Why Environmentalism is Weird and How We can Save the World by Ignoring It (Part I)

As I discussed in “Conservative Compassion Part III: How Conservatives Hate Science”, Conservatives, Libertarians, and other like-minded people tend to be Anthropocentric. This basically means that they believe people are the most precious resource in the universe, and that people’s individual Lives and Rights come before the desires of society or the preservation of the environment. Anthropocentrism is antithetical to both Statism (whether Socialist or Fascist) and Environmentalism because the latter two require the Rights of the collective and of non-human objects, respectively, to be valued as much if not more than those of individual men or families.

As an Anthropocentrist myself, I find Environmentalism to be a bit beyond peculiar. But before I get into why, know this: I love animals and I love nature. I find few activities as thrilling and fulfilling as encountering wild beasts in their natural habitats. I hike and snorkel as often as possible purely in search of exotic and bountiful creatures. To be honest, an animal doesn’t have to be that unique for me to become entranced by it. Insects that wander into my home, pigeons on the sidewalk, and squirrels in the local park fascinate me. Call me crazy, but I could spend fifteen minutes examining a shrub for signs of life and enjoy it more than a round of golf or a night out at the club.

The thing is, the pleasure and happiness I achieve from exploring the natural world does not entitle me to a darn thing. The fact that I would like a location to remain as it is does not instill within me the Right to stop others from altering it. My infatuation with nature is not noble; it’s selfish! And this leads to my first point about the weirdness of Environmentalism: though the ideology is often seen as benevolent, it is completely self-serving and totalitarian in nature (no pun intended). Environmentalists unintentionally (and perhaps vacuously) exclaim I like the way this is, so you can’t change it! It is a radically intolerant and immature line of reasoning that is rarely entertained in other arenas of politics.

A Utilitarian rebuttal might suggest that since a great deal of people share my love of nature, prohibiting people from settling or harvesting on particular parts of land is the right thing to do. But Collectivist rationale like this implies that people can incur authority over others simply because they feel strongly about something in great numbers. While I would not fault a troop of chimpanzees for overthrowing another because they are inclined to expand their territory, human beings ought to be held to a higher moral standard than apes. Mob rule is for monkeys.

My second observation on the weirdness of Environmentalism is that it seems to want humans to be captive and animals to be free while the opposite is more desirable. Few groups aside from Environmentalists, if any others at all, are more adamant about protesting zoos, pet ownership, and public exploration of the wild. It is their dream to see every creature of the Earth living on its own terms in its untouched natural habitat. The problem with being a wild animal is that it’s considerably dangerous. At every turn, a predator, disease, or starvation lurks. Unlike humans, the vast majority of animals die before having an actual opportunity to live. The environment is a cruel place.

But for the few that do survive, what is their ultimate goal? I have a hard time imagining any animal yearning for more than a safe place to play (or to dwell in solitude if that’s their cup of tea), an easy meal, and a mate. Unlike humans, animals are not metacognitive, and are therefore incapable of setting goals, reminiscing about the past, pondering their existentialism, or critiquing ideologies (like Environmentalism). What I’m trying to say is that a captive animal doesn’t know that it’s captive. Assuming living quarters are of sufficient size for the given individual or group, captivity is an ideal situation for every non-human being we know of. To boot, it’s common knowledge that animals live longer in captivity than they do in the wild (with a few exceptions like elephants and orcas, which admittedly makes SeaWorld tough to defend). If environmentalists have any sincere concern for the welfare of animals as individuals, they should reform in favor of expanded captivity.

Bafflingly, while Environmentalists seek to set animals free into a dangerous and unforgiving world, they push to restrict the Liberty of man incessantly. Environmental regulations are killing the American economy and the livelihoods of people across the globe. By favoring the supposed natural world over human autonomy, jobs and wealth are lost and dreams, talents, and opportunities are wasted. While an animal is unable to produce this kind of thought or to question what could have been, a human is burdened with the ability to recollect and analyze situations and is fraught with being aware that he does so. The Founding Fathers said it best when they penned the Declaration of Independence and provided us all with the enlightening Truth that man’s Rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness are self-evident and inalienable. This is an undeniable fact for any person who comprehends the language and allows himself to be honest. I’ve decided to use the word weird to describe the spirit of Environmentalism in this post, and pushing to cage man and liberate beasts is the epitome of the term.

Another instance of weirdness in Environmentalism is that it contradicts a separate ideology which I imagine a large number of Environmentalists claim to adhere to: Secular Humanism. Secular Humanism is a philosophy that essentially claims that our greatest concern should be the wellbeing of our fellow humans and that we can be moral in our judgement without the belief in a higher power.

