Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Greens who cried wolf

"A different sort of green literature has developed in the past few years - and it is not the sort the Green Party will happily hand out at its conference this weekend," says Colin James in today's Herald. [Hat tip DPF.]

Essentially, as Robert Bidinotto summarises the position, "A self-admitted former 'environmental groupie' within the mainstream media now contends that the environmentalist movement has lost credibility because of its scaremongering," and much debate has ensued. Essentially, there is a split between the traditional greens and those environmentalists that, as James describes it, are "not sceptical about pollution, biodiversity, climate change and so on but [are sceptical] about alarmist proclamations and using regulation to change behaviour."

I talked about this phenomenon here last month.

Now, we all know the Greens like scaremongering. We all know they dislike the idea of property rights and are in favour of central planning. We all know too that they like the word 'ban' -- 606 uses of the word on the Greens' site, and counting. Despite what we do know, however, the
Green's Frog Blog has weighed in, denying they're "instinctively in favour of regulation and against market mechanisms," but agreeing they are having this debate. Says the Frog:
One of the most lively debates on the Green Party members’ forums in recent months has centered around two pieces of environmental movement navel-gazing emanating from the United States: the first called “The Death of Environmentalism” and the second called “The Soul of Environmentalism”.
Bidinotto maintains in any case that the recent navel-gazing undertaken by environmentalists is misguided : "The underlying problem for environmentalists is not that they typically engage in factual distortions and scaremongering for a good cause. The problem is that their cause isn't good."

I commented on this debate briefly a few weeks ago here, mentioning "Robert Bidinotto, who argues that Environmentalism as a movement is dying under the weight of its irrationalism and its constant crying 'wolf'. Read the 'Death of Environmentalism' here, and its companion piece 'Death by Environmentalism' here. Both are linked from his website, Econot.com."

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