I've never really considered myself much of an environmentalist.  Its not that I don't care about clean air, endangered species, or rain forests, only that so much of what I've read from self-described environmentalists tends to be anti-technology, anti-growth, and anti-free markets - basically "anti" many of the things I happen to believe are quite good for the planet overall.

Of course, those aren't the views of every environmentalist but they do seem to represent the modal view I read in the media.  For many years, I've been aware of organizations like PERC which advocates for free market environmentalism.  But, it was only this summer that I became aware of a related movement after a call from Michael Shellenberger who is the President of the Breakthrough Institute.  

He and others are heading up a movement they call Ecomodernism.  I'm sympathetic to many of the views espoused in the Ecomodernist Manifesto that was put out in April.  They write, for example:

Intensifying many human activities — particularly farming, energy extraction, forestry, and settlement — so that they use less land and interfere less with the natural world is the key to decoupling human development from environmental impacts. These socioeconomic and technological processes are central to economic modernization and environmental protection. Together they allow people to mitigate climate change, to spare nature, and to alleviate global poverty.


We offer this statement in the belief that both human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are not only possible but also inseparable. By committing to the real processes, already underway, that have begun to decouple human well-being from environmental destruction, we believe that such a future might be achieved. As such, we embrace an optimistic view toward human capacities and the future.

I'm not yet ready so say I'm an ecomodernist, but this certainly seems a much more attractive kind of environmentalism than I've encountered in the past.