Thursday, April 19, 2007

recycling old ecomyths

Recycling is a favourite topic amongst environmentalists. Here we can see the principle of recycling can even be applied to old, discredited ecomyths: you just need an issue malleable enough to encompass everything.

The myth of over-population persists despite the clear and undisputed evidence that once a certain level of prosperity is attained, population levels actually decline (as is happening now in many western European countries). But it is useful as it highlights three key characteristics common to ecomyths:

  • they are continuously recycled
  • they persist despite data that contradict and disprove them, and
  • they appeal to a sense of fear in society, demonizing a exterior entity (them) and assigning blame for society's perceived ills on "them".
Not only are ecomyths fallacies, they are inherently contrary to sustainability.

People are not deer that can be culled when a local population exceeds the carrying capacity of its defined habitat. Technology allows us to continuously increase the planet's carrying capacity, defined habitats are arbitrary and subject to social change, and wealth allows us to reduce population levels naturally.

Not the ideological dogma environmnetalists want you to read or hear, but the factual eveidence of human existence, particularly in the past 100 years.