Dr. Pierce’s Cosmotheist View of Environmentalism

From “Letters to Editor,” National Vanguard No. 86, May 1986:


As usual, your January issue was very interesting and informative. In your front page story, however, there is a comment which seems to indicate that you regard the environmentalists as the saviors of the country, whereas I look upon them as under control of the communists and aiming to put this country out of business or even out of existence.

I am in the mining business. If I have to put up a plant to mill and concentrate ore, I have to get 17 different government permits before I can do it. I know of one mining company which spent six years getting all of its permits approved. The environmentalists were largely responsible for this, and I can imagine the communist strategists in the U.S.S.R. laughing. We must find and mine our strategic metals in order to insure our survival in case of war with the Soviet Union.

Saugus, CA

Editor’s Reply

No, the environmentalists are not the saviors of the country; saviors are much in need, but none are in sight. And it is clear that some harmful activities are being carried out under the environmentalist banner; opposition to the construction of nuclear power plants, for example. The generation of electricity from nuclear energy is far less damaging to the environment than the use of fossil hydrocarbons for that purpose, and the fact that so many of the same people who demonstrate against nuclear power plants also demonstrate against the construction of nuclear weapons suggests that some of the demonstration organizers may, indeed, have motives which are other than environmentalist.

Furthermore, apart from conscious subversives, the environmentalist movement has attracted a regular stampede of feather-brained, trendy liberals, the sort of shallow, silly people who are always looking for the latest “in” cause to flock to, without a real thought of their own for its merits. In the 1960’s it was “civil rights.” When that lost some of its glamour, many of them turned to environmentalism.

Despite all of this, however, the environmental lobby has accomplished much which is praiseworthy. The basic premises of environmentalism might be stated thus:

  • No one has a “right” to foul the air we must all breathe and the water we must drink; rather it is the right of the public to unpolluted air and water, which must be asserted and protected.
  • The qualities of the natural environment, whether the rugged beauty of an undeveloped seashore, or the quiet solitude of a primeval forest without Burger Kings and filling stations every hundred yards, imbue it with a value to man beyond the money which can be made by exploiting it.

Those are thoroughly sound premises, with which I am in complete agreement. In fact, one can go a step further. Many of the more thoughtful and sensitive people involved in the environmentalist movement have a concern which reaches beyond public health, recreational, or economic considerations. Certainly not every Sierra Club member would agree, but there are those who feel that the natural environment has, above all, a spiritual value. For them one might add a third premise:

  • Contrary to the Judeo-Christian view of the world, plant and animal life were not specially created for man’s sustenance, convenience, or profit. All forms of life are related to one another, and they all, together with the non-living parts of the world, make up a single, evolving, organic Whole, which should be the central object of concern in setting environmental policies.

These premises do not imply that ore cannot be mined or milled, power plants built, trees cut, or animals killed. Nature is not something to be sanitized and wrapped in cotton. The earth convulsed and transformed its face in spasm after spasm, generation after generation of beavers felled trees, and countless beasts of prey reddened the soil with the blood of slain herbivores for eons before modern man joined the scene.

And now that man is here, he is as much a part of Nature as are the redwoods and the whales. He must also have his sustenance. But he must not have it in a way which enriches a few while poisoning the rest; he must not have it in a way which shortchanges future generations by depleting non-renewable resources; he must not have it in a way which feeds his body while robbing his soul of the beauty and grandeur which exist primarily in the unexploited regions of this world.

And man must always consider his own needs only in light of his relationship to the Whole. He must take his sustenance not only with prudence, but with reverence.

Back in 1800 the individual freedom of the pioneer and the entrepreneur, unregulated and unlicensed, took precedence over all environmental considerations in this country. Men cut down the forests, slaughtered the wildlife, and exploited every natural resource without restraint, and Nature’s bounty seemed to have no limit. Men were few enough then so that the damage they caused did not unbalance things too badly. With a population density in North America of less than one person per square mile, it was possible to get along without an Environmental Protection Agency.

Today, with a population density 50 times greater, it is not. If all — or even most –men shared environmentalist sentiments, then it would not be necessary to legislate for the protection of redwoods or whales. But most men are slobs, and the only thing which makes them even hesitate before tossing hamburger wrappers, soiled diapers and empty beer cans out of their automobile windows as they cruise down the highway is an anti-littering law.

If local ordinances did not forbid it in most communities, a substantial portion of America’s front yards would be strewn with the rusting hulks of discarded washing machines and refrigerators, and used crankcase oil would lie in thick, black puddles along residential curbs. Virtually no one would buy expensive unleaded fuel for his car or have costly anti-pollution equipment on it if statutory regulation of automobile manufacturers did not make these expenses mandatory.

There are thousands of businessmen in America just itching to cut down the last tree in the country, pave over the last meadow, skin the last raccoon, and cover the last mountainside with a giant, illuminated billboard — and there are millions of ordinary citizens panting for the opportunity to operate the chainsaws, traps, and bulldozers to do these things, provided the pay is right.

So long as those of us who are willing to pay slightly higher taxes in order that the snail darter not become extinct and the bobcat have some room to roam free are outnumbered by the folks who feel right at home in Times Square and see nothing wrong with owning a leopard-skin coat, it is essential that there exists a powerful and well-organized environmental lobby to twist politicians’ arms and multiply environmentalists’ influence far beyond their numbers.

Business and industrial lobbies can play the same game, of course, and the fierce interplay of political pressures from the two sides undoubtedly accounts for the bizarre ways in which some environment-protection concerns have been implemented. Environmental activists have, by and large, have developed the same sort of fear and loathing of the mining and timber industries which the agents of the latter have of environmentalists.

On the environmentalist side there is the tendency to not give the exploiters an inch for fear of losing a mile. And on the other side one all too often sees the hasty, deliberate, and unnecessary destruction of trees or wildlife in order to forestall the possibility of environmentalist action to protect them.

It is clear that a little accommodation on both sides might lead to better results all around. But I am convinced that the horrible example you cited of being forced to spend six years obtaining 17 different permits for a single mining operation is far more the fault of the idiotic and wasteful way in which the Federal bureaucracy operates generally than it is of environmentalist zeal.

Finally, I should confess that, in balancing the needs of the economy and of national defense for current exploitation and development, on the one hand, I am strongly biased in favor of saving as much of our world as possible for the day when it will be inherited by racially conscious White men and women.

Just as I would prefer to see the last Black in Africa starve or succumb to plague than to see the non-Whites there continue to multiply at the expense of the four-legged African wildlife, so I cannot muster much enthusiasm for using up resources here in order to raise the living standard of an increasingly degenerate and non-White American population. Far better to save the resources of the whole planet, and preserve what we can of its natural state, until all exploitation and development are undertaken for the sole aim of serving our race and the Whole of which it will have become the conscious guardian.

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