So what do you do when your movement has lost momentum and public sympathy? You run back into the warm blanket of Thomas Malthus, the godfather of modern environmentalism. With the UN Kyoto Protocol agenda in a shambles, the greens are regrouping on several fronts, starting with the recent Planet Under Pressure 2012 conference in London last week. (Don’t waste your time wondering about the carbon footprint for all the folks who jetted in for it; I’m sure they bought carbon offsets.) Naturally, the focus of the conference was on proclaiming the “planetary boundaries” to growth. I do hope the estate of Malthus collects ongoing royalties for the endless recycling of his discredited ideas.
The conference produced . . . a Declaration! We’re surely going to be saved by . . . another declaration that says . . . the same thing as countless declarations just like it since the 1970s. This broken record has been played so many times that the turntable has burned out. Just in case you’ve forgotten the scratchy grooves, here’s the opener of the State of the Planet Declaration:
1. Research now demonstrates that the continued functioning of the Earth system as it has supported the well-being of human civilization in recent centuries is at risk. Without urgent action, we could face threats to water, food, biodiversity and other critical resources: these threats risk intensifying economic, ecological and social crises, creating the potential for a humanitarian emergency on a global scale.How stunningly original. I’m sure everyone is going to rush right out to hand their rights and property over to the nearest environmental ministry.
Our friends at the UK-based Commentator.com produced this six-minute highlight reel of the green lowlights chanting the old Malthusian hootenanny: