After years of it being talked about in the media, we are all familiar with terms such as global warming, deforestation, the race for renewable energy, and endangered species. Groups like Extinction Rebellion and people like Greta Thunberg have graced the covers of magazines and newspapers in recent years, and if the media is to be believed, we should all be living under a cloud of constant fear of an impending climate catastrophe. While the issue of climate change is a real problem which does need to be addressed, the author argues that not only is environmental catastrophism unjustified, but that it is also harmful when it comes to making human life on earth more sustainable.
The point is that alarmism and extreme activism risk diverting attention from the real problems and their logical solutions, not to mention putting us in danger of never actually finding tangible ways in which these problems can be solved. The author recognises that there are some serious environmental problems which must be addressed, but also affirms that there is no need for the apocalyptic view with which we are continuously bombarded. The key is to bring some order to the chaotic information we are being fed, so that we can put real solutions into practice. Both the problems and their solutions are often hidden by this wave of alarmism that has burst into our lives.
As though this confusion were not enough, existing environmental principles have a major fundamental flaw: they do not take into account the human, economic and social factors of the changes they propose, which is why they are destined to fail, or to leave some parts of the world in misery (usually the less developed countries). Appeals to the poorest nations to make energy cuts, initiatives towards renewable energy, and vetoes on production and exports of certain products, can end up being diverted away from environmentalist needs, and once in the hands of the richest and most developed countries, be used as actual political and social weapons against those nations which not as far advanced. In short, even the environmentalist solutions which, at first glance, could solve a few problems, often end up preserving the global status quo: developed countries continue to consume, while the underdeveloped ones continue to live in poverty and pollution.
In fact, the author tells us that many of the positions taken by contemporary environmentalism ultimately end up causing the rejection of any opportunity to actually make the planet greener. This would involve helping poorer countries to develop and find more sustainable alternatives, and would depend on the agreement to produce more powerful and cleaner energies, such as nuclear energy. The only way to finally move towards a sustainable future for everyone, is to actually address the issues, and leave behind the apocalyptic view of environmentalism which has become so popular.