Those of you who have wasted your time reading my blog probably realize that I am quite skeptical about many of the arguments presented by the Global Warming Crowd, Al Gore in particular. Lest it be thought that I am not a serious conservationist, I now present my Golden Rule of Environmentalism.
As a scholar once said of another pithy summation, “All else is commentary.”
By committing ourselves to the preservation of habitat, so many questions are made simple, or even unnecessary. Global warming, caused by inefficient use of resources, will take care of itself. Urban sprawl, non-point water pollution, acid rain, all are covered under the rubric of habitat preservation. The only motivation for this is an ethical one: the belief that other living things have a right to exist just as we do, and that we should take care not to extinguish their species. Everything flows from this simple imperative, but if one does not accept this, then it all unravels. The apocalyptic environmentalist often fears the consequences of industrialization out of simple self-preservation or fear for his or her progeny. This is justified, but it doesn’t get at the root of the problem, and it frequently leads to silly arguments and alarmist statements about how we are “destroying the earth,” “poisoning the earth,” or putting civilization in great danger…take your pick. Well, are you afraid for civilization or for the non-human inhabitants of the planet? Make up your mind.
You don’t have to choose between them, but you do have to think.