If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I’m interested in how environmentalism has become a powerful cultural force and has taken on increasingly religious overtones in recent years. This week there is a fascinating debate taking place on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal between two kinds of environmentalists.
The first kind, represented here by Bjorn Lomborg, views environmental problems as it does any other problem in life, to be addressed by a series of trade-offs. The second, represented by Peter Singer, talks in much more moralistic and absolutist terms about humanity’s alleged duty towards other species.
Although these are big differences, there are similarities between the two environmentalists here. Both of them are comfortable with massive state-run programs designed to improve the environment, advocating $250 billion initiatives from the developed world, so we might well ask them how we’re supposed to do that when the West is a bazillion dollars in debt.