L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

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03 August 2007 Blog Home : August 2007 : Permalink

Right-wingers and Capitalists for the Environment

Tim rants away at thr ASI blog on this bit of assinine greenery. And he is right to do so because it is full of the sorts of hair-shirt enviromentalism about "unsustainable lifestyles" that demonstrate that the writer is a fully paid up member of the church of Gaia.

However the real problem that this article demonstrates is that the church of Gaia folks are great on identifying the problems and, as is typical with lefties of all shades and stripes, completely crap at coming up with practical solutions. Here's the writer's "answer" to the problem he identifies: basically 'unsustainable consmption' with my comments below each section:

So, what can we do? Obviously, the first thing we need to do is act, and act fast.

Because there is nothing like action to substitute for thought. Wouldn't it be better to analyse and think first, the act. The military has the 7Ps acronym (Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pisspoor Performance), but, presumably because this fundamentalist Gaian clearly despises the entire military industrial complex he'd rather follow "when in daner or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."

Every day we wait, another 30,000 children needlessly die; between 100-150 plant and animal species become extinct; 70,000 hectares of rainforest is destroyed and another 150m tonnes of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

We can stop many of the deaths by DDT. We can stop the destruction of the environment" by forcing the peasants off the land and introducing efficient cash-crop agriculture instead of subsistence and slash and burn. Doing these things would most likely reduce the amount of CO2 emitted thanks to humans

Meanwhile, another $3.0bn (£1.5bn) is spent on arms and weapons of mass destruction.

And this is relevant because? WMDs are almost certainly less destructive of the environment than other forms of weaponry and anyway the amount spent is comparatively trivial. $3B (per day?) is $1T per year. US GDP is $13T, world GDP is around $66T.

We urgently need to think about the more fundamental concept of sustainability and how our lifestyles are threatening not only the environment, but developing countries and global peace and stability.

Right we need to think. So immediate action (see above) is a bad idea. The developed world is actually better for the environment than the developing world. We are reducing pollution, planting more trees etc. The developing world for the most part is polluting more and deforesting.

In my view, we need to embrace this as an opportunity and not see it as a responsibility. Living a more sustainable lifestyle does not have to be a burden, as some people fear.

Might be good to have some details about what you mean and even better if you demonstrated what you mean yourself. According to the piece you work for the "Irish Regional Office" which is in the centre of Brussels opposite the EU, no doubt you will not be flying back to Ireland to visit rels, will be living within cycling distance of the office, geting rid of your car etc.

It could be a liberating and rewarding experience to participate in creating a better world. After all, how good do we really have it at the moment?

Yes indeed it could. So stop being some kind of government paid lobbyist living parasitically off the taxes of the rest of us and start creating things. Perhaps you could head off to Uganda or Zambia and work on saving some of those kids from dying of malaria.

How many people are tired and weary of modern living? The endless cycle of earning and consumption can be exhausting and does not necessarily bring happiness and fulfillment. Can we do things differently, and better?

OK then fuck off back to the bogs of Ireland and buy a croft and a couple of acres. Plant your crops and live like a hippie generating all your electricity via wind and solar, why don't you? I bet you can't actually survive without frequent visits to the supermarket.

If we don't, then we are heading for certain disaster, regardless of whether or not we manage to reduce our emissions.

Alternatively you could start invetsing in the folks who are developing microbes that turn waste biomass into petrol or alcohol or the folks working on better solar cells or... Of course success on these projects would mean that the world would need less oil, which would mean less WMD because the nations who have the oil would go down the pan and stop exporting wars and so on. But no. This is in fact anathema to fundamentalist greens because it means more technology not less. Even though it would actually work it's heresy because we must all wear hair shirts and aplogise for raping Gaia.