Sunday, April 20, 2008

Preparing For "Earth Day"

April 20, 2008 -- "Tuesday is Earth Day, the calendar's High Holy Day of Green theology. With each passing year, environmentalism more clearly assumes the trappings of a secular religion. Now, along comes Iain Murray to assert that the Green God is dead.

Murray's new book, "The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don't Want You to Know About - Because They Helped Cause Them," clarifies the difference between caring for the environment - a reasonable and virtuous belief that people rightly harbor - and the modern-day movement known as environmentalism. The latter, Murray notes, has amassed a shameful legacy over a half century that has killed millions of people and consigned billions of others to backbreaking poverty. "Environmentalism deserves to be as discredited as Marxism," Murray argues. His book does a superb job of doing just that.

At bottom, Murray notes, the environmental movement is rooted not in a concern for the environment, but in a disdain for personal freedom and free-enterprise capitalism. Humanity is the disease plaguing the planet. The antidote must be environmental policies enforced by government diktat, relying on mandates, bans, orders, restrictions and punishments to achieve its goals. The better answer is conservation by private stewards, individuals and corporations, who understand caring for the environment is important, while making choices that are actually logical - and sustainable.

Put in such stark terms the choice isn't that difficult, Murray notes. "Marxism brought us the Gulags. The worst that most commentators can say about free enterprise these days is that it brought us McDonalds."

For Tuesday I'm going to cut down a tree (aged and barren and perilously close to Fort Fits), go Go-Cart racing just to burn fossil fuel, barbecue most of the late afternoon away until enough charcoal has been expended to make Newcastle green with envy, and end the day by gazing out from our screen house amidst a fog of cigar smoke thick and luxurious enough to sprout fur.

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