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Is Environmentalism Benign?
The Leaders' Theory, The Followers' Practice



Theory

Most of the many Americans who would label themselves as environmentalists, do so on the basis of a genuine advocacy of a proper stewardship of man's environment. Indeed, by such a yardstick we're all "environmentalists" - a conscious desire for a polluted and demonstrably hazardous environment would be patently irrational.
Implicit but rarely explicit in such advocacy, is the premise that human health and well-being is at least a, if not the, standard of value and prime motivation. For this reason - and the fact that a majority of people are not versed in philosophy, much less Objectivist philosophy - a person who argues that the Environmental Movement is anti-human at root and therefore ethically evil, will elicit responses ranging from disbelief to open hostility. Environmentalism is in fact raw anti-humanism dressed in a veneer of benevolence, but how does one persuade a person who sees only the sugar coating, of the "green" ideology's poisonous filling?
Along with the primary task of philosophical analysis - analysis of, alternately, the basic premises of environmentalism and the irreplaceable value of industrial production - it is essential to expose the attitudes harbored by prominent "green" leaders as evidenced in their own documented statements. This task has been made much easier because of the fact that past and present environmentalist leaders have made little or no attempt to conceal their true beliefs about humanity. (A serviceable job of concealment has been performed for them, by a near-universal silence on the subject among major media...)
The following quotes provide a vivid and disturbing picture of the consistent hatred of humanity permeating the Religion of Environmentalism:


1. "Honorable representatives of the great saurians of older creation, may you long enjoy your lilies and rushes, and be blessed now and then with a mouthful of terror-stricken man by way of a dainty."
- A benediction to alligators by John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, quoted with approval as "a good epigram" by environmentalist Bill McKibben in "The End of Nature" (New York: Random House, 1989) pg. 176

2. "We have wished...for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us back into the stone age..."
- Environmentalist Stewart Brand in "The Whole Earth Catalog"

3. "You think Hiroshima was bad, let me tell you, mister, Hiroshima wasn't bad enough!"
- Faye Dunaway as the voice of "Mother Earth/Gaia" in the 1991 WTBS series "Voice of the Planet"

4. "Given the total, absolute, and final disappearance of Homo Sapiens, then, not only would the Earth's Community of Life continue to exist but...the ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty 'Good riddance!'"
- Paul W. Taylor, ethics professor at City University, NYC, in "Respect for Nature" (Princeton Univ Press, 1989) pg. 115

5. "If you'll give the idea a chance...you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions if not billions of other Earth-dwelling species."
- The "Voluntary Extinction Movement," quoted by Daniel Seligman in "Down With People," in Fortune magazine, September 23, 1991

6. "The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable, but a good thing..."
- Editorial in The Economist, December 28, 1988

7. "A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people...We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. ...We must have population control...by compulsion if voluntary methods fail."
- Paul Ehrlich, "The Population Bomb" (Ballantine Books 1968) pg. xi, pg. 166

8. "...Man is no more important than any other species...It may well take our extinction to set things straight."
- David Foreman, "Earth First!" spokesman, quoted by M. John Fayhee in Backpacker magazine, September 1988, pg. 22

9. "I see no solution to our ruination of Earth except for a drastic reduction of the human population."
- David Foreman, "Earth First!", quoted by Gregg Easterbrook in The New Republic, April 30, 1990, pg. 18

10. "If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS."
- Earth First! periodical, quoted in "Access to Energy," Vol.17 No.4, December 1989

11. "As radical environmentalists, we can see AIDS not as a problem but a necessary solution."
- Earth First! periodical, quoted in "Planet Stricken" by Alan Pell Crawford and Art Levine, Vogue magazine, September 1989, pg. 710

12. "I founded Friends of the Earth to make the Sierra Club look reasonable. Then I founded the Earth Island Institute to make Friends of the Earth look reasonable. Earth First! now makes us look reasonable. We're still waiting for someone to come along and make Earth First! look reasonable."
- "Mainstream" environmentalist David Brower, quoted by Virginia Postrel in Reason magazine, April 1990, pg. 24

13. "We are not interested in the utility of a particular species, or free-flowing river, or ecosystem to mankind. They have...more value - to me - than another human body, or a billion of them...Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."
- David M. Graber, National Park Service biologist, in a review of Bill McKibben's "The End of Nature," in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 22, 1989, pg. 9

14. "Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society...all potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
- Herr David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth, quoted in "The Coercive Utopians" by Rael Jean Isaac and Erich Isaac (1985 Regnery Gateway Inc.)

