Ed Driscoll

Punching Back Twice as Hard at Radical Environmentalism's Catch-22

Bob Zubrin, sometime PJM contributor and the author of Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, writing at the NRO Corner, shares his thoughts on his recent debate with Colorado State’s Phil Cafaro:

Cafaro is a leading radical anti-humanist. A professor of philosophy at Colorado State University and president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics, he has published numerous articles and a book calling for shackling humanity with all sorts of chains, ranging from mandatory recycling, to limits on meat consumption, airplane travel, and the size of houses, to stiff carbon taxes, immigration restriction, and population control. He also urges the abandonment of Judaeo-Christian ethics and human rights. According to Cafaro, the world population needs to be reduced to 2 billion and the U.S. population to 100 million. “The last thing the world needs is more Americans,” he says.

On May 13, I got a chance to debate him. The debate was occasioned by a guest commentary that Cafaro penned in the February 11 Denver Post, in which he advanced the argument that immigration needs to be sharply cut, because otherwise people from Third World nations might come to the United States and become prosperous, and thereby add to global warming. “And make no mistake,” warned the philosopher. “Immigrants are not coming to the United States to remain poor. 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?”

I rebutted this on NRO on February 21: “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 would 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. But why stop there? We have millions of poor people right here in America who hope to rise into the middle class. Surely we must stop them from doing so.”

Read the whole thing. And, blocking economic growth is the key component of that religion’s catch-22. Just ask Democrats like John Kerry or Claire McCaskill.