Anti-Human Day

Reading week came and went and I sadly spent most of it reading. There was enough time for one cross-country ski trip up at Hardwood Hills, a worthwhile sortie.
This past weekend, I ploughed through nine papers on transport/land use connections and sustainability. Two papers stuck out: a U.C. Berkeley paper by Robert Cervero with a very cool path model, which I won’t bore you with here. The other more blogworthy paper covered a bit of the history of the American reaction to the 1992 Rio conference on sustainability, where the Kyoto targets were first floated. There are a few famous quotes scattered through the paper, and some very entertaining ones:

  • “The American lifestyle is not up for negotiation.” – George Bush Sr.
  • “America’s position on the environmental protection is second to none, so I did not come here to apologize.” – George Bush Sr.
  • Earth Day should actually be called ‘Anti-Human Day,’ because the environmentalists behind such events believe nature ought to be revered “for its own sake, irrespective of any benefit to man”… “Housing, commerce and jobs are sacrificed to spotted owls and snail darters. Medical research is sacrified to the ‘rights’ of mice. Logging is sacrificed to the ‘rights’ of trees.” – Michael S. Berliner, director of Ayn Rand Institute

Anti-Human Day. That captures the spirit.
I don’t agree with some of the portrayals of the right wing, particularly gratuitous quotes from Pat Buchanan etc., but I thought the article made some interesting points about the midwestern mistrust of both the free trade and environmental √©lites, linking globalisation with environmentalism – rather like the decisively √©lite-targeted agenda in the Economist.

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