The Problem with Environmentalism

Photo courtesy Brian, Flickr, June 2004

Attaching generalized labels is not a good practice in any situation. So I will not place a label on all people who call themselves environmentalists.

But I do want to call out the extremes. On the one side are the religious zealots who border on Pantheism. On the other are political con-artists who maintain power and control by convincing people of impending disaster.

While I agree with people who demand clean air and clean water, I am not an environmentalist. That is not meant to be a philosophical statement; it is semantics.

The proper concept is Stewardship. I define stewardship as the holistic management of land and resources. Management takes all aspects into consideration rather that pitting one resource against another.

Environmentalism demands an end to logging and/or mining. What constitutes good stewardship when considering forest management? Utilizing the resource, while protecting flora and fauna, air and water to maintain a vibrant forest. That is stewardship.

Making a forest off limits to multipurpose use is environmentalism. Under this scenario, a forest has many diseased, dead and decaying trees. Overall forest health is sacrificed.

It is time to be concise with our language. Let consider Stewardship of our land and resources and reject environmental protectionism.