Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
Leisure class environmentalists are the bane of true environmentalism or, as I prefer to call it, conservation. It is nothing but selfish NIMBYism.
I first became aware of leisure class environmentalists many years ago, not long after I won an “Environmentalist of the Year” award from a local Audubon Society chapter. I started noticing many of the folks advancing supposed environmental causes were, more often than not, wealthier than the average bear, and more interested in stopping things anything near them that might interfere with their leisure activities than truly protecting the environment. It was all about fighting this or that to the death for purely selfish reasons and never about improving a project.
It was all a bit of a revelation to me at the time, but in December, 1977, Harper’s Magazine, carried an article, titled “Environmentalism and the Leisure Class” (sub-title: “Protecting Birds, Fishes and, Above All, Social Privilege”). This piece is a must read for anyone wanting to understand leisure class environmentalists. More recently, though, one of our readers has provided another great example. It’s a fractivist group I wrote about just a couple of days ago – Otsego 2000. It was against wind energy before it was for it as an alternative to natural gas, but is it really for it? No.