February 16, 2010
Media Release - Opportunism and Exploitation
Climate Change Activism and Hostility to Liberal Civilization
Winnipeg: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy today released Opportunity and Exploitation: Climate change Activism and Hostility to Liberal Civilization. This policy study provides an analysis of the writings and speeches of prominent environmentalist activists including Al Gore, George Monbiot, Rajendra Pachuri, Tim Flannery and Bill McKibben in an effort to trace the intellectual roots of the modern environmentalist movement.
In this study, Ben Eisen argues that cost-benefit analysis must be used to shape climate-change strategy, but warns that there are serious obstacles that interfere with the development of this sort of disinterested approach. Linking their arguments to the most important philosophical critics of liberal civilization—Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Friedrich Nietzsche— Eisen shows the radical strains of modern environmentalism should be viewed as part of a broader critique of liberal civilization itself.
Eisen identifies several instances in which prominent “green” activists explicitly state their desire to use public concern over environmentalism to fundamentally restructure liberal society. Thus, Eisen provides strong evidence that the objectives of some of these environmentalists goes beyond controlling growth of global temperatures and includes uprooting the socio-economic “system” upon which our society is built. For example:
“For many environmentalists, concern over global warming represents an opportunity to reform our civilization in ways of which they would approve even if global warming did not exist at all,” says report author Ben Eisen.
“The objectives of some prominent environmentalists are incredibly far-reaching. They hope to uproot an unjust ‘system’ that they think is responsible for most of the world’s ills, to reduce global wealth inequality and even to restore purpose to modern life. They believe we have much to gain spiritually by taking drastic measures to fight climate change. So, it is not surprising they are resistant to the suggestion that easier, cheaper policies may be more prudent.”
Download a copy of the Opportunism and Exploitation here.
For more information and to arrange an interview with the study's author, media (only) should contact:
Troy Media Corporation
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy
is an independent public policy think tank whose mission is "to broaden the debate on our future through public policy research and education and to explore positive changes within our public institutions that support economic growth and opportunity."