Environmental conflicts are really not different than other disputes. Differing sides with their own concerns hash it out. But William Souder raises a good question–don’t we all share the same global landscape in the end?
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s landmark warning about the indiscriminate use of pesticides, turns 50 this month. By extension, that puts the environmental movement also at the half-century mark—along with the bitter, divisive argument we continue to have over both the book and the movement it spawned. The terms of that argument, which emerged in the brutal reaction to Silent Spring from those who saw it not as a warning but as a threat, haven’t changed much. And they leave us with a vexing question: Why do we fight? How is it that the environment we all share is the subject of partisan debate? After all, the right and the left inhabit the same planet, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.
How do disagreements like this become zero sum negotiations and is that the best way to address environmental concerns?