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Author Topic: Environmentalism Kills—Again  (Read 4036 times)

<Patrick>

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Environmentalism Kills—Again
« on: January 15, 2004, 12:11:30 am »

     
     "Thirty years ago Ayn Rand warned that environmentalism was an antiman ideology that would cause widespread misery if embraced. Unfortunately, her warning went unheeded—and the deaths have been mounting ever since," said Dr. Onkar Ghate, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

      The latest tragedy—involving millions of lives—is occurring in Southern Africa. Because of the region's refusal to embrace industrialization and capitalism, it once again faces starvation. Nevertheless, Zambia and other nations there have rejected emergency food aid—because it contains genetically modified crops.

      "It is, perhaps, understandable," said Dr. Ghate, "that ignorant African leaders would be blind to the scientific evidence in favor of these crops and to their widespread, safe use in the West. They've succumbed to environmentalists' pseudoscientific scare-mongering, which smears these life-giving products as 'frankenfoods.'"

      "But why," asks Dr. Ghate, "are the supposedly scientific environmentalists indifferent to the evidence and unmoved by the suffering and death their views cause? Because theirs is an inhuman ideology, one that worships wilderness and therefore brands man's taming of wilderness as sinful. According to environmentalism, man's method of survival—digging oil wells, building chemical factories, enhancing agricultural crops—is evil. One cannot spread such an antilife ideology by the means of life: reason, logic, science. One can spread it only by irrationality, distortion and lies—dressed in scientific garb.

      "To prevent environmentalism from sacrificing our lives next, therefore, we must strip it of its pretense of reason and science."

http://environmentalism.aynrand.org/#editorials


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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
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mark

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2004, 02:29:03 am »

P-diddy, I think you'll enjoy this talk given by Michael Crichton.


Remarks to the Commonwealth Club




I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.
 

continued...


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<Patrick>

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2004, 07:38:57 pm »

     
     P-diddy? When I be bustin' rhymes I call myself P-dog. You best refrain from disrespectin' my name or I'll straight smoke your punk ass. Don't arouse my anger, fool.

 :D
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org

<Patrick>

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2004, 08:05:23 pm »

     I generaly agree with Michael Crichton. Robert Bidinotto of The Objectivist Center makes a similar comparison between environmentalism and religion.


"Green Cathedrals: Modern Spiritual Poverty and the Rise of Environmentalism" Realplayer sound clip:

http://www.objectivismstore.com/audio/Fall99rjb.rm


"Let's Make Earth Day A Religious Holiday" Article:

www.objectivistcenter.org/articles/rbidinotto_earth-day-religious-holiday.asp



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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org

<Patrick>

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2004, 03:48:45 pm »


More Robert Bidinotto:


"[W]e are threatening to push the earth out of balance," warned former Vice President Al Gore in his book, Earth in the Balance. "Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet's ecological system. The ferocity of its assault on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences are occurring so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them, comprehend their global implications, and organize an appropriate and timely response."

Philip Shabecoff, formerly the chief environmental reporter for the New York Times, summed up their outlook in his history of the American environmental movement: "…[A]n unspoiled land of great beauty and wonder began to change when Europeans came here five hundred years ago," he writes. "…ts resources were squandered…large areas were sullied, disfigured, and degraded, and…our negligent use of the Promethean forces of science and technology has brought us to the verge of disaster."
 
The Promethean allusion is strikingly appropriate, for Prometheus was the Titan of Greek mythology who loved Man, and brought to him the fire of the Gods--a tool by which he could transform nature for his own benefit. It is perhaps the archetypal myth of Western civilization.

But many--certainly, many who rally under the green banner of environmentalism--now hold that worldview in contempt.

The essence of the environmentalist outlook is suggested in the title of Mr. Gore's book, and made clear in its pages. It's the view that everything in nature exists in a perfectly harmonious balance--a balance ever threatened by the activities of Man.
 
The roots of this outlook lie deep in antiquity. In Greek mythology, for example, tales abound cautioning Man against the sin of hubris, of pride, of self-assertion.

By giving men the knowledge of the gods, Prometheus enrages Zeus, who chains him to a rock to suffer a thousand years of torture. And to punish Man he sends him the first mortal woman, Pandora, bearing a box that he forbids her to open. But moved by curiosity, she opens it anyway, unleashing on Man all the evils of the world.

Similarly, when given wings of wax, Icarus is warned by his father not to try to fly too high, but the lad ignores him. Soaring upward, the aspiring youth flies too close to the sun, where his wings melt and he falls to his doom.

The Greeks believed that hubris had to be suppressed by recognizing something greater than oneself, by cultivating a sense of humility before the gods or some higher good. Man's proper path lay in self-restraint, in practicing virtues centered on the idea of moderation, such as prudence, wisdom, and temperance. The importance of humility and steering a moderate course is illustrated in the cautionary Greek myth of Phaëton, who insists on driving his father's chariot to bear the sun across the sky. But heedless of warnings, he fails to stay on the middle course through the heavens and, flying out of control, sets the world on fire and perishes.

