Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celebrate Exploit the Earth Day with some Recycled Posts

In keeping with my tradition started last year on Exploit the Earth Day, I will recycle what I consider to be my favorite posts over the past year that deal with the anti-human religion of environmentalism.

In Two Visions of a Sustainable Future the image of the Golden Gate Bridge and an image of a "specially designed composting pail" provide an opportunity to analyze the concept of "sustainability" and:
dramatize...two warring visions. One picture represents retrogression back to the life of an ignorant peasant sorting through trash and hiding seeds in bunkers passively awaiting a prophesied global apocalypse. The other is a picture from another part of San Francisco. The Golden Gate bridge represents reason, production, progress, and human happiness. It represents true creativity and more importantly, true sustainability - the kind that follows from a moral philosophy which holds man’s life as the standard of value.

In The Story of Stuff is The Stuff of Evil, I analyze an environmentalist propaganda film in detail, making the case that it should be banned from public schools on the grounds that its unscientific content violates the separation of church and state:
The fact that the film is factually inaccurate, philosophically false, and contains ideas beyond the conceptual level of children are grounds enough to prohibit this film in public schools. But, there is an even deeper reason why it should be prohibited. This film should be banned from public schools on the same grounds that any religious material is prohibited in government run schools. Just as intelligent design and creationism have properly been prohibited in schools on the grounds that teaching unscientific ideas would constitute a state sanctioned promotion of religion in violation of the First Amendment, this film and all environmentalist propaganda should also be prohibited.

In Written in Disgust of Vulgar Superstition, the Keats poem of the same title provides inspiration to answer why "the hysterical doomsday predictions of the modern environmental movement increasingly resemble the apocalyptic rantings of ancient mystics" and to answer the following:
What is the connection between biblical prophecy and modern scientific warnings about the end of civilization due to "global cooling", "global warming", or "climate change"? When observing the spectacularly absurd predictions of Malthus in 1798, lamentations about the end of discovery in the 1800's, or Newsweek's dire warnings of global cooling in the 1970's, and in light of overwhelming evidence that modern climate scientists do not fully grasp, uh, well, climate - how can someone like Peter Cosier claim that the "science is over" and that "urgent action" is required?

I will end this post the same way I did the above:
Modern civilization is founded upon the recognition and celebration of the power of the free and independent human mind to discover, create, and build. The Dark Ages and any dictatorship is a consequence of the rejection of the efficacy of the individual mind in favor of revelation and faith in mystic, supernatural forces conveyed to the ragged masses by self-anointed "experts" able to divine real Truth or the will of God. You choose which world you wish to live in.

I came across this
poem which inspired this post and I think it eloquently captures the essence and suffocating sense of life of the mystic or in modern times - the crusading
environmental pseudo-scientist.

Written in Disgust of Vulgar Superstition

The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some black spell; seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys, and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crown'd
Still, still they too, and I should feel a damp,
-A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp;
That 'tis their sighing, wailing ere they go
Into oblivion; - that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.

John Keats, posthumous


Mo said...

I came across some enviromentalist thoughts and i express it in his comments below:

The fact is that the planet, like it or not, is one big "commons" and what you do on your property can have a negative influence on my property and my health. For example, I don't want to pump your used motor oil out of my well because you were too ignorant to dispose of it properly and I'm sure you don't want to breathe the air pollution that my factory spews forth. Many libertarians and conservatives have a knee-jerk reaction against preserving wild spaces and protecting the environment and I just don't get it, especially when one considers that the modern environmental movement sprung from the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

My environmentalism stems from three basic sources: 1) My own personal love of the outdoors and of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, camping, etc; 2) My belief that unspoiled nature has an inherent worth that is well beyond and separate from the sum total of its mineral, oil, timber, etc, wealth; and 3) Science and reason. Now, kindly explain to me how any of these contradict basic libertarian/conservative tenets.

no.2 caught my eye in particular.

There is enough valid scientific evidence that suggests that burning fossil fuels is causing global warming, and even if they don't cause it there are plenty of other reasons to switch away from their use, such as dead coal miners, blown up offshore oil platforms, oil spills, giving money to really unpleasant people in the Middle East, fighting wars to secure access to oil, etc.

Per-Olof Samuelsson said...

I linked to this article on Facebook.

Doug Reich said...

Per-Olof, thanks much for the link!

Mo, Here are some brief answers to the points made by the person you quote.

Issues related to spillage and negatively influencing other people's property can be simply handled through well defined property rights and the common law. If you spill poison in my yard, I can sue you or arrest you if it was deliberate, etc.

Howerver, one should have to prove demonstrable and specific harm. Today, one can assert biodiversity or some abstract nonsense to stop virtually any development project for years. The latter is an example of a gross violation of property owner rights.

If someone loves outdoors, great, then buy a bunch of land and live in the outdoors or support groups who purchase land on the free market and manage it as a park or undeveloped property. I like jelly beans and ham sandwiches but I can't force someone else to value it.

Beyond the personal value issue, you are right to point out number 2which is an expression of the intrinsic value of nature theory. Now, I could be generous and just say that this person likes camping and looking at mountains and stuff. Whatever, legally and economically, the answer is the same.

However, the quote is important in understanding why environmentalists feel justified in supporting regulations on OTHER people who do not share their values. They go way beyond to assert that this intrinsic value is something we must all worship and preserve because it has this magical intrinsic value.

Anyone who uses this justification to violate the rights of others by say, denying others full and free usage of their own property (various environmental laws and regulations), is morally wrong and committing a grave injustice. They are initiating force against others for no reason other than their own personal view that something they do not own is valuable to them.

With regard to the burning of fossil fuels:

1. With respect to "dead coal miners"; recall that it was the environmental movement itself that shut down the nuclear power industry!!! which provides a clean and safe form of energy.

2. With respect to the middle east, agreed, but the environmental movement restricts domestic drilling and makes it nearly impossible to refine domestically so we rely on imports

3. The global warming argument is totally unproven and if he wants to arbitrarily claim "well maybe its bad" I would argue with the same validity "well maybe its good"; many studies have shown that warming will be a net benefit; who knows, right

I suggest that if he wishes to use more expensive sources of energy, he go ahead and use them but don't force me to use them.

Second, if he wants more innovation, then free the market in energy, get the environmenal lobby out, and let the market decide;

Third, establish property rights across the board (water, air, roads, etc.) so that provable costs and liability are factored into prices; dangerous technologies that could hurt or endanger people would cost a lot since they would be hard or impossible to insure

hope that helps

Rational Education said...

Excellent post!
in your response #2 on coal mining -there is another more safer method of mining for coal- mountain top blasting -which is either heavily regulated or not allowed (I am not sure on the specific laws that prevent it from being widely used as a method). But the premise for the regulating or ban is again perhaps aesthetic and/or "communal" environmental rights gibberish. Either way it actually prevents a safer method from being employed.

Doug Reich said...


Thanks for that. It continually amazes me that environmentalists can get away with using the negative consequences of their own policies as justifications for more of their crazy policies!


Mo said...

here is some more stuff on this:

it seems that aquatic biodiversity and endangered species are at stake

you don't think this falls under property rights ?