In Adam Gaglio’s recent viewpoint (The perils of environmentalism, 03/03/09), he stated that the green movement is working toward “the destruction of civilization” and “a return to the Stone Age.” As a member of the movement, I can say that neither myself nor any of my colleagues are preaching the return to a cave-dwelling, hunting and gathering existence! Of course, Gaglio’s point was one of retrogression — that environmentalists seek to hinder the advancement of mankind. In actuality, we are seeking just the opposite.

What many individuals are asking for is sustainable energy sources, increased energy efficiency, new green job opportunities and innovative technologies for a competitive market. Is this not human advancement at its best? Why must we envision progress as “drilling for oil in Alaska” or “mining tar sands in Canada”? Why must we develop toward a future of externalities where we pollute unconcernedly, waste uninhibitedly and destroy irresponsibly? We must move forward, but not along that path.

At the very core of his argument, Gaglio made a fundamental error. Environmentalism is not “anti-mankind.” Rather, it seeks to preserve mankind by providing a means to sustain our existence on this planet. How can this be interpreted as a disregard for human life? It’s because of environmentalism’s intrinsic compulsion to improve human condition that politicians such as former Vice President Al Gore and President Obama embrace it so dearly.

It’s not a surprise to me to see viewpoints such as Gaglio’s. The term “environmentalism” is misleading and unfortunately seems to turn away those who don’t share a passion for the outdoors. In reality, this movement is composed of individuals who desire the sustainability of health, equity, and a peaceful coexistence on this Earth. It is a concern for the long-term and is motivated by the most basic instinct of humankind: survival.

Margo Ludmer
LSA junior

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