Skip to comments.Green Terror: The Misanthropic Roots of The Environmentalist Religion
Posted on 06/28/2002 1:53:05 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
"We already have too much economic growth in the United States. Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease, not the cure."
-Paul Elrich, Stanford University biologist and Advisor to Vice President Albert Gore
"I think if we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance of saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have an ecological society under socialism. I don't think it's possible under capitalism."
[Judi Barri of Earth First? quoted by Walter Williams, cloumnists with Heritage Features][Syndicate, State Journal Register, June 25, 1992]
"The immediate source of ecological crisis is capitalism."
"Capitalism is a cancer in the biosphere."
"I believe the color of radicalism today is not red, but green."
[Steve Chase,ed., Defending the Earth: A Dialogue Between Murray Bookchin and Dave Foreman] (Boston South End Press, 1991, p 57-59)
Abuse of the Endangered Species Act
"The northern spotted owl is the wildlife species of choice to act as a surrogate for old-growth forest protection," explained Andy Stahl, staff forester for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, at a 1988 law clinic for other environmentalists. "Thank goodness the spotted owl evolved in the Pacific Northwest," he joked, "for if it hadn't, we'd have to genetically engineer it."
-Andy Stahl at a 1988 law clinic for environmentalists, staff forester, Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
"Now, in a widening sphere of decisions, the costs of error are so exorbitant that we need to act on theory alone, which is to say on prediction alone. It follows that the reputation of scientific prediction needs to be enhanced. But that can happen, paradoxically, only if scientists disavow the certainty and precision that they normally insist on. Above all, we need to learn to act decisively to forestall predicted perils, even while knowing that they may never materialize. We must take action, in a manner of speaking, to preserve our ignorance. There are perils that we can be certain of avoiding only at the cost of never knowing with certainty that they were real."
-Jonathan Shell, author of Our Fragile Earth
"A global climate treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect."
-Richard Benedict, an employee for the State Department working on assignment for the Conservation Foundation
Sensationalism & Scare Tactics
"[W]e have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."
-Stephen Schneider, proponent of the theory that CFCs are depleting the ozone
Mainstream Links to the Fringe
"I honor Earth First for having the guts to do the things they do. It's not for me, but I understand why they do what they do. And, ultimately, we all help each other."
-Brock Adams, VP, Audubon Society, quoted in the Los Angeles Times.
"The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club regional reps were at the Northeast Earth First Rendevouz last year. We all work very well together. Dale Turner, who is the assistant editor of the Earth First Journal, was conservation chair of the Sierra Club in Arizona at the same time. I'm a member of the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society and the Nature Conservancy."
-Dave Foreman, Earth First? Founder, in an interview in E Magazine Sept/Oct 93
Update: Dave Foreman was recently elected to the Sierra Club Board of Directors
Deep Ecology as a Religion
"If we seek only personal redemption we could become solitary ecological saints among the masses of those we might classify as 'sinners' who continue to pollute."
Bill Devall & George Sessions, Deep Ecology: Living As If Nature Mattered Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 1987), p 14
"More science and more technology are not goint to get us out of the present ecological crises untill we find a new religion, or rethink our old one."
Lynn White, Jr. "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," Science, (Mar. 10 1967), p 1206
Govenrment Enforced Birth Control
"Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.... All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
-David Brower, Friends of the Earth
"The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state."
-Keith Boulding, originator of the "Spaceship Earth" concept
"If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS. It [AIDS] has the potential to end industrialism, which is the main force behind the environmental crises."
-Earth First! newsletter
"We in the Green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which the killing of a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels."
-Carl Amery, Green Party of West Germany
"I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds."
-Paul Watson, founder of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd
"The planet is about to break out with fever, indeed it may already have, and we [human beings] are the disease. We should be at war with ourselves and our lifestyles."
-Thomas Lovejoy, tropical biologist and assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
"Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."
Dave Forman, founder of Earth First, and presently a member of the Board of Directors for the Sierra Club
Ideological Ties to other Movements
In the 1930s the ecologists "Green Revolution" reached full flower in Germany...In the political sphere, ecologists lobbied successfully, for antivivisection laws,..implementation of organic farming,..and the redistribution of large land holdings to the German peasants (Back-to- the-Land movement)...These laws became the policies of a political party that incorporated a major portion of the ecologists political agenda. This party also believed in the "Blood and Soil" ethic, and was known as the National Socialist Party. Its leader was Adolf Hitler.
