Saturday, April 12, 2008

Worshipping the static utopia.

Cute Knut isn’t so cute anymore. He’s now an adult polar bear. Knut was the polar bear cub rejected by his mother at the Berlin Zoo. Zoo officials hand raised the cub. You will remember that some environmentalist types screamed saying that the cub should have died as nature intended -- as if nature has intentions.

But fundamentalist environmentalists see nature the way Christian fundamentalists see god. It is something to be worshipped and obeyed. It is something we must never manipulate or touch -- it is too sacred. But nature is a bitch. It provides a mixed bag of things from the wonderful to the horrible and it is our duty to mitigate the horrible as much as possible.

Nature gives children crippling diseases. We try to cure them. Nature drowns hundreds of thousands in floods and tidal waves. It kills them in hurricanes, tornados and blizzards. It condemns entire species to death which we endeavor to save from extinction merely because it gives us pleasure to do so. Nature needs to be understood so it can be controlled. If it isn’t controlled it is deadly and destructive.

These crazed environmentalist types see nature as wonderful and man as sinful, as a creature in rebellion against their god -- Gaia. They border on being human haters and some crossed that border long ago.

Some seem to have no idea what nature is like. This is especially true of the insane “animal rights” activists. These are the kind who despise people for having cats in their home since the cat must ignore its own evolution and return to the wild. Most cats find that rather unappealing. They like human company and evolved with humans in a mutually beneficial relationship. It is entirely natural but these naturalists don’t know it.

Now the animal rights lunatics are in a frenzy over Knut again.

The moat in Knuts enclosure at the Berlin Zoo had algae and the zoo figured that the best way to solve the problem was to put some carp into the moat to eat the algae. Knut was thrilled. He promptly entered the water and before two days were over he had captured and eaten all 11 fish. Zoo officials said: “He ate them all in just a day and a half. Whatever people may say, he’s a good hunter, and it’s all part of being a polar bear. This show he’s totally fit. We won’t be placing any more fish in his moat, though.”

But animal rights crazies are saying that the rights of the fish were violated by the zoo. Apparently animals have rights but not responsibilities in the world of animal rights activism. Of course the opposite is true for humans: they bare all responsibility for their actions but have no rights. The animal rights activists say that by “letting” Knut eat the fish the zoo was in violation of animal protection regulations.

They have such a distorted view of nature that it hard to take these people seriously. They seem to believe that there exists this ideal nature that is perfect, unchanging and lovey-dovey. They seem to think man is the corrupter who brought evil into the Garden and destroyed this perfection. Man is responsible for all the bad while nature itself is all good.

Apparently they don’t see man as part of nature but as some alien species introduced to paradise artificially in order to ruin it. That polar bears kill and eat fish is not part of their ideal vision. That nature is violent and cruel and constantly changing is not part of their theology.

I believe that this sort of utopianism is behind a lot of the climate hysteria. Whereas most of us grew up knowing that the weather can be relied upon to change, these utopians saw nature as constant and unchanging. They fear natural change as much as they fear man-made change. One reason that they are emphasizing “climate change” more than “warming” is that with change there is always something to fear. They are apocalyptic conservatives of the worst kind. Change is deadly and destructive. I am waiting for them to disown evolution entirely since evolution requires change. The problem is that their static, benevolent utopia has never existed.

I have thought that utopianism is a dangerous tendency. It is dangerous because this ideal society is often the enemy of human liberty today. Frederic Bastiat noted that utopian socialists “have a kind of sentimental love for humanity in their hearts” but “hate flows from their lips.” The reason is that “each of them reserves all his love for the society that he has dreamed up; but the natural society in which it is our lot to live cannot be destroyed soon enough to suit them, so that from its ruins may rise the New Jerusalem.” Aldous Huxley noted the same thing, “ in the bigger and better future is one of the most potent enemies to present liberty; for rulers feel themselves justified in imposing the most monstrous tyranny on their subjects for the sake of the wholly imaginary fruits which these tyrannies are expected to bear some time in the distant future.”

The socialists, to whom Bastiat and Huxley were referring, at least had an excuse. They imagined a future paradise and judge humans today by their imaginary world. But these environmentalists have invented an imaginary past. It was one where they deny the cruelty of nature. It was one where the world apparently lived in perfect stasis. It was a world where “indigenous” peoples lived in perfect harmony with the utopia around them. It is so much bullshit. And based on this deluded view of the past they are ready to shackle and bind humans today.