Environmentalism, or ecologism, is a failure both as a science and as an ideology. It fails as a science because it cannot show “anthropogeneity” to be true, whereby mankind can actually alter the course of natural reality, nor can it define what it actually means by “nature,” and by “science.
As for its alarmism – is CO2 the great monster of our time that is being set loose by avaricious mankind for short-term gain, with dire results for all life on this planet? Or, is this all a great con-job by certain avaricious members of mankind for long-term gain? Evidence is shown to support both sides. This raises a problem with logic. If there are two contradictory types of evidence for one assumption, then the assertion that only one side of the argument is “true” is a lie. More crucially, “science” can hardly be “settled,” when it continually offers two opposing answers to one thesis.
This renders environmentalism nothing more than weak sociology – that is, a process of rhetoric, through which a drastic change of society is the desired outcome. In other words, a social science. And it is weak because it has no inherent verity – since it continually needs the support of rhetoric and political will in order to promote itself. In other words, environmentalism is merely sociologism, or a process to bring about revolution – that is, a “liberation” from all perceived wrongs of the past. Thus, environmentalism is pure ideology; and nothing else. (As a reminder, ideology is a form of speculative thought that seeks to justify a particular social action).
But is environmentalism a strong ideology? Hardly. It is nothing more than a jumble of contradictions.
First, environmentalism cannot define its own terms. It seeks to protect “nature,” but what is this “nature” that needs political salvation? Nor can it define what is means by “science.” Both these terms are continually invoked, as if they have a self-evident definition, which is not the case.
In the twenty-first century, “science” only means two types of paradigms – the Cartesian and the Neo-Darwinian. There is no third.
The Cartesian, or mathematical approach, states that “nature” is a construction of human reason (where mathematics is the mode of explanation). This is not because “nature” in itself is mathematical, but because human reason is mathematical. For Descartes, “nature” has no meaning outside the human mind. Thus, “nature,” only exists as a projection of reason. “Nature” does not inherently contain meaning, let alone truth. It possesses only matter and energy, which do not exist for a higher purpose. Only reason gives them that purpose.
Since “nature” has no being outside the human mind, what do activists want to protect outside the human? Random matter and energy? Thus, things like, “climate catastrophe,” do not exist in matter and energy. Rather, they are projects onto matter and energy by human reason.
This destroys any premise that environmentalism might want to offer as an explanation – for “nature” has no explanation. “Nature” is an idea – a function of human reason.
Next, there is Neo-Darwinism, which is concerned with the flow of genes, through the structure of evolution; that is, the mutation of genes and then their selection. Genes are, thus, packets of information (codes). This process of transmitting information into the future may be observed by way of an organism’s traits (the phenotype).
Once again, there is no “nature” as
such – because everything essential happens at the genetic level, in which
animate matter is nothing more than a container and delivery system for genes.
Whatever might be termed “nature” shows itself to be nothing other than a
continually evolving environment for genes to replicate in. This “environment”
is essentially time, in which information will create the conditions that it
needs to replicate – regardless of what mankind might or might not do, like releasing
In effect, Neo-Darwinism has no need for “nature,” because the phenomenal realm is always secondary to the micro-evolution of genes. Whatever destruction the phenomenal world might undergo, the genes will eventually reconfigure (recode), and keep replicating. And after destruction takes place, over time, complex life forms will once again evolve. Thus, there is no “nature” to destroy, because macro-ecology is nothing but a process of time. Whatever effect man might have on macro-ecology, micro-evolution remains unaffected. And it matters not at all whether CO2 is the great villain or not.
In fact, whatever “harm” mankind might be doing is ultimately part-and-parcel of the process of evolution, in which humanity is dutifully playing its role. If that role is one of “harm-bringer,” then so be it. Evolution will simply deal with it, reconfigure, recode and replicate.
Thus, the Cartesian paradigm denies environmentalism its rationale (“nature” is a construct of human reason). And Neo-Darwinism refutes environmentalism’s anthropogeneity, in that mankind can never alter the process of evolution. This means that environmentalism’s reliance on “science” is a sham. The alarmist claims about the loss of biodiversity, the collapse of ecosystems, and various extinction scenarios are meaningless in science as it is understood and practiced today.
This leaves only the projection of human emotion upon matter, energy, information, and time. In other, environmentalism is pure hysteria that has good political currency at the moment. But can any sort of economic, social, or cultural stability be built upon a lie?
Since environmentalism cannot claim any sort of “ownership” over science (Cartesian or Neo-Darwinian), anytime it uses scientific vocabulary, it contradicts itself. In the end, it possesses nothing.
Lastly, there is the question of humanity within nature. For Descartes, nature is formless and meaningless without human reason, which means that man creates the nature that he needs. For Neo-Darwinism, humanity is the subject of evolution, in that evolution creates mankind and will uncreate him in the flow of time. Thus, man can affect nothing in the process of information and time, no matter what he might get up to in the Destruction Department.
But environmentalism does have a rather effective weapon – mythology – through which it is now seeking to convince everyone that “nature” is “alive.” (Cue James Lovelock and his totem, “Gaia”). This endeavor also is bound to fail, because paganism was defeated long ago and thus can contribute nothing to the reality of human life in the twenty-first century.
The vain attempt to parse paganism as “ancient philosophy” is just wishful thinking, because paganism, as a vanquished paradigm, can no longer answer the fundamental question of life. And that question is this – How can I be free? Paganism was always about slavery (which is why it crumbled very quickly), for all it possessed was fear in the face of the incomprehensible. The habit of humanity to rely on reason can no longer be paganized, despite the efforts of universities and their Environmental Studies programs. Once the mind knows something, it cannot suddenly unknow it.
All this leaves environmentalism no real recourse but politics and the will of the state. But this is tyranny, which has failed every time it has been tried (though it does bring short-term misery). In effect, environmentalism is about defeat and failure – and thus it has no hold in the future.
The photo shows, “Metallic Tractors,” a print by James Gillray, London, England, 1801.