Pro: Robert Zubin:
And thus we see the ethic of envirostasis revealed for what it really is: rank Malthusian ideology. Conservatives should oppose it for its deeply degrading anti-humanism. And liberals, too, should be wary of making common cause with it for the sake of its concern about the environment, because all of the proudest accomplishments of both modern and historical liberalism—child labor laws, minimum wage laws, public schools, libraries, urban sanitation, childhood vaccinations, public health services, rural electrification, transportation infrastructure, social security, clean air and water laws, civil rights laws, and even emancipation, popular enfranchisement, representative government, and independence from colonial rule—all indirectly contribute to carbon emissions, and thus must be rejected by the cult of envirostasis.
Con: Rachel Smolker:
We are faced with an enormous and expanding human population to feed, using dwindling freshwater resources, increasingly degraded soils, and expensive fertilizer and chemicals. On top of that, deforestation has proceeded to the point where forests are unable to provide their essential climate-regulating functions: If biofuels are manufactured from wood, the demand for wood products, already unsustainable, will skyrocket. The world’s forests cannot feed biofuel refineries as well as supply increasing demand for heat and electricity generation, pulp, paper, and other wood products. Forests, and therefore the climate, will suffer.
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