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Anti-Humanism Infests the Environmentalist Movement

I had a long interview the other day with a reporter from World Magazine about the current trend to push global warming hysteria in youth fiction. That got us into a discussion of how anti-humanism infests the environmentalist movement. It wasn’t always like that. From the story by Melinda Taylor:

Piquing students’ interest in science and the environment is a good thing, said Wesley J. Smith, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, Smith remembers the smog that prevented him from seeing the mountains while he played outside on summer days. The smog made his lungs hurt, he told me, and he’s glad environmentalists “pursued human thriving” to succeed at making California’s air and rivers cleaner.

But students reading books with environmental themes need to understand that showing respect for human worth and dignity goes hand-in-hand with showing respect for the environment, Smith said. The same technology said to impose negative effects on the earth also gives hope to people trying to survive.

Taylor notes the financial incentives offered by the University of California system to push the warming agenda, a matter of which I was unaware and I live in the California. I brought up how anti-humanism has infested much of the fictional work in this area, such as the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still:

Smith referenced another movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves in a remake of the 1951 original. “The way the movie ends, in the first version, the alien comes to have affection for humankind but warns we should get our act together and become peaceable,” Smith said. The new version “reflects this idea that we are the enemies of the planet” and that we must pay for our wrongdoing by “ceasing technology,” he said. The movie doesn’t take into account that human survival depends largely on the technologies we have developed, he noted.

That movie is so telling! Here’s a piece I wrote with a more detailed take on green anti-humanism at the movies. See also my ebook, The War on Humans.

The reason I oppose the growing anti-humanism in environmental advocacy isn’t because I oppose good environmental policy, but because good practices require human thriving and prosperity. Calling us a cancer doesn’t cut it.

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.