Rational Environmentalism

Back in March 2008 we first posted an essay entitled “Rational Environmentalism,” where we explicitly stated fifteen principles that we believe summarize our editorial position on what environmentalism should be, versus what environmentalism has become. We did this because we had just been noticed – perhaps we should consider this an honor, but we don’t – by a professional PR firm whose charter is to smear anyone who questions global warming, or the radical policies being advocated to mitigate alleged global warming.

This post is to restate those principles, because we want to make certain our position is clear. We don’t consider EcoWorld to be a “greenwashing” website, because greenwashing is the process of obfuscating facts and presenting misleading information in order to further the public relations agenda of a polluter. We don’t think that’s right. We think pollution should be cleaned up. But we also believe environmentalism needs to be rational, not extreme, and our mission is to rescue environmentalism from the radicals. So here are these fifteen precepts – in brief – and if you wish to read them in their entirety, please click here to the original post:


(1) We believe in emphasizing limited government, free markets, and individual liberties.

(2) We believe “smart growth” is damaging the economy and the environment.

(3) We believe there is not compelling evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing potentially catastrophic climate change.

(4) We believe there is abundant land, and “urban service boundaries” are meant to inflate the price of homes to increase property tax revenues to the public sector.

(5) We believe California’s “Global Warming Act” is a tactic to reduce public entity budget deficits through fees and hidden taxes (such as CO2 emission auctions).

(6) We believe budget deficits can be eliminated by placing ALL retired workers in America on social security and medicare, including retired public employees – and NOT through global warming taxes & fees.

(7) We believe nuclear power is safe, and Yucca Mountain is a safe repository for nuclear waste.

(8) We believe the “alarm industry” is far better funded, by 100 to 1 or more, than the “denial industry.”

(9) We believe cars, busses and roads are a far, far more efficient solution to mass transit challenges than light rail.

(10) We believe CO2 is the LEAST of our air pollution concerns, and we should focus on reducing genuine air pollution.

(11) We believe if there are regional climate impacts caused by man, they are more the result of deforestation, aquifer depletion, and desertification – than atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

(12) We believe that many green entrepreneurs and green politicians have been corrupted by the fascistic urgency of the global warming message, and are unscrupulously exploiting it.

(13) We believe centralized mandated solutions to alleged global warming will inhibit innovation and undermine our ability to achieve energy independence and genuine pollution reductions.

(14) We believe the excessive focus on CO2 is slowing the trajectory of solutions to genuine environmental challenges, if not reversing them.

(15) We believe we may modify these principles at any time, based on factual evidence.


This is the message that needs to come through – loud and clear. There are other items that could be added to this list, but they don’t belong on it because they aren’t about the beliefs we hold or the policies we advocate, but instead are about the conversation we are having. And what of this “conversation?” Has it turned into a farce? Is conversation still possible?

We believe it is wrong – and an opportunistic diversion – to take any of these 15 points and use them as evidence we are “greenwashing,” because we aren’t. We are providing what we believe is a rational response to today’s mainstream environmentalism having lost sight of the balance between the needs of people, profit, and the planet. And we see the urgency of the global warming “crisis” not as a crisis, but as a tactic. Because we haven’t written off every informed skeptic in the world as a tool of corporate interests – rather, we’ve read their material, and found it compelling.

Alekos Panagoulis

Alekos Panagoulis, a 20th century Greek freedom fighter, a man of exceptional courage and tenacity, wrote the following:

“This is the epoch of the ism. Communism, capitalism, marxism, historicism, progressivism, socialism, deviationism, corporativism, unionism, fascism: and nobody notices that every ism rhymes with fanaticism. This is the period of the anti: anticommunist, anticapitalist, antimarxist, antiprogressivist, antisocialist, antideviationist, anticorporativist, antiunionist: and nobody notices that every ist rhymes with fascist. It is through locking oneself up in a dogma, in the blind certitude of having gained absolute truth, whether it be the dogma of the dictatorship of the proletariat or the dogma of the virginity of Mary or the dogma of law and order, that the sense or rather the significance of freedom is lost, the only concept that is beyond appeal and beyond debate.”

