Just two generations down the ecological path our hippie brethren first stumbled upon in the 60's, the proponents of deep ecology continue to radicalize the environmental movement and promise to return us to what they consider the halcyon days of the noble savage. First elucidated by Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1750 in his Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences, the fundamental axiom of the deep ecologists is that civilization has morally corrupted humans. In Rousseau's view, everything that human society regards as progress (urbanization, industrialization, science and technology) serves only to degrade us morally.
The degree to which this concept infuses the greenies amongst us has reached critical mass. Fifty years of coddling these wackos with our silent, nodding assent has emboldened the environmental movement to the point that they are absolutely convinced they hold the high moral ground. The abandonment of debate over the fundamental principles of radical environmentalism helped enable the left's thorough domination of the education, media and entertainment sectors of our society. Our media airwaves and the publishing industry are shot through with a constant barrage of crack-pot messaging in support of the regressive politics of the deep ecologists.
The deepies believe that our naturally anthropocentric view of the earth is immoral. To paraphrase deepie dingbat Daniel Quinn, the human-centered myth that underlies our world view is no more valid than the cockroach-centric view held by your average roach motel denizen. To counter the wayward pro-human tilt of civilization, the animal liberationists, the Gaia hypothesists and New Ageists offer an 8 tier platform to demonstrate their moral superiority while returning us to the dark ages. Follow the link above to see if you can stomach the whole list. Here are a few of the major tenets that underlie your organic garden variety environmentalist movement:
- 4. The flourishing of human life and culture is compatible with a substantial decrease in human population. The flourishing of non-human life requires such a decrease.
- 5. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive and the situation is rapidly worsening
- 6. An ideological change (is necessary), mainly that of appreciating life quality...,rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living.
To demonstrate just how this world-view works in actual practice, let's consider a recent example of regressive deep ecology thinking.
Gasoline-powered automobiles are certainly near the top of the no-no list for greenies. Their irrational love affair with the idea of an electric automobile, however impractical, is just one of the many symptoms of green-foolery. So it comes as no surprise that the arch-leftist BBC would produce an ill-considered documentary meant to promote the electric auto. Meant to demonstrate the range possible with an electric vehicle, the BBC assigned a reporter to make the journey from London to Edinburgh in an electric Mini. While the Beebsters were celebrating the fact that reporter Brian Milligan was able to traverse the route in a mere 4 days, the Telegraph's Christopher Booker points out that a stagecoach journey circa 1830 could have traversed the same trip in half the time. And the stagecoach was considerably more eco-friendly than the modern Mini. Our adversaries on the left are wisely attempting to leave behind the term "liberal" to describe themselves. Decades of soiling the term with their self-serving and addled politics has undoubtedly rendered the term into a pejorative. Before we allow them to re-christen themselves as Progressives, a term they believe to be salutary, let's consider their anti-civilization, anti-progress, anti-human views and call them as we see them: they are regressives, pure and simple.
Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker.