Extreme Enviros Harbor Dangerous Views On Society

Tuesday, April 18, 2000 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the wake of environmental protests over the World Bank meetings, the United States Chamber of Commerce today released a new book, The Environmentalists' Little Green Book, compiling outrageous quotes by radical environmental leaders expressing dangerous views on business and society.

"The views of extreme environmentalists are exposed as far outside the American mainstream," said William Kovacs, Chamber vice president for environment and regulatory affairs. "They brazenly repudiate sensible economic growth, modern technology, American free enterprise, and at times, even humankind itself."

The book contains a number of misanthropic quotes, including one by Sierra Club founder John Muir: "Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape." Other quotes highlight radical environmentalists' dangerous view that business and technology, the lynchpins of the New Economy, are evil: "The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species [man] upon the rest of the natural world," said Friends of the Earth writer John Shuttleworth.

"We must continue to grow our economy because prosperity – more than any government regulation – empowers us to create a cleaner environment," Kovacs said. "Contrary to the views expressed in this book, we don't have to choose between a growing economy and a clean environment – we can have both."

Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the United States has made tremendous progress toward a cleaner environment. American business has invested more than $1 trillion in environmental cleanup, according to the Chamber, resulting in the cleanest environment in a generation, and business will invest an additional $1.5 trillion in environmental improvements over the next decade.

"Environmentalism should be about enhancing the health and natural beauty of the planet for the benefit and enjoyment of people, as well as plants and animals. We believe this is what most Americans want environmentalism to stand for. It is time for responsible environmentalists to repudiate the extremists," Kovacs concluded.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.