Saturday, March 17, 2012

Into the tumbril!

Jeffrey St. Clair writes:

The environmental movement has become freighted with more and more deceptive terms. Let’s begin by banishing the tiresome phrase sustainable development. Coined by NGOs in the 1970s, this discreditable term has been used to put a green gloss on everything from mega-dams to rainforest logging. Endless development is a more accurate description.

Next, let us eliminate the Mephistophelean phase win-win solution, a verbal potion of the Clinton era that was used to justify oil drilling in the Arctic, logging in the redwoods, and rollbacks in air pollution standards. In win-win solutions, industry gets what it wants and environmental groups get paid in grants to go along with the deal.

Finally, let us jettison the term holistic, especially when affixed to “ecosystem” or “resource management.” Holistic is a merely a New Age-update of the venerable term “multiple use,” one of the oldest cons in the history of conservation. Multiple use was the ludicrous notion that public lands could be all things to all people (or more properly all industries). In other words, wildlife could peacefully co-exist with mining, logging, livestock and off-road vehicle use. Holistic ecosystem management posits the same battered notion, but escalates the deception by suggesting that logging and grazing are actually beneficial to the long-term health of the ecosystem.

environment, environmentalism