Environmentalism vs Creativity

by | Apr 19, 2009 | Environment

It's businesspeople, not "Friends of the Earth," who, by translating scientific discoveries into practical reality, actually advance human life and eliminate pollution.

For decades environmentalists have cried that man should adopt an “alternative” form of energy. But in this freest country on earth, exactly how have they exercised their liberty to try and make their dream come true?

Well, they support like-minded politicians — who’ve invented nothing but obstacles to innovation. They march in protests — that have created nothing but vandalism. And they rage against capitalism — the only system by which worthy creations can effectively be financed, marketed and widely distributed.

One woman is admired by her fellow environmentalists, not for pouring her time and energy into, say, inventing a new kind of generator or more fuel-efficient engine, but for spending two years perched atop a redwood tree!

Clearly, a viable, cleaner form of energy (if you buy into the faulty premise one is needed) will not be created by some snarling rock-hurler, nor some land-confiscating government official, nor some loafer who nests with squirrels. A material value isn’t going to spring from those who tell us to renounce material things. Innovations stem from capitalists pursuing self-interest, not naturalists preaching self-sacrifice. True creative achievement requires a mental outlook more akin to that of a Thomas Alva Edison than a Julia “Butterfly” Hill.

Yet it’s the profit-oriented, productive achiever-types that the “save the planet” crowd most despise and desire to shackle. The men and women who possess the ingenuity, personal ambition, and business acumen that a successful new energy venture would require, environmentalists lob eggs at.

Yet it’s businesspeople, not “Friends of the Earth,” who, by translating scientific discoveries into practical reality, actually advance human life and eliminate pollution.

For instance, when was the last time you fretted about scarlet fever polluting your child’s body? Or polio? Or malaria? When have farmers in free countries been unable to control the pollutant of insects that, if not for such marvels as pesticides and genetic engineering, would devour their crops, in turn raising food prices or perhaps eventually even causing famine?

Which drinking water is cleaner: the treated or well-water that flows from your tap? Or the muddy liquid an Indian woman buckets from the Ganges, where herds of “sacred” cows wade and urinate and throngs of people bathe and do laundry? Yet India is far less capitalistic, far less “tainted” by industry, than America is.

It’s not a coincidence that countries with the most government controls are also the most polluted. I’ve breathed the dirty air of a few former totalitarian, Eastern European nations, and I can attest that Hungary and Bosnia, for example, are far more polluted overall than, say, Houston or L.A..

If industrial progress was as harmful to mankind as environmentalists would have us believe, then the life expectancy of people living in the most industrialized nations would be decreasing, not increasing. Yet the average life-span of someone born in the US in 1900 was about 49 years; now it’s around 78, a rise of over 25 years in the course of a mere century.

Back when people were “close to nature,” i.e., in pre-industrial Europe of the Middle Ages and Dark Ages, they were lucky to reach their mid-20s. As author Ayn Rand put it: “Anyone over 30 years of age today, give a silent ‘Thank you’ to the nearest, grimiest, sootiest smokestack you can find.”

If the planet truly did require ecological salvation (and there’s plenty of evidence indicating it doesn’t), ask yourself who’d be more apt to achieve a solution — one million bureaucrats or “Earth First!” members compelled by their “love for nature”? Or one creative genius of the caliber of Bill Gates or Henry Ford driven by the profit-motive? You know the answer.

Wayne Dunn writes about political and cultural events from an Objectivist perspective.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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