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The Anti-Industrial Crusade: A Special Earth Day Podcast Series

How did environmentalism, a once-fringe movement, come to define today’s mainstream? We unmask its philosophic origins, history, and destructive aims.

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Imagine a newborn fringe movement preaching that what diminishes and undermines life must be embraced; that what makes human life safer, longer, richer must be renounced; and that however much you sacrifice, it is never enough.

Imagine that this movement’s leaders crusade to transform the world — from our laws and economic system, down to the minutest details of daily life.

Imagine that it predicts an apocalypse, and whenever that fails to materialize, another is predicted, with undiminished certainty, to loom on the horizon.  

Imagine, finally, that this movement comes to be seen as the voice of reason and science. So much so, that it is no longer even recognized as an ideology, but as common sense that only fools and cranks object to.

Nonsense, you might object, this is outlandish. But what if this absurd scenario describes the actual nature and trajectory of the environmentalist movement? That’s a really strong claim, yes; one that demands considerable evidence — and one that we’ll defend this week during our special podcast series on environmentalism, climaxing on Friday, April 22: Earth Day 2022.

When environmentalism was a nascent fringe movement in the early 1970s, Ayn Rand evaluated it from the perspective of her philosophy of Objectivism. She reached a damning assessment: This movement, she argued, exhibits contempt for human life. Far from being concerned with science or progress, it is part of an Anti-Industrial Revolution. In the decades since then, her assessment has been amply borne out. It is Rand’s philosophic framework that we will draw upon in our series analyzing environmentalism and its influence.

Nikos Sotirakopolous and Ben Bayer will discuss the environmental movement’s origin, intellectual history, and rise to prominence. (Wednesday, April 20.)

To underscore, by counterpoint, the life-advancing power of industrial capitalism, I will interview Nick Deiuliis, CEO of CNX Resources, about the underappreciated “shale revolution.” Born of tremendous innovation, the “shale revolution” has unlocked vast new sources of energy, but it faces environmentalism-infused efforts to overturn it.  (Thursday, April 21.)

Culminating the series, Onkar Ghate and Keith Lockitch will analyze the philosophic meaning of environmentalism — from its claims to scientific knowledge and its quasi-religious character, to the moral implications of its political-economic program. While untangling concerns many people have about climate issues, they will discuss the novel arguments and heterodox perspective on climate and energy in Alex Epstein’s upcoming book, Fossil Future, a perspective grounded in his understanding of Rand’s philosophy. (Friday, April 22.)

Join us for this special live podcast series.

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Elan Journo

Elan Journo is a senior fellow and vice president of content at the Ayn Rand Institute. His recent books include Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: What Went Wrong After 9/11 (2021) and What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2018). Elan is a senior editor of New Ideal.

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