15. "I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds."
- Paul Watson, founder of "Greenpeace," quoted in "Access to Energy" Vol.17 No.4, December 1989

16. "We, in the Green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which the killing of a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year old children to Asian brothels."
- Carl Amery of the Green Party, quoted in "Mensch & Energie," April 1983

17. "A reporter asked Dr. Wurster whether or not the ban on the use of DDT would not encourage the use of the very toxic materials, Parathion, Azedrin and Methylparathion, the organo-phosphates, [and] nerve gas derivatives. And he said 'Probably'. The reporter then asked him if these organo-phosphates did not have a long record of killing people. And Dr. Wurster, reflecting the views of a number of other scientists, said 'So what? People are the cause of all the problems; we have too many of them; we need to get rid of some of them; and this is as good a way as any.'"
- Victor J. Yannacone, Jr., lawyer and co-founder of the Environmental Defense Fund, on EDF co-founder Dr. Charles Wurster, at a May 20, 1970 speech at the Union League Club in New York City. Published in the Congressional Record as Serial No.92-A of Hearings on Federal Pesticide Control Act of 1971, pg.266-267


Practice

What is the destination of the Environmental Religion? The answer depends on the degree to which its edicts are allowed to be written into law, which in turn depends on the degree to which its ideology is accepted among the general populace. Casual adherents to environmentalist causes who do not share the sentiments quoted above, need to ponder the fact that there is a causal link between theory and practice in every intellectual area: The animating philosophical beliefs of a given movement will determine the ultimate destination of that movement, to the degree to which the rank-and-file of its supporters accept and embrace those beliefs, even on an implicit level.

Crucial also is the presence or absence of a principled opposition. Is there a rational alternative based on the ethical primacy of human life, in defense of the material means of sustaining human life, i.e. industrial civilization?

We can, however, derive a good illustration of environmentalism's logical terminus - by examining the real-world expression of the above sentiments. What the above quotes were to Theory, the following is to Practice. What follows is a list of crimes and damages attributed to eco-terrorists over the last two decades throughout the Western United States, organized by state (Data from the Portland Oregonian of September 26, 1999):


12/06/88   Mineral, WA           Vandalism - Logging equip.                               $79,150
02/13/89   Lake Samish, WA       Vandalism - Logging equip.                               $210,000
04/15/89   Republic, WA          Sawmill damaged by tree spikes                           $57,000
06/21/89   Cle Elum, WA          Arson - US Forest Svc. warehouse                         $900,000
07/02/89   Republic, WA          Arson - Logging equip.                                   $85,000
06/15/91   Edmonds, WA           Arson - Mink food plant                                  $499,993
08/12/91   Pullman, WA           Vandalism -Veterinary facility                           $100,000
04/01/94   North Bend, WA        Arson - Logging equip.                                   $90,000
07/27/94   E. Olympia, WA        Arson - Logging equip.                                   $250,000
11/16/95   Olympia, WA           Attempted arson/release - mink ranch                     $3,500
02/23/96   Littlerock, WA        Arson - Off road motorcycle club                         $50,000
05/21/96   Grays River, WA       Vandalism - Logging equip.                               $287,381
05/22/99   Cle Elum, WA          Arson - Logging equip.                                   $65,000

