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Subject:  Re: If you must argue with denialists.... Date:  1/25/2013  3:40 PM
Author:  albaby1 Number:  40432 of 91522

How interesting. Why is this? Is there anything else that cannot be owned? You can own water rights and mineral rights. You can own air rights over your property. Is that different from owning the atmosphere above your property? Why can't you own part of the atmosphere? Where did this idea come from? Has it been tested in court?

A good question, but the main reason you can't own part of the atmosphere mostly because no property system (at least, none that I'm aware of) provides for ownership of part of the atmosphere. You can own the volume of space above real estate (air rights), and you can prevent people from entering that space up to a certain height - but you don't own the physical gases within that space until you 'take' them (similar to downing a wild bird). Most commonly that's done by breathing, but if you fill a container with compressed air drawn from the column above your land, that would be the same thing.

There's lots of things that can't be owned. You can't own the color red. You can't own Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (that I'm aware of). You can't own the idea of a wheel. You can't own the sun or the stars in heaven. You can't own a person. The reason for this is, as with the atmosphere, "ownership" is a creation of law - and none of our legal systems currently embrace ownership of those things.

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