Skip to comments.Whose Environment?
Posted on 06/21/2010 7:54:51 AM PDT by Ed Hudgins
I was walking back to the office one day, not long after The Atlas Society moved to Washington, when a young woman accosted me on a street corner. Got a minute for the environment? she asked, thrusting a leaflet in my direction.
Welcome to Washington, I thought. In New York, where I used to live, people passing bills on the street were usually selling one of two things: mens suits or sex. But Washington is a political town. Here we sell causes.
I didnt stop. I didnt have a minute for her, or for much of anything except getting back to work. Besides, it seemed a little presumptuous of her to claim to represent the environment. And what did she mean by the environment, anyway? What does the term refer to? And then it struck me: that is an interesting question.
The street-corner environmentalist expected passers-by to understand what she meant, as do editorialists who speak of environmental policies, as do companies that tout their products as Earth-friendly, as do environmentally conscious consumers who conspicuously drive hybrid cars. No one is puzzled by these references. Everyone seems to understand what the environment is.
Yet environment is a highly abstract concept. It refers to the totality of external conditions that an organism of a particular type can interact with and that affect its survival, as opposed to its internal structure and processes. For every species there is a different environment, set by its nature. The environment of a garden flower in Florida is not the same as the environment of a Siberian tiger. Environment is a relational concept, like husband and wife. You cant be a husband unless...
(Excerpt) Read more at atlassociety.org ...
Few urban environmentalists have any kind of credibility.
Good post. I expect many just won’t get it.