Not to be repetitive, but again, this is baffling. How can one focus primarily on human welfare while also believing man must respect and protect the environment as his equal or superior? Protecting the environment is not in the best interest of mankind. It is in the best interest of the environment! For the life of man to reach its greatest potential, the environment cannot be permitted to stand in his way.

As for the secular aspect, how can one claim to be irreligious while praising the environment as a greater power? Religion is not defined as the belief in a manlike God. It is faith in forces greater than oneself. Environmentalism is a religion by definition. Whether it’s the circle of life and the colors of the wind or Mother Earth are Father Time, we are talking about spirituality and divinity here. With apologies to those who are consistent in their beliefs and do not subscribe to Secular Humanism, Environmentalists should admit that they are a religious group (which would be totally fine) and come out and say that humanity is not their greatest concern.

The final bit of weirdness in Environmentalism I’d like to address is the plain and simple fact that the environment is relentlessly trying to kill you and everyone you know. Just as a rabbit must be on the lookout for birds of prey, HIV, Bubonic Plague, and Malaria are on the prowl hunting for you. The environment is not a sort of nurturing guardian angel. It is a ruthless murderer that you must battle every moment of your life whether you like it or not. The Earth is not here for us. We are here to take no mercy on the Earth in a quest for excellence and prosperity.

Our predecessors have been incredibly successful in their battle against the elements. Through science, engineering, medicine, and agriculture, our species has challenged the environment as prolifically as few others. While there may be more sardines and termites than humans surviving at the moment, we are still the only creatures to acknowledge our existence and the existence of morality. Our achievements are unmatched in the known universe, and we should take pride in that. We have championed the environment, one of the greatest enemies Life has to offer.

All of this leads me to the main objective of this piece: I propose that We the People of the United States (and eventually all people of the Earth) reestablish our God-given Right to Liberty and unintentionally but simultaneously preserve our beloved wildlife by disinviting Environmentalists from geopolitical discussions.

That proposition begs many questions, and I aim to answer them in my next post.

Why Environmentalism is Weird and How We can Save the World by Ignoring It (Part I)

The Deadly Sins of the Bernie Sanders Campaign

I’ll start off by saying that I do not subscribe to a particular religion or envision a particular higher power. I’ve called myself an Atheist for years, but I am too certain that basic human morality occurs in an objective way to deny the existence of the world beyond the physical matter we are able to test in a laboratory. Label me what you will, but that’s where I stand. Maybe I’m a Deist like the Founders.

The devotion and faith of Bernie Sanders’ constituency compels me to think in theological terms when analyzing it. His massive rallies resemble Osteenian megachurches, and his supporters are adamant about the 74-year career politician being our only savior. This is ironic because his following seems to be made up of the most Atheistic people in the country. Godlessness has morphed into zealotry in these weird and wacky times.

This is no coincidence, though. The profusion of Communist and Socialist demagogues of the past century have all denounced religion or banned it if given the power to. Marx, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and Kim Jung make this undeniable. Marxist ideologies require disregard for the God-given Rights of individual men, and, like many other non-Judeo-Christian faiths, command the needs of society outweigh the Liberty of man. Feel the Bern is the same tired, old story; the State fills the hole that religion leaves behind.

The following are five of the Seven Deadly Sins (which are not featured in the Bible, but are commonly correlated with Catholicism) that are easy to see sprinkled throughout the Bernie Sanders movement. This post is not meant to critique the character and goodness of every individual backer of Bernie Sanders. I’m just trying to make a few points, and have a little fun.

Enjoy!

Envy

This sin is the ground zero of Bernie Sanders’ rise in popularity. The concept is that “millionaires and billionaires” are the enemy because they have so much. While many are inclined to go on and say and the rest of us have so little, that premise is absurd as global poverty rates continue to fall, hunger continues to be eradicated, lives continue to be lived longer, and the availability and quality of technology, food, and medicine is more prevalent than at any point in human history. While government regulation and taxation are certainly causing the market in the US to recover slowly and widespread welfare is robbing the people of their potential to save their own money, these are, covertly, times of plenty. But as long as the most successful among us remain successful, Bernie Sanders and Socialism are able to appeal to envy and point their guns at Americans who persist in their peaceful and productive pursuit of Happiness.

To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, Socialists would be happy to make the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. They have no intention of making the world and lives of the people around them better. They just can’t stand being outperformed.

Greed

A quick look at Bernie Sanders’ lengthy (and fantastical) campaign promises shows just how greedy his followers have become. The have decided that they are entitled to healthcare, education, higher wages, mandatory paid leave, and enhanced Social Security at no expense to themselves. They use the word “free” to qualify these privileges, but any thinking person must realize they will be paid for by someone else.

