This semester I am taking an atrocious class called Environmental
Studies. It is a general education requirement, and it was either do
this one which is related to political science or one that was purely
science related. I never really enjoyed science, so I decided to choose
this one. Over this semester I am sure I will be writing about this
class on several occasions; however, I thought I would also post some of
my work for the class. Currently, the class is assigned weekly
readings, which we must respond to in no more than 300 words. Below is
the first response from a few weeks ago.
Thus far, Red Sky At Morning indicates that environmentalism has a religious quality. Therefore, incorporating environmentalism and government produces tyranny.
Religion’s essence is valuing another entity more than one’s self. Environmentalism is similar, for it believes nature is greater than one’s self. Subsequently, “energy depletion, economic collapse, limited nuclear war, or conquest by a totalitarian government” are not the worst catastrophes, but “the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats” (pg 24) are. Essentially, animal and plant extinction is worse than suffering, oppression, and death. If this is true, individual men are less valuable than individual plants and animals; one’s self, life, liberty, property, and happiness are worth less than nature.
This similarity with religion indicates that government implementation of environmental policies results in tyranny. Government’s purpose is to protect man’s natural rights. However, religion identifies another entity as greater than man. Therefore, it would be correct to oppress man for the sake of the greater entity. Thus, appropriate government environmental policies would include “require[ing] new SUVs and pickup trucks to achieve forty miles per gallon,” financing the development of renewable energy, and “[increasing] tax[es] on oil and gasoline” (pg 70). These policies violate every individual’s property rights. One’s natural right to property allows one to manufacture and sell any car variant he chooses, and to use his money as he pleases, both free of government intervention.
Unfortunately, the government violates individuals’ natural rights through similar methods, so few will notice the harm behind environmental polices. However, a victim’s apathy does not legitimize the attacker’s actions. Furthermore, apathy towards environmental preservation and thus self preservation does not legitimize tyranny; natural rights protect apathy.
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