In every newspaper and magazine you read these days, you find environmental
groups like Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund
beseeching, imploring and encouraging Americans to save, conserve and preserve. In a word: balderdash!
Because human overpopulation provides them with all their ‘do-gooder’
fodder for saving land and animals, they enjoy ‘forever’ purpose to save the
environment—but never deal with the root cause of the problem:
overpopulation. None of them will touch
it! If we actually stabilized America
and Canada’s—those organizations would be out of business.
If our two countries decided to stop mass immigration, we could become
the first two countries in the world to mandate and provide an example of stabilized
and sustainable civilizations—or, at least move toward them with ‘steady state
economics’ as promoted by Dr. Brian Czech in his ground breaking book: Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train. www.steadystate.org
We cannot simultaneously preserve the wilderness and environment and
continue population and economic growth. Period!
brilliant piece at www.steadystate.org
by Canadian population expert Tim Murray wrote, “What If We Stopped Fighting
for Preservation and Fought Economic Growth"
said Murray. “Each time environmentalists rally to defend an endangered
habitat, and finally win the battle to designate it as a park “forever,” as
Nature Conservancy puts it, the economic growth machine turns to surrounding
lands and exploits them ever more intensively, causing more species loss than
ever before, putting even more lands under threat. For each acre of land that
comes under protection, two acres are developed, and 40% of all species lie
outside of parks. Nature Conservancy Canada may indeed have “saved” – at least
for now – two million acres, but many more millions have been ruined.
“And the ruin continues, until, once
more, on a dozen other fronts, development comes knocking at the door of a
forest, or a marsh or a valley that many hold sacred. Once again,
environmentalists, fresh from an earlier conflict, drop everything to rally its
defense, and once again, if they are lucky, yet another section of land is
declared off-limits to logging, mining and exploration. They are like a fire
brigade that never rests, running about, exhausted, trying to extinguish one brush
fire after another, year after year, decade after decade, winning battles but
losing the war.
“Despite occasional setbacks, the growth machine continues more furiously,
and finally, even lands which had been set aside “forever” come under pressure.
As development gets closer, the protected land becomes more valuable, and more
costly to protect. Then government, under the duress of energy and resource
shortages and the dire need for royalties and revenue, caves in to allow
industry a foothold, then a chunk, then another. Yosemite Park, Hamber
Provincial Park, Steve Irwin Park… the list goes on. There is no durable
sanctuary from economic growth. Any park that is made by legislation can be
unmade by legislation. Governments change and so do circumstances. But growth
continues and natural capital shrinks. And things are not even desperate yet.
“Here’s a thought. Stop fighting the brush fire. Stop investing time and
effort in fighting for park preservation, and instead direct that energy into
stopping economic growth. If the same energy that has been put into battles to
save the environment piecemeal had been put into lobbying for a steady state
economy, development pressure everywhere would have ceased, and habitat would
be safe everywhere. After all, what area is not “sacred?”
“For most of us who care about nature, bypassing local fights would seem
like driving by an accident scene without stopping to offer help. Environmentalism,
after all, is typically born from passionate concern about a threatened
treasure very close to our hearts. But as General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz
concluded during the Pacific War, to achieve the long-term strategic objective,
it is sometimes necessary to conserve strength by “island-hopping” over enemy
strong points so that resources can be saved to fight the bigger, more decisive
battles. Each of us has only so much time and energy to budget for the cause.
“The question is, are we deploying it to our best advantage? So far,
environmental victories have been won at the cost of losing the strategic war.
Environmental watchdogs bark, but the growth caravan moves on.
“The practice of designating hallowed places as nature reserves must no
longer be seen as “victories,” but rather as concessions. They are a permit
issued to keep on growing as long as a small portion of the land base is left
off the shopping list. The declaration by certain politicians to “protect” 12%
of our land surface from exploitation is a permit to leave 88% unprotected.
“What they are really talking about, is licensed exploitation. It is like
paying the mob not to rob your neighborhood, so that they can ravage others.
The Saxons called it Danegeld, and all it bought was time. What is magical
about this 12%? Does 12% somehow represent the area of land necessary to protect
wilderness and wildlife? Or is it a political figure designed to achieve a
compromise between conservationists and developers?
“According to wildlife biologist Dr. Keith Hobson of Environment Canada, a
veteran warrior of decades of battles to save habitat:
“There is no biological basis to 12%. It came out of the Brundtland
Commission and is a dangerous concept… …most biologists I know consider the
number to be totally arbitrary and political, with no relationship to actual
biology or conservation. As for abandoning the nature preservation schtick in
favor of reduced human and economic growth, I emphatically agree. After all,
what have been the true ‘victories’ of the environmental movement? Largely
postage-stamp pieces of real estate, which, once designated, open the
floodgates of development around them. And like you, I have absolutely no faith
in the longevity of these designations.
“Sir Peter Scott once commented that the World Wildlife Fund would have
saved more wildlife it they had dispensed free condoms rather invested in
nature reserves. Biodiversity is primarily threatened by human expansion, which
may be defined as the potent combination of a growing human population and its
growing appetite for resources. Economic growth is the root cause of environmental
degradation, and fighting its symptoms is the Labor of Sisyphus.”
Join the debate by emailing your views at the above URL.
##Tim Murray can be reached at: email@example.com