Green Consumerism?

 Posted by on 30 July 2007 at 4:11 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 302007

As much as I’ve been irked by the “green invasion” into consumer products, I imagine the true greens are so very much more upset by it. The millions of people buying recycled paper, organic strawberries, hybrid cars, and natural potato chips are just as much filthy capitalist consumers as ever! They just don’t understand the whole-life change that Mother Earth requires! So I’m glad to see that the true greens are fighting back, as that’ll alienate the pseudo-greens from the environmental movement that much faster, leaving it without substantial support.

Here’s the Ayn Rand Institute Press Release on the backlash:

Environmentalists Against “Buying Green”
July 30, 2007

Irvine, CA–With organic food in every grocery store and hybrid cars on every stretch of freeway, “green consumerism” has become commonplace. But a backlash against such allegedly “earth friendly” shopping is arising; critics within the environmentalist movement are condemning the trend as superficial and contradictory. Says one environmental activist: “green consumerism is an oxymoronic phrase.”

“This criticism is extremely revealing about the true nature of environmentalism,” said Dr. Keith Lockitch, resident fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. “For decades, many environmentalists have insisted that protecting the environment is not incompatible with industrial civilization. To make their ideology more palatable, they regularly promise that living ‘sustainably’ doesn’t have to come at too great an economic cost or personal hardship. But when people finally begin to come on board and make allegedly ‘pro-environment’ choices, they are condemned as ‘light greens’ and ‘eco-narcissists.’

“The truth is that environmentalism is not compatible with human flourishing. It does demand economic destruction and unbearable hardship. The claim that its goal is to protect the environment for the sake of mankind is a Big Lie. Its goal is to protect nature, not for man, but from man–to preserve an untouched environment as an end in itself, no matter what cost or hardship that imposes on human beings.

“Anyone who thinks that ‘eco-chic’ is consistent with the principles of environmentalism had better think harder about the true nature of the ideology they are trying to support. What environmentalism truly demands is sacrifice to nature–the rejection of our modern, industrial civilization in favor of the decidedly un-chic, unglamorous hardship of a primitive, pre-industrial, stone-age existence.”

I’ll be teaching a class on “the value of nature” in my upcoming “Introduction to Philosophy” course. We’ll be reading Aldo Leopold’s 1954 essay “The Land Ethic,” a classic of environmental ethics. I’ve not settled on an opposing article yet, although I like Gregg Easterbrook’s “The Case Against Nature” found in the Sommers’ Virtue and Vice in Everyday Life. It’s a selection from his book A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism, which I’ve just ordered from Amazon. Other pro-man recommendations would be welcome.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha