Monday, April 29, 2013

How the environmental left has lost sight of social justice

Notable & Quotable

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus write that the environmentalist left has lost sight of social justice.

WSJ.COM 4/29/13: Environmentalists Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus writing at the Breakthrough Institute website, April 29:
Once upon a time, social justice was synonymous with equal access to modern amenities—electric lighting so poor children could read at night, refrigerators so milk could be kept on hand, and washing machines to save the hands and backs of women. Malthus was rightly denounced by generations of socialists as a cruel aristocrat who cloaked his elitism in pseudo-science, and claimed that Nature couldn't possibly feed any more hungry mouths.
Now, at the very moment modern energy arrives for global poor—something a prior generation of socialists would have celebrated and, indeed, demanded—today's leading left-wing leaders advocate a return to energy penury. The loudest advocates of cheap energy for the poor are on the libertarian Right, while The Nation dresses up neo-Malthusianism as revolutionary socialism. Left-wing politics was once about destabilizing power relations between the West and the Rest. Now, under the sign of climate justice, it's about sustaining them.

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