In Soviet times the word AgitProp, was an acronym for agitation and propaganda. This basically meant dispatching agents to overturn competing worldviews and promote Soviet ideology amongst all classes of Russian society. Although the Soviet era is a thing of the past if I have used the term EnviroProp in the title of this note it is because there is a parallel with 21st century environmental discourse that is constantly bombarding us in education and media. And if our ancestors feared black cats or bad omens, nowadays enviro-agitators are busy promoting their own carpet-bag full of environmental superstitions and going on and on and on... about all those things that we shouldn’t do anymore or about the sacrifices we have to do "for the environment".
In the article below, Canadian journalist Rex Murphy exposes to view the shapeless, chameleon-like nature of this hypocritical ideology. Following the logic of EnviroProp, man ends up in a situation where one cannot move, breathe or fart without such behaviour being deemed "harmful to the environment”.
Has the environmental movement ever seen a collapse it didn’t want to be on the brink of? National Post (Full Comment, Dec. 6th 2014)
Here is a quote from Murphy’s article:
The particulars do not matter. Pipelines, in fact, are not really the issue, nor have they ever been. If oil could be transported from west to east, north to south, in titanium containers with impregnable seals and under Archangelic guard for every inch of the way, it would still be resisted. For it is a law with environmental protest that as soon as one of its objections has been met, there is always another. Nature is always about to lose something. There will be a bug, a plant, a lichen on a lonely rock, or a landlocked seagull that will be lost forever, ripped from the Great Chain of Being, by the wicked incursions of vile man.
I agree with Murphy's point that when we move away from the micro-issues (the spotted owls or cute "baby" seals or blue whales or whatever...) and look at the big picture, it becomes clear that EnviroProp's real target is man, and that the human species is the Enemy. Perhaps the pawns on the battlefield doing the protests truly do "believe in" the cause of "protecting the environment" or about the owls, whales, seals, trees, etc., but, despite their posturing, I doubt the higher-ups in this movement (the ones that actually decide what the NEXT BIG THING will be) really care about such matters at all...
But Murphy misses one point about EnviroProp in that it is deeply hypocritical for another reason as it steals a principle from the book of Genesis, that man is the steward/manager of, and bears responsibility for, the environment (rather than use the loaded word "Creation"). So EnviroProp's fiendishly efficient weapon is guilt-mongering. And despite the fact that the West is now largely a post-Christian culture, there remain a few vestigial artefacts drawn from the Judeo-Christian worldview and the concept of man as steward of Creation/Nature is one of these. This is the reason talk about "man’s responsibility to/for the environment" still strikes a nerve in the population. But do EnviroProp guilt-mongers in fact have the right to talk about man's responsibility for the environment? Putting this another way, does their own worldview give them a basis to do so? Are they being consistent? Where do they get this idea about "man’s responsibility for the environment" in the first place? They are constantly telling us that we must feel guilty for doing this or that (or guilty for NOT doing this or that). And once people feel guilt, then they can be herded in the right direction and manipulated to do certain things or sacrifice things when they normally wouldn't...
On the one hand Genesis (1: 26-27) tells us that Man is the steward of Creation, which implies responsibility for the management of Creation, but it also tells us that Man is made in God's image (imago dei), which involves a status ABOVE the rest of Creation. So as far as Genesis is concerned, Man, in his proper place, is certainly NOT the Enemy, as he is made out by EnviroProp.
EnviroProp clearly seeks to destroy man’s particular status in Creation, the imago dei, as eventually will bring someone to ask WHERE does this status come from? But then one must follow the logic, if one rejects the Judeo-Christian worldview and it you reject man as imago dei, then you destroy any responsibility for Nature/Creation/the environment along with that. The two concepts are clearly linked. If the theory of evolution is the only origins myth you believe in, then does it make any sense at all to talk about humans responsibility for nature? Is it logical? Or are you just talking nonsense? Some atheistic evolutionists HAVE noticed the link between the two concepts and have grasped that in destroying Man as imago dei, then you destroy all moral responsibility along with it. But few moderns are honest enough to admit to any of this. Biologist William B. Provine is the exception to the rule and certainly had a good part of this worked out when he said:
Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin's views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. What an unintelligible idea. (p. 23)
When Provine says that “there is no ultimate foundation for ethics” logically that of course also covers any and all moral duty to Creation/the environment.
Some quick-thinking moderns or postmoderns may retort that one need not refer to Genesis to believe that man is "special" or different from other animals. Some may claim that man is special as he is the summit of evolution and is “conscious” of his actions (and their consequences) and assert that this fact imposes added responsibility. But if they themselves are as enlightened and conscious as they say, then they should also be conscious of the fact that if Man himself is a product of evolution, a process devoid of design or purpose, then one must also take into account that on many occasions in the past, this same evolutionary process has initiated the ruthless extermination of many organisms that it supposedly produced. Many species of mammals, invertebrates and plants have become extinct and are now no more than footnotes in Earth's geological past, some to make room for man. If then this is the case, then why should man be at all concerned about the disappearance of a few species while (for a brief moment) he finds himself the dominant species? Such extinctions are simply an integral part of the natural order of things and of the evolutionary process. Nothing to get excited about. If humans too are part of the great evolutionary chain of life, and nothing more, why should our predatory activities be viewed any differently from those of a dinosaur taking down its favourite meal or from a geological event, such as a major volcanic eruption, killing off the last woolly mammoth? If man is the product of such a ruthless process, then why should he have any qualms at all about behaving in the same way? Why should we feel “guilt” or “responsibility” about such matters?
Perhaps you may be wondering, if the higher-ups in EnviroProp don’t really care at all about spotted owls or "baby" seals or blue whales or whatever, then WHY are they doing this? Good question. Perhaps somebody should ask them...
Gosselin, Paul (2004) Problems with Ethics in an Evolutionary / Materialistic World-view. Samizdat
Provine, William B. (1990) Response to Phillip Johnson. (Letter) pp. 23-24 First Things no 6 Oct.
Schwartz, Peter (2000) Man
and Nature?: the Real Conflict. www.intellectualcapital.com/