In the West, environmentalism is politically correct. We’re supposed to recycle, stop eating meat or supporting the abuse of animals, eat organic foods, crack down on pollution of the atmosphere and on wildlife poaching, support the uses of renewable energies like wind turbines and solar panels, protect the rainforests and endangered species, and be one with the environment, go out into nature and commune with the elements, go camping and realize that our survival depends on a healthy and sustainable ecosystem, that species are interconnected so that if too many become extinct, a whole ecosystem is threatened.
Even while most Westerners--myself included--nod sagely when our commitment to received wisdom is tested and we’re faced with such prescriptions and principles, most of us eat meat, prefer cities to the wild, buy products from companies that pollute the atmosphere, drive vehicles that use nonrenewable energy, and in general identify with pop culture that elevates people above the rest of nature. Most Westerners would say that they’re environmentalists, but in reality they’re part of the problem, from an environmentalist’s perspective. What the environmentalist doesn’t wish to add is that her ideology, about how we all have to curb our practices so that a life-friendly environment can be preserved, is apparently opposed to human nature.
That’s why conservative Christians, for example, whose Bible tells them to be stewards of the planet, usually can get away with demonizing environmentalists, pretending that the scientific warnings about the harm our societies are doing to the atmosphere, to the global climate, and to the ecosystems are just frauds. You see, there’s a kernel of truth in this conservative’s skepticism. To be sure, this conservative’s stated reasons for opposing a rollback of our unsustainable business practices are kneejerk advertisements for big business that kick Jesus in the face and also in the balls. But in spite of that hypocritical propagandist’s surrender to the morally questionable forces of technoscientific societies, there may be a serious problem with the environmentalist’s message. We should ask ourselves why this message has only been politically correct--outside of certain liberal European countries. Why can’t most of us feel that we should be environmentalists and should therefore drastically change our behaviour and our societies for the benefit of all life? Why do we instead merely pay lip service to the message and go about our destructive business?