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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 136-137 of James DeLong’s insightful 2012 volume, Ending ‘Big SIS’ (link added):

Environmentalism is also a strange place, morally.

From the start, the movement overstated the benefits of federal regulation; pollution in the United States and everywhere else has declined steadily for decades as wealth has increased.  The rate of improvement did not shift much after the deluge of environmental laws, though a curve of the costs would certainly show a steep rise.

Because of the movement’s strong religious component, the True Greens have been pushed into difficult positions, advocating irrational and destructive policies to respond to tiny or illusory risks….

Naturally, all doubts about the moral supremacy of the claims of these groups are furiously rejected by their advocates.  Much of their power within their own organizations depends on maintaining their clients’ sense of outrage, and they do not want to lose their leverage on the political system.  So they continue to play the card of moral outrage whenever they are challenged.  And it continues to work well enough to roil our politics.