January 22, 2013

Is radical environmentalism misanthropic?

By Anthony L. Francois Senior Attorney

My colleague Damien Schiff recently posted on the question of whether, and the degree to which, the environmental movement has migrated from an anthropocentric to a non-anthropocentric framework.

Today I offer the view that there is a strain of contemporary environmental activism that is clearly misanthropic.  Such activists consider humanity to be essentially an invasive species, and the purpose of their work is aimed at reducing and eliminating the trace of human contamination from an otherwise self-evidently good ecosystem.

Exhibit A is the Center for Biological Diversity’s Human Population Campaign.  At their website, the Center states that by “any ecological measure, Homo sapiens sapiens has exceeded its sustainable population size.”  The Center goes on: “explosive, unsustainable human population growth is an essential root cause” of the “planetary extinction crisis wiping out rare plants and animals throughout the world.”

If you are thinking that this sounds like a re-hash of Limits to Growth, which the Club of Rome published in 1972, you would be correct.  And you would also be correct in re-calling that numerous scholars and authors have debunked Limits to Growth.  Most recently, author Robert Zubrin’s new book Merchants of Despair dismantles the Malthusian basis for Limits to Growth in a short and compelling first chapter.

So why does the Center persist in the error that the greatest crisis the world faces is people. Perhaps, as I have previously argued, the question answers itself.

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