This fear of unrestrained human aspirations, especially Man's boundless thirst for knowledge, is equally evident in the Judeo-Christian tradition. To the ideals of humility and moderation, the Old Testament added another: what might be called the pastoral ideal, symbolized by the Garden of Eden. In the mythical Garden, Adam and Eve live in perfect harmony with the flora and fauna, without want or fear. Having no needs, they have no goals; and having no goals, not a single fugitive thought ever escapes the stagnant tranquility of their empty skulls.

This, Genesis tells us, is "paradise."
 
By contrast, the symbol of evil is the Serpent, who tells Eve, in effect, to get a life. When the two witless, purposeless humans finally refuse to accept humble, helpless, passive ignorance as their fate--when they finally muster enough courage and ambition to defy their arbitrarily imposed restraints, and eat from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge--they commit the Original Sin. As a consequence, they are kicked out of Paradise and consigned to a terrible fate. From now on, Man will have to assume self-responsibility for his life, define personal goals and work to achieve them, explore the rest of the boundless world, and populate the earth by making love.

This, Genesis tells us, is "punishment."

Later, when these fallen men try to build a tower that can reach heaven, God laments that "now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." So to punish men again for their unrestrained imagination and ambition, he scatters them across the earth and confuses their languages.
 
Consider the basic premises about Man and his world that these ancient morality tales have transmitted across the centuries--premises communicated in songs, sermons, images, icons, fiction, films, and scholarly works--premises that have shaped the thinking and the lives of billions. Here, in summary, is their message:

Everything in nature exists in harmonious balance and perfect order (the Eden Premise). Man's duty is to find a humble niche within this benign, bountiful, and balanced paradise, where he can exist simply and non-intrusively (the virtue of humility). However, Man's ambition--especially his quest to improve himself by gaining and applying knowledge--represents a grave peril to this pastoral ideal (the sin of pride). Man's ambitious exercise of his creative intelligence disturbs the tranquility and destroys the harmony of the pristine natural order (the danger of reason and the sin of selfish ambition).

To prevent chaos, therefore, Man's evil selfish appetites must be curbed, and his intelligence suppressed. That is the task of morality, whose virtues consist of constraints: humility, obedience, self-suppression, sacrifice of self to a "greater" good. By limiting Man's disruptive ambitions and creative aspirations, then, morality will preserve the natural balance and order.
 
Since antiquity, this worldview has been drummed dogmatically into billions of brains--so successfully that it's now the reigning interpretive template. It's the basis for most people's understanding of the world around them. It's the code of values governing their choices and actions. It's the metaphysical and moral heritage upon which writers such as Al Gore and Philip Shabecoff draw--and which they intuitively trust their readers to share.

It's the spiritual soil in which the seeds of the environmentalist philosophy and movement have taken root and flourished.

It's also the complete antithesis of the philosophical outlook of America's Founders:  a rejection of the Enlightenment outlook that, like Prometheus, championed Man and his requirements for living on earth: reason, science, individualism, self-responsibility, personal freedom, private property, and capitalism.
 
Rational individualism was the emerging worldview for people newly liberated from superstition, savagery, stagnation, and slavery--people striving to explore, develop, use, and enjoy the earth's resources. Rational individualism was the philosophy of modernity.

But even in America, this modern, progressive ideal never fully overcame the pre-modern "ideal" of The Eden Premise. That atavistic ideal continued to hold a viselike grip upon millions who feared the prospect of self-responsibility, and hated the socio-economic system that demanded it."

http://www.econot.com/page4.html

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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
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Kelton Baker

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2004, 04:45:56 pm »


More Robert Bidinotto:
[snip]

In the mythical Garden, Adam and Eve live in perfect harmony with the flora and fauna, without want or fear. Having no needs, they have no goals; and having no goals, not a single fugitive thought ever escapes the stagnant tranquility of their empty skulls.

I completely agree with Robert Bidinotto's sentiments here!  Pardon me, I just have to make a point:
Not everyone who believes in the Book of Genesis holds to the pastoral view of Eden as being sufficiently satisfactory for "gods in embryo", as is taught in Mormonism, which explains that it was in the design of the Creator's plan from before the foundations of the earth, that mankind would have to experience a fallen world in order to grow spiritually.  "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)  Eden was only the starting-point for mankind to set in order this fallen mortal experience, necessary for humankind's growth and progression.  

Also,  anyone who believes that God spoke these words, as I do,  is not going to give a lot of room for any anti-human versions of environmentalism:  "For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves." (Doctrine and Covenants 107:17)
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<Patrick>

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2004, 04:22:54 pm »

Quote
"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."

     This reminds me of a passage from Atlas Shrugged:

     "Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge - he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil - he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor - he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire - he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy - all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man.
     Whatever he was - that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love - he was not man."

www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/7583/rand.html


     I think both quotes may have a common theme.  :)

     What comes to mind when I think of "man" is not the passive state of an Adam in the Garden of Eden--in my view the essence of humanity is the thinker, the active creator, the builder, the producer.

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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
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<Patrick>

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Re:Environmentalism Kills—Again
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2004, 07:42:45 pm »


     I myself am not --obviously-- religious, but I am interested in it to the extent that religion is a form of philosophy.

     Am I to understand that Mormonism regards the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to be a good thing? Something that was meant to help Humankind grow ?
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org
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