political party that consistently supports free markets. Voting for libertarians at local, state, and federal levels expresses one cares for the environment because corrupt corporations will always circumvent regulations and restrictions whereas new competing business cannot. Only a free market, which removes big corporate protections, will allow room for smaller, greener companies to arise and compete.


This article is written under the assumption climate change is 100% man-made. However, climates have always had changes and scientists have not reached a consensus on how much is man-made vs naturally occurring. Please consider accounting for natural occurrence when debating the practicality of climate change.

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

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The author’s views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the entire Ask A Libertarian Team or its followers.


4 thoughts on “How Free Markets Empower Green Markets

  1. The only true path to liberty is anarchocapitalism , voluntaryism and agorism. The free matket competition would resolve itself. Government has within itself the virus of its own decay

    We do not need the state as it becomes socialist. The State commits theft, coerces people, extorts and even kills people specially foreign conflicts we should not be involved.


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