This situation calls for an understanding of the distinction between Socialism’s implementation in Scandinavia and what Bernie Sanders vows to do in America via authoritarian measures. The Scandinavians supported Socialism collectively back in the 1970s (when they were already exceptionally prosperous and healthy thanks to their embrace of Capitalism throughout the 20th Century) and felt they would all be voluntarily paying into a welfare system for the betterment of society. The Scandinavian nations have since returned to market-based economics because of the documented failings of Socialism. There is no reason to question the intentions of the Scandinavians. They made a collective mistake, and they have since corrected it.

What Bernie Sanders’ disciples are doing is something wretched. As a largely youth-based movement, Sanders’ supporters feel as though they will not be chipping in. Being fully aware that working people will be the ones subsidizing their “free” stuff, their purely, self-centered greed is exposed.

These people are not politely asking for a helping hand like mature adults. They are demanding to have their cake and eat it too. They would make Gordon Gecko and Jordan Belfort proud.

Sloth

This sin is synonymous with Democratic-Socialism. Rather than putting in the time and effort to make something of themselves, Sanders’ supporters would rather cast a vote every four years as a means of acquiring what they have convinced themselves they are entitled to.

While so many Americans set their priorities, sacrifice what they have to, and work their butts off for their entire lives to secure a financially sound future, many who follow Sanders believe they can take four years off between elections and simply cast a ballot for the candidate who will steal the most stuff for them.

Voting for what you want instead of working for it is the embodiment of sloth, and a sign of the moral decay of the American people.

Wrath

While Bernie Sanders and his followers claim to have a monopoly on love, what they really want is to make the rich pay!

Wrath is not exclusive to the Sanders folks in this election cycle. Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Libertarians, and whatever you call Trump’s backers are looking to quench their anger too. But while the latter groups want to punish cronies in Washington for using their tax dollars to bailout the banks and Wall Street and to fail at stimulating the economy, Sanders wants to punish the people who received the subsidies instead.

It’s sort of like getting mad at your little brother for eating a piece of candy your parents gave him after promising they would take care of it for you. The parents are the authority figures you put in charge of the candy. When they hand the candy to your a-responsible sibling, they are at fault, not your bro.

We can all empathize with wrath at the moment, but as usual, the Sanders crowd is dazed and confused.

Pride

Despite no life, work, or political experience, Bernie Sanders’ youthful devotees believe they know best how to organize society for the rest of us. They will heal the planet, they will care for the needy, they will design curricula, and they will manage our budget.

Typically, pride is associated with arrogance, and arrogance is typically associated with skill. And that’s what makes the pride of the Sanderistas so perplexing.

Who the hell do they think they are? How dare they support increased taxation of all Americans to fund their imagined Utopia!

This is the participation trophy generation in action. Their feelings were consulted before the facts, and this is the predictable result. There is no trace of humility to be found. Their pride is pure.

The Deadly Sins of the Bernie Sanders Campaign

Five Reasons Why I’m Rooting for Ted Cruz

Our presidential candidates suck.

With respect to the handful of just-let-it-go-alreadys lingering in the basement of the GOP field, the last (wo)men standing are a lying career-politician whom no one would notice if she had a Y chromosome, a sincerely Marxist demagogue with no respect for Liberty or the Constitution who’s been collecting his salary from taxpayers for four decades and lives in fantasyland, a narcissistic television personality who charms racists and belongs in the private sector, a hawkish and unpredictable centrist with little experience or clear goals of any kind, an amazing doctor/person who would be an absurd choice for Commander-in-Chief with ISIS showing no signs of surrendering anytime soon, and a provocative lawyer with an unappealing personality, some shady history, no friends, and a punchable face.

From a strictly relative standpoint, I like punchy-face. Here’s why:

Rand Paul is Out

Though he hasn’t suspended his campaign officially, the dream of a consistent Libertarian at the head of the Executive Branch remains just that. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Free Market economics, the non-aggression principle, blind justice, and individual Liberty have yet to catch on, but it’s intellectually dishonest to say that the American people are ready for a Liberty-centered society at this juncture.

Ted Cruz is the closest thing to a Libertarian we have left. He explicitly states his desire to reunite “The Reagan Coalition” which would unite William F. Buckley Conservatives, Evangelical Christians, and Libertarians to reestablish a Constitutionally-controlled limited government and return the power that has been progressively stolen by the government to We the People.

