Monday, September 19, 2005

Techno-Environmentalism

DenMT criticised me last Thursday for what he called an "emotive, pandering bullshit quote of [mine] from this Michael Berliner character," ie,
The fundamental goal of environmentalists is not clean air and clean water; rather it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Their goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion.
Berliner, it's true, is a little hasty in ascribing to every environmentalist the goal of demolishing technological/industrial civilization, however that goal is certainly true of those who subscribe to the environmental fundamentalism of 'deep ecology'--what you might call the environmental religionists, and those who defend them.

The origins of the deep ecology movement are described by Robert Bidinotto:

In a famous 1966 essay, UCLA historian Lynn White, Jr., blamed the ecological "crisis" on the West's Judeo-Christian heritage, which, he said, was based on the "axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man." He called for a "new religion" based upon "the spiritual autonomy of all parts of nature" and "the equality of all creatures, including man."

Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess took all this a step further. Individuals do not exist, he said; we're all only part of larger "ecosystems." The "shallow ecology" of mainstream conservation groups, he argued, was still anthropocentric, or homocentric. It aimed only at improving the environment for the benefit of humans. "Deep ecology," on the other hand, led to a view of "biospheric egalitarianism...the equal right to live and blossom."

In short, all things are created equal; they should be venerated as ends in themselves, as intrinsically valuable apart from Man; and they have equal rights to their own kinds of "self-realization" without human interference or exploitation.

This is now the basic outlook of most mainstream environmental groups, despite their moderate posturings.
So there you go. If they're not fundamentally opposed to human life like the 'Right Virus' man David Graber--"until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along"-- they're at least fundamentally indifferent to human survival. Witness for example the indifference to the 55 million dead due to Rachel Carson's mistaken campaign against DDT.

Some environmentalists are different, of course. TechCentralStation has a piece on precisely that kind of forward-thinking environmentalism here, what author James Pinkerton calls Ultimate Environmentalism.

You might say that the defining characteristic of Ultimate Environmentalism is that it eschews any idea of 'intrinsic values' or deep ecology, and embraces instead the idea of seeking and advancing those environmental values that support and enhance human life. Embrace that.

2 Comments:

Blogger Icehawk said...

Hey,

About that claim that "most mainstream environmental groups" buy into the extreme Deep Ecology view:

Ah, no. No. No, it's a very rare environmentalist who'd really thikn that a baby dung-beetle has as much right to life as a human baby.

Yes, extremists exist.

Yes, there's an entire industry of writers trying to tar mainstream environmentalists with the same extremist brush.

Sadly such writers don't tend to bother with little details like evidence.

But hey, obviously the green-bashers don't need evidence when they have ideology instead.

9/19/2005 06:09:00 pm  
Blogger DenMT said...

PC - Your whole environmental argument has been based on selected quotes from Objectivist Ayn Rand fanboys.

I have no problem with fringe, radical anarcho-capitalists attempting to deride a movement which is vastly larger and more influential than their own.

But using two arguments linked so tenuously (ie 'Deep Ecologists want to destroy civilisation as we know it => Mainstream environmentalists have 'deep ecology' as their basic outlook => Mainstream environmentalists want to destroy civilisation') is just... Well, poor.

I challenge you to advance your conspiracy theory using other, more widely accepted sources and theories.

cheers
Den

9/19/2005 06:43:00 pm  

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