Looking Backward at Socialism's ecological destruction.
Supporting Free Market Environmentalism, Eco Capitalism & Libertarian Environmentalism

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As an attorney, I deal with environmental laws including felony criminal charges in United States District Courts and in state courts, including Florida. I am a college instructor in criminal justice.

My life in court led me to libertarian environmentalism.

A sixth generation Floridian, I am also a lifelong resident. My ancestors helped settle and develop the "Conch Republic" (Key West, Florida). The local Conch Train Tour still visits Curry Mansion because the Mansion was home to "Florida's First Millionaire" (a relative of mine). Curry Mansion is also where the famous key lime pie was first created from the smaller Key limes. Curry Key is nearby, and I reside on Curry Lake in Tampa.

Key West is the "Conch Republic" because of the edible conch mollusk that has a large shell with beautiful pink lips. Conch is the second best known edible snail, the first being escargot. Conch is used in fritters, chowders, gumbos, and other dishes.

Curry Mansion residents and the Curry family ate Florida conchs and sea turtles, and used natural sponges, through much of Florida's past.

In the same way that Tuna is called "chicken of the sea," Floridians called the sea turtle "turkey of the sea."  Conchs are still called "hurricane hams." Sponges are called ...uh... "sponges."

Past tense is mentioned above because Florida conchs, sponges and sea turtles have been ruined by soggy socialism or banned by government here in the land of liberty and capitalism.

Friends and family can no longer eat Florida conchs or sea turtles and do not use natural sponges.

It is fortunate that Americans are able to use better sponges made by capitalists in factories on private property.

Much fish and other seafood on menus is farmed, and diners don't know.

Tourists from all over the world visit the Conch Republic and do not realize that all the conch is imported. Harvesting Conch is illegal in U.S. waters, where lack of freedom fritters away conchs. Conch is still an important food source for natives of Haiti and the Bahamas.

Sea turtles are illegal even via importation.  There are no longer any sea turtle dishes in the Keys.

Americans can experience freedoms that don't exist in the U.S. by traveling to the Cayman Islands, Bahamas and other places where conchs and sea turtles are harvested, farmed, and consumed.

U.S. Government restrictions are reminders of the hardship that bureaucracy imposes upon conchs and turtles and those who love them (to eat).  Property rights will put the creatures closer to people's hearts (deep inside their stomachs).

Dwindling populations of sea creatures are caused by bureaucrats who subvert private property rights under water in favor of trademark socialism: government ownership with unavailability and bans.

The disastrous results would be similar if government imposed the same treatment upon all food, clothing, shelter, goods, services, farmlands, and all real estate.  Key limes and all limes would be endangered or extinct and the Curry Family's key lime pie would be banned entirely, or made from imported limes. Tourists in the Keys would be as unaware of the lime's status as they are unaware of the conch's status.

If socialism of natural sponges was imposed on artificial sponges, then the same mess would happen. Everyone would grab as many of the publicly owned artificial sponges as possible. Owners of artificial sponge material and equipment would stop making sponges and find other work, while jobs in the industry would end just as jobs in natural sponging disappeared.  Violence would break out in efforts to control artificial sponges.

The movie "Beneath The Twelve Mile Reef" (a landmark CinemaScope film with underwater cinematography, and starring Robert Wagner) dramatizes how "commonly owned" sponge beds caused violence between my ancestors in Key West and sponge divers in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

As shortages of artificial sponges grew, politicians would impose more controls as they have in banning sponge diving in the Florida keys and phasing out harvesting in Biscayne Bay.

Socialism was shown to be environmentally disastrous under the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (60 million people slaughtered), under the Peoples' Republic of China (50 million slaughtered), under the National Socialist German Workers Party (20 million), and throughout east Europe.  Governmnet in the U.S. has proven that socialism is environmentally disastrous for Americans.

The keys to ecological recovery are property rights. All freedom is founded on private property. There is no reason why property rights should end at the water's edge.

Private property and aquaculture (water farming) will produce bigger and better conchs, sponges and sea turtles and more of them. The abundance and prosperity that benefits farming on private land will benefit all seafood and products.

