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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Climate change activism on collision course with environmentalism


As climate change activism is becoming radical, many of the proposed remedies infringe upon the principles of environmentalism.

Climate change activism is concerned with the long-term changes in average weather patterns, and carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Environmentalism on the other hand is concerned with the degradation of the environment, including physical, biological, topographical, and cultural changes brought about by natural and human activities.

Of late, climate activists have proclaimed that global warming is a threat to the very survival of humankind on this planet.

The climate change movement’s logic argues that carbon emissions must be drastically reduced, to the point where lifestyles as we know them today will have to be drastically curtailed and changed.

This has led to a “war” on fossil fuels and their replacement with renewable energy production, such as solar, hydro, and wind power.

This is where climate change activism turns onto a collision course with environmentalism.

Renewable energy options all require massive changes to local habitats.

Massive solar farms take up hundreds of hectares of prime land to be within strategic distances of power consuming centres, such as dense urban environments. Solar farms create an ecological impact, including the loss of habitats for indigenous wildlife and flora. Solar farms also alter local rainfall and temperatures, and change the micro-environment.

This potentially leads to land erosion, and adds to flooding. Solar farms provide little or no local employment opportunities, and potentially take away land that could be available for other purposes, such as crop production and livestock grazing.

Dams, reservoirs, and the operation of hydro-electric generators can have permanent effects on the environment for long distances along river systems. Dams severely disrupt or totally destroy fish migration, thus destroying river fishing industries.

The construction of dams can displace whole communities, and destroy ancestral lands. Habitats for miles on each side of hydro-electric projects can permanently change ecosystems that could be thousands of years old.

The availability of water for farming may be severely affected downstream from hydro-electricity projects, affecting the livelihood of traditional farmers.

Wind-turbines have been shown to drastically affect fauna, especially birdlife, in the areas they are constructed. Thousands of birds and bats are killed each year, which can drastically alter the population of bird species in affected areas.

This is not to mention that electricity is only intermittently produced by each form of renewable energy mentioned above.

Thus, the issue of renewable energy creation is a quandary for environmentalists, as it drastically alters local environments and ecosystems. This is where future conflict is likely to develop between different factions of the environment and climate change movements.

The “doomsday prophecies” of the climate change movement lack any empathy towards the environment.

This may be counterproductive to preventing the rise of temperatures in regions where renewable energy becomes part of the environment.

Governments focusing on “net zero” carbon emission objectives may destroy their own local environments.

Thus, action taken in the name of easing the “identified causes” of human-created climate change may lead to a serious degradation of environments.

With the monetisation of climate activism, environmentalism is suffering.

Environmentalism has become ignored, where environmentalists are now fearful of pushing back on climate change initiatives that lead to the degradation of the environment.

There is a growing awareness that climate change policies are beginning to confront environmentalism.

Climate change activists have a powerful shared social identity, where “one is saving the Earth” if they advocate policies to lower carbon emissions, at the cost of preserving the environment.

This is destroying pro-environmentalist thinking, as radical climate change solutions are being called for. EVs or electric vehicles are leading to the exploitation of African communities and promoting child labour, and natural habitats are being cleared for solar farms.

Pristine mountainous areas are being permanently altered for renewable power production.

The environmental movement of yesterday has been hijacked by the climate change movement today.

Climate change evangelism is preventing further enhancement of how we understand climate science.

Scientists must follow the narrative to obtain grants, which prevents them from searching for other explanations for the climate change, and in particular the global warming phenomenon, such as massive urbanisation and the ripping up of forests that trap CO2, while expensive and subsidised carbon trapping projects are being rolled out as solutions.

Climate change activism has created a single dimensional view of global warming, based on modelling rather than proven scientific hypotheses.

There is likely to be pushback on this, as the environment is being destroyed in the name of saving the planet. - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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