Although spiked with twaddle here and there, there’s a mostly decent article at TNR about the Green Bubble. Been saying for a long time that this desire to end modernization is horribly self-serving and arrogant. The same people who loudly champion the noble poor want to do everything they can to keep those folks poor so they themselves don’t have to give up anything of significance.
Nonetheless, it has become an article of faith among many greens that the global poor are happier with less and must be shielded from the horrors of overconsumption and economic development–never mind the realities of infant mortality, treatable disease, short life expectancies, and grinding agrarian poverty. The convenient and ancient view among elites that the poor are actually spiritually rich, and the exaggeration of insignificant gestures like recycling and buying new lightbulbs, are both motivated by the cognitive dissonance created by simultaneously believing that not all seven billion humans on earth can “live like we live” and, consciously or unconsciously, knowing that we are unwilling to give up our high standard of living.
A great book on this is State of Fear by Michael Crichton.
One Amazon reviewer sums up the overall theme of the book as: “Popular opinions are almost always wrong.” That’s pretty good. It isn’t so much that you should read this and take it all to heart as immutable fact. It’s more a warning against taking anything as truth until you get the facts for yourself whenever possible, not through a third party.
More on the hypocrisy and selfishness of environmentalism over at Big Hollywood as Bono throws in the towel:
Environmentalists come from wealthy societies and families who cut down forests and burned coal and oil to make their families and societies healthy and prosperous. But, nowadays, for the poor in Africa and Asia and even middle America their path out of poverty must be “sustainable.” No fossil fuels or factories for them. But what this really means is sustainable poverty. It is a system that condemns people to a lifetime of drudgery and subsistence farming because modernity and industrialisation is “unsustainable.”