The day the earth stood still

For months now, I’ve desired to write a piece on the ridiculousness of the environmental movement.  There really is no way to truly satisfy this movement short of renouncing technology and returning to a state of primitive culture.  Naturally, such a move would also require a vast reduction in the human population as primitive cultivation techniques could not sustain the current population levels.  I truly don’t think environmentalists think through the ultimate consequences of what they seek.  Or do they?  With all the talk of Mao perhaps they have.  Besides, paraphrasing my favorite political philosopher, “a healthy planet comes through the barrel of a gun.”

The following reprint makes my points with nearly the sense of humor I would have employed.  The author is another anonymous blogger but interestingly from the other side of the political universe.  Although I wonder about that.  He tells us he’s not a conservative yet then he tells us he opposes “pretty much everything the President is doing.”  Well, I’ll let him pick it up now.

Reprint from Therefore I Think. (Slightly abridged.)
Human technology threatens the planet - time to go primative

Human technology threatens the planet

In his 2007 book “The World Without Us” author Alan Weisman hoped “…to produce a book about the present state of our planet that would be noticed and read by as wide an audience as possible…I’m grateful that its offbeat point of departure — seeing our world minus the distraction of ourselves — has worked so well…” [Emphasis mine.]  He talks about how the planet would “recover” once humanity is gone.  An interesting note is that one of the cover quotes praising the book is from the organizer of the demonstrations this last weekend.

Before I go any further, let me clarify a few assumptions some may be making, based on my previous posts and this one:

1. I am not a republican.

2. I am not a conservative.

3. I am not white.

4. And, despite my not agreeing with pretty much everything the President is doing, I am not a racist.

Back to the topic at hand:

So what are these people after?  They want to (as Ayn Rand once wrote) “return to the primitive.”  Many want an egalitarian society where someone’s need is a warrant on your life.  Pretty much all want to level the playing field, not by raising the standard of living where it is low, but by lowering the standard of living where it is high – i.e., advanced industrial nations like the U.S.  They want to take down capitalism because according to their altruistic morality, it is wrong or at best a necessary evil.

What makes me say this?  Let’s start with and their own view on global warming:

“Global warming is caused by releasing what are called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Many of the activities we do every day like turn the lights on, cook food, or heat or cool our homes rely on energy sources like coal and oil that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.”

Everything that humans do has an impact on the environment.  To enjoy our high standard of living – from the lights we use to push back the darkness, to the vehicles we drive or fly to save time traveling, to the appliances we use to free up time to be with our family or work more productively, to cooking the food we eat with a stove rather than an open fire, to heating or cooling our homes so that we can be comfortable – these activities and many more create an “environmental footprint.”  So, basically every life-sustaining activity we humans do – including many of the things that have raised our life expectancy – is “bad for the environment.”  According to this premise, the earth would be better off if we were either dead or lived like our distant ancestors – and that is what is preferred.

Try and reduce your “footprint” by using cloth diapers and you get chastised for the excess water you’re using to clean them.  Use compact fluorescent bulbs to save energy and discover that they contain mercury.  Advocate for solar panels or wind mills to harness alternative energies (as inefficient and impractical at this point as they are) and get yelled at for trying to disturb ecosystems or pristine land.  You can’t win because environmental footprint is the measure by which nature is disturbed.  The less it is disturbed the better, so the more you disturb it by living like a human being, the more guilty you are.  Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Center likens this to the guilt of Original Sin – making one feel guilty for their very existence.

How about these ideas to reduce your carbon footprint:

– Victoria University’s research fellow Brenda Vale, an authority on “sustainable architecture,” recently co-authored the book “Time to Eat the Dog.”  The book looks at ways to “modify” behavior to save energy.  In September 2008, Ms. Vale told a Wellington city council in New Zealand “a big dog can have a carbon footprint that is the equivalent to a small car and therefore the best way forward, if you are going to have a pet, is to make sure it is edible.”  Vale says edible animals for pets like pigs, chickens, or rabbits would be better for the environment.

Time to meet your maker, Fido.

– But another study written in World Watch Magazine states that the carbon footprint of livestock (like chickens and pigs – see above) has been underestimated, and that the only true alternative to reduce your “carbon footprint” is to be a vegetarian.  If someone wants to be a vegetarian, go for it; I was a vegetarian for a couple of years and was fine.  Because I was having trouble gaining weight while on a work out regimen, I started to eat meat again; in other words if the choice is my health or that of an animal, I choose me.  Call me crazy.  Anyways, the kicker is the last sentence in the article:

“Unfortunately, meat consumption provides yet another illustration of the global inequalities and injustices associated with climate change, where consumption in industrialized countries directly degrades the quality of life in developing countries.” [Emphasis mine.]

This is very important because this is the premise (taken in a larger context away from just food consumption) of the environmentalist movement across the globe, and is the guiding principle in the ideas being floated for the climate treaty hoped to be agreed upon in December.

– Forget the animals; go to the source of the “footprint” problem says New York Times contributer Andrew Revkin.  During an October 14 climate panel he said:

As part of a cap and trade scheme, “if you can measurably somehow divert fertility rate…shouldn’t there be a carbon value for that?”  He says further: “Probably the single most concrete and substantive thing an American, young American, could do to lower our carbon footprint is not turning off the light or driving a Prius, it’s having fewer kids, having fewer children.”  He has blogged in the past: “More children equal more carbon dioxide emissions.”

Do you really need any analysis of this point of view?  Yet it is absolutely consistent with the more “mainstream” ideas of environmentalism.  Nature = good.  Humans = bad.  He might as well say, “China’s got it right.  One child per couple.  After that I propose, for the good of the planet, forced sterilization.  Sacrifice your fertility to Mother Earth.”

As I’ve stated before, the current flurry of activity – from the campaign to the current climate bill moving its way through Congress (and backed by the President) is the climate conference in Copenhagen this December where many leaders hope to iron out a binding climate treaty.  At the very least they hope to lay the ground work for one later down the road.  President Obama is aiming for a treaty by the end of his first term.

A perfect analogy for all of this is Earth Hour.  On March 28, people in an estimated 1,000 cities in 80 countries turned out the lights for one hour; this included homes, office spaces, and national landmarks; non-essential lights is what they called it.  Begun in 2007, Earth Hour is supposed to bring awareness to our carbon footprint, dependence on energy, and global warming.

Here’s the House of Parliament in London before:

House of Parliament

Here’s the House of Parliament during Earth Hour:

House of Parliament after

It’s a great analogy to what they’re ultimately after: lights-out on our civilization.  It’s ironic (and hopefully not prophetic) that near the end of Atlas Shrugged, protagonist John Galt says that they (the men of the mind; the producers and creators on strike) would know when it was time to return to the world and when the collectivists’ experiment had run its course – when the lights of the world’s great cities had gone out.


Cavemen have small footprints

The future of humanity under extreme environmental policies

Final note from the editor:

Not exactly the future I envisioned for my kids, but hey, it’s about the smallest carbon footprint a human can have.  But wait, even cavemen produce waste, burn fuels, and kill animals.  These cavemen have obviously killed animals.  Tsk, Tsk. Vegan cavemen, now that would be better.  Naturally the ultimate environmentalist would like a planet devoid of humans but they’ll never admit it.

  1. October 28th, 2009

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