Instead of socialist restrictions, water needs capitalist expansions. The best environment is a capitalist environment.  Mother Nature is a capitalist.

The color of a healthy environment and the color of money are the same. Libertarians are the true greens.
Free Market Environmentalism 
FREE MARKET ENVIRONMENTALISM privatize waterways! Free Market Environmentalism & Capitalism
Free Market Environmentalism

ECO CAPITALISM Fish Farming & capitalism save the environment !

FREE MARKET ENVIRONMENTALISM Save conchs with private property & freedom!

ECO CAPITALISM privatize waterways! Libertarian Environmentalism, Free Market Environmentalism & Capitalism

FREE MARKET ENVIRONMENTALISM Protect Wild Dolphins Privatize Waterways! Free Market Environmentalism & Capitalism

ECO CAPITALISM Save the Manatee, Farm the Manatee. Eco Capitalism, Free Market Environmentalism

FREE MARKET ENVIRONMENTALSIM: Save the Whales. Sell the Gulf & the Atlantic: Protect Florida Whales. privatize waterways! Free Market Environmentalism & Capitalism

Growth Management & Eco capitalism


Fight the government's antidisestablishmentarianism.

It makes more sense for an eco captialist to borrow an ecology cliche' and say "I treasure Florida's environment."

Florida's land is at least 30 percent socialized (government-owned).  The water and the submerged land is probably 90 percent socialized.

The laws are a gross injustice piled upon the “tragedy of the commons” that flows from government ownership of waterways.

In the UK conch shells are the 9th most seized import, according to at least one unreliable source (Wikipedia).

Conchs are plant eaters and can live as long as 25 years.

The Conch Baby Farm is farming conchs in tanks adjoining a restaurant, the Conch Republic Seafood Company.  It is unfortunate that it still seems unprofitable to grow conchs to maturity in tanks.  And as long as conch habitats are socialized, there will be little incentive to release young conchs into the wild, and great incentive to take as many socialized conchs as possible, whenever possible, and wherever possible.

Farms producing the smaller edible snail escargot (Helix aspersa) exist in Europe and in the United States. Farm-raised snails are typically fed a diet of ground cereals.

Because land snails eat leaves, soil and decayed matter, the contents of their stomachs can be toxic. Therefore, before they can be cooked, snails must be purged of the contents of their digestive system. The process often involves  fasting and purging. The process can take several days.

William Golding's, Lord of the Flies features frequent references to "The Conch". In the book the conch is used to call everyone together and held by whoever is speaking at meetings, symbolically representing democracy and order. When the Jack's lieutenant Roger smashes the conch, it is a sign that civilized order has collapsed and Jack's domination has begun.

Conch can also be used as building material for roads, and houses.

Conch hasn’t been commercially harvested in Florida since the Ford administration.

Nearby, Smathers Beach is a man-made beach, and one of Florida’s top ten. 


Socialism is as environmentally disastrous underwater as it has been on land.  Florida waters, like those everywhere, lack private property rights and thereby suffer great damage. 

Overharvesting, which results from soggy socialism's "tragedy of the commons" is particularly pronounced in sponging.

There are few things besides natural sponges that are harvested at one-fifth of their pre-World War II level.   In the 1930’s, sponging was the number one industry in the Bahamas, and probably in Key West, Florida. Machinery improvements and better farming techniques result in higher productions of most commodities, but not natural sponges.  "Public" (state) ownership of submerged lands has long defeated sponge aquaculture and other undersea farming along with its abundant ecology.

For example, when a hook is used to tear a sponge from the bottom, some material is left attached to the bottom to grow back.  This occurs about one-third of the time.  If a sponge is cut from the bottom instead of torn, it has been discovered that a sponge will grow back two-thirds of the time.  The lack of ownership in sponge beds means spongers have reduced opportunities to make such discoveries, and equally slight incentive to exert effort implementing them.  Public officials and other experts have even less incentive.  Under soggy socialism, success is measured by how quickly a sponger can find and raid dwindling sponge beds, not by one's success at increasing sponge size or reproduction.

