Ed Driscoll

Green Anti-Humanism

In “Green Anti-Humanism,” Bob Zubrin writes that “environmental devotion is enough to condemn billions to perpetual misery:”

On February 11, 2013, the Denver Post ran a guest commentary of great clinical interest. In the piece in question, Colorado State University philosophy professor Philip Cafaro advanced the argument that immigration needs to be sharply cut, because otherwise people from Third World nations will come to the United States and become prosperous, thereby adding to global warming.

“And make no mistake: Immigrants are not coming to the United States to remain poor,” warns the philosopher. “Those hundreds of millions of new citizens will want to live as well and consume energy at the same rates as other Americans. . . . What climate change mitigation measures . . . could possibly equal the increased greenhouse gas emissions we would lock in by adding 145 million more new citizens to our population?”

This is truly remarkable. Conservative immigration skeptics have voiced the concern that immigrants might not assimilate and achieve success, and even common xenophobes have never objected to would-be immigrants’ attaining prosperity elsewhere. But according to Cafaro’s liberal argument, the wretched of the Earth must be kept poor wherever they reside, because otherwise they will ruin the weather for the rest of us. Following this logic, the United States should adopt the role of the world’s oppressor, enforcing the continuation of poverty around the globe.

As we’ve mentioned here before, this is the Catch-22 of radical environmentalism. In the fall of 2009, John Kerry inadvertently noted that a moribund economy was just swell from his environmentally-obsessed worldview:

Kerry and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) have proposed a new draft for a cap-and-trade bill with exceedingly stringent restrictions on carbon emissions. During a hearing on the bill, Kerry made the astounding statement that the recession has been the environment’s best friend, and he couldn’t be happier about it:

Let me emphasize something very strongly as we begin this discussion. The United States has already this year alone achieved a 6 percent reduction in emissions simply because of the downturn in the economy, so we are effectively saying we need to go another 14 percent.

What did Kerry  just unwittingly admit? He admitted that cap-and-trade advocates and like-minded global warming believers see economic prosperity as a huge source of the supposed problem. That’s why they’re proposing the perfect solution – from their perspective – in the form of a massive tax increase directly on industry.

As for the third world, a 2002 CNS News article quoted Jerry Brown, then the mayor Oakland, now the governor of California on that topic:

Former Democratic Governor of California Jerry Brown believes that poverty stricken residents of the developing world who want to emulate American prosperity should not be allowed to do so because “it’s not viable.”

In an exclusive interview, CNSNews.com asked Brown whether he thought the residents of the poorest nations of the world wanted to develop economically as the U.S. has done.

“Many do, but it’s not viable,” Brown replied. “I would say we can’t develop like us, nor them…the developed model cannot work without another five planets,” he added.

A British author critical of the Green movement, Professor Philip Stott, said Brown’s anti-development views, as relayed to him, can be likened to Marie Antoinette’s reported response when she was told the French peasants had no bread to eat: “Let them eat cake.”

“I am deeply worried when I hear a white, Western, male start to lecture the developing world on what they should, or should not, want,” Stott told CNSNews.com.

What, and lose the chance to parachute into some far-off land and play the role of omnipotent tourist?