ERIC Number: ED209167
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Environmentalism in the Future: Reducing its Dogmatism and Pseudo-Scientism.
This paper examines fallacious assumptions from which the environmentalist movement of the future must free itself. The first is the fallacy of zero sum game assumption, believing that in order to protect the environment, industry must be decreased. We are beginning to see some clever, positive sum use of industry in relation to the environment. For example, the cooling system of some electric power generating facilities in Southern Illinois discharge heated water into lakes. This was previously called "thermal pollution." However, now the heated lakes are used for fish farming. The second fallacy discussed is that of standardized regulation, believing that it is scientific to formulate and impose the same regulations in all situations regardless of the context. We must have environmental regulations, but these regulations must not be applied blindly. We need to establish requirements that the environmental regulations should be contextual. For example, the requirement to have sewage connected toilets may be environmental in some areas, but not in areas where the overloaded sewage system discharges untreated sewage into a river, such as in the eastern suburbs of Portland, Oregon. The third fallacy examined is that of equilibrium as natural and desirable. Believing that nature must be made to remain unchanged is unscientific and dogmatic. Nature keeps changing and evolving, even without humans. These three fallacies work against the environment. They aggravate the goal moratorium syndrome of today resulting from the mutual amplification of goallessness between consumer, business, and government. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Environmental Protection; Fallacies; Pseudoscience
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August, 1981).