Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why are environmentalists putting bugs before scientific knowledge?

A fellow blogger once asked me if there was any reason why I'm so against those who want to make the world a healthier, cleaner and nicer place to live? Why do I appear to be so anti-environmentalist? Well, the main reason is because; I believe that the ideology of environmentalism is becoming the number one intellectual counterattack to Enlightenment thinking. It's also fast becoming incompatible with systematic social development and progress.

A major premise of Enlightenment thought, is that central to the project of progress, is humanities increased ability to control nature for its own benefit - but, environmentalists are increasingly perceiving that human dominance over nature and the wholesale obliteration of the Earth as one and the same thing. Every single cornerstone of Western civilisation, and scientific endeavour that we normally take for granted, has come under a never ending stream of attack - everything from air-conditioners to the internal combustion engine, from nano technology to animal experiments are constantly bombarded by 'sceptics'.

Witness the bizarre spectacle of scientific development being halted all for the sake of a rare bug. That all sounds fair enough you might say, but why should a bug stand in the way of developments in extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology? To all intents and purposes, Mauna Kea (pictured above), is one of the most inhospitable terrains on Earth, other than humans, no other creature can survive there... oh, except the Wekiu bug that is. Protecting this bug will have profound implications for the future development of astronomy projects. What I find really disturbing is the fact that there is no evidence that the population of Wekiu bugs have been adversely effected by 30 years of building telescopes on the top of the mountain.

The telescopes on top of Mauna Kea, unlike the Wekiu bugs, have made a great contribution to our knowledge of the cosmos and the universe. The largest telescopes on Earth are situated there because the summit is high in the planets atmosphere, where the air is clear. There is really no other place like it - that is why, every single environmental crusade against such scientific and technological improvements, has very serious long-term consequences for us all.

The obsessions of environmentalists, like the banning of the pesticide DDT, to opposing the development of new telescopes, just shows who’s side their really on when it comes to social development and scientific progress. The banning of DDT has been a human disaster for millions of malaria victims, that has taken some30 years for environmentalists to realise. It’s true Lucy, environmentalists do certainly want a ‘healthier’, ‘cleaner’ and ‘nicer’ world, except it increasingly looks like they want a world with no human beings on it either.

Picture: View of Millimeter Valley. Produced by Williams College.

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