> I imagine this will get me some comments....
> MYTH OF ECOLOGICAL AMERICAN INDIANS
> On Earth Day there will be many events applauding Native
> Americans for living in harmony with the environment before the
> evil white man came and destroyed paradise. The school children
> who participate in these Earth Day brainwashing exercises are
> not going to hear anything about the incredible environmental
> destruction by the native peoples of North and South America.
> A recent study by Robert Whelan documents the many ways in which
> pre-Columbian man absolutely ravaged his environment.
I believe this to be true of virtually all cultures whenever they move into a new
environment. The extinction of the Pleistocene mega fauna in North America was no
doubt an expensive learning experience for the peoples who first populated this
hemisphere during the last Ice Age. The land ethics of Native American peoples so
revered by modern day environmentalists were probably aquired after the fact much
the same as the conservation ethic of our society arose in response to the
devastations wrought by grossly unsustainable practices of the last century.
Despite the fact that our society - esp government continues to underwrite alot
of bad things we still have made significant progress over the past ways of doing
Of course the radical wing of the environmental movement likes to sensationalize
the issues and focuses more on the gloom and doom aspect of environmental
problems rather than solutions. Also there is the tendency of these groups and
the news media to slant coverage of these kind of stories and selectively exclude
things like the Whelan study because it might be "politically incorrect" - ie
offensive to descendants of indigenous peoples or damaging to the green agenda.
Bad news is after all more compelling (except when it conflicts with articles of
faith) and gives more reason for whatever action is deemed necessary and measures
to censor political oposition.
> In many ways we treat the land better today than pre-Columbian
> man did, and are better conservationists and stewards of the
> environment. Earth Day enthusiasts should cease celebrating an
> Eden that never was.
Myth of the "Noble Savage".
What we have here is a critical look at a golden age that never was. All
civilizations have their romanticised visons of a pastorial perfection from which
things have deteriorated and to which people yearn to return. That's a natural
part of the human condition, even as individual beings we often yearn for our
youth. And that's not all bad if we don't become so consumed by it that we can no
longer endure the prospect of any farther changes in the world.
One of these posts mentioned something called the "Wise Use Movement"- which I
suppose represnts all those nasty folks out west who elect people like Helen
Chenoweth to Congress. That's what you get when you seek to force your values on
others without regard for their interests. How much of this conflict could be
avoided if environmentalists would try to work with these people rather than
confrontational tactics involving the imposition of government force.
I'd hate to say that it's too late now, but the Helen Chenoweths of the world are
significantly antagonized and now as likely to trust anyone who came to them in
search of a partnership to manage land. Their knee jerk response would probably
be- GET OFF MY PROPERTY AND DON'T COME BACK OR ELSE!! I know a few people who are
like that. They don't even want to talk about stuff like endangered species or
The environmentalists should remember that Newtonian theory applies as well to
human sociology as it does to celestial mechanics - Actions have reactions -
Equal and opposite. Not long ago I remember seeing a book titled something like
"War Against The Greens" bemoaning the backlash against environmentalism in the
Of course now it's the greens who are on the offensive now.
Action and reaction, Equal and opposite.
There has to be a better way.
> Source: Bruce Bartlett, senior fellow, National Center for
> Policy Analysis, April 19, 2000.
> For Whelan study http://www.iea.org.uk/wpapers/env14.pdf
> For more on Biodiversity
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