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July 13th 2009 print

Culture catcher: 7

On nearly every count, the evidence suggests that taking seriously the Green complaints about capitalism and science would be the worst thing for nature and humans particularly those in the developing world.

Bruce Thornton, Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide (New York, 2007):

Indeed, on nearly every count, the evidence suggests that taking seriously the Green complaints about capitalism and science would be the worst thing for nature and humans particularly those in the developing world.

Contrary to the pronouncements of the anti-globalization lobby, continuing poverty and lack of development represent the most serious threat to the environment. As Jack Hollander, emeritus professor of energy from the University of California at Berkeley puts it, “Poverty is the environmental villain; poor people are its victims. Impoverished people often do plunder their resources, pollute their environment, and overcrowd their habitats. They do these things not out of willful neglect but only out of the need to survive.”

Caring for nature is the luxury of those who aren’t worried about eating for another day. And free-market capitalism, the villain of the Greens, is the best way to distribute the fruits of prosperity to as many people as possible.

Equally indicative of mythic thinking is the Green opposition to biotechnology, especially genetically modified (GM) foods. In Europe, irrational fears of so-called “Frankenfoods” have lead to the banning or strict controls of GM crops, despite the absence of any evidence that they represent a danger to people or the environment.