Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Environmentalism, Less Gore

I don't know about you, but like many folks on the left who suffer from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) we folks of the center-right run the risk of developing SOGA(Sick Of Gore Affliction). I'll ask you... Had enough of Saint Albert yet? I have. He will, if he hasn't already, single handedly destroy the environmental movement. Despite what you may think I personally think that's a very bad thing.

What Rachel Carson unwittingly let loose in the 1960's with her book "Silent Spring" has had both very good and very bad effects. We - meaning America and the rest of the industrialized world - absolutely needed an ecological awakening. While Carson's book was the catalyst for the greening of America it ultimately led to one of the worst human disasters in the environmental movement's spotted history. The story of DDT and third world malaria is simply tragic and has gone largely untold.

The strides that America and the West have made in cleaning up the air, the water and in developing safer agricultural methods along with (some) successful recycling programs is something to be thankful for. It is awareness that is the biggest success story coming out of the environmental movement. While many people and industries had to be dragged kicking and screaming the often maligned do-gooders did good! But just like a kid who hasn't matured enough to know his limits the hard core greens are trying to take it too far.

Read this fine piece "The Lowdown on Doomsday" from today's Wall Street Journal written by Jonathan Alder. Mr. Alder re-introduces us to Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger authors of the now famous essay "The Death of Environmentalism". Unlike Gore who is jetting around the world preaching environmental apocalypse messrs. Nordhaus and Shellenberger want to replace the Western man is destroying the planet paradigm with a truly progressive one.

FROM Alder's piece:

(they) contend that the environmental movement must throw out its "unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts, and exhausted strategies" in favor of something "imaginative, aspirational, and future-oriented."

...Nordhaus and Shellenberger are anything but nature-scoffing know-nothings. They have worked for environmental organizations for years. Thus there is a certain poignancy to their view that "doomsday discourse" has made the green movement just another liberal interest group. They want environmentalism to have a broader appeal--enough to address major ecological concerns, including global warming. But no one, they contend, is going to demand draconian emission limits--the kind that would actually slow the warming trend--if they bring down the standard of living and interrupt the progress of the economy.

(today's environmentalists) make normal, productive human activity the enemy of nature, as environmentalists implicitly do, is to adopt policies that "constrain human ambition, aspiration and power" instead of finding ways to "unleash and direct them."

Nordhaus and Shellenberger want "an explicitly pro-growth agenda," on the theory that investment, innovation and imagination may ultimately do more to improve the environment than punitive regulation and finger-wagging rhetoric. To stabilize atmospheric carbon levels will take more--much more--than regulation; it will require "unleashing human power, creating a new economy."

Therein lies the key, it is going to be new technology and the power of the human imagination that will push environmentalism forward. To bring us to the end of the fossil fuel age - while addressing the fact that humanity will need to create and use more energy not less - is just not going to happen if Saint Albert gets his way.

I think these two guys and folks like Bjorn Lomborg, who truly have a better environment (with mankind in it) as their prime motivator, are the future of an important movement. The UN, the IPCC and Al Gore have an economically destructive and senseless prescription for what ails us



al fin said...

I've always liked Patrick Moore and Bjorn Lomborg. I may have to start liking Amory Lovins a bit too, if he continues making minimal sense.

Environmentalism as the general public knows it is an inbred political left economic/ideological quest for the destruction of the global economy and free markets. Al Gore and a lot of Hollywood celebrities fit into that philosophy quite cleanly.

I take the view that the "smart fraction" has always had to carry the load of planning and implementation for the vast majority of idiots who float with the current. That's what my nebulous concept of "the next level" is all about.

StaticNoise said...

Regarding your last paragraph Al, I see it everyday at work. The handful of people who really keep the ship afloat suffer the fools (and their complaining)everyday. Fortunately upper management recognizes who these people are and compensates us nicely...