-M.Gemmell & J.Lehr
Quotes from The Environmental Peanut Gallery
"No one is predicting the extinction of life, nor man, but certainly civilization as we know it is at risk. This is not based on feelings but many sciences. The carrying capacity of the earth has been exceeded and we are currently living off non-sustainable consumption of cheap pools of finite natural resources we found lying about less than 100 years ago."
-Doug Bashford, from the Fido Environ conference 18 Jan 94
"Was the other lawyer Glenn C.? He has been our letterhead in the past, and got a gun back for me. . I'm with SAFE, and we have been loosely asc. w EF! since the good ol days... We stopped a $billion dam. We get Sierra NF all to ourselves, everyone else has sold it down the river. JP Bernhardt is a good friend who periodically publishes in EF! journal. He does poems and condor & compound 1080 stuff."
-Doug Bashford, from the Fido Environ conference 17 Jan 94
The capitalistic countries are the cleanest.
Don't confuse them with facts.
Now that is a scary thought.
Isn't capitalism a wonderful thing.
Rio was a last gasp at world socialism
VHEMET (should be prononounced vomit). Next time put a barf alert with your link. I am copying their about page here. I don't know if I will get into trouble over copyrights, because they are against reproduction.
VHEMT (pronounced vehement) is a movement not an organization. It's a movement advanced by people who care about life on planet Earth. We're not just a bunch of misanthropes and anti-social, Malthusian misfits, taking morbid delight whenever disaster strikes humans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Voluntary human extinction is the humanitarian alternative to human disasters.
We don't carry on about how the human race has shown itself to be a greedy, amoral parasite on the once-healthy face of this planet. That type of negativity offers no solution to the inexorable horrors which human activity is causing.
Rather, The Movement presents an encouraging alternative to the callous exploitation and wholesale destruction of the Earth's ecology.
As VHEMT Volunteers know, the hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: Homo sapiens... us.
Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom.
When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth's biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Mother Nature's "experiments" have done throughout the eons. Good health will be restored to the Earth's ecology... to the "life form" known by many as Gaia.
Graphic by Nina Paley
Colorized by Aaron Hackmann
We're really vehement.
Many see humor in The Movement and think we can't be serious about voluntary human extinction, but in spite of the seriousness of both situation and movement, there's room for humor. In fact, without humor, Earth's condition gets unbearably depressing -- a little levity eases the gravity.
True, wildlife rapidly going extinct and 40,000 children dying each day are not laughing matters, but neither laughing nor bemoaning will change what's happening. We may as well have some fun as we work and play toward a better world.
VHEMT Volunteers are realistic. We know we'll never see the day there are no human beings on the planet. Ours is a long-range goal.
It has been suggested that there are only two chances of everyone volunteering to stop breeding: slim and none. The odds may be against preserving life on Earth, but the decision to stop reproducing is still the morally correct one. Indeed, the likelihood of our failure to avoid the massive die off which humanity is engineering is a very good reason to not sentence another of us to life. The future isn't what it used to be.
Even if our chances of succeeding were only one in a hundred, we would have to try. Giving up and allowing humanity to take its course is unconscionable. There is far too much at stake.
The Movement may be considered a success each time one more of us volunteers to breed no more.
After we've seen a few hundred TV dramas where the good guy kicks the bad guy's butt, it's tempting to look at the real world with this same knee jerk, zero-sum mentality. We might look for an enemy to attack when championing our righteous cause, but in reality our enemy doesn't have a butt to kick.
In the end, the real "enemies" are human greed, ignorance, and oppression. We can achieve more by promoting generosity, awareness, and freedom than we can by vainly kicking at a buttless foe.
Great progress will be made toward improving the quality of life on Earth by countering greed with responsibility, ignorance with education, and oppression with freedom.
Instead of meeting the bad guys in the street at high noon and shooting it out, why not invite them into the saloon to work things out?
Since the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement isn't alive with a brain or a mouth, it can't take positions or have opinions. It can't get into arguments, tell people what to do and think, nor get punched for doing so.
Voluntary human extinction is simply a concept to be added to existing belief systems, not a complex code of behavior to live by. No committee of Movement shakers decides what position everyone else should take.
Most Volunteers subscribe to the philosophy embodied in the motto: "May we live long and die out," but if someone doesn't want to live long that's their business. Really, the only requirement for being a VHEMT Volunteer or Supporter is the decision to never add another human being to the population. A couple could conceivably be expecting and decide to become VHEMT. That new human would be the last one they produced. VHEMT Supporters are not necessarily in favor of human extinction, but agree that no more of us should be created at this time.
