Saturday, May 15, 2010

On friendliness, environmentalism, and the “future”

(Which is to say, reflections from a stroll moments ago with Sweety-bitch and Boo-Boo, who, not surprisingly, could care less what I reflect on or have to say about things.)

I’ve read more than once over the years that the environmental activism of today, especially that focused on conservation, is the old population control wolf of decades ago dressed up in new sheep skins.  And that in many cases, it adds a commitment to collectivism into the mix.  Think “the woods belong to all of us” as I read a few years back in a letter to the editor.

Let me save some time here by “bullet listing” the pretexts for this brief essay:

  • Recent kerfuffles over whether Brunswick and the region are “business friendly.”
  • This recent post in which your ever-so-thoughtful correspondent ruminated on The Ostrich’s printing of a commentary in praise of childlessness.
  • This more recent post in which The Ostrich  innuendoized (my new word) about the social injustice of women bearing children they conceived, and then unwisely delivered on suspect moral or religious grounds.

These provide a salient backdrop for another item on The Ostrich Opinion page this week, submitted by, of all people, a Reverend, a man of the cloth.  Which only adds to the possible interpretations of the activist thrusts of our day.  It’s well reported that the greens are doing whatever they can to co-opt “religion” as commonly understood in this age. 

While the letter was seemingly inspired by the BP oil drilling disaster, your correspondent saw through this distraction, and is here to give you the straight skinny.  Because the letter plays directly into the hypothesis in the opening paragraph – the one about old wolves and new sheep skins.  It reports on a recent conference held in Freeport.

Consider these passages:

The conference’s title was “A Critical Moment: The Intersection of Population, Conservation and Human Rights.”
The gathering was attended by more than 100 Maine citizens, many from the three sponsoring groups: Pathfinder International, the Family Planning Association of Maine and the Nature Conservancy in Maine.

Pathfinder can be thought of as an international Family Planning association.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that neither of the first two sponsors prioritizes human conception and propagation.  The Nature Conservancy, while not dealing in the same domain, is decidedly unfriendly to development undertaken by humans in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.  See Plum Creek, for example.

Reversing the rise in human numbers, says Engelman, is today “the most overlooked and essential strategy for achieving long-term balance with the environment.” Instead of “population control,” Engelman and Cohen encouraged the compassion that allows women to control their lives and choose when they will have a child.

Your reporter submits that if you weed your way through the weepy euphemisms in this statement, you will see confirmation of the opening assertions of this post.

Coming back to the reality of our little world, I remind you that we have publicly funded programs disingenuously called “Land for Maine’s Future” and “Land for Brunswick’s Future.”  As we see it, they should be called “Land for No Human’s Future.”

Which leads us to this conundrum: is the issue in our midst one of “business friendliness,” or more realistically, “human friendliness?”  Something tells me that it wouldn’t be hard to take any number of situations that have come before us over the years and argue convincingly that it is the latter that lies at the core, and that other characterizations are distractions from this reality.

Maybe, in this place where schools are closing, maternity wards are going out of business, and mortuaries are a growth industry, it’s time to stop worrying about 'land for an abstraction, and instead, institute programs called “People for Maine’s Future” and “People for Brunswick’s Future.”  Because without people, what does “future” mean?

I can just hear the outcries over this thesis now.  There I go, counter-culture as usual.  Perhaps I should beat the jury to the verdict and just exile myself to a living hell where libraries charge 50 cents to borrow a book for 3 weeks.

Oh the horror; if that doesn’t straighten me out, I’m as hopeless as many say I am.

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