As I have speculated previously, those with memories beyond a garden slug will come to be dumbfounded by the number of heretofore sacred liberal positions that liberals will eventually jettison. First the white working class was traded out out for their hardly working black counterparts. The white middle class shortly followed. Anti-corporatism has quietly been evacuated. And very soon baby boomer SS and Medicare recipients will learn that the ubiquitous slur “old white people” is simply a rhetorical prelude to transitioning funds to more vibrant welfare and Medicaid beneficiaries. All their prior votes for democrats soon to be long forgotten–none were so easily manipulated.
Though today’s pivot is the environment. Long the pristine habitat of any holy liberal. Anti-Gnostic has a good piece up on the subject. The hirsute Sierra Club founder, John Muir, had one fatal flaw that is now calling into question his relevancy to the left. Can you guess what that might be?
John Muir is the patron saint of environmentalism, an epic figure whose writings of mystical enlightenment attained during lone treks in California’s wilderness glorified individualism, saved Yosemite and helped establish the national park system..
As the first president of the Sierra Club, Muir shaped enduring perceptions about how the wild world should be prioritized, protected and managed.
But now some critics are arguing that the world has changed so much in the century since his death that Muir has gone the way of wheelwrights.
He is no longer relevant..
Critics also see a correlation between the emotional, biblical language of Muir’s writings and the demographic makeup of national park visitors and the ranks of the largest environmental organizations — mainly aging, white Americans.
Yet “the conservation movement reflects the legacy of John Muir, and its influence on a certain demographic — older and white — and that’s a problem,” Christensen said.
He is joined in that view by D.J. Waldie, an author and expert on Southern California culture.
“We have to reimagine our relationships with nature to accommodate modern, increasingly diverse communities that see the world differently than white Anglo-Saxon Protestants like Muir did in the late 19th century,” Waldie said.
Was that perhaps a bit too subtle for any readers? Let’s make it more succinct: whites are a “problem.” And the left has an answer.
Though before coming to that resolution, it’s interesting to note how these liberal positions get peeled off as each comes into contact with the movement’s core purpose. In this instance, a pseudo advocacy has formed in the wake of abandonment. For Warming Change is nothing but sentimental posturing. It is the purview of cowardly and unserious people who want to protect the environment in a theoretical sense, but are certainly unwilling to take on the roles of terrestrial advocacy that would bring them into direct conflict with non-whites. And so they shunt themselves into a meaningless cosmic warrior stance: Defending Andromeda’s pristine quasars! as directly outside their window accumulates a 12 ft drift of burrito wrappers.
Of course, China and India are environmental catastrophes. Though, through the magic of border transmutation, Chinese and Indians become conscientious stewards in the West.
We could speak similar in volumes of Africa.
Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Some sources claim that deforestation has already wiped out roughly 90% of West Africa’s original forests. Deforestation is accelerating in Central Africa. According to the FAO, Africa lost the highest percentage of tropical forests of any continent during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. According to the figures from the FAO (1997), only 22.8% of West Africa’s moist forests remain, much of this degraded. Nigeria has lost 81% of its old-growth forests in just 15 years. Massive deforestation threatens food security in some African countries. One factor contributing to the continent’s high rates of deforestation is the dependence of 90% of its population on wood as fuel for heating and cooking.
Though perhaps most poignantly, there is the great fauna of that continent. The huge cats, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and rhinoceroses. Will it be some solace to liberals when all of these live on only in aging Discovery channel wildlife specials? What exactly do we imagine two billion Africans are going to eat, when one billion of them can’t begin to feed themselves? I thought the video below was delightful as a melancholy answer to that question.
When that earnest good-hearted boy has hopefully escaped with his life, do we imagine that starving Africans will fill the role as masseurs to those magnificent lions? I find it painful to envision the almost certain alternative.
An African country that is particularly progressive in this regard is the hellscape of Angola. Writing in his book, The Last Train to Zona Verde, author Paul Theroux observed the following:
The look of Angola was not just the ugly little town and the slum of shacks but also the ruin of a brutalized landscape, of the stumps of deforestation and the fields littered with burned- out tanks, of rivers and streams that seemed poisoned— black and toxic. And not the slightest glimpse of any animal but a cow or a cringing dog.
In most parts of the southern African bush you at least saw small antelopes or gazelles tittuping in the distance on slender legs. The impala was everywhere, and it was almost impossible to imagine a stretch of savanna without the movement of such creatures. And wherever there were villages, there were always scavengers, hyenas or intrusive baboons. But no wild animals existed in the whole of Angola.
One effect of the decades- long civil war here was that the animals that had not been eaten by starving people had been blown up by old land mines. The extermination of wild game had been complete. Now and then cows in pastures were shredded by exploding mines, and so were children playing and people taking shortcuts through fields. A country without wild animals seems inconceivable, because many animals in Africa, antelopes especially, are prolific, reproducing in such large numbers they are able to establish sustainable herds in the unlikeliest places. But the long war had wasted them, the hungry Angolans had eaten them, eaten the hippos, even the crocs, and if there were snakes, I did not see any. Oddly, the bird life was thin too. Even where the landscape was not picked apart, where some trees had been spared, the absence of animals— and the presence of squatting, oppressed, if not defeated- looking, humans— made these places in zona verde seem mournful, violated, with an After- the- Fall atmosphere.
Something inexplicably deleted from them had sapped their vitality. In the land without animals, humans were more conspicuous and seemed to exist in greater variety, many of them, in their destitution, taking the place of wildlife, living at the edges of settlements in low simple shelters that were like the twiggy brakes that some animals huddled against.
And what do so-called environmentalists say of this actual, physical environmental disaster?
And that is Africa’s two billion soul future. A place of indescribably lush landscapes, fertile soil, and wondrous wildlife ultimately rendered a wasteland of stumps, black streams and animal bones. Perhaps our only consolation is that if the environmentalists get their way, America and Europe will ultimately follow.