Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, self-described "progressives" and authors of one of the most challenging recent books on the environment, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, recognize and lament the authoritarianism of conventional environmentalism. "Environmental tales of tragedy begin with Nature in harmony and almost always end in quasi-authoritarian politics," Nordhaus and Shellenberger observe. While environmentalists like Eckersley embrace the postmodern language of "privilege" to denigrate traditional individual rights, Nordhaus and Shellenberger point up the obvious irony that it is environmentalism that is making the boldest claim to be given the most privileged position in politics: "The problem is not simply that it is difficult to answer the question ‘Who speaks for nature?' but rather that there is something profoundly wrong with the question itself. It rests on the premise that some people are better able to speak for nature, the environment, or a particular place than others. This assumption is profoundly authoritarian."
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
They would rather be green ...
... than free: All the Leaves are Brown.