“Since its founding in the late 60’s the modern environmental movement had created a vision that was international in scope and had room for people of all political persuasions… The traditional sharp division between left and right was rendered meaningless by the common desire to protect our life support systems. Violence against people and property were the only taboos. Nonviolent direct action and peaceful civil disobedience were the hallmarks of the movement. Truth mattered and science was respected for the knowledge it brought to the debate.
“Now this broad-based vision is challenged by a new philosophy of radical environmentalism. In the name of ‘deep ecology’ many environmentalists have taken a sharp turn to the ultra-left, ushering in a mood of extremism and intolerance. As a clear signal of this new agenda, in 1990 Greenpeace called for a ‘grassroots revolution against pragmatism and compromise’.
“Some of the features of eco-extremism are:
“It is antihuman. The human species is characterized as a ‘cancer’ on the face of the earth. The extremists perpetuate the belief that all human activity is negative whereas the rest of nature is good…
“It is anti-organization. Environmental extremists tend to expect the whole world to adopt anarchism as the model for individual behavior. This is expressed in their dislike of national governments, multinational corporations, and large institutions of all kinds.
“It is anti-trade. Eco-extremists are not only opposed to ‘free trade’ but to international trade in general. This is based on the belief that each ‘bioregion’ should be self-sufficient in all its material needs. If it’s too cold to grow bananas, too bad.
“It is antidemocratic. This is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of radical environmentalism. The very foundation of our society, liberal representative democracy, is rejected as being too ‘human-centered’. In the name of ‘speaking for the trees and other species’ we are faced with a movement that would usher in an era of eco-fascism. The ‘planetary police’ would ‘answer to no one but Mother Earth herself’.
“It is basically anti-civilization. In its essence, eco-extremism rejects virtually everything about modern life. We are told that nothing short of returning to primitive tribal society can save the earth from ecological collapse. No more cities, no more airplanes, no more polyester suits.”
These excerpts are reprinted from an Internet digest called “AgBioView.” They originally appeared in Oregon Wheat magazine. For AgBioView subscription information, visit www.AgBioWorld.org.