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ENVIRONMENTALISM: The most Successful Rise of Evil since the Nazis

By April 17, 2000 No Comments

The following essay first appeared in the March/April edition of The Window, a student newspaper from UofT. This abridged version is reprinted with the permission of the author, Ray Girn – a philosophy student and columnist.

By Ray Girn

There is a dangerous mentality steadily growing in society. It is now so pervasive that it contaminates virtually every aspect of our culture. Officially, it is known as environmentalism but, in essence, it is nothing more than a hatred of humanity. At the root of the doctrine of every environmentalist organization is the nihilistic premise that human life is evil. Their defining element is not a love for truth or justice, but an unbending conviction to destroy human happiness and progress.

Human nature is necessarily antagonistic with non-human nature, and the leaders of environmental organizations implicitly grasp this truth. In fact, most of them explicitly acknowledge that their propaganda is indifferent to any of the human consequences it entails.

If you are deluding yourself into believing there is no conflict between human life and the credo of environmental non-interference, ask yourself how it is that human beings survive. Is it not by “exploiting” natural resources, including something as primitive as plucking an apple from a tree or harvesting wheat from a field originally composed of weeds? Then consider the “rights” of each microscopic organism in the ecosystems of those apples or weeds.

If, recognizing this, you then suggest a compromise, ask yourself by what standard. Life? Ultimately, then, the only thing justifiable is bare subsistence. Thus, we will all be returning to the fog of the Stone Age. Is this your view of humanity? Any other degree of compromise is arbitrary, and thus a policy of hypocrisy (by which I mean that you ignore your own principles).

If one grants “rights” to nature, then one cannot violate those rights, which means one cannot grant rights to human beings. Furthermore, one has to be able to explain to the rest of humanity why nature has “rights”. Ask the next environmentalist to explain to you how he defines the concept of rights, and you will see that “either-or” prevails.

Alternatively, if you support environmentalism because you care about the future of humanity and not “nature-in-itself”, ask yourself if those you support and (directly or indirectly) fund feel the same way. They do not, because such would mean the rejection of all but a handful of the monstrosities they advocate. However, they do silently allow you to superimpose your intentions onto them, and then use your money to support and promote your destruction. They do not offer you the complete evidence, which would accurately describe the suffering and starvation they directly cause. Nor do they inform you that their actions, far from being based on even a semi-plausible hypothesis, are carried out on faith – a faith so ruthlessly blind and irrational that it would put the most violent religious crusades to shame.

Their philosophy (which reduces to “by any means necessary because we want to”) is indifferent to human survival, indifferent to logical or scientific justification, indifferent to morality, justice, human rights and, ultimately, indifferent to life itself. Calling them terrorists is giving them too much credit. They are more like sadists whose only pleasure in life is the destruction of it. Do not be fooled by the lush gardens they pretend to envision (perhaps even to themselves): the only logical end of their ideology is disease, poverty, suffering and death.

How can such a worldwide movement be so twisted and evil? Surely, not every professional environmentalist is so vile? No, only a minority recognizes the essence of their cause. The majority is not ignorant, but in voluntary denial. Yes, some are honestly innocent and some are too uneducated to grasp the broader picture. Theirs is the lesser evil, but their actions are still wrong, and as such are a crucial part of the problem.

In Nazi Germany, many citizens were perhaps simply trying to make a living or even to “do what’s right”. They nevertheless deserve moral condemnation for participating in heinous crimes against humanity, for at some level even the most innocent chose to remain in denial. Hitler was not alone, he was supported by the masses. That their support was reluctant does not absolve them, they made his brutal vision a reality. Moreover, the Nazi philosophy was undeniably evil — independent of the motivations of those who perpetuated it – and no one can argue that the philosophy itself should be condemned. The environmentalist movement is a virtual parallel of both the Nazis’ methodology and, unless reversed, their destructive consequences.

The following is a five-step illustration of how one becomes an environmentally conscious human being (or a Nazi soldier). It is an example in which, although the chronology or particulars may be different and more subtle, I have tried to capture and highlight the essence of the process.

Imagine a young adolescent in our society. Assume he is relatively intelligent and that, like most adolescents, he is a little confused about the world. Also like most adolescents, grant that he retains the healthy idealism that happiness is possible on earth.

One day, he comes across a protest of some kind. Hearing the activist on the megaphone and seeing their provocative slogans, he watches them. Their self-righteous confidence appeals to him. Emotionally, he is drawn to the idea of crusading for a noble cause. Psychologically, they represent a legitimate arena in which to pronounce moral judgment (a healthy, necessary human need that is usually condemned by society but here seems sanctioned by it).

