Power to the eco-people.
In his June Notebook, "Climate, Class, and Claptrap," Garret Keizer fails to recognize that environmentalism is a social-justice movement whose objectives, if achieved, would do more to abolish inequity than any other before it. Environmentalism is currently the biggest threat to capitalism and its need for unlimited economic growth and consumption. Since the 1960s, environmentalists have talked about the urgent need to make polluters pay for their crimes and to curb unsustainable growth by redistributing wealth. In fact, redistribution of wealth is a necessary condition for saving the earth. Combating global warming will bring about the social and economic reforms Keizer thinks the middle class and the rich are avoiding.
East Quogue, N.Y.
Garret Keizer engages in the increasingly popular game whereby the people's outrage about something--say, the vile conditions at Walter Reed hospital--is deemed unworthy in the face of a greater outrage--i.e., the vile conditions of the poor. This undermines any stab at reform, leading only to apathy. After all, why help anyone if everyone will not be helped?
It does not seem likely that America's moneyed elite will soon realize their errors, but that has little to do with the concrete measures we can take to curb the serious problem of global warming, such as signing the Kyoto agreement and lessening carbon emissions. While Keizer stares stoically through his beloved sugar maple trees in his blue-collar New England night, angry at his previous night's dinner and most everything else, others press forward, seeking to change our suicidal environmental policies.