In the Camp of the Luddites

, Alvino-Mario Fantini, Leave a comment

Too often, Republicans will blindly defend anything that
they consider supportive of American values, while remaining oblivious to
defects and flaws. But Democrats (especially in Vermont)
seem just as blind in their criticisms of America’s
free enterprise system, which they fail to see as the generator of America’s
material benefits and prosperity and see only as a producer of "negative externalities."

Part of the reason for this is that the Democratic Party —
and the environmental movement in general — have been taken over by more
radical activists who seem to be inspired by the anti-technology Luddite
movement of the early 19th century. To these environmental progressives, the West’s progress, scientific advances and
technological innovations have created more problems than they’ve solved.

And the only solution for our environmental problems, according to them, is to have additional controls, more regulations, and greater supervision of
human activities. My recent visit to a conference in Randolph gave me a glimpse of the kinds of individuals and groups who make up a large part of Vermont’s
environmental Left.

On a clear, sunny Saturday [November 17], I attended the
2007 Environmental Action conference
held at Vermont Technical
. The conference was
organized and co-sponsored by several well-known environmental groups: VPIRG,
Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Alliance of Conservation Voters, the
Montpelier-based New England Grassroots Environment Fund (which finances small
environmental initiatives around New England), and the Toxics Action Center
(based in Boston). I’ve never thought of myself as an environmental activist but I do love Vermont and I was frankly curious to see what these groups were working on.