The green movement is gaining momentum. As natural resources peak and dwindle, species get pushed toward extinction, and the results of climate change start to take shape, more and more people are catching onto the radical idea that we should clean up after ourselves.
Across the world, ordinary people are taking action to make an extraordinary difference. But there are always those who prefer inaction. Business-as-usual. No regrets. Whatever you want to call it, its supporters are as fervent as ever.
While I understand the concerns of some of these inactivists, I find one of their arguments particularly ridiculous. That argument is illustrated well by Steven Milloy, who campaigns on behalf of secondhand smoke, DDT, and air pollution. In his online Fox News column, he explains how “environmentalists plan to control your life.”
Like many Americans, your sense of the green movement may be that it simply advocates small lifestyle changes to benefit the environment. But the green agenda, in fact, is much more ambitious; it promotes countless new restrictions… designed to reorder society from top to bottom.
Mr. Milloy goes on to list “new restrictions,” which include using less energy, avoiding toxic chemicals, and buying food locally.
The greens justify all this as necessary to solve our alleged “planetary emergency.” But they don’t intend for you to live this downsized and penitent lifestyle for some finite period of time until the supposed crisis is over. It is to be a permanent restructuring of life as you know it.
He obviously thinks that this is an exciting revelation, since he wrote a whole book about it, but it really isn’t that shocking. Of course we need to permanently restructure life as we know it! Our current path of linear consumption and destructive impact leads to a dead end. Turning down a new path is the most logical choice.
Switching to a sustainable lifestyle is not a sacrifice, but an improvement. We’re not going to return to the Stone Age; new technology will play an important role. Every major invention has resulted in lifestyle changes, and most of them were for the better.
And why shouldn’t the changes be permanent? Why would we want to return to a philosophy of waste, greed, and irresponsibility?