environmentalism The
view that ‘the environment’ (everything that is not man or manmade, apparently)
requires protection, usually via *politics. Although
dressed up as a science-based ethic, at the extreme this ‘Green’ *ideology has become a fashionable *religion of sentimentality and technophobia whilst
also being extremely *authoritarian and even misanthropic in its political

Eliminating all of
man’s environmental effects is impossible (without the *genocide or demise of all human beings: the most
extreme Green ambition, apparently) as new effects will constantly arise in a
dynamic *market, and environmental changes arise
from a dynamic nature too. Environmentalists tend to hate the dynamism of both
and want to stop, or even reverse, *economic
development and possibly *natural change itself (maybe mistaking it
as human-caused).

Real human-caused
environmental problems are chiefly negative effects for which politics is
responsible. *Depoliticizing ‘the environment’ largely
solves these problems by making those people who are responsible pay and
causing the economizing of *resources (see *economic efficiency). Within a *private-property framework, real environmental
problems will continue to be tackled efficiently. However, many of the
allegedly serious environmental problems are highly speculative if not entirely
bogus, partly because bad news sells news media (see *disaster
fascination) and partly
because they are merely the *dogmata of environmentalism.

See also *biodiversity,
*common property, *ecosystem, *endangered
species, *externalities, *future generations, *genetically
modified organisms, *global warming, *natural resources, *nuclear
power, *ozone layer, *pollution,
*population, *precautionary
principle, *recycling, *spontaneous
orders, *sustainable development, *tragedy of the commons, *tropical
rain forests. One book that covers many of these issues, and others besides, is
The Ultimate Resource 2, 1998, by
Julian Simon (1932-1998). See also The
Skeptical Environmentalist
, 2001, by Bjorn Lomborg (1965- ).

A Dictionary of Libertarianism