Panagoulis, who was killed before personally witnessing the positive consequences of his courage, saw power for what it was, a mountain, a mountain with left flanks and right flanks, but more than anything else – a mountain with daunting mass; presence; power. It is those people, everywhere, who form this mountain of power who benefit if we succumb to the alarmism and the attendant policies to “mitigate” alleged climate change – not the rest of us, or this good green earth. And if your only animating ideology rests upon one wing or one flank, at the expense of the other, you are only part of the mountain, only a reflection of your reflexive adversary, you have become a puppet of power; you are no longer the patient, transformative, liberating wind of change, nor an agent of freedom.

8 Responses to “Rational Environmentalism”
  1. John Orth says:

    BRAVO to Ed Ring for expressing so well the real world environmentalism.
    Keep the RATIONAL logic about our environment flowing.
    It was illuminating to read of Panagoulis’s observations in the Epoch of the ism.

  2. Nicholas Pipilis says:

    a great article explaining your interesting principles, while touching upon the life of a great greek socialist…

    take care,


  3. Ed Ring says:

    Nicholas: Panagoulis had no ist or ism. He was a man. And he fought for freedom, and he moved the mountain.

  4. Nicole (Canada/England) says:

    I am really having trouble understanding why you attack people who believe that we should reduce carbon emissions. I have been living in Britain for a year and the craze of short-haul flights to Europe is astounding. I must admit that I have taken one or two myself whilst living here… but the amount of emissions they produce compared to other modes of transportation is incredible. I went to school at a castle in the middle of nowhere and constantly heard planes flying above… I’m not a crazy environmentalist… I mean, I just had to research this for essays, but logically, carbon emissions must play quite a role in climate change. Why not just take the train which produces far less emissions than planes? I don’t see why this article implies that there is a huge problem in balancing this? You raise a point about deforestation… but isn’t part of the problem of deforestation the fact that forests are meant to reduce/absorb CO2/keep the air clean? So aren’t you being a little contradictory in that? I personally don’t think that it’s relevant that one thing plays a bigger role than another. If it plays some sort of role, then we should probably do what we can to reduce it… at least so that we are breathing cleaner air if anything. This article just made me feel that you should get out more… and it wasn’t written particularly well for an editor.

    Editor’s reply: Nicole, our position, based on the data we’ve evaluated, is that anthropogenic CO2 and other anthropogenic greenhouse gasses probably are having a negligible effect on climate change. If you think we are “attacking” the alarmist community, you haven’t been paying much attention to who’s attacking who. Global warming alarmism is the most ambitious attempt to make the rich richer in the history of the human race, and the way voices of moderation – like EcoWorld – are silenced is by accusing them, the “deniers,” of having ulterior motives. The smear campaign against anyone who questions this blatant attempt (in the name of saving the earth) to reengineer the global economy so super wealthy western elites can micromanage and regulate virtually all economic activity is disgraceful, and dangerous. I’m glad you brought up the point about deforestation – much of the deforestation occuring in recent years is to grow biofuel, supposedly because this crop is a “carbon neutral” fuel. But the role of deforestation in regional (if not global) climate change is very well documented, and has little to do with CO2 absorption or emission. Deforestation in the tropics is a direct cause of droughts. Also, because reflective clouds form over forests in the tropics, when you deforest, you increase surface temperatures. Our position is land use changes in general are far more likely to be causing harmful regional climate impacts than levels of CO2. Read Hydraulic Redistribution for more on this, or any of the articles in our climate category.

  5. Thomas says:

    Don’t understand the arguement about man-made CO2 not been an environmental pollution issue. The evidence seems compelling, where can I get arguments to the contrary?

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