Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eco-nomics Comes Out of the Closet

Mike Rosen has an interesting column in The Denver Post, shining a welcome light on the economic underpinnings of the environmental movement. Perhaps those who still believe it's all about bunnies and butterflies will view things differently, when they come to see the strong anti-capitalist, anti-free market, anti-property rights and anti-consumer choice strains that infuse the ideology. Eco-economics isn't often talked about, explicitly (for fear, no doubt, of making skeptics of those who still laugh-off environmentalists as harmless granola-crunchers), so it's helpful to see a few proponents lay their cards on the table and make the agenda explicit.

Anti-capitalism can be found in almost every strand of the movement's DNA (think Edward Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang), but the shift toward eco-socialism became more pronounced after the fall of the Soviet Union, when hard-core collectivists, suddenly left out in the cold, so to speak, began searching for a new, more politically-fashionable home to inhabit. They were warmly received by the movement, which already saw prosperity, consumer choice, development, property rights and the market economy as threats to the planet.

Thus appeared the so-called "watermelon" -- shorthand for someone who is green on the outside and red on the inside. It's good to see the watermelons come tumbling out of the closet, so average Americans can see that there's much more to this movement than cleaning waterways and saving trees.

1 comment:

Hellena Haan-Basquetee said...

The current green energy movement is not so different from the oil movement except that different people are getting rich from it. Think of all of the subsidies we provide for oil, corn, etc. Now we are doing the same for green energy. But there is a distinct benefit here. Government's support of the green energy movement will continue to reduce the cost to get "off the grid" in ways that will allow us to continue living distinctly modern lives. Going off the grid means getting out from under government"s thumb in a very real way. Now that's the kind of movement we should all be supporting.