For the environmental true believer, though, there is too much at stake to allow human liberty to stand in the way of centralized control.
For the environmental faithful, however, there is a simple solution to the purported damage that humans do to the environment. It is the same solution environmentalists have been hawking for fifty years, ever since the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Stop using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically altered seeds. Stop mining and logging. Stop drilling for oil and gas. Stop manufacturing cars, and stop building suburban homes. Stop consuming meat and dairy products, and stop producing so many flatscreen televisions and everything else that comes out of a factory. And stop having children. Just stop. Stop and stare wistfully off into the pleasant green countryside. Stop and relish your single bowl of rice and locally grown turnip. Huddle there in your damp, chilly cave, warm yourself with your hand-woven linen, and bask in the knowledge that when your brief existence draws to a close, you will have had no impact whatsoever on the earth or its millions of species.
Unfortunately for those species, your efforts at technological self-immolation will have practically no effect. As Alroy himself points out, mass extinction has occurred before in geological history. The fact that humans now have a greater impact on the environment than they did during the age of the dinosaur does not alter the basic equation: throughout the earth’s history, species have arisen and then become extinct. The idea that the phenomenon of species extinction can somehow be halted just to please the tender sensibilities of environmental elitists is absurd. And the idea that human activity should be radically curtailed in a vain attempt to halt natural fluctuations in climate or sea life is worse than absurd: it is an irrational form of extremism that serves as the justification for an all-out assault on human liberty.
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