As is often the case, capitalism has provided an answer to the environmental destruction caused by central planning.  Socialism's ruiness effect on natural sponges was the catalyst for market substitutes: artificial sponges.  Due to collectivism, natural sponges are now oddities, and artificial sponges are better, commonplace, cheap and come in greater varieties and sizes than Mother Nature can produce.  Thanks to capitalism, the demand for natural sponges is now slight where socialism caused, and still causes, overharvesting.

Imagine if defenders of "common ownership" of water and natural sponges applied their logic consistently to achieve common ownership of artificial sponges.  The same disaster would result.  Everyone would grab as many of the publicly owned artificial sponges as possible.   Owners of artificial sponge material and equipment would stop making sponges and find other work, while jobs in the industry would end just as jobs in natural sponging disappeared.  Actual violence would break out in efforts to control the artificial sponge market, just as violence ruled the "commonly owned" natural sponge beds of Key West and Tarpon Springs, as dramatized in the movie "The Twelve Mile Reef."

As shortages of artificial sponges grew, public officials would pass more and more regulations and controls such as they have in banning sponge diving in the Florida keys and phasing out harvesting in Biscayne Bay.

Of course, officials would never comprehend that they bankrupted the artificial sponge industry, just as no socialist government has ever conceded causing shortages of natural sponges, nor food, clothing, housing or anything.  Proponents of socialism will not publicly debate it with advocates of free market economics and private property rights.

The environment will be made safer by reducing government until undersea socialism ends.  As Libertarians and Objectivists say, there is no reason why free enterprise and private property rights should stop at the water's edge. Only private property rights can give natural sponging a chance to survive and thrive.


As I write this, I am about to speak at the Hague to a Netherlands political party about environmental laws and the Florida Everglades.  Most of North Holland is man-made land reclaimed from the North Sea.  I advocate land reclamation in Florida Bay to expand the Everglades. 

A proposed modification of Florida's specialty license plate touts the libertarian solution to save the Everglades:

Everglades land reclamation will create more aquifer, swamps, marshes, wetlands, beaches, farmland and buildable areas for bigger populations.  The land will be untouched by phosphorus. It will solve saltwater intrusion by pushing saltwater farther out. It could double the size of the Everglades.

The project could start in the northeast of Florida Bay, and progress in a west/southwest direction along the Everglades National Park’s land boundary. The new Everglades could be bigger than Rhode Island. It could be the 51st state. It could be called "New Florida."  If the new land is a free port it could make Hong Kong look like an overregulated socialist haven!  The new everglades could extend even farther than Key West.

Waterfront property would remain waterfront with space left between old owners and new land.  The project could leave many waterways, including a cross-state waterway along the present southern border of Florida. 

One key to success will be to keep government out.  Much of Florida Bay is part of the Everglades National Park, so the Bay needs to be privatized. Much Florida water is socialized and Florida land is 30 percent socialized (government-owned).  All freedom is founded on the private ownership of property. 

The former U.S.S.R., East Europe, and China prove that socialism is environmentally disastrous. The Everglades prove that socialism is environmentally disastrous for Florida. Government built roads through the Everglades, straightened rivers, drained wetlands, cut canals, and subsidized cattle and sugar with taxes and other socialism. The government has already done more damage than private enterprise could ever have afforded to do. 

Government’s restoration plans are costly frauds.  Instead of  restoration plans, the Everglades need capitalist expansion plans.  Let’s fight the government’s antidisestablishmentarianism.

The best environment is a capitalist environment. The Everglades prove that the color of a healthy environment and the color of money are the same.  Mother Nature is a capitalist. Capitalists are the true greens.  

Everglades land reclamation should be entirely private.  Private water suppliers, developers, agriculture and everyone else will benefit.  Holland's land reclamation started as private enterprise.  Sell the Everglades.  So, let’s go Dutch.

opinion editorials tree laws kill trees rex curry

"Tree Laws Kill Trees" by Dr. Rex Curry is now in print in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture."

The book includes the 101 Opinion Editorials from, compiled by Jason Wright and Aaron Lee, and edited by Courtney Marsh.

It is available at

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