Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keith Lockitch on Environmentalism

By Diana Hsieh

[Note: This post is part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays.]

Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Institute has written some excellent op-eds on environmentalism from an Objectivist perspective. Below you'll find two that I thought particularly illuminating.

First, It Isn't Easy Being Green:

It isn't news that environmentalism has gone mainstream in a big way--with organic food in every grocery store, hybrid cars on every freeway, and every mass-market magazine declaring green the "new black." More than ever before, consumers are buying into environmentalist ideology--and buying products that purport to impact nature less, in order to impact nature less.

One would think that serious environmentalists would be thrilled about this trend--thrilled that the public seems willing to take ecological marching orders and do its duty to the planet. But they aren't: A backlash against "buying green" has arisen in environmentalist circles, with critics disparaging the new eco-consumers as "light greens," and condemning the "Cosmo-izing of the green movement."

Surprising? Not really. Not if one grasps the deeper meaning of environmentalism.
What is "the deeper meaning of environmentalism"? Read the rest of It Isn't Easy Being Green to find out!

Second, No "Footprint," No Life:
As environmentalism continues to grow in prominence, more and more of us are trying to live a "greener" lifestyle. But the more "eco-friendly" you try to become, likely the more you find yourself confused and frustrated by the green message.

Have you tried giving up your bright and cheery incandescent light bulbs to save energy--only to learn that their gloomy-but-efficient compact fluorescent replacements contain mercury? Perhaps you've tried to free up space in landfills by foregoing the ease and convenience of disposable diapers--only to be criticized for the huge quantities of energy and water consumed in laundering those nasty cloth diapers. Even voicing support for renewable energy no longer seems to be green enough, as angry environmentalists protest the development of "pristine lands" for wind farms and solar power plants.

Why is it that no matter what sacrifices you make to try to reduce your "environmental footprint," it never seems to be enough?
For the answer, go read No "Footprint," No Life. It might surprise you.

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