The environment as if people mattered (cont.)

Too little in today’s environmentalism is about bringing environmental amenities into the realm of wealth creation and private stewardship required to actually protect them. “The Sixth Extinction” [January 13, 2008 in the Washington Post] reflexively recommends more politicization of resources, even as most human beings languish in squalor. Political collectivism destroys human lives and hope, but it will likewise undermine the environment’s prospects.

Spreading political freedom in the developing world will make humans better stewards. Beyond that, the psychological corner that must be turned is recognizing that threatened animals and amenities must sometimes be consciously protected in largely artificial environments and private reserves, not some imagined “Eden. For example, some gorillas threatened by tribal warfare and poverty could be flown out of harm’s way.

Human beings’ alteration of earth’s “natural” environment is an eons-old reality, as much a part of nature as all the rest. Given that Mother Nature regularly wipes out over 99 percent of her species—most of which lived and died long before some proto-human got the urge to stand—we alone actually have a chance to do something about such routine extinction, to deliberately protect the environment from (some of) nature’s more thorough ravages.

The solar system harbors over 100 worlds and worldlets, plenty alternative inventory for those detesting man’s footprint. Here, the proper environmental regime is pro-human, studiously avoiding global expansion of undefined and detrimental governmental powers that undermine environmental prospects.