As usual, I find myself the skunk at the party. As the world celebrates Earth Day, that term has become a bit ominous. Environmentalism is devolving into an increasingly anti-human movement that could end up costing the human race dearly. I have a piece on the matter in today’s NRO called “Homo Sapiens, Get Lost.” Here are a few excerpts:
Over the last few hundred years in the West, the moral foundations of society were profoundly pro-human. Judeo-Christian moral philosophy and secular humanism both promoted human flourishing and the protection of individual rights as primary purposes of society. But in recent years we have witnessed a rebellion against “human exceptionalism”—the view that ultimate moral value comes with being a member of the human species...Here and abroad, environmentalism itself seems to be evolving from a movement dedicated to conserving resources, preserving pristine areas, and protecting endangered species into an anti-humanistic ideology that increasingly disdains humankind as a scourge that literally threatens the existence of “the planet.”I point out that this “subversion’ of a healthy environmentalism was “conceived and gestated” in the Deep Ecology Movement. I then briefly describe Deep Ecology’s ideology, its desire to reduce our population to under a billion, and its profound anti-humanism, with quotes about humans as the AIDS virus:
It is tempting to roll one’s eyes and dismiss Deep Ecology’s anti-humanism as merely the kook fringe being the kook fringe. Alas, as in a Michael Crichton novel, the values of Deep Ecology have escaped the hothouse where they were expected to remain confined and invaded the popular culture, to the point where Hollywood has promoted the movement’s anti-human beliefs in major motion pictures.I discuss the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which the alien is not sent here, as in the original to save humankind from itself, but to obliterate us to “save the planet”:
At the last possible moment, Klaatu prevents the holocaust, but as he departs for home, his space sphere emits a pulse causing all machinery and electricity on earth to cease functioning—the clear implication being that in order to co-exist peacefully with the planet, humans must become utterly non-technological. Unmentioned in this happy ending is that such a sudden collapse in technology would result in billions of human deaths from starvation and disease.Earth is not the only anti-human A-List Hollywood movie released recently:
In The Happening, starring Mark Wahlberg, filmmaker and writer M. Night Shyamalan, best known for the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense, offers an apocalyptic tale of a rebellion against the oppressive human hegemony—by plants.These are just movies, one might say. But our motion pictures often depict the values, if not of the general population, then certainly of the liberal elite who control the power institutions of our society.
In the Flora Rebellion, plants release “pheromones” that cause human beings to commit mass suicide. Shyamalan depicts this catastrophe as it unfolds through the eyes of Wahlberg’s character, his wife, and the small daughter of a friend—protagonists who get steadily pushed into ever tighter corners as the mass-suicide epidemic spreads through the Northeast. At one point, they take refuge in a model home in a new housing development. Realizing that the pheromones are released when a critical mass of human beings is present, they flee as a larger group of refugees approach. As the members of the larger group begin to kill themselves en masse, Wahlberg’s nuclear family runs past a huge advertising sign for the housing development that carries the unsubtle message of the film, “Because you deserve it.”
Radical environmentalism that rejects human exceptionalism won’t save the planet, but it could cause a great deal of harm to humankind. It is being force fed to your children, in part, by the movies coming soon to a theater near you.