Volunteers are so diverse in religious, political, and philosophical views that it would be divisive to begin formulating official Movement positions. Beware of dogmas. We speak with our own voices.
Roots of VHEMT run as deep as human history. Potential for a voluntary human extinction movement has been around for as long as humans have.
When Ice Age humans hunted animals to extinction, at least one of the Neanderdunces among them must have grunted in bewilderment. As the Fertile Crescent became a barren desert, and the Cedars of Lebanon were sacrificed for temples, someone must have thought, "this bodes ill," or words to that effect.
When the ancient Phoenicians created the Sahara by clearcutting jungles to build ships, and Romans fueled their empire by extracting resources from near and far, surely someone remarked, "Humanus non gratis." SOMEONE had to get the idea that the planet would be better off without this busy horde.
Someone, that is, besides the middle-eastern god, Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah. Tradition tells how, in prehistoric times, this creator-god realized his mistake in making humans and was going to flush us from the system, but in a weak moment he spared one breeding family. Oops!
We call The Movement VHEMT, but it's undoubtedly been given other names throughout history. None have been recorded, as far as we know.
There must be millions of people around the world who are independently arriving at the same conclusion. A large portion of today's Volunteers were vehement extinctionists before they learned of the title "VHEMT".
No one person is the founder of VHEMT. Les U. Knight gave the name "Voluntary Human Extinction Movement" to a philosophy or worldview which has existed for as long as humans have been sapient. It's an awareness which has been arrived at independently in many places throughout history, but had become lost amid societies' pronatalism.
Like millions of other people, Les followed a simple train of logic, guided by love, and arrived at the conclusion that Gaia would be better off without humans. He could be considered the finder, having identified The Movement by giving it a name, though each of us finds the truth for ourselves.
Although Les has become known internationally as a spokesperson for The Movement, no one can speak for all VHEMT Volunteers. There is no official position on issues beyond what is implied in the name of The Movement.
Naturally. You won't be alone. When people gain the VHEMT perspective, they decide to add no more to the existing human family. They don't pressure their children to give them grandchildren and might encourage them to make a responsible choice with their fertility.
There is no reason to feel guilty about the past. Guilt doesn't lead to positive solutions. Being VHEMT has nothing to do with the past. It's the future of life on Earth that Volunteers want to preserve.
Today's children are tomorrow's destiny. Our children have the potential for achieving the awareness needed to reverse civilization's direction and begin restoring Earth's biosphere. Most could use our help in realizing their full potentials.
At first glance, some people assume that VHEMT Volunteers and Supporters must hate people and that we want everyone to commit suicide or become victims of mass murder. It's easy to forget that another way to bring about a reduction in our numbers is to simply stop making more of us. Making babies seems to be a blind spot in our outlooks on life.
The idea of all of us voluntarily refraining from procreation is often dismissed without much consideration. These examples are considered elsewhere at this site:
However, if any of us thinks about the situation long enough, and makes the effort to work through those socially-instilled blocks to clear thinking, we will arrive at virtually the same conclusion: we should voluntarily phase ourselves out for the good of humanity and planet.
VHEMT is naturally in opposition to involuntary extinction of any species, as well as any efforts encouraging human extermination. There are presently concerted efforts supporting both of these horrors. For example:
The above could be called the Terrorist Human Extermination Movement (THEM), but that's labeling and encourages a "Them or Us" attitude.
VHEMT is opposed to what these people are doing, but it's doubtful any would bother to return the favor. Really, there isn't much point in opposing a voluntary movement which harms none and benefits all.
Being VHEMT is a state of mind. All you have to do to join is make the choice to refrain from further reproduction. For some, this is an easy decision to make. For others, it's a moot issue. But for many, joining The Movement means making a monumental personal sacrifice.
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is not an organization -- no membership dues go to officials in offices. We are millions of individuals, each doing what we feel is best.
Loosely, humans relate to VHEMT in one of three ways: Volunteer, Supporter, and Potential Volunteer or Supporter. You are invited to select the one which comes closest to your current perspective on The Movement.
VHEMT Volunteer: "All of us should voluntarily refrain from reproducing further, bringing about the eventual extinction of Homo sapiens."
VHEMT Supporter: "Intentional creation of one more of us by any of us is unjustifiable at this time, but extinction of our species goes too far."
