Eco-justice EPA style: Privileged planet; plundered people, Part 2
By Debra Rae
In the early 1970s, a trendy role-playing exercise, the "Lifeboat Game," presumed to clarify students' values in public school classrooms. It works like this: As a group of survivors, lost in rough seas, cling to a dangerously overcrowded rescue boat, they reason that some of them must be sacrificed for others to live. Based on its self-acclaimed moral authority, derived from decades of ecological restoration, who better than the EPA to make the cut? To this end, each survivor is rated by his or her value to society.
In reenacting this provocative game in Part 1, the Environmental Protection Agency is charged with life-death decisions. Survivors fingered for ejection include critics of Agenda 21, the EPA, and Climate alarmism, non-working, "useless eaters," right-wing conservative and/or pro-life Christians, a golfing enthusiast, skeptical scientists, and their spokespersons.
Who, Then, Can Be Saved?
If not a woman politician, handicapped infant, senior citizen, lauded physician, talented athlete, successful businessman, or scientist, who, then, can be saved? According to the EPA, a key qualifier for rescue is serving the common good. What really matters is the central organizing principle of sustainable development.
The Green plan and ethic for societal restructuring is advanced by means of an Earth Charter. Biocentric thought discounts private property as impracticable ; technology, a needless assault on nature. Forced equity requires wealth and resources to be transferred from first-world to developing countries. Middle class affluence, technology, and modern industrialism simply must be stopped. After all, man is "a cancer," and human activities are unsustainable.
Recognizing the morality of earth servitude, the favored candidate leaves a modest carbon footprint. The "right kind of tolerance" (political correctness) is his creed ; compliance, his mandate. Profound reorientation of all human society, subject to "lifelong learning," is his charge; moreover, he thinks globally, but acts locally.
Given these parameters, the few who remain on the lifeboat include a disciple of David Foreman (co-founder of Earth First!) intent on rendering the planet an inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. Cosmically oriented global citizens, as he, embrace the Wildlands Project (renamed the Wildlands Network) that purposes to re-wild and return at least fifty percent of the land area in America to "core wilderness," barring all human activity.
To minimize markings of Western civilization, sustainable communities restrict humans to high-density "urban clusters" managed by non-elected civil society. In an effort to circumvent the U.S. Constitution, arbitrary case law takes precedence over constitutional law. Borrowing the words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, those who insist otherwise are "domestic terrorists." Not surprisingly, despite his advanced age, Reid makes the cut.
Lead author of many IPCC reports, Stanford Professor of Climatology Stephen Schneider captures the public imagination with scary scenarios supported by overly simplified, dramatic statements not to be doubted. "Each of us," he insists, "decides the right balance between being effective and being honest." Schneider remains on the lifeboat along with a survivor from the Rocky Mountain Institute who, with Amory Lovins, considers it "little short of disastrous" should we discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy. Why? Because of what we might do with it.Under pretext of becoming "informed" (actually, manipulated) by these experts presumably "in the know," the public is well conditioned to being warned, shamed, and rebuked. This putdown in no way threatens his secure position onboard the lifeboat. To the contrary.
Granted, the lifeboat scenario is only a game, and (it's true) credible threats demand reasoned action—but not necessarily throwing undesirables overboard! Only the foolhardy fall for such impulsivity. In this case, politically correct, scientifically iffy dogma drives extreme action that systematically erodes unalienable, God-given rights although better solutions not even considered may well exist. For example, stronger survivors could agree to a timeshare option, taking turns swimming alongside the boat.
It takes discernment to pinpoint and, then, prioritize issues while, at the same time, maintaining equilibrium in the face of "sky-is-falling" eco-hysteria. Yes, our biblical mandate is to "keep" the planet—that is, "to exercise great care over it" (Hebrew, shamar). Abiding in liberty, balanced by accountability, a trusted steward watches over, tends, and guards his charge so that, in the end, he might return it to the Creator-owner in as good or better condition than when first received. Embracing Psalm 24:1,"The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein," believers need not succumb to the yoke of eco-bondage.
Debra Rae is a regular contributor to The Intellectual Conservative and this publication. © 2014