04/27/80   Cave Junction, OR     Vandalism - Herbicide spray helicopter                   $20,000
05,04,80   Cave Junction, OR     Attempted arson - Forest Svc. Ranger station             $500
05/30/81   Toledo, OR            Arson - Herbicide spray helicopter                       $180,000
06/05/83   Summit, OR            Arson - Logging equip.                                   $82,000
06/13/83   Sweet Home, OR        Arson - Logging equip.                                   $300,000
10/26/86   Eugene, OR            Burglary/Theft of lab animals                            $5,000
06/10/91   Corvallis, OR         Arson - Experimental fur farm                            $62,000
11/12/91   Applegate, OR         Vandalism - Logging equip.                               $50,000
12/21/91   Yamhill, OR           Arson - Mink processing bldg.                            $96,000
05/30/93   Portland, OR          Bombing - USDA predator research facility                $5,000
10/18/95   Veneta, OR            Vandalism - Logging equip.                               $50,000
12/24/95   Eugene, OR            Arson - Trucks at ice cream company                      $15,300
10/28/96   Detroit, OR           Arson - Forest Service truck                             $15,000
10/30/96   Oakridge, OR          Arson - Forest Service ranger station                    $9,000,000
03/14/97   McKenzie Bridge       Attempted arson - Forest Service pickup                  $0
06/01/97   Mount Angel, OR       Vandalism/release - mink ranch                           $300,000
07/21/97   Redmond, OR           Arson - slaughterhouse                                   $1,375,000
11/29/97   Hines, OR             Arson - BLM barn & equip.                                $474,000
12/27/98   Medford, OR           Arson - Logging firm headquarters                        $700,000
05/09/99   Eugene, OR            Arson - meat company                                     $350,000

12/25/83   Torrance, CA          Burglary/theft of lab animals - research ctr.            $50,000
12/09/84   Duarte, CA            Burglary/theft of lab animals - research ctr.            $400,000
04/20/85   Riverside, CA         Burglary/theft of lab animals - research ctr.            $683,000
04/15/87   Davis, CA             Arson - veterinary diagnostic lab                        $3,500,000
09/01/87   Santa Clara, CA       Arson - meat packing business                            $100,000
01/29/88   Irvine, CA            Burglary/theft of lab animals - research ctr.            $115,000
06/04/88   San Jose, CA          Arson - meat company                                     $400,000
11/24/88   Santa Rosa, CA        Arson - furrier                                          $100,000
01/29/89   Dixon, CA             Arson - livestock auction bldg.                          $250,000
04/28/89   Monterey, CA          Arson - meat company                                     $10,000
05/28/89   Sacramento, CA        Attempted arson - cattlemen's assn. headquarters         $400
11/23/89   Palo Alto, CA         Arson - department store                                 $10,000
11/25/89   San Francisco, CA     Attempted arson - department store                       $0
11/25/89   Barstow, CA           Obstruction placed on desert motorcycle course           $0
12/14/89   San Francisco, CA     Attempted arson - department store                       $0
12/17/89   San Francisco, CA     Attempted arson - department store                       $0
01/11/90   San Francisco, CA     Attempted arson - department store                       $0
01/11/90   San Francisco, CA     Attempted arson - department store                       $0
01/11/90   Palo Alto, CA         Attempted arson - department store                       $0
04/22/90   Watsonville, CA       Vandalism - power lines                                  $15,000
12/07/90   Boonville, CA         Arson - logging equip.                                   $1,917,000
10/07/93    San Diego, CA        Arson - meat company                                     $18,000
01/28/94    San Diego, CA        Arson - meat trucks                                      $18,000
01/30/94    San Diego, CA        Arson - meat company                                     $100,000
06/23/94    Litchfield, CA       Arson - BLM trailer and burro corrals                    $25,000
04/19/95    Aptos, CA            Bombing - three log trucks                               $50,000
03/18/97    Davis, CA            Arson - animal research lab                              $1,200
08/29/99    Orange, CA           Burglary/theft/vandalism - animal lab                    $250,000

03/23/95   Fallon, NV            Arson - cattle camp facilities                           $15,000
09/01/97   Fallon, NV            Arson - cattle camp facilities                           $25,000

10/24/92   Pocatello, ID         Attempted arson - USDA predator research facility        $300
10/06/97   Preston, ID           Animal release - mink ranch                              $50,000

