A Journal for Western Man

 

The Environmentalist Menace

G. Stolyarov II

(Originally Published on GrasstopsUSA.com)

Issue XCVII- April 23, 2007

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Principal Index

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Old Superstructure

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Old Master Index

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Contributors

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The Rational Business Journal

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Forum

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Yahoo! Group

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Gallery of Rational Art

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Online Store

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Henry Ford Award

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Johannes Gutenberg Award

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CMFF: Fight Death

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Eden against the Colossus

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A Rational Cosmology

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Links

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Mr. Stolyarov's Articles on Helium.com

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Mr. Stolyarov's Articles on Associated Content

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Mr. Stolyarov's Articles on GrasstopsUSA.com

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Submit/Contact

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Statement of Policy

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         Western civilization today is under attack on many fronts, yet some of the threats to it are direr than others. Figuring out which threat is the most significant one is crucial if we are to save the accomplishments and promises of Western civilization from being extinguished. I contend that the primary threat to our lives today is not external, even though we are faced with numerous external menaces. The worst and most urgent danger is internal and pervasive; it is an ideology and movement that has rallied governments, businesses, the media, and public opinion to join its cause. The greatest threat to Western civilization and quality of life throughout the world today is the “environmentalism” of those who would seek to limit and halt technological progress.

Even such a problem as Islamofascist terrorism pales in comparison to this threat. Most sane, reasonable people in the West recognize that the terrorists are committing undesirable acts, and Western governments and militaries have offered substantial—if still insufficient—resistance to the Islamists’ desire to subdue the developed world. Not even this semblance of unity exists in opposition to the environmentalist threat. Quite the contrary, most of today’s social institutions, influential figures, and even the general public in the West claim to support the environmentalist agenda.

For the past thirty-five years, the environmentalists have wielded considerable clout in both business and government—restricting innovation, technological progress, and freedom via EPA bans on harmless chemicals like DDT, regulations such as the draconian Clean Air Act, and the deliberate prevention of residential, commercial, and industrial development on a large fraction of America’s territory. The United Nations, via its Agenda 21, seeks to actually reduce the amount of land in use by man through the seizure of private property by means of eminent domain and the deliberate cultivation of “wilderness corridors” where homes and businesses had once been. Despite these extensive interventions, however, technological progress and improvements in the general standard of living have hitherto continued because of the creative spirit, productive drive, and remaining economic and personal liberties of millions of hard-working private individuals in the West.  

Now the environmentalists are on the offensive again—and this time, they threaten to halt and even reverse technological and economic progress instead of merely delaying it. Global warming alarmism is their principal justification for attempting to impose further draconian regulations—and governments are beginning to fall in line with both the Green rhetoric and its policy implications. Now the Bush Administration—hitherto skeptical of the verity of “global warming” claims—officially acknowledges that global warming is a “problem.” Now the United States Supreme Court has defined carbon dioxide—a substance released by all animals and used by all plants of Earth for energy—as a “pollutant” and virtually forced the U. S. government to impose regulations regarding emissions of it.  Increasingly many businesses are paying lip service to the global warming agenda—because senators like Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe threaten coercive action against any remaining “heretics” like the ExxonMobil corporation and the honest climate researchers and scholars it sponsors.

If the Green opponents of progress have their way, the West will be set back technologically and economically. The global warming alarmists—via the economically crippling Kyoto Protocol—want to cut back carbon dioxide emissions to ten percent below 1990 levels. Imagine: any of our industries that emit CO2 as a byproduct of their activities will only be allowed to produce 90% as many goods and services as they could seventeen years ago! If this plan succeeds, it will set back the efficiency and output of affected industries by about two decades—not to mention the huge cost to taxpayers of implementing such an agenda. All of this the environmentalists justify by “scientific” arguments that are specious at best and outright dishonest at worst. They do not condone criticism of their theories, because they do not seek genuine scientific debate; they desire a certain kind of social and economic change, and woe to those who stand in their way! Any “global warming deniers” will be blacklisted, denied funding, ostracized from the scientific community, and even threatened with legal punishment.

The consequences of environmentalist success will be disastrous. Man’s life in the state of nature is a dismal life—powerfully characterized by the 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in The Leviathan. It is a life that has “no culture of the earth;… no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Man without technology is little more than a weak animal with an average life expectancy of twenty—constantly exposed to the perils of disease, famine, homelessness, intertribal warfare, and conflicts over extremely scarce basic goods.

For most of human history, man’s emergence from this dreadful and savage state has been painstakingly slow; even less than a century ago, in the United States, life expectancy from birth was as low as 47 years, and massive pandemics of tuberculosis, malaria, and influenza wiped out more people than the two World Wars combined. Most people still labored just to grow enough food for everyone to eat, and radios and automobiles were considered luxuries for the well-to-do. Only recently—through tremendous growth in technology, made possible by the ingenious and tireless efforts of free men—has the average person in the West been able to have a material standard of living that can at all be called decent: enough food to eat and clothing to wear; enough opportunity to nourish the soul through music and the arts; enough space to comfortably live in; enough opportunity to travel and to receive effective, scientific medical care for one’s ailments. This development has been unique to the Western world and to countries that adopted Western institutions of free markets, political liberty, and the scientific method.

This emergence from the darkness of primitive life is what the environmentalists are trying to halt. They admit it. Paul Ehrlich, the darling of those who think that the Earth is reaching unsustainably high levels of population, openly proclaimed: “We've already had too much economic growth in the US. Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease, not the cure.” Thomas Lovejoy, assistant secretary to the Smithsonian Institution, said in 1989 that “[t]he planet is about to break out with fever, indeed it may already have, and we [human beings] are the disease. We should be at war with ourselves and our lifestyles.” Russell Train, former EPA Administrator, stated as early as 1974 that “[w]e can and should seize upon the energy crisis as a good excuse and great opportunity for making some very fundamental changes that we should be making anyhow for other reasons.”

The environmentalists’ “other reasons” are a deep, violent, and irrational hatred of technology, freedom, and rising standards of living. Their true intentions are to act on this hatred; any and every pseudo-scientific doomsday scenario they conjure up is simply a front for their desire to return mankind back to the primeval age. In the 1970s, many of the environmentalists used the specter of “global cooling” to argue for the same restrictions on technological progress that they advocate today in the name of stopping “global warming.”

The environmentalist menace to our prosperity and freedom—to our basic human dignity—is overt and blatant. They have been clear about their intentions for decades, but the people of the West have largely ignored the threat. Only a massive social backlash against the advocates of the primitive can save human lives from becoming nasty, brutish, and short once again.

G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, contributor to Enter Stage Right, Le Quebecois Libre,  Rebirth of Reason, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Senior Writer for The Liberal Institute, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. Mr. Stolyarov also publishes his articles on Helium.com and Associated Content to assist the spread of rational ideas. His newest science fiction novel is Eden against the Colossus. His latest non-fiction treatise is A Rational Cosmology. Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at gennadystolyarovii@yahoo.com.

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

Click here to return to TRA's Issue XCVII Index.

Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.