I have long noted a virulent strain of rabid misanthropy among the intelligentsia of the environmental movement. From professors longing for the next deadly infectious disease strain to come along to philosophers who peg the ideal human population at 100 million, only 1.4 percent of the present population of 7.1 billion, hatred of humanity is not uncommon.
In a short but insightful article in 1990 Robert James Bidinotto quoted a number of environmental though leaders – and those down in the trenches – who displayed outright contempt for human aspirations, achievements and life. For instance:
““Is it not perverse to prefer the lives of mice and guinea pigs to the lives of men and women?” asks philosopher Patrick Corbett. Not really, because “if we stand back from the scientific and technological rat race for a moment, we realize that, since animals are in many respects superior to ourselves, the argument collapses.”
“Man,” snarls Michael W. Fox in his book, Returning to Eden, “is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish and unethical animal on earth.” David Graber, a biologist for the National Park Service – [yes, he’s on the public payroll, authors observation], expressed his own hopes thusly:
Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line—at about a million years ago, maybe half that—we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth . . . . Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.
Mr. Graber isn’t alone in his death wish for the human race, as Earth First! leader David Foreman makes dear: “We advocate bio-diversity for bio-diversity’s sake. That says man is no more important than any other species . . . . It may well take our extinction to set things straight.” Or how about this: “An ice age is coming, and I welcome it as a much needed cleansing. I see no solution to our ruination of Earth except for a drastic reduction of the human population.”
Foreman therefore finds a silver lining in the horrible Ethiopian famines: they are, he says, Mother Earth’s natural defense against overpopulation. Likewise, his group’s official publication has cheerfully suggested that, from an ecological perspective, the AIDS epidemic might mean the end of industrialism, which is “the main force behind the environmental crisis . . . . [Thus] as radical environmentalists, we can see AIDS not as a problem but a necessary solution.””
All of this came to mind as a read of the more subtle but no less deadly strain of misanthropy detailed in Larry Bell’s review of Robert Zubrin’s book, Merchants of Despair. I haven’t had the pleasure and likely, disgust, of reading Zubrin’s book yet, but based on Bell’s recommendation, I’d guess is serves as a powerful indictment of much of the modern day environmental movement – in which case, it’s a must read.