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The Sierra Club’s War on Humans

Wesley J. Smith

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Editor’s note: It is truly a pleasure to welcome our friend and colleague Wesley J. Smith to this page.

As I point out in my new ebook, The War on Humans, the contemporary environmental movement is not only fast becoming explicitly anti-human in its rhetoric and advocacy memes — humans as a "cancer" on the earth, etc. — but also in its anti-prosperity prescriptions that would make the developed world far less prosperous — and devastate the ability of the developing world to escape bone-crushing destitution.

Take a new book being promoted by the once sane Sierra Club that advocates cutting the workweek in half so that we can all live less prosperous lives. From the promotion of the book Time on Our Side in Sierra magazine:

"There’s no such thing as sustainable growth, not in a country like the U.S.," Worldwatch senior fellow Erik Assadourian says. "We have to de-grow our economy, which is obviously not a popular stance to take in a culture that celebrates growth in all forms.

But as the saying goes, if everyone consumed like Americans, we’d need four planets." Whether you move to a smaller house or an apartment, downsize to one or no car, or simply have fewer lattes to-go, a smaller paycheck could reduce consumption overall…

Shorter workweeks could mean more time for psychologically gratifying pursuits such as gardening, reading, or biking.

In other words, we should intentionally become poorer in order to save the planet

Please. Rooting for less prosperity will not lead to people taking the time to smell the roses and write poetry, but to more of us leading increasingly difficult, and even desperate lives.

Indeed, it seems to me that the best cure for a dirty environment is increased prosperity as that gives us the ability to live more gently on the land and the resources to develop ever more environmentally friendly methods of generating energy, traveling, heating and cooling our homes, etc.

We despoiled the environment when we were poor, and have made remarkable progress in remediating past messes and making fewer new ones after becoming wealthy. The poorest nations today also tend to have the greatest problems with pollution. See China.

If you like today’s economy and want more of the kind of "fun" we have had for the last five years, just follow the green misanthropes.

Cross-posted at Human Exceptionalism.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.