Potential VHEMT Volunteer or Supporter: "Stop trying to put words in my mouth. Maybe I agree, maybe I disagree, and maybe I'd like to know a little more about it before I decide."
Back issues of These EXIT Times.
A large share of the contents of these issues is included at this website.
Issue number One: Still serves as a basic all-purpose introduction to VHEMT. January 1991, 12 pages
Issue number Two: Letters from readers reassure those who felt alone in their vehemence. A good follow-up to number one. July 1992, 20 pages.
Issue number Three: Was not printed in order to save trees. 1993, zero pages, out of print.
Issue number Four: Printed on paper saved by eliminating number Three. Discussion of deeper issues related to VHEMT. August 1994, 16 pages.
Insert from the Earth First! Journal. Designed for readers who consider themselves environmentally aware. Some reprints of articles from previous editions. A visually more impressive introduction to VHEMT than number One, but has a more Earth-centered approach. February 1995, four 8.5 x 14 inch pages. One photocopyable photocopy free for a self-addressed stamped long envelope -- or with any order.
"May we live long and die out." and "Thank you for not breeding" White with green ink on eco-unfriendly plastic-coated sticky paper which last a long time in harsh weather. 11.5 x 3 inches. Additional stickers in same order are only half price.
Full color version of the VHEMT logo on a 1.25 inch plastic-coated metal pin. Additional buttons in same order are only half price.
Meritorious Service Award
Recognize the meritorious service of your friends, co-workers, and family, when they decide to not add any more of us to the billions. Frameable certificate, on fancy paper, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, with an EarthSeal sticker, signed by Les U. Knight.
Quality , 100% organically grown unbleached cotton, generously cut, heavy, and come in men's M, L, XL. Green ink. VHEMT logo over the heart, and the non-colorized Visualize Voluntary Human Extinction cartoon on the back with "May we live long and die out" under that. The back makes a great silent educator when standing in lines or queues.
The VHEMT web site has been available to visitors since July 1996. People all over the globe are visiting these pages, with translations in several languages. They say, "There's nothing more powerful as an idea whose time has come." The Movement certainly has momentum, if that counts as power.
Impetus was added to momentum by a Fox News' article about VHEMT. (It may not be there by the time you read this). Their graphic was misleading to the point of prevarication, showing silhouettes of humans with the international red circle-slash over some of them. As a result, many readers seemed to get the impression that we advocate killing, selective killing at that.
From that source, Les U. Knight has been invited to share the VHEMT concept on numerous radio talk shows in the US, Canada, and the UK. The Fox News TV network also invited Les to be a guest, on Hannity and Colmes. Nancy, filling in for Colmes, understood what Les was talking about, but a random counter-guest, New York radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa, expressed the common misconception that we are advocating euthanasia and suicide. Our breeding is a mental blind spot when thinking about improved population density, so death fills the vision. Curtis' elevation of our species to "the most creative force, the most dynamic force, in this entire universe" might cause one to wonder, "Who are you trying to convince?"
Other response has also been mixed, naturally. Negative responses are usually the results of misunderstandings, so simple clarification resolves them. (All new misunderstandings from website visitors as of January 1, 2001). Some folks just outright disagree with the concept of our phasing out. Agreements are plentiful, and usually come from those who were already vehement about preserving life on Earth.
A few selected articles, interviews of Les, and more mixed reviews: Media.
A major goal of our web site is to advance the population-awareness movement, which seems to have become stalled, and may have slipped back to the pre-ZPG, Inc. level. The more progressive population awareness groups advocate a one-child average and two maximum, but few, if any, dare to advocate zero procreation.
A documentary by Nina Paley, with the working title of "Thank You For Not Breeding" has been in the works for over a year, and has progressed far enough to begin promotion and funding requests. For a free sample, see "The Stork".
An online forum for VHEMT Volunteers and Supporters to share and discuss ideas related to voluntary human extinction is going strong, and includes nearly 400 subscribers. If you consider yourself qualified, see VHEMT Volunteer or VHEMT Supporter above for information about joining us. You may elect to receive special notices rather than participating in the online discussion.
If you have unanswered questions after reading the pieces posted here, or would care to comment on anything, please feel free to visit Why VHEMT? and post a message. Other Volunteers and Supporters may respond to your message, and answer your questions in a variety of ways.
Also, if you have a reason why anyone should create another one of us today, you are welcome to suggest it at Why breed?
I guess being a convicted felon doesn't disqualify you for BOD membership with the Sierra Club (it's probably a badge of honor).