One activist approaches him and hands him a pamphlet. He looks down at the headline, “Stop Cruelty towards Animals!” Cruelty, he recognizes, is a bad thing. Glancing around, he notices the appearance of camaraderie and solidarity between the activists, which sharply contrasts the loneliness of his existence. He feels a rush of some vague, comforting emotion at the sight of individuals putting aside their differences to oppose a common enemy. They seem sure of themselves, he observes, and they are standing up for what they believe in. He decides they must be crusading against a truly vile opponent.

Looking around unsuccessfully for an opposite party, he automatically registers their absence as a suggestion of their guilt. It does not occur to him that, unlike these activists, the absent others had neither the time nor the desire to be absent from work. Reflecting on the issue, he frames it as the activists arguing to stop cruelty towards animals and the absent others as defending their right to continue cruelty towards animals. Again, it does not occur to him that perhaps the absent others would deny they are being cruel. Nor does he question the unspoken assertion that killing animals is automatically an act of cruelty. Neither does he consider the definition of cruelty in this context (which also infers that a wolf is being “cruel” when it hunts deer).

Furthermore, our young subject fails to understand that the activists’ focused, angry, “holier-than-thou” resolve is an expression only of its own intensity, and not the validity of a cause they advocate. [For example, if a person calmly and peacefully declares that child pornography is psychologically healthy for the children involved, any half-intelligent person would realize he is wrong. This judgment is neither more nor less valid if instead of one calm person there is a mob of chanting, hysteric activists. This principle obviously applies vice versa as well. The validity of an argument is in no way contingent on the qualities or quantities of the people uttering it].

The boy, now watching from the sidelines, overhears an elderly person casually say, “it’s so good to see these youngsters channel their emotions into something positive. They’re a little bit of a nuisance, but their heart’s in the right place”. This completes step one for the boy: Emotionally, he has accepted the intentions of the activists as noble. Although he may yet question the end, the means are sacrosanct.

Having soaked in the aura of authenticity surrounding the activists, the boy is now ready to proceed to step two. While his critical faculty is riddled with emotional bias, he is exposed to a grab bag of arbitrary, disjointed, out-of-context “scientific” facts manipulated to appear as evidence. Whatever capacities for rational thought he chooses to exercise is frustrated with technical jargon that is too rhetorical to grasp coherently. He fails to question why the sympathetic datum and the accusatory datum do not focus on the same issue. Specifically, he does not notice that the pro’s of one phenomena are compared to the con’s of another, and then in the conclusion assumed to be comparative analysis of a single case, (which is relevant only by fallacious inference anyway).

For example, the pamphlet tells the boy that 5,000 walruses were killed last year for their tusks. The next point states that walrus skin exports are a five billion-dollar industry. Then, it is mentioned that “recreational walrus hunting has increased 25% in the last two year”, without mentioning from what to what (i.e. 5 recreational hunters up from 4 constitutes a 25% increase, but is hardly significant). At the end of the information, in bold letters, reads, “Cruelty towards Walruses must be stopped! Human beings do not have the right to murder .for their amusement!

Flooded with images of brutish, bloodthirsty hunters (or greedy, corrupt CEOs), the boy actually accepts that the facts objectively prove the assertion. Any gaps he reluctantly recognizes in his logic are plugged up by a picture of a baby walrus impaled with a spear, and a toothless, grinning hunter holding the spear. Unbeknownst to the boy, the photo is 12 years old and involved an unusually sadistic man who was heavily fined for not abiding to strict seasonal and geographical hunting laws. Nor does he consider the implausibility of hunters using spears.

After this brief exposure to the activists, the boy loses interest and continues on his way. The event is eventually forgotten. However, if some time later, he thinks about environmentalism, the event will be remembered with an overwhelming sense of authenticity. The information table and megaphone will come to mind, grossly over-exaggerating the protest’s level of organization. He pushes away any peripheral recognition to the contrary, ignoring its nagging insistence to be examined. The pamphlet will be remembered as meticulously detailed and researched. A few extravagant but contextually irrelevant facts will be recalled as the highlights of a coherent, integrated analysis. He will attribute the emotional intensity to himself, forgetting that the entire scene was loaded with arousing propaganda. Alternatively, if the boy does not reflect on the experience, it has still served its intended purpose (the third step of this development): he has been primed to react favorably to the next such experience.

The favorable impression does not necessarily mean that the boy will overtly be more sympathetic or supportive. In fact, in time he may find the activists annoying. Rather, the essential element of the third step is that the boy’s guilt has been harnessed. Implicitly, he has accepted the validity of environmentalism. He will see his noninvolvement as a fault, as selfishness or indifference, as an act of immorality. This is all that is required. Activist organizations bank on the knowledge that he has neither the time, the resources, or the desire to check their premises. They know, as a worst-case scenario, he will simply stay out of their way.

