There is a battle underway for the soul of environmentalism. It is a battle between traditionalists and modernists.
Who prevails is likely to be determined by whose vision for the future is chosen by a new generation of environmentalists.
The green traditionalist has never had a sunny outlook. Forty years ago, he warned about a plundered planet. Twenty years ago, he warned of a sixth extinction. In recent years, he has warned about a baked planet. Now he is warning of a planet under severe ecological pressure. Make no mistake: These are all warnings that deserve to be taken seriously. The green traditionalist, since he first became a career pessimist, has followed the lead of scientists. Just because the eco-collapse narrative remains the same doesn’t mean it won’t eventually come true.
The problem for the green traditionalist is that this redundant message has lost its power. There have been too many red alerts, accompanied by too many vague, screechy calls to action. Today, the green traditionalist is like a parent who incessantly yells at his child to behave–or else. The parent grows angrier and increasingly frustrated when the child inevitably tunes him out.