The Idiocy of Extreme Environmentalism

monarch-butterfly-migrationI heard some lady on the radio today complain about a local city who cut down a tree and displaced a large swarm of Monarch butterflies and was pleading for help so that this evil city would stop “harming the environment”.

What’s worse, this crazy lady actually said that she hugs trees.  Seriously.  I mean, for her, treehugging isn’t just a cute label, she actually does it.

These people are idiots.

She also made the argument that lots of species are going extinct and somehow that’s a bad thing.  That’s really what prompted me to write this article, because such claims are ridiculous and illogical on their face.  There are an estimated 8.5 million species on the planet.  There doesn’t have to be that many and there can be more. Species come into existence and go extinct every single day, with or without our help. Extinction is a natural part of the life cycle of this planet, it’s something that goes on whether we pay any attention to it or not.  However, to a lot of hyper-environmentalists, the loss of any species is a travesty.  That’s why they demand extreme measures to counteract the loss of habitat of any species they come across that isn’t doing as well as they’d like to think it should.  There are local desert tortoises which are required, by law, to live in fenced off areas, complete with their own little bridges under the freeway so they don’t get squashed.  There are waterways which cannot be improved  because it might impact local fish populations.  In fact, this story is part of a city’s move to spent $200 million dollars to improve a wetlands area, which this bitch is whining about because the improvement might impact some butterflies.

The reality is, human activity is also part of the natural process.  What we do may very well drive animal species to extinction, but guess what?  That might not be a bad thing for the environment.  It might not be a good thing either.  It simply is a thing. It’s an unfortunate reality that a lot of people think that just because a thing has been the way that it is, that it ought to be the way that it is.

I’m not against intelligent environmentalism though.  Let’s take tigers.  I like tigers.  I had a friend a long time ago who was very outspoken about saving the Sumatran tiger. But the question is why?  If the Sumatran tiger went extinct, what  specific effect would it have on the planet’s ecosystem?  None. But in going extinct, perhaps it would open an ecological niche for another animal to rise in it’s place.  That’s how evolution works. Old species die, new species arise.  Our emotional attachment to any particular species is not rational.  If it dies, it dies.  More are on the way, and if they’re not, if the overall biological diversity decreases, then life goes on.  And if we kill off so many species that it harms our ability to remain on this planet, then we die and the planet resets.  The planet isn’t harmed by humanity, it will go on long after we’re gone, until the sun expands as a red giant and engulfs it.  Outside of that and the occasional rogue planetoid, the Earth has nothing to worry about.  We do.  But we shouldn’t be concerned because we never want anything to change, but because we do things that actually cause demonstrable harm to our own survival.

I’m not saying we should shoot animals and drive them to extinction for no reason, but neither should we cling to every single species of bullfrog and mosquito because they’ve always been here and we’d be uncomfortable not to see them anymore.  There has to be a rational middle ground between living life as the planet’s dominant species and being irresponsible with the planet’s resources.  We have to eat.  If we end up killing off a particular species of deer or cattle while eating, so be it.  If we end up killing off all deer and cattle, there’s probably an issue.  We need to learn and adapt.  We need to set reasonable limits.  We need to accept change, but not purposely cause change for no good reason.  These hyper-emotional environmental types who are hugging trees and complaining about butterflies being inconvenienced, that’s just another example of liberal whining and I am ever so sick of liberal whining.

4 thoughts on “The Idiocy of Extreme Environmentalism

  1. You hit on what I suppose is the core element of this when you said you like tigers. For the same reason I don't want Pandas to go extinct, but honestly they are useless animals and it will probably happen even with our intervention the way they breed or do not breed should I say.
    My recent post Using discredited science

    1. I just get sick of people pretending that their personal desires mean that the world has to accommodate them. There are many kinds of cars that I like, that doesn't mean that I have any say whether the manufacturers keep making that kind of car. I am very sick of people who think that just because they like an animal, they have to do everything they can to preserve that species, even if natural selection has selected against that animal.

  2. "If the Sumatran tiger went extinct, what specific effect would it have on the planet’s ecosystem?"

    It is true that its extinction would not impact the planet's ecosystem – whatever you happen to mean by that. But it is not true that its extinction would have no impact on any ecosystem. Its extinction most certainly would have some impact on the ecosystem(s) the Sumatran tiger inhabits.

    Fact is that your statement that the Sumatran tiger's extinction would have no impact on the planet's ecosystem is a strawman given that few, if any, environmentalists make such an argument about any species. The issue is about the impact their loss would make on the ecosystem they inhabit.

    There are, however, several organisms whose extinction could have a global impact, assuming that this is what you mean when you use speak of the planet's ecosystem. If humans were to go extinct that certainly would have a global impact given that we are present in a great variety and many of the ecosystems that make the Earth. Extinction of certain bacteria could also have a global impact given the diversity of ecosystems in which they are found.

    Finally, while you are correct that extinction is a part of the natural order of things, the current estimated rate at which species are going extinct is significantly greater than the background rate of extinction determined from the fossil record. Human activity is most probably the reason for this. What, if anything, we should do about this is a matter of debate, influenced by ones political and economic views. But that the current rate of extinction is higher than the normal background rate is a demonstrated fact.

  3. "…until the sun expands as a red giant and engulfs it."

    You display a certainty here that you should not. It is not established that the Earth will be engulfed by the Sun when it expands to Red Giant size. Some astronomers think Earth will remain outside the outer atmosphere of the Red Giant, though its proximity to this larger star will boil away its oceans, strip it of its atmosphere, and greatly increase the planet's surface temperature. Earth will become uninhabitable.

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