There is perhaps no better modern writer on the ecology movement than Dr. George Reisman. His book "Capitalism, A Treatise on Economics"(http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Treatise-Economics-George-Reisman/dp/0915463733/sr=8-1/qid=1171317473/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-1601451-5760036?ie=UTF8&s=books) is a magnum opus in economics and a must read for any serious intellectual. I can't do justice to his full analysis of the ecology movement and its relation to economics and liberty but I can't resist quoting just a small sample.
(note: AdamP writes in:
You can get Capitalism for free from the man himself, no need to go to amazon.Here's the pdf file:
Here's the page:
thanks for the link!)
From p. 88 in "Capitalism":
"Perhaps of even greater significance is the continuous and profound distrust of science and technology that the environmental movement displays. The environmental movement maintains that science and technology cannot be relied upon to build a safe atomic power plant, to produce a pesticide that is safe, or even to bake a loaf of bread that is safe, if that loaf of bread contains chemical preservatives. When it comes to global warming, hower, it turns out that there is one area in which the environmental movement displays the most breathtaking confidence in the reliability of science and technology, an area in which, until recently, no one-not even the staunchest supporters of science and technology-had ever thought to assert very much confidence at all. The one thing, the environmental movement holds, that science and technology can do so well that we are entitled to have unlimited confidence in them is forecast the weather - for the next one hundred years!"
"As we have seen, no matter what the assurances of scientists and engineers, based in every detail on the best established laws of physics-about backup systems, fail-safe systems, containment buildings as strong as U-boat pens, defenses in depth, and so on-when it comes to atomic power, the environmental movement is unwilling to gamble on the unborn children of fifty generations hence being exposed to harmful radiation. But on the strength of a weather forecast, it is willing to wreck the economic system of the modern world-to literally throw away industrial civilization. (Any significant limitatation on carbon dioxide emissions would be utterly devasting, let alone the enormous immediate reduction urged by that U.N. panel.)
"The meaning of this insanity is that industrial civilization is to be wrecked because this is what must be done to avoid bad weather. All right, very bad weather. If we destroy the energy base needed to produce and operate the construction equipment required to build strong, well-made, comfortable houses for hundreds of millions of people, we shall be safer from the wind and rain, the environmental movement alleges, than if we retain and enlarge that energy base. If we destroy our capacity to produce and operate refrigerators and air conditioners, we shall be better protected from hot weather than if we retain and enlarge that capacity , the environmental movement claims. If we destroy our capacity to produce and operate tractors and harvesters, to can and freeze food, to build and operate hospitals and produce medicines, we shall secure our food supply and our health better than if we retain and enlarge that capacity, the environmental movement asserts.
There is actually a remarkable new principle implied here, concerning how man can cope with his environment. Instead of our taking action upon nature, as we have always believed we must do, we shall henceforth control the forces of nature more to our advantge by means of our inaction. Indeed, if we do not act, no significant threatening forces of nature will arise! The threatening forces of nature are not the product of nature, but of us! Thus speaks the environmental movement."
"In answer to this insanity, it must be stressed that even if global warming turned out to be a fact, the free citizens of an industrial civilization would have no great difficulty in coping with it..."
See his linked blog for more references to his work.