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16.3.04

Bonus Post #2

One of the things I learned today was that this blog is intellectually irresponsible. Frequent readers will know that from time to time I criticize the idea of preserving pristine wilderness. This is not an uncommon view among academics. But according to an interesting* presentation, the environmentalists we often criticize for promoting this pristine nature idea know full well that it's not true. But they strategically use pristine nature rhetoric to sell their ideas -- which are, when you read the fine print, unobjectionable plans for human life with, and management of, nature -- to the public. Thus, she concluded, it's intellectually irresponsible of us to undercut environmental groups' propaganda, since weakening the public commitment to pristine nature would open them up to accepting exploitative land use masquerading as "wise use."

*I mean that seriously -- her findings were interesting even if I mock her conclusion.

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