Saturday, 3 January 2009

Malaise of Modern Environmentalism

Part 1

First comments on “Death of environmentalism” by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus.

Environmentalists are mostly concerned with moderating human impact on the environment. Protecting nature comes with the slogan that nothing in nature exists alone, and as a result we should aim at creating a sustainable environment. However how much are we really doing to preserve our eco-system?

Usually the most used tactic is not to frighten the public with terms such as global warming, but instead to focus on “science-based” proposal such as fluorescent lightbulbs and hybrid cars. However when push comes to shove how much really is modern environmentalism capable of handling climate change? Are we really holding to our granite belief that everything is somehow interconnected in nature?

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir.

As environmental groups fail to win over national legislation to safeguard the environment, there is little to do except cling to hope as their political power decreases. Yet today’s leading environmentalists do not see the future so bleak. They understand that real change must come slowly, changing one policy at a time. Despite all this, should we entrust in these modern methods?

According to Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, the US is not doing as much to help the environment as it should. However they do not deny the potential. They introduce the Strategic Values Project, a survey which shows that America’s values now lean more to conservatism. Maybe the newly-elect president Barack Obama can serve to change that; especially since his pre-electoral campaign specialized precisely on this concept!

In my opinion the main concern of this document lies within the form of support environmentalists have. Although public support comes in great quantity to sustain the environmental cause, it does little in terms of the quality.

“The environmental movement acts as though proposals based on “sound science” will be sufficient to overcome ideological and industry opposition.”


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