This was an interesting read that’s for sure. Very different from anything I’ve read before.
While I don’t completely agree, I did think it was interesting when he said, “ecologism has become a global ideology” -pg 18-19. This suggests that the environment is just like religion, with people believing different things, and doing so to bring in money for themselves. While I think certain environmental aspects are exploited to make a quick buck, I don’t think this can be used to describe all environmental issues and all scientists researching the environment. For 97% of scientists to agree that climate change is occurring, and almost the entire world (aside from part of the U.S.) to believe in climate change, I think it is a bit of a stretch to compare it to the opinion of religion. Once there’s scientific data supporting different religions I’ll be more open to this comparison.
I also thought it was very peculiar how he insulted “proprietary gestures” such as recycling. As I already mentioned, many people believe climate change is man-made and are calling for something to be done. By recycling, turning off the water while brushing their teeth, or riding their bike more, people are taking the small steps that can to support environmentalism.
While reading this book I kept feeling cringes of how selfish I felt he was being. He believes the industrial world will be able to fix any environmental issues that threaten our lives or even just to make humans more comfortable. I realize that I am one of those people he is talking about; the kind that dream of a population halved and “unnecessary technology” to go away. This made me realize that in a way I am being just as selfish as he is. I love nature, animals, and being secluded from humans; he (I’m assuming) loves technology, big cities, and using as much fossil fuel as he pleases. So it makes sense that I would be selfish in wanting less people and less technology while he advocates the importance of technology
His comments about anthropomorphizing animals also makes sense, but I have found a flaw in this argument as well. Yes humans anthropomorphize animals and assume they want and feel things even though we have no proof that this is true. However, evolutionary forces drive animals to adapt and survive no matter what the conditions. So while we don’t know about the actual pain felt or their “feelings” about what’s happening, we know that all animals are driven to survive. If plants/animals/fungi/etc. weren’t driven to survive then we wouldn’t be here. Animals doing whatever they can to survive is how we evolve. So yes Bruckner, we do anthropomorphize animals when arguing why they should be protected, and maybe we don’t have any proof about their actual feelings, but evolution tells us that living things are driven to survive.