The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse takes a pessimistic stance on the promotion of ecological conservation. Bruckner compares the fear propaganda that religions often use to the warnings about the environment incorporated by the media, organizations, politicians, or scientists. He also uses examples of groups that have taken their devotion to the environment to an extreme and warns us about how are use of fear or self-deprecating messages only distract us from making meaningful ideas or taking action.
These were some of the points he made in his book that stuck out to me:
- The moving of scapegoats throughout the last few centuries. Communism was the bringer of death and destruction in the 20th century. Capitalism is the crusher of morals and is the root of all problems in this century. Among both of those ideologies is ecologism, humanity is the culprit who should suffer for putting such strains on the Earth.
- How fear of a power we cannot control quickly leads us to abandoning our own virtues and freedoms for safety. For example, there was the group of scientists who vow not to have anymore children to due to the strain a human life has on the environment. Another example is after 9/11, we were fine with wire tapping and intrusive airport security because we believed that it was making us safer.
- How pushing images that are supposed to bring us to emotion and passion to extreme limits lessens its impact on how we feel about it.
Many of these points I can get behind. We should stay firm in what we believe in despite the danger we may face. There are other ideas and solutions out there. Jumping to the conclusion that limiting rights or banning other privileges is the right way to do things. Sacrificing ourselves and our race to heal the world, while it may be for a just cause, seems like the wrong attitude to take. Scaring people does not make someone passionate about something. Those who stand on street corners and prophesied about the end of the world, either from our own negligence, aliens, or a higher being, are not adding to the conversation in any meaningful way. However, while fear may not be constructive or dissipate when the extreme circumstances are presented, hatred and anger are good motivators. Those are the feelings that I believe many environmentalists or scientists are trying to stir. Remove apathy, inject some sadness and remorse at the actions that we have caused due to our modernized way of life, but most of all, we want to make people angry at the situation we find ourselves in. We should be angry at the corporations who pollute a river, a politician denying essential bills because they refuse to listen to the science, to the guy throwing bags of trash out of his Hummer on the highway. Humanity is not just a scapegoat to the ecological problems we see today, they are the leading cause of global warming and litter. We should feel responsible, but instead of ending our lives or limiting our freedoms, we should rise to action and make better choices.
With the daunting problem of climate change, predictions for changes in ecosystems has been fairly negative. Well now, an international group of scientists are hoping to provide proof that the ecosystems may have a better chance than we think. Ecosystems are very complex systems that have many factors that dictate how they’ll survive. Many studies neglect the power that species have on an ecosystem and instead focus on the reverse. By creating more high-end models that could be a key step in mitigating harmful effects. There needs to be a lot of data for these types of models however, so progress on new estimates or findings will be slow. Even still, our ecosystem’s future may be brighter than we think. (Source)
Progress on Project