Re: NANFA-- pulling our heads out of the sand

Mark Otnes (
Sat, 15 Jun 2002 18:19:51 -0500

A little late on the discussion here, but I do want to make a few comments.
I want to reiterate The Skeptical Environmentalist isn't an anti-science
book. What it does critique is the methods and conclusions of some
environmental groups within the public and political realm.

I'm also curious that Lomborg is portrayed as a media darling, as I've never
seem him lauded on CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, or even Fox News. That's not to say
that he hasn't been on these networks, but it sure doesn't appear to be
saturation coverage to me. His appeal appears to me to be with
Conservatives, which leads me to me to my second point.

I disagree that Lomborgs popularity with some is because he assuages our
guilt about ecological problems. I frankly think that the group he appeals
to doesn't feel all that guilty about ecological problems. I think his
appeal is due to the fact that he separates environmental issues and
concerns from the much broader agenda of the political Left who appear to
think that they own the issue and that only their solutions are valid.

The biggest problem with too many in the environmental movement is that they
do not take into account just what made it possible for them to be an
environmentalists in the first place. I believe that prosperity, freedom,
and safety all have to be in place before anyone can even consider being an
environmentalist. And I think too many within the movement don't consider
where these things come from. I think our prosperity comes from our
economic system. If you're living hand to mouth you don't have the luxury
to be an environmentalist. I think freedom comes from our values and our
rule of law. Do you see a strong environmental movement in the Islamic
world? How about Cuba, Communist China, or the dear old Soviet Union? Even
the richer nations of East Asia don't have a very good environmental track
record. Finally, I think our safety comes from the our economic and
military strength and that of our allies. Obviously I don't thing that the
Left is very strong on these issues.

I find it extremely ironic that so many in the environmental movement
despise capitalism and yet it is within capitalist countries where virtually
all of the environmentalists are found. Why is that?

Finally, watch out if you hitch your wagon to a broader political movement.
For example, the Green Party in Minnesota has four platforms one of which
has to do with the environment. The other platforms are social justice,
grass-roots political activism, and something else I can't remember. Anyway
they had their convention and instead of promoting environmental health they
spent the hold time wrangling about the ethnic, racial, and gender
composition of the party. The egalitarian social engineers had other ideas
about what was important.

Mark Otnes
Fargo ND

----- Original Message -----
From: Christopher Scharpf <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 10:34 AM
Subject: NANFA-- pulling our heads out of the sand

> "Why is he so popular? Simple: He assuages our guilt about ecological
> problems. Like a travelling tonic salesman, he tours the land telling us
> what we would prefer to hear, making us feel better about ourselves and
> the world.
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