[Editor’s note: Ted Nordhaus is the co-founder and executive director of the Breakthrough Institute and a co-author of the Ecomodernist Manifesto.]
You would be hard pressed to find a better example of the ways in which contemporary environmental thought and advocacy are simply bad for the environment than the recent effort by Friends of the Earth to sideline the Impossible Burger, the first meat substitute that has succeeded in roughly approximating the taste and texture of beef.
Environmental opposition to the Impossible Burger is not particularly exceptional…The targets vary but the tactics are the same: identify speculative or infinitesimally small health or environmental risks, exaggerate those risks wildly in the media, ignore or downplay trade-offs and the far greater and more prosaic risks associated with present day production, cherry pick small scale examples of alternative production systems and massively extrapolate them to the state, regional, national, or global level to claim that no trade-offs exist and that an environmental free lunch is not only possible but imminent if only we all would throw off the yoke of nefarious corporate interests that are determined to poison us for profit.
Leaving an ecologically vibrant planet to future generations will require a drastically reformed environmental movement, one ready to make its peace with modernity and technology and abandon pastoral nostalgias and utopian fantasies for solutions that may be less satisfying but more durable.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Impossible Environmentalism: Green groups promote utopian fantasies