If, at any time, his interests conflict with the activists, they can always rely on the seed of guilt they planted. Even when he stands up for himself (or his business or education) he will do so apologetically, silently burdened by his own shame. That is their secret weapon. Eventually, they hope, he will crack. If not, he will at least avoid standing up to them. There will be others to subvert. [As an example of this phenomenon, scientists who know how many lives animal research saves, or industrialists who know that certain regulations are scientifically indefensible, are unwilling to publicly oppose the activists].

Step five is the process by which they make him impervious to reason, in case someone offers a rational argument with objective facts and enough rhetorical talent to break through his “feeling” that the environmentalists are right. These organizations understand that the majority would not accept their nihilistic position. Most, far from having accepted it themselves, are like alcoholics who keep drinking more to deal with their alcoholism – the more sobriety shows them the reality of their problem, the more violently they turn to that problem as their solution. However, in regards to others, they are calculatingly systematic in method.

How can they best resolve the problem that very few people would openly support their premises? They compromise. Specifically, along with the images of smog or gutted seals, they add examples of cancer, poverty, and other human issues that they (according to their principles) simultaneously deny as constituting valid consideration. This policy has an added benefit: it becomes much easier to manipulate science as there is a wider pool of random statistics to employ. Furthermore, it also becomes easier to gain the support of other organizations – many of whom also oppose the primary enemy, private enterprise.

Perverting terms such as “balance” and “coexistence” and inventing others such as “speciesism” and “human-centric” allow an increased vocabulary to attack economic interests with an ethical pretense. By separating principles from their effects in a debate (even though no separation is possible in practice), they arm themselves against logic, reason, and truth without altering their movement one iota.

Returning to the boy, since objective evidence is no longer a factor in determining the degree to which he will support environmentalism, what is the basis of his involvement? As with anyone who forfeits rational analysis in any issue, his driving force becomes chance. An accurate example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, by abdicating volition (in this issue) he is now prone to psychological determinism, and his behavior will be the sum of the influences around him.

If he lands a job with a corporation, he may ignore environmentalist credos and then feel an ever-present weight of guilt, avoiding the subject whenever possible. If he happens to take an “environmentalist ethics” course (perhaps hoping to resolve the contradictions inside him), he will be assaulted with elaborate rationalizations. These will require strength of will (as well as the formal logic necessary to uncover fallacies) to defy the immense pressure of guilt urging him to stop thinking and believe.

He may become a full-fledged activist, embracing the ideology that abuses his mind. Alternatively, his involvement may be a gradual process initiated by his relationship with a girl who is an environmental activist. Or perhaps he will be feeling inadequate one day and accidentally notice an advertisement for a rally and rush into the safety of conformity. Ultimately, his level of involvement is arbitrary, determined by the only determinant left when one forgoes judgment – random events. The one constant, of course, is that his guilt will be inversely proportional to his involvement. The tragedy is that the guilt is unearned, and so easily avoidable. All he has to do is trust his mind’s efficacy and exercise rational judgment, reject anything implausible (or less plausible), and then refuse to accept the guilt they need so badly for him to maintain.

If he continues to choose not to think and, by chance, does become involved in the environmentalist movement, then the “he” in this story will become the “they”. The boy will adopt the role of the activist, ready to convert others as he had once been converted.

Indeed, that is the danger of these anti-life campaigns. Most of the participants do not grasp that they advocate the suicide of the human race. The majority of the movement is mechanistic, with human cogs that do not consider the consequences of their actions. There is a psychological phenomenon, known as learned helplessness, in which an animal temporarily denied escape from suffering ceases to attempt it when the escape later becomes possible (sometimes only a matter of moving a few feet to escape shock). Most activist similarly accept the futility of thought – thought that could wipe away every shred of self-contempt that eats away at their existence – and confine themselves to crusading against implicit knowledge.

Hitler erred in putting a face to the Nazi evil. Environmentalist leaders, the ones who fully and consciously recognize their cause, are more cunning. They realize that it is more difficult to combat evil when it is faceless and formless, a smog of incoherent, empty ideas that one cannot confront or analyze.

In conclusion, be on the lookout for attempts to instill guilt in you. There is not much difference in one becoming a Nazi (or environmentalist) through denial or through ignorance. Remember that, since life must be sustained by the exploitation of some resource, anyone who does not want to exploit nature seeks to exploit you instead.