Environmentalism: The Rational Stance
There are any number of people who conflate environmentalism with Marxism. It is time that this myth, like many others, be put to rest.
That someone is in agreement with one of Marx's stances - and Marx was an extremely voluminous writer who addressed many subjects in his work - does not mean that one is in agreement with all of Marx. One can have value for nature without believing in class wars or in historical inevitability. For that matter, Hitler was a vegetarian; but that does not mean that every vegetarian is Hitler.
Instead, the stance of the environmentalist is the simply rational stance. It is about creating for future generations a livable world. It is about protecting from blind destruction the amazing beauty, variety and richness of nature - the beauty, variety and richness that one has not created and cannot recreate. And yes, it is a stance that is consistent with economic development and technological innovation, as it disincentivizes blind and stupid activities such as burning down rainforests and incentivizes ingenuity, creativity and innovation that is the true root of prosperity.
The people who militate against environmentalism have simply no business claiming to speak for economics or development. Not only regular pollution, but also ocean acidification, glacier melting and erratic weather that result from global warming, all cause vast loss in property and life. From the standard of capitalism and democracy itself - the standard of preserving lives and property - the anti-environmentalist fails. The health of the planet exercises a vast effect on people's lives and property; and if one does not think so then one can go to Linfen and see how well people live in the world's most polluted city.
We hear many Republican types claim that ingenuity and innovation in private sector produce prosperity. This means that ingenuity and innovation are to be incentivized rather than disincentivized. Ingenuity and innovation produces technologies that maximize benefit while minimizing pollution, destruction and waste. Whereas brainlessness burns down rainforests, pollutes the air and the water, and burns oil and dirty coal when there are any number of better technologies that stand to provide people everything they have now and more while vastly reducing the burden on the planet.
Therefore the environmentalist stance is a rational stance, by the logic of capitalism itself. It incentivizes ingenuity and innovation and leads to creation and implementation of technologies that enhance people's economic utility while making the burden lighter on nature. It reduces the waste of lives and property that are a side effect of brainless economic activity. And it preserves for future generations what one has not created and cannot recreate.