The Corner

Celebrate Civilization Day, Not Earth Day

Frequent NRO contributor Robert Zubrin will be giving a talk on Tuesday, April 24, at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., discussing his new book Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism. In the book, Zubrin chronicles and indicts the ideology that motivated the horrific population-control movement (the crimes of which are described in this excerpt from the book), the eugenics movement of a century ago, today’s radical greens, and other related projects. The discussion will start at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by a book-signing and reception.

This lecture comes hard on the heels of the April 22 celebration of Earth Day, the annual holiday of the environmental movement. But, as Zubrin points out in an article in the Washington Times, the antihuman ideology that permeates much of modern environmentalism has given it a legacy that is hardly worth celebrating.

From the brutal policies of population control advocated by Paul Ehrlich (whose protégé John Holdren is now President Obama’s science adviser) to the incredible suffering caused by the banning of the malaria-controlling pesticide DDT, protecting the Earth has all too often been used as justification for bringing poverty and pain to humanity.

A sensible environmental movement would not be rooted in the antihuman ideology that underlies much of the rhetoric we hear on Earth Day. As Zubrin argues:

The Earth is not endangered by humanity. But humanity is being seriously harmed by those who portray us as a threat and seek to constrain humanity’s numbers, activities, creativity and liberty.

Instead of Earth Day, we should be celebrating Civilization Day.

Sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should celebrate Civilization Day on March 25 every year to mark the anniversary of the birth of Norman Borlaug, who launched the Green Revolution that has saved a billion lives and put the lie to the Malthusian fear-mongering of the antihumanists.

— Adam Keiper is editor of The New Atlantis and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.


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