Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Environmentalism's Inherent Cannibalism

Many Americans mistakenly believe that environmentalism represents the preservation of nature for man’s enjoyment. They see self-described environmentalists, who otherwise call themselves “nature lovers,” who want to preserve parks so that they can continue to enjoy their hikes and bike rides through nature, and thereby stop developers from building condominium complexes along these stretches of land.

But then there are radical environmentalists, those who champion the same ideological movement as the “moderate” greens, but who practice its ideas more consistently. You know, they’re the ones who even want to ban green “alternative energies,” such as windmills, since they kill birds and despoil the natural landscape, or so they argue.

So while those environmentally-correct nature lovers want to preserve Yellowstone Park from evil developers, so that they may continue to ride their snowmobiles through it, they are nevertheless confronted by radical environmentalists who want to ban snowmobiles from the park, because they’re not “eco-friendly,” according to their “science.” What’s more, the radicals are getting the support of the New York Times, which published the following brief editorial on June 6, entitled “Keeping a Watch on Winter,” and calls for the ban of snowmobiles in Yellowstone.

“The scientific results have been consistent. The best alternative, environmentally speaking, is to do away with snowmobiles altogether.”

“They [snowmobiles] have always contradicted the mission of the national parks …”

From what I understand, the national parks were originally created for man to enjoy them, and that enjoyment includes riding his snowmobiles through them. What the so-called moderate greens refuse to understand is where their environmentalist ideology logically leads: not the preservation of nature for man, but from man.


Anonymous said...

Environmentalism is far more than you conceive here. The environment is where we all live. A healthy environment; meaning clean air, clean water, healthy habitat and all of the connective pieces, is necessary for life. Whether you are a Yellowstone cutthroat trout or the President of the United States. Despite his desire to believe otherwise, Man is not removed from his environment, he is a part of it. When we plow under a rain forest, for example, how do we know that we haven't just destroyed the cure for cancer or AIDS hidden in the genomes of some as yet undiscovered plant or animal?
Whether or not snowmobiles are allowed in Yellowstone is trivial compared to other damage we do. Many people don't like snowmobiles simply because they are noisy, they stink and they disturb nature's serenity.
Since Man is Nature's number one enemy, it is indeed Man that Nature must be protected from; yet protecting Nature from Man is the same as protecting Nature for Man.

Joseph Kellard said...


Environmentalism is far more than you conceive here. My post is meant to point out the fundamental nature of environmentalism, which is to uphold nature as an intrinsic good -- apart from man. That’s why the more radical environmentalists, the more consistent practitioners of their ideology, want to ban windmills (a highly-touted green energy) and snowmobiles. The more radical greens want to ban windmills, no matter the benefits they bring to man, because they kill the non-human, birds; they want to ban snowmobiles, because they “disturb nature’s serenity,” as you put it -- as if this is a value in and of itself.

In reality, because man is part of nature, he must reshape and use it to his benefit, whether to extract oil from Alaska, so that he can avoid reverting to much inferior forms of energy such as “eco-friendly” windmills, or to ride his snowmobile through a park for his recreational pleasure.

You write: “When we plow under a rain forest, for example, how do we know that we haven't just destroyed the cure for cancer or AIDS hidden in the genomes of some as yet undiscovered plant or animal?”

So, by this illogic, man should not reshape the earth whatsoever, because lurking in every corner of it is a potential cure for AIDS or some other benefit to man. Well, you come across as exactly the “moderate” environmentalists I wrote about in my post, who think that environmentalism is about protecting nature for man’s benefit.

Yet, it’s precisely because environmentalism is essentially an ideology that wants to protect nature from man, which man has thereby suffered enormously from this movement. Just take the greens’ ban on DDT, a chemical used to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes, a ban that has resulted in the untimely deaths of many millions of people. The greens also want to stop man from cutting down the Yew Tree, which contains a compound, taxol, which is used to treat cancer in man.

So, when man does discover life-saving chemicals and drugs for human beings, the greens want to ban them -- no matter the cost to human life.

And, likewise, their attempt to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone Park is just another step toward stopping man from living and enjoying his life, even if it’s only a matter of arresting one of his narrow pleasures.

Ultimately, environmentalism is not essentially pro-nature, but anti-man.