There are no perfect presidents or humans, Rand Paul included, so sometimes you just have to take the best you can get. For now, that’s Rafael “Ted” Cruz.

That Constitution Thingy

You remember that document that we were supposed to use to remind the government about our unalienable Rights? Ted Cruz literally had it memorized in high school.

Cruz consistently reinforces the oft-ignored but self-evident fact that our Rights do not come from government, but rather from “our Creator”. Who or what your Creator is is up to you to figure out, but what other people’s Rights are is not. We, as humans, have Rights. And while barbarians, Socialists, psychopaths, and Theocrats may violate them, our Rights can never be taken away in reality. Ted Cruz recognizes this and is unafraid to say so.

While I have my doubts about Cruz’s understanding and respect for the 4th Amendment, he displays consistency in putting the Bill of Rights and a contextual interpretation of the Constitution before his personal beliefs and opinions. This is particularly evident when it comes to the 10th Amendment which empowers the sovereign states and the people to handle matters not explicitly delegated to the federal government by the Constitution itself. Cruz is hammered by Liberals for disapproving of the Supreme Court decision to ban states from making up their own minds on gay marriage, and Conservatives bash Cruz for admitting that the War on Drugs is federal overreach and that drug laws should be determined by the states. Cruz opposes gay marriage and marijuana legalization, but he understands that neither area is the president’s nor the federal government’s business.

Ted Cruz plays by the rules.

No Subsidies, No Problem

Liberals will obviously be appalled to learn that Ted Cruz wants to cut entitlement spending and subsidies for green energy. However, they’ll be happy to learn that Cruz wants to cut corporate welfare and oil subsidies too.

Cruz does not believe the government should play favorites in the energy sector or the overall private sector, and he does not believe the government should be a dependency-causing sugar-daddy to spoil the American people.

The government should not be playing favorites or buying voters. Cronyism is a flagrant undermining of equality and the Democratic process. Ted Cruz gets that.

Ted the Abolitionist and Tea-Partier

If you haven’t been paying attention, Washington D.C. is now the most expensive place to raise a family in America, outpricing New York City in 2015. Our out-of-control government employs nearly 3 million people excluding our men and women in uniform. While Walmart is often heckled for employing a small country’s worth of individuals at depressingly low wages, the feds dole out generous paychecks, benefits, and pensions with dollars confiscated from you and me. At least Walmart creates its own wealth.

To stop our supposed civil servants from acting like our masters, Ted Cruz has ambitiously proposed the elimination of the IRS, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, and Department of Housing and Urban Development. While there is no way he’ll be able to accomplish all of this, it’s possible that a few unconstitutional agencies could be eliminated or at least take massive budget hits.

Furthermore, Ted Cruz is hell-bent on throwing out our loophole-generating tax code (which technically has more words than the Bible), and replacing it with a simple flat tax that an average American can comprehend and use to pay his or her own taxes independently.

Freedom from a tornado of taxation and an army of unnecessary bureaucracies is what the American people need to get our country back on track. Cruz has been the most vocal about that.

Zero Likeability (That’s a Compliment)

The government is not your friend. Your friends are your friends. Your family members are your friends. Your neighbors are your friends. Your dog is your friend. Chocolate is your friend. God is your friend.

The government is a jerk. It kills people, lies to our faces, takes our money, limits our freedom, and is just terrible overall. The government is nice to have in case of major legal disputes, threats from outside the country, and matters that the states and people are truly unable to handle effectively on their own (like building interstate highways, coining money, and addressing pandemic diseases), but other than a handful of other functions, the government should be invisible.

With a charismatic celebri-president like Barack Obama, Donald Trump, or (God forbid) Bernie Sanders, all eyes are on the government, and expectations grow irrationally tall. America is in political turmoil and is polarized at near Civil War levels. If it weren’t for the ominous and persistent presence of Washington, I imagine that this would not be the case. The Cult of Personality is destroying us.

A President Cruz could change all of that. With such an intolerable man at the White House control panel, it’s unlikely that many of us would plead for its assistance. Instead of acting like entitled children, we could get back to worrying about our own lives and make positive changes and developments in our states, communities, families, and ourselves.

By no stretch of the imagination would I like to sit down to spend some quality time with Ted Cruz. But as the Junior Senator said himself, “If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy. But if you want someone to get you home, I will get the job done, and I will get you home.”

Cheesy? Sure. Disingenuous? Maybe. But in the world of American, two-party politics, that might be our best bet.

I am not pledging my vote to Ted Cruz. My vote will be mine until Election Day. But if that day were tomorrow, I’d have made up my mind.

Five Reasons Why I’m Rooting for Ted Cruz