Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Catch-22 Of Environmentalism

The stories below really illustrate the fundamental flaw of environmentalism - it always infringes upon humanity in a harmful way. As you read this, keep in mind the fact that the global warming fad is fading, with no real consensus in the scientific community, countless examples of hypocrisy from global warming's biggest proponents, and mounting factual evidence that global warming is not caused by humanity.

Politically Correct Cause #1: Helping the poor vs. Environmentalism
A splash was made with the recent announcement of the Nano, a 4-seat car that will cost $2,500. Its target audience is poor people, especially in poverty-stricken countries in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia, and it will soon be launched in India. It figures to revolutionize these areas, providing cheap transportation to millions of people. This will allow them to travel further to find better jobs, get better food and supplies, and generally improve their lives. But, more cars -- even cars like the Nano, which will be mere gas-sippers -- means more emissions and exhaust, and that means more damage to the environment. At least, that's the theory behind the environmentalist movement. According to this way of thinking, millions more vehicles around the world would be disastrous.

So, do you 'save' the environment, or do you help the poor?

Politically Correct Cause #2: Housing vs. Environmentalism
Thomas Sowell writes at RealClearPolitics.com about the housing market in California, beginning with a San Fran Chronicle story that minorities have left the state in droves since 1990 due to skyrocketing housing prices. Prior to 1970, houses in California used to be priced roughly equivalent to the rest of the country, but now they are three times more expensive. Why? Severe government restrictions stagnated building along coastlines and designated huge tracts of land as natural 'open space', and other laws have had similar effects. Demand has gone up, and so has the cost because there is no additional supply. People making even a moderate living can't afford it anymore. Basically, the people who got in early are blocking the way for others to move in under the pretext of protecting the natural environment, while driving up their own housing values at the same time. In this case, it's not truly about the environment so much as selfishness, but the principle is still used to bludgeon people into submission of the whims of these environmentalists.

So, do you 'save' the environment, or do you allow capitalism and competition to bring those prices back down to let lower income people enjoy the coastal view and improve their own lifestyle?

Politically Correct Cause #3: Lighting vs. Environmentalism

The recent bill that will ban incandescent light bulbs comes with some hefty consequences that most people probably don't even realize. Conservative Thoughts gathers several of them in one place. Not only are these 'green' light bulbs more harsh and less pleasant -- when have you ever seen fluorescent lights in a TV studio or make-up room? -- but they actually exacerbate known skin conditions in some people. They can also trigger migraine headaches. They also pose significant problems if the bulbs ever break in a normal household, both financially (bringing in a hazmat crew) and health-wise (they contain mercury).

So, do we 'save' the environment, or do we use better lights that cause fewer health problems and pose less danger?

Politically Correct Cause #4: Cars vs. Environmentalism
I've already blogged about this in the past, but I'll mention it here again because it fits so perfectly. The new energy bill also establishes new fuel efficiency standards on new cars being made after 2012. These standards will be devastating on an already-struggling U.S. automobile industry. The results of this increase are more expensive cars that are less safe, which means more people will be injured and killed on American roads. Regarding the cost, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz predicts we'll see an average -- AVERAGE -- cost increase of $6,000 per vehicle! He has also said that small cars cannot be profitably made and sold in the U.S., and that means American jobs will be lost.

So, do we 'save' the environment, or do we protect American pocketbooks, jobs, and lives?

I could go on and on about the ridiculousness caused in the name of environmentalism; we all could. The key element running through all of these scenarios is the assumption that humanity is the cause, and therefore humanity should defer to the environment regardless of the cost. It seems as though environmentalists view humanity as some sort of blemish on the earth, and utopia could be achieved if civilization digressed to the point of primitiveness, or a state closer to nature. If that was correct, though, wouldn't people absolutely love it when cities lose power due to ice storms? Wouldn't people flock to post-earthquake locations? Wouldn't the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have been a beautiful thing because it destroyed vast amounts of human civilization?

No, of course not! These natural disasters are just that - disasters. No one in their right mind would advocate for more of these events to occur. But that's exactly what environmentalists seem to advocate. Environmentalism inherently causes catch-22 situations, and every one of them runs contrary to progress and improvement.

Even nature itself understands this concept. Every animal on the planet modifies its environment to suit its needs. Birds build nests, foxes dig holes, termites create their mounds. Everything has to eat. The fact that humans are simply more advanced in how we modify our environment doesn't change the fundamental underpinnings of the situation. Besides, we're hardly in danger of running out of room here - the land on the planet is less than 10% covered with cities or human construction, and forests alone cover more square miles than all human cities put together. Claims that we radically modify our society in detrimental ways simply to accommodate the whims of environmentalism is pure foolishness.

Take it one step further. An examination of these or any of the other hypocritical scenarios you can think of raises some critical questions. How do you determine which politically correct cause takes precedence? Perhaps more importantly, who gets to make that decision? Should a powerful central government make those judgment calls? Should an all-powerful global government make those judgment calls? That's all fine and dandy, but we all know just how capable and correct almost all governmental agencies are, even with the best leaders. What happens if those leaders are less than competent? What happens if those governments are controlled by people who oppose your viewpoint? Government has thoroughly demonstrated that they can't be trusted to act in the best interest of Americans, and giving the government even more power is the last thing we should consider!

Global warming is, as stated by the founder of the Weather Channel, the biggest hoax ever perpetrated by man, and
and environmentalism is the core principle of global warming. If environmentalists view humanity as some sort of virus scourge contaminating the face of the Earth, then the logical conclusion is to get rid of humanity altogether. My suggestion would be to let them implement their wishes, as long as they start with themselves.

Problem solved.

There's my two cents.

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Faultline USA said...

Excellent article! You are bringing up very important ethical and moral choices. Unfortunately the PC crowd never has to make any moral or ethical choices because they already know all the answers. As for the florescent lighting, I have a common medical eye condition (lots of central floaters) that makes vision under fluorescents very difficult if not impossible.

Veltis said...

Please. Your argument centers around "we shouldn't have to sacrifice or change a damn thing in exchange for, say, breathable air, clean water, and a planet that won't overheat and cause our grandchildren to REALLY experience lifestyle change."

Energy efficient lightbulbs make you suffer? What brands have you been using? My whole house is lit by these bulbs, and I live in Finland, where we have next to no light in winter. There honestly isn't much of a difference. Also, LED based lights are on their way.

Can't live without your car? Try improving public transport. Cheaper for the poor that you care so deeply about, and much better for the environment. I have a car here in Helsinki, but since the trams, buses, trains and metro all run like clockwork, I barely have a need for it and am considering selling it. Even transport to the countryside is a piece of cake.

To call the issues you raise a problem of humanity vs. the environment is the kind of hyperbole that can only come from someone who's lived the most coddled, self-indulgent and spoilt existence on the planet. Time to grow up and realize life may sometimes require a little compromise, and it isn't ruined by not getting your massive incandescent-lightbulb-lit manor by the sea and the Humvee you need to drive there with.