07/04/81   Moab, UT              Power lines toppled                                      $1,210,000
12/01/87   Escalante, UT         Vandalism - road-building equip.                         $100,000
01/01/90   Hanksville, UT        Vandalism - gold mine                                    $175,000
08/28/91   Sandy, UT             Attempted arson - fur breeders cooperative               $0
10/24/92   Logan, UT             Arson - USDA predator research facility                  $3,000
10/24/92   Millville, UT         Arson - USDA predator research facility                  $200,000
10/11/94   West Valley, UT       Bombing - meat company                                   $3,000
06/10/95   Salt Lake City, UT    Arson - leather craft shop                               $300,000
04/16/96   West Jordan, UT       Arson - fast food restaurant                             $240,000
06/21/96   Riverton, UT          Vandalism/release - mink ranch                           $50,000
07/17/96   South Jordan, UT      Vandalism/release - mink ranch                           $263,000
08/03/96   Spanish Fork, UT      Vandalism/release - mink ranch                           $54,400
11/26/96   Ogden, UT             Attempted arson - trapping supply company                $1,000
01/27/97   Salt Lake City, UT    Arson - egg company & trucks                             $400,000

10/04/87   Flagstaff, AZ         Vandalism - ski lift                                     $45,000
09/25/88   Grand Canyon, AZ      Vandalism - power poles at two uranium mines             $25,000
10/20/88   Flagstaff, AZ         Vandalism - ski lift                                     $20,000
04/03/89   Tucson, AZ            Arson/theft of lab animals - research center             $250,000
05/30/89   Salome, AZ            Attempted toppling of power line                         $0

02/02/81   Missoula, MT          Arson - motorcycle bridge into wilderness area           $20,000
09/04/89   Libby, MT             Vandalism - logging equip.                               $130,000
10/15/93   Essex, MT             Vandalism - logging equip.                               $60,000

10/10/98   Rock Springs, WY      Attempted arson - BLM horse facilities                   $100

08/19/97   Fort Collins, CO      Arson of wildlife pharmaceutical company                 $2,000
10/19/98   Vail, CO              Arson - ski resort                                       $12,000,000

04/14/95   Deming, NM            Vandalism/shooting of livestock - cattle ranch           $20,000
01/06/96   Espanola, NM          Bombing - Forest Service office                          $25,000



Conclusion

Whatever label one may wish to attach to them, the open anti-humanism espoused by a large chunk of the environmental movement's most revered leaders, represents the core philosophy of the movement as a whole. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so reality abhors a contradiction - there can be no such thing as a movement which is simultaneously anti-human and pro-human.

The accepted philosophic underpinnings of a movement dictate its direction, just as a nation's accepted philosophy determines the relationship between its government and the people who populate it. Regardless of how badly a given eco-adherent wishes to 'have it both ways,' his movement's intellectual foundation is in fact its intellectual foundation - and it is from that source that a movement receives its impetus.

Countless citizens of Germany's Weimar Republic thought a "benign" Nazism would be practicable in spite of its intellectual leaders' stated attitudes and intentions. This comparison is not meant as emotional hyperbole - a study of what ideas Hitler & Co were promoting, then of subsequent actions based thereupon, reveal some unnerving similarities in this context.
The Nazis were placed in power by a population that had been educated in the same intellectual tradition as the butchers on top. The people heard and read what was being promoted, accepted with enthusiasm the ethics of self-sacrificial duty and the politics of collectivism, dismissed the acts committed in accordance with that philosophy as "the recklessness of a few extremists". They discovered far too late that the "extremism" was a consistent expression of their own ideological hostility to reason, to individual rights, to freedom, to human life as such.
The results are a matter of history.

Theory, when consistently applied, finds logical expression in the world around us. We cannot know in advance the exact form as malevolent a theory as environmentalism would take in practice. But it is essential that we take note of that malevolence of both theory and action, recognize that such consistent anti-humanism is not an inconsequential coincidence, evaluate the implications, and act accordingly:

•  People in every sphere - political, scientific, social - must no longer grant to environmentalists the premise that their religion is somehow benign and noble. It is neither;
•  We must demand of our elected officials a thorough reexamination of all proposed and existing environmental laws and regulations - with an eye toward repeal - using the value of humanity as the sole standard by which they are judged.





Copyright ©1999-2004 by Poor Richard
All Rights Reserved



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