Actually, not that much. Both are children of the Romantic tradition, but whereas one is enamored of nature, the other is enamored of capitalism. One posits leaving nature (with its natural selections) alone; the other posits leaving the market (with its Invisible Hand) alone. Either nature or markets are believed to possess an organic logic that must not be messed with without incurring sin–and catastrophic consequences. Both think of tinkerers as indulging in hubris. Whether one identifies as an environmentalist or a free market conservative, either nature or capitalism are reified as sacred and possessed of an intelligence greater than any arrogant individual. And both notice local victims of rationalist hubris, and highlight their plight (the redwood tree or the out-of-work redwood logger).
But, even as each “acts locally,” they also mean to make their particular version of hands-off management a universal law for all of humankind–to “think globally.” In this sense, both the environmentalist and the free market (free trade) conservative are subversive of national boundaries. Both are internationalist in ways that get cultural and economic nationalists screwed-up.
Does this mean that the libertarian environmentalist is an oxymoron? To be coherent, must one be a tree hugger or a Friedrich Hayek hugger–or simply reject both Romantic paradigms?
Why do environmentalists and libertarians so curiously shadow each other?