Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings
The planet is sick. Human beings are guilty of damaging it. We
have to pay. Today, that is the orthodoxy throughout the Western
world. Distrust of progress and science, calls for individual and
collective self-sacrifice to ?save the planet? and
cultivation of fear: behind the carbon commissars, a dangerous and
counterproductive ecological catastrophism is gaining ground.
Modern society?s susceptibility to this kind of thinking
derives from what Bruckner calls ?the seductive attraction of
disaster,? as exemplified by the popular appeal of disaster
movies. But ecological catastrophism is harmful in that it draws
attention away from other, more solvable problems and injustices in
the world in order to focus on something that is portrayed as an
Rather than preaching catastrophe and pessimism, we need to develop
a democratic and generous ecology that addresses specific problems
in a practical way.