Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I am an environmentalist, but not a raging, pathological one. I try to commute to work on my bike as much as possible and consume resources sparingly, but I don't preach to others. I don't workship Gaia, nor do I passionately embrace my forest friends of the wooden variety. I do like trees though; you've got to if you live in the Pacific Northwest. Yet I think a lot of committed environmentalists believe we are depleting our resources, and once they're gone the world will end. Many radicals actually believe they care more for the environment than others. This is a perverse way of thinking, because it assumes that people are indifferent to a declining quality of life. If there is a nexus between the environment and quality of life, then it stands to reason that we are all environmentalists to one degree or another. Most people are driven by self-interest, so it's logical that they want clean, pristine surroundings and enough resources to maintain or improve their standard of living. It's not really a matter about who cares more, but a difference of opinion about what can be done to preserve our surroundings and conserve/expand our resources. I don't think it's a zero-sum game. There is just too much curiosity, innovation, and imagination on the earth to limit us to what we've got right now.