Tuesday, April 21, 2015
But we here at UC recognize that to make any sense, "the environment" simply refers to the circumstances in which we live, and we are just as much a part of nature, i.e. reality, as anything. So is anything we do. So, for a real environmentalist like us, the only relevant question is whether a change makes our circumstances more livable or not, that is, it's a matter of costs and benefits. Every action has good and bad points. The relevant question: is the net effect positive or negative?
The accompanying photos do a nice job of capturing the distinction between our brand of rational, pro-human environmentalism, and the anti-human leftist environmentalism of Earth Day. Both photos are taken from space and show the Korean peninsula and China at night. The economies where activity is conducted in markets, China and South Korea, are lit up, a sign of life. North Korea is nearly as dark as the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan. North Korea comes very close to the ideal system prescribed by the leftist enviro. There's next to no light pollution, for one thing. There's very little energy consumption per person. North Korea is certainly not an important contributor to greenhouse gases. North Korea consumes very little in the way of Earth's resources. North Korea comes very close to being what leftwing enviros prescribe as being ideal. North Korea is also very close to being hell on earth.
That's leftwing "environmentalism" for you...development is bad. Technology is bad. Human well-being counts zero in their calculus, and humans themselves are expendable. But for us real environmentalists, this is all nonsense. The advance of civilization under capitalism makes the environment better. Want some evidence? Check out this BBC article on the arrival of the first electric refrigerator in a poor Indian village. Life becomes radically better. The environment becomes better.
If we really want to devote a day to celebrating an improving and sustainable environment, we need a day devoted to celebrating capitalism and technology. Earth is for humans, it's not for hell.