Friday, April 21, 2006


Harvard's Piotr C. Brzezinski bids a failed movement adieu:
Environmentalism is dead; long live the environment!

This pronouncement might seem a touch premature, especially to the 500 million people who will celebrate the 37th Earth Day this weekend—a collective “not dead yet” wheeze. However, these numbers mask the growing irrelevance of the environmentalist movement. Having lost its credibility with alarmist rhetoric and obsolete ideological ballast, the movement must develop a moderate discourse while challenging its previous assumptions and outdated theories.

The contemporary environmentalist movement faces a stark choice: change tactics or fade into irrelevance. Over the past decade, environmentalists have achieved few political victories and utterly failed to influence the general public. As indicated by a recent MIT study, the public knows little about environmental problems, and cares less. Out of 21 national and international issues, Americans ranked environmental problems 13th, well below terrorism, taxes, crime, and drugs.

Alarmism—the environmental movement’s basic strategy—has led to this dead end. Since Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” the movement has been dominated by doomsday scenarios. Even on the first Earth Day in 1970, biologist George Wald predicted that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken” while the New York Times warned that “man must stop pollution and conserve his resources…to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” Fortunately, such apocalyptic forecasts have repeatedly proven to be wrong.
Read the whole thing.


Anonymous The_Real_JeffS said...

A good read, JF, and spot on to boot. I, for one, grew tired of people screaming "The end is near!" years ago.

But don't expect any sort of sudden conversions from the ranks of Mother Gaia adherents......them people has got religion bad.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

The current U.S. population is probably close to 300 million. Regardless, it has not more than doubled since 1970.

10:47 AM  

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