I've written about environmentalists of the future before, but now they're at it again, advocating and praising poverty rather than science and technology.

Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said on Tuesday. ...

"For more than 20 years we have exceeded the earth's ability to support a consumptive lifestyle that is unsustainable and we cannot afford to continue down this path," WWF Director-General James Leape said, launching the WWF's 2006 Living Planet Report.

"If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we would need five planets to support us," Leape, an American, said in Beijing.

Of course General Leape leaves out inconvenient facts that undermine his already-dubious calculation of how many earths we need. Since I'm in a list-making mood today:

1. As societies get richer, families have fewer kids. Rural Chinese and Indians aren't going to consume as much as we do until their birthrate goes down.

2. American science and technology is the cleanest in the world. We get the most bang for our pollution buck, largely no-thanks to environmentalist organizations like the WWF. Pollution is waste, and waste costs money. Why doesn't General Leape spend a little time praising American ingenuity, the wealth it creates, and the care we can thereby aford to give our environment?

3. No one who has a choice wants to live in extreme poverty like the vast majority of the third world does. Manual labor, no recreation, no health care, chronic diseases, early death. Sounds sucky.

Instead of longing for more poverty, why doesn't the WWF advocate for greater scientific advancements and more wealth? Those would lead to fewer kids, less pollution, and more happiness for everyone. Plus, maybe we'll be able to get a few more earths at some point, and then we can go wild.

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