What colour is your hair-shirt?

Milan Ilnyckyj offers up a typology of what he calls “hair-shirt environmentalists,” greens who argue that we have to do a whole lot less of what we do:

  • Conserve or we’re doomed
  • Harm Principle advocates
  • Moral minimalists

Conserve-or-we’re-doomed types, like Kunstler, are generally the most entertaining, though I’ve said before that I don’t think they give human ingenuity and resourcefulness enough credit. Most green types have historically been moral minimalists, crunching granola and hugging trees.

It’ll come as little surprise that I figure I’m the Harm Principle type, and this blog my small attempt to take the environmentalist agenda from the others. Just because it’s difficult to make a systematic connection between wasteful lifestyles in the West and desertification in Africa or flooding in the Maldives doesn’t mean that connection isn’t there, and needs to be addressed.

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One response to “What colour is your hair-shirt?

  1. Regarding the Harm Principle, I am not entirely sure whether people are simply unaware of the connections between how they live and how others suffer or whether they feel no moral duties to act differently, even though they believe such linkages to exist.

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