When you take a big-picture view of the philosophies that are affecting environmental legislation and policy in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, something really sticks out, said Robert Gordon, senior advisor for strategic outreach for the Heritage Foundation, speaking at an issues conference at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 92nd annual meeting.
The basic, underlying rationale driving much of the policymaking is that human beings are a blight on the Earth, and that the only way to preserve the planet is to make sure people are actively prevented from using resources, Gordon said. Otherwise, or so this viewpoint dictates, humans will inevitably “degrade and destroy those resources.”
But what should also stick out, he said, is that this rationale is deeply flawed.
“They are wrong. They’re all wrong,” he said. What those who hold these beliefs are ignoring, Gordon said, is another resource, and that is humankind’s ability to adapt and use resources more efficiently and effectively.
“If we do not recognize the value of human creativity in environmental policy, we will not have good environmental policy,” said Gordon. Intellect is what has helped the human race do more with less and it’s what will help in the future, too, he said.
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution whose mission, according to its website, is “to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense.”