Environmentalists want to encourage you to drive hybrids, buy organic food, demand more wind and solar power in your community, and recycle. All of these are generally good goals, although we can quibble about the efficiency of cars currently being called hybrids, and the food sold as organic, generally with huge markups thanks to green marketing. They also support carbon tax proposals, which won’t do much, but again, the goal is noble. We can pollute and the planet will recover, but chances are that we’ll poison ourselves and leave a quieter and way more sparsely populated Earth to recover so their concern should be noted and many of the causes they try to support need to get more attention. According to global wamring denialists and their Agenda 21 bedfellows, however, environmentalists are dangerous lunatics who want to undo human society as we know it and enslave it under their version of a utopia. One with very few humans.
Sadly, the eco-fanatics they describe in their paranoid screeds do exist. One example is a new eco-terrorist group from Mexico that calls itself the IST and its mission is to rid the world of much of the technology that powers it, borrowing heavily from the Unabomber and his modern day fan base in both tactics and tone. Like virtually all extreme technophobes, they believe that humans were meant to be hunter-gatherers living in small family groups like they once did in a utopian harmony with nature, and that by embracing the evils of science and technology they didn’t just forsake Mother Earth but enslaved themselves and each other. The only logical response to all those technologists and scientists advancing the work of modern civilization? Bomb them! Use a nuke if you have to and then enslave them all while you dismantle society and return humanity back to the Stone Age so they can’t harm nature and learn their place. No, seriously…
ITS is also eager to portray itself as more extreme than other environmental extremists. Its manifesto criticizes Finnish writer and fisherman Pentti Linkola, for instance, who has called for an ecological dictatorship. Linkola, who supports the use of nuclear weapons to literally bomb the world back into the Middle Ages, is accused by ITS of not going far enough in destroying civilization, since a dictatorship would still require some technology to enforce authoritarian rule.
Now, I believe this kind of goal would be technically defined by most mental health professionals as completely batshit insane. To undo some 6,000 years of progress, knowledge, and technical improvement that allows us to live a typical of 80+ years in the developed world, treats once all too fatal diseases with a few pills and some rest, allows us to travel to 90% of the world within a day or so at most, and beams everything from driving directions to porn down from the freaking final frontier of space, takes a mind so delusionally buried in its own navel, it would require every bit of power that SpaceX’s planned heavy lifter will provide to extract itself back into reality. For the sake of FSM’s left meatball, these lunatics are posting their manifesto on the web, the most modern of modern inventions! If they’re really dedicated to taking humans back to bashing rocks in a cave, how about dropping off a stone tablet in newspaper offices? Inefficient? Absolutely so, but at least it shows that you’re actually committed to the whole backwards idea.
Of course this is exactly the point. Technology tries to make things more convenient and easier than doing it the old-fashioned way. Oh, it can fail at that spectacularly, but overall, it makes the world a much nicer place to live. Remember that we are actually living during an all time low for both war and crime, even though the very tools that make this possible also go out of their way when it comes to telling us everything that goes wrong and skewing our impression of how good we really have it. Unfortunately there are hundreds of millions of people living the lifestyle that the IST and other radical environmentalist groups want to mandate, and there’s a good reason why I say unfortunately. They have fairly low life expectancy, high mortality from preventable or otherwise easily curable infections, especially in childhood, and subsistence farming leaves a lot of them suffering from malnourishment. But then again, when you care about how pristine all the forests and deserts around them are a lot more than you do about the well-being of your fellow humans, I suppose it really doesn’t matter, does it now?