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How environmental ideology drives environmental destruction


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Destroying a rainforest to protect against invasive species:



Killing wild horses:



Cutting down trees to protect endangered species:



Cutting down 1 million trees mostly to protect against invasives with huge use of pesticides:




The basic common driving factor in all of this is the desire to return the environment to a pre-human untouched state. It provides good justifications for large forest management and other government bureaucracies which spend large amounts of money, time and effort destroying the environment in order to save it.


Its actually deeply ironic. All these efforts were attempts to remove the effects of human interference...but they require deep and pervasive human interference in places that would normally be left alone.

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The basic common driving factor in all of this is the desire to return the environment to a pre-human untouched state

I think there are extremes on both sides. As your examples show, it is almost impossible to create this "pre-human" state. The reality is human cities and towns distort any effort to achieve this goal. The horse example you posted is evidence of this.


The true non-native megafauna in the west are cattle. Because the horses compete with cattle for resources, horses are seen as a detriment to rangelands. But the idea of horses as invasive pests is a subjective statement of values, not an objective fact.


In other words, there simply is not enough space for both.


That being said, the proper response is not to then say, "well screw it all!". That doesn't work either and causes human made problems such as drinking water pollution, inhabitable areas due to energy accidents, permanent destruction of forestland, etc.


In other words, there is space in the middle for both to exist.

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As soon as you introduce people, in quantity, to an environment - you alter it. Your environment has a 'sustainable' carrying capacity of X; go above it for any extended time and you will poison the well - poisoning yourself. However, for a great many people environmental destruction is of necessity, not choice. If you need heat - you burn trees; and you burn them untill there are no more trees left.


'Environmentalism' simply recognizes that the 'environment' is like any other asset, and has a 'value' equal to the PV of its future benefit. Pollution is an impairment, and carbon taxes/eco taxes are early attempts to value it.


We can swear up/down that we're not the cause of global warming, point to the geologic record, and claim that it's just natures cycle. And on some things, we may even be largely right; but when the sea-level change drowns large parts of New York, London, or New Orleans - does 'being right' really matter?


Individuals object because they now have to 'pay' for their bad habits, and in rich countries, they vote. Then add to it that globally, work based on polluting is increasingly being displaced with 'green' work, and you have a polarizing mix. The extremes are not irreconcilable, but it requires change, which populations are generally not good at.


As no man/women can fight time, the 'environment' will of course eventually 'win'. Despite our best efforts otherwise.

So position yourself accordingly, and instead, let the 'envornment' do the work for you.











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