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Whose Environment?
The Atlas Society - The Center for Objectivism ^ | 6/18/2010 | David Kelley

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: men’s suits or sex. But Washington is a political town. Here we sell causes.

I didn’t stop. I didn’t 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 can’t be a husband unless...

(Excerpt) Read more at atlassociety.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: environment; environmental; globalwarming

1 posted on 06/21/2010 7:54:51 AM PDT by Ed Hudgins
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To: Ed Hudgins

Few urban environmentalists have any kind of credibility.


2 posted on 06/21/2010 8:06:47 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Ed Hudgins

Good post. I expect many just won’t get it.


3 posted on 06/21/2010 10:28:16 AM PDT by balls (It's Amateur Hour at the White House.)
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To: Ed Hudgins; Thunder90; Dr. Bogus Pachysandra; Entrepreneur; Darnright; Nipfan; Defendingliberty; ...
 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

4 posted on 06/21/2010 3:16:17 PM PDT by steelyourfaith (America should take a mulligan on the 2008 presidential election.)
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