Right-wing critics of environmentalism lean heavily on a false dichotomy: “the economy” vs. “the environment.” They pretend that human prosperity and “nature” are playing a zero-sum game. By, say, neglecting to mangle the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve for a year or two’s supply of crude, we’re somehow making a huge economic sacrifice. Mountaintop removal is unpleasant, the argument goes, but we need to get at that coal to maintain “economic development.”
Wendell Berry, the sage of northern Kentucky, has made a career of obliterating such sophistries. Counterpunch.org has just published an interview with him. Check it out.
On an unrelated note, I declared in a recent post that “Environmentalists could intervene in the immigration battle by altering the terms of debate. But so far, they’ve been silent.” As a correspondent pointed out, that statement “is not entirely correct.” Andrew Christie of Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Committee recently published a piece linking trade with immigration. It’s worth reading.