Thursday, 11 August 2016

Environmentalists And Conservatives

Poul Anderson, "Wellspring of Dreams," See here.

Anderson discusses Freeman Dyson's From Eros to Gaia (1992):

"[Dyson] tells us that we can probably bring carbon dioxide and oxygen under control by extensive, worldwide reforestation." (p. 241)

"He remarks wryly that the environmentalists won't like it because it denies their gloom-and-doom scenarios and their Luddite ideals, while the conservatives won't like it because it requires large-scale government action." (ibid.)

Anderson defends conservatives against this charge but not environmentalists. Why should either environmentalists or Luddites dislike reforestation? Would environmentalists dislike it if their gloom-and-doom scenarios were not fulfilled?

Years ago in Britain there was a campaign against deportation of a man to an African country on the ground that he was likely to be wrongly imprisoned or even executed if he were sent there. The man was deported but fortunately was neither imprisoned nor executed. The Daily Mail newspaper commented that the campaigners must have been disappointed!


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I am a conservative, which means I distrust the state and dislike its eternal tendency for amassing and concentrating power int its hands. However, I like to believe I'm also a realist agreeing the state is necessary for things like external defense and preserving internal order. I also concede that sometimes only the state can enforce what needs to be done in emergencies. As we see with Jared Cofflin and the Town Council of Nantucket in ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME.


  2. Kaor, Paul!

    I forgot to add to my previous note that some environmentalists seem to DISLIKE the human race. And that the more extreme of them give the impression they would not mind if we all died off. Years ago, I read a story from the UK itself about one woman having her child ABORTED because she wanted to reduce her "carbon footprint" on the Earth. Which means I agree with Poul Anderson in sharing his strong dislike of the more whacked out environmentalists.

    In LUCIFER'S HAMMER, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle had characters who were extreme environmentalists trying to destroy a nuclear power plant which had survived Earth being struck by a comet. And S.M. Stirling gives us David and Pamela Lisketter as similar extremists in ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME.