The 'What Is More Important?' Game

Today’s question in the what is more important game is this: Caribou in Alaska, or Miners in Utah?

A few quotes from an interesting article over at Capitalism Magazine called Tragic Implications in Minnesota and in Utah, by Thomas Sowell:

Two recent tragedies -- in Minnesota and in Utah -- have held the nation's attention. The implications of these tragedies also deserve attention. Those politicians who are always itching to raise tax rates have seized upon the neglected infrastructure of the country as another reason to do what they are always trying to do.

I won’t claim to know anything about the tax issues that Mr. Sowell raises, but what caught my attention was the very end, emphasis added.

We could have far fewer men going down into those mines in the first place if we could use other readily available and economically viable substitutes for coal, such as nuclear power or more of our own oil. Here too, politics is the problem. The only "alternative energy sources" that are on the political agenda are those few very expensive options that environmentalist zealots approve. Nuclear power is not on the green zealots' approved list, even though nuclear power is widely used in other countries. Some say nuclear power is not safe. But nothing is categorically "safe." The only serious question is how its safety compares to that of alternative ways of generating energy. Ask the families of the trapped miners if they think mining is safe. Ask them if they would rather face the grim reality of a death in their family or the hypothetical possibility of inconveniencing some caribou in Alaska.

The last paragraph is particularly interesting to me, which is obvious since I emphasized it. I’ve often wondered who/what the top politically active environmentalists are really trying to protect. The world? Me? Themselves? I don’t claim to know the answer to these questions, but I do have doubts of their sincerity.

Yes, the world needs to be taken care of. I am not suggesting that we throw all care and toil out the window. I am suggesting that the world can be taken care of while also taking care of ourselves more effectively. I do not believe in altruism. I do not believe that these so-called environmentalists can be so caring, wholesome, unselfish, and wonderful when they accuse the rest of mankind as incapable of these same qualities. How is that they are so good, and the rest of us so bad? If we are humans are so evil, why should I believe that they are so good? The top politically active environmentalists are not altruistic. They are sacrificing other people, not themselves.

Finally, a quote from C.S. Lewis’ essay ‘Is Theology Poetry?’. I include this because I imagine (I’m claiming something without knowing whether or not it’s true) that a good number of environmentalists are also atheist and believe in evolution.

If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.
Politics, Utah