Sunday, November 9, 2008

Irony? Or Karma?

One of my pet formulations is that environmentalism (or ecology as it was drummed into me as a child) is a luxury. Poverty starves environmentalism like [some random fat celebrity] starves the other customers at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

To a man without shelter, a two-thousand year old redwood looks like a roof, some walls, maybe even a floor.

To a man without food, a spotted owl is a feast.

Now, one of the more obvious ramifications from environmental policies is poverty. Energy is more expensive because it's too difficult to produce more of it, owing to various environmental restrictions, just for example. The Kyoto protocols would've cost us enormously even though, without them, we came closer to its goals than the nations that actually agreed to it, and those nations are dropping Kyoto like a hot potato in the face of serious economic problems.

Environmentalists are obsessed with our footprints. Not just our carbon footprints, but every resource we "consume" in our existence. This year's Wall-E (a shoo-in for the animation Oscar) took as given the idea that consumerism would lead to the destruction of earth and our own near extinciton. But the lives led aboard the space station by the remaining humans didn't really affect the earth, and I have to believe that most green-types would approve of that. (Although there was the curious issue of the space station making tons of trash, and no explanation of where the raw materials were coming from.)

Wealth is anathema to this crowd.

Their policies create poverty.

Poverty leads to resistance to their policies.

I just can't figure out if that's ironic or karmic.


  1. Once on National Geographic I saw some enviro-nerd state with satisfaction that he was sure that -- not long after his own death -- the human race would end because of side effects of global warming and pollution. And then the world could return to its untainted, natural state.

    I thought it was hilarious that, in his mind, he had timed armageddon to happen just after his own natural death. That way, it could be something to really look forward to...

  2. Well, the late Michael Crichton (for whom I need to blog an entry) marveled at how neatly environmentalism mapped to Christianity.

    There is a persistent segment of Christians who believe that the world is about to end--either during or right after their lifetime.

    Science has made us no less, em, geocentric.

  3. Without referring to Armageddon or to the Eschaton, this is why I no longer contribute to The Nature Conservancy, and find Malvina Reynolds's song Little Boxes to be repulsive, rather than cutely hip. Driving past Daly City, the inspiration for the song, on California 1, is it "ticky-tacky" or is it the American Dream for the people who can get there? Hippie elitism, phooey!


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