This interview has been edited by CM and has not been reviewed by Peter Schwartz.
Prodos for Capitalism Magazine: Today I want to look at Environmentalism – it’s heart and soul. What is it really about? Let’s look at the ideas, the motivations, the principles underlying the Green movement. Now I warn you, you may be in for a shock. If you ever thought the planet was in trouble because of what’s happening to its environment then get ready to find out what trouble really is. Because what the Environmentalists are doing to your life, your liberty, your property, your future is unbelievable. It’s stranger than fiction. It’s a nightmare.
Peter Schwartz is Founder of The Intellectual Activist. He’s Chairman of the Board of The Ayn Rand Institute and the Editor of <i>Return Of The Primitive</i> which is a collection of essays by him and Ayn Rand about irrationalism in today’s culture.
Capitalism Magazine: Would you say that Environmentalism is not much different from a religion or a dogma?
Peter Schwartz: Well it is certainly a dogma and it certainly has crucial aspects in common with religion. I don’t know if that’s the place to START because most people have the view of Environmentalism as being scientifically based.
Environmentalists present themselves on the surface as being concerned with evidence, with science, with logic and telling people what the factual consequences of certain actions or certain technologies are. But in reality it’s exactly the opposite. I don’t think Environmentalists CARE about scientific evidence. I think they are motivated not by science but by a certain MORAL PREMISE and that premise is something that ties them very much to religion and accounts for their views on technology.
Capitalism Magazine: It’s funny you should mention Scientists because often on my show – most weeks in fact – I interview research Scientists – very, very clever people and even though you say Environmentalists are not interested so much in Science when it comes down to it – Scientists seem to be VERY interested in pretending or giving lip service to Environmentalism.
I wonder whether in fact our Scientists and Science generally is being CORRUPTED by having to address Environmentalism. What is happening there Peter? Are you familiar with this phenomenon I’m referring to?
Peter Schwartz: Well I think that Scientists – like everybody else in society – are often drawn to a viewpoint that reflects the dominant philosophy – the philosophy they’ve been taught from grade one and that they have reinforced in their books and in their movies and on television. So I think the fact that Scientists are drawn to Environmentalism is not that much stranger than that politicians are drawn to Environmentalism or any other group.
Capitalism Magazine: Well unfortunately I’ve found – and I don’t want to harp on this too much – they’re not so much