Here is a post by British journalist Peter Foster, living in Beijing, recounting a story in which his son admonishes him not to waste water:
"Dad," he said, in that tone of voice his parents reserve for telling him off, "The shower is running. The water's getting wasted and we can't waste water in the city."Foster then takes us on a bipolar journey through his warring psyche as he contemplates the dire fate of the children:
It was a moment that left me feeling initially depressed, then slightly proud, then faintly hopeful, then depressed all over again. Let me explain.Here we have an educated professional man with a wife and three kids openly contemplating the suicide of his own family in order to "do the planet a favour". What could explain such a psychotic reaction? Is this man suffering from "Climate Change Delusion"? I will leave that to the psychiatrists, but in my Climate Change Delusion post, I argued the following;
Depressed? Well, it's a sign of the grim times for our planet when pre-schoolers are worrying about something as basic as water, a commodity which my generation never even thought about at his age.
When I look at my kids like my son and wonder what kind of place the world will be when they are my age - about 2050 - I find myself wondering if me and my family shouldn't just open the balcony doors of my 16th floor apartment and do the planet a favour by jumping out.
Just as Catholics are famous for the adult psychological consequences of guilt instilled at an early age, now environmentalist children will suffer the same fate - for the same essential reason. In other words, the Catholic concept of Original Sin holds that man is a sinner by nature which requires life to be spent in perpetual self-punishment (penance) to atone for this wrong doing. Similarly, as cited above, the environmentalist views man's nature as essentially evil which must lead to the same type of psychological effect. Quoting from my past post:
Students are being thoroughly immersed in environmentalist propaganda from a young age. They are taught that nature is intrinsically valuable, i.e., that nature is a value apart from man. Since man's nature requires him to transform nature if he is to survive, this doctrine regards man as inherently evil. This "original sin" concept is the essence of environmentalism...
...Just as those indoctrinated into a cult, a religion, or any philosophy which holds that man is evil and that the standard of morality is sacrifice, the budding environmentalist will be racked with guilt, uncertainty, and fear.
If one takes the tenets of environmentalism seriously, every action by any man necessarily impinges on the intrinsic value of nature. The basics of life such as eating, drinking, and shelter require consumption of plants and animals and the procurement of materials drawn from nature. Even the act of exhaling results in the emission of the satanic carbon dioxide gas, not to mention the higher forms of technology which entail the burning of fossil fuels or the fission of atoms in a nuclear power generator. To such a mind, literally every form of human action would have to be regarded as evil. The cumulative emotional effect on such a mind must be devastating...Now if Catholics and Environmentalists would follow the lead of St. Anthony and keep their asceticism to themselves by say retreating to the desert for twenty years or by really jumping off balconies - I really wouldn't care what they think. But they don't retreat to the desert do they? No, evidently misery does love company as they want us all to suffer with them.
Foster makes another telling claim - lamenting the "grim times" that require pre-schoolers to worry about something as "basic as water, a commodity which my generation never even thought about at his age." First, he is living in Beijing - where price controls enacted by the communist state cause shortages for a vast array of goods and where individuals have no remedy against private property violations (such as pollution) caused by state owned enterprises. Second, in the developed world, when has water ever been more plentiful than it is right now? We have the technology to bottle, purify, transport or even desalinate (if need be) water on a scale unimaginable even a few decades ago. In fact, in America, you can go to Las Vegas (a desert) and watch one of the largest water shows on earth in front of the Bellagio Hotel every hour - then go inside and receive free drinks all night. Is this worse than it was one hundred or two hundred or a thousand years ago when people died of all manner of diseases, starvation, and lack of water? When exactly was this past golden age when no one thought about or worried about basic commodities like water? It is only in recent times as a result of technology and capitalism that we don't worry about water anymore - the same technology and capitalism that are under attack by environmentalists.
(As an aside: I remember seeing an environmentalist cartoon which I think captures the essence of the environmentalist mentality. It showed a kid brushing his teeth while simultaneously showing a pond with a fish. As the kid left the water running, it showed the pond draining and the fish evaporating (or something like that) - the message ostensibly being to not leave water running(?). My question then as now is: where does the water go when it goes down a drain? Does it literally disappear as this cartoon seemed to indicate? If you leave water running, does the water get sucked into space and sent away to a far off galaxy? The water goes down the drain, through a sewer, where it is usually treated and then dumped back into a lake or somewhere other than space.)
If Foster is truly worried about the water then he should move from Beijing to a developed country (without price controls) and/or support private property, technology, and capitalism, right?
Is it really "a hopeful sign" that five year olds are worried about water? I would say that is a bad sign. Is it really "privilege" that accounts for clean drinking water? Are some just lucky enough to be in a "clean" environment and some are not? Are Americans just lucky and privileged to have clean water available - do they have a "collective water-consciousness" or is abundance due to good ideas like the rule of law, private property, free markets, the profit motive, and the pursuit of happiness? He goes on:
The fact that my rising five-year-old is already concerned must be a hopeful sign for the future. His generation is, out of necessity, going to have to be conservation-minded. It's never too early to start, even for those privileged to grow up in an environment where they do have clean water to drink.
Depressed again? I'd love to believe in the potentially transforming powers of a collective water-consciousness among the new generation, but then I look around and find myself swamped with the hopelessness of it all. [emphasis mine]
I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect that when the planet is down to its last few drops of H20, the policy-wonks, businessmen and politicians that make the decisions that really affect water policy will still be sat in conferences drinking Perrier.
As the Chinese environmentalist and campaigner Ma Jun wrote recently about a spate of chemical pollution incidents in Yancheng in Jiangsu Province in eastern China, the attitude prevails that it's okay (and inevitable) to make a mess now in the name economic development - 'better to be poisoned than poor', to coin the media slogan.
As he points out: "It is mostly the officials - who can afford to drink bottled water, live apart from polluters and eat uncontaminated foods - who think it is best to run the risk of dying. It is vulnerable social groups who suffer most from water and air pollution.
If he is really hopeless over the idea that the all powerful communist Chinese government can wantonly poison its own people and deprive them of drinking water - does it occur to him that the solution might be freedom from the Chinese government, i.e., supporting individual rights and capitalism? Does it occur to environmentalists who supposedly decry the conditions in third world countries dominated by corrupt statist dictatorships that relinquishing more power to the state in developed countries will result in corrupt statist dictatorships? The answer is that the environmentalist is above such concerns. His concern is the planet not man. Capitalism results in prosperity and life. The more human beings that get wiped out the better.
As for poor Foster who on some level does seem genuinely concerned about his children - when he is on the balcony with his family ready to jump, someone yell into the bullhorn: "Just come down and we will tell you about individual rights and free enterprise...really, I have a whole case of Aquafina right here..."