If you check out any list of top environmental writing (ours, for instance), you’ll notice that it is less a list of writing about the environment, and more a list of writing concerning how to protect the environment. In other words, at some level it takes an explicit normative view. Now, that normative view is a big tent: Edward Abbey detested cities, and David Owen thinks that they are greener than rural areas. But all seem to think that protecting the environment is important in some sense.
So what would anti-environmental literature look like? And does it exist?
It would be unrealistic to expect anyone to say explicitly that the Earth should be trashed. Authors hostile to the poor rarely say so explicitly (although some do) and probably do not consider themselves to be so. Rather, anti-environmental literature would argue that environmental protection just isn’t that important either because 1) the planet’s resources are so plentiful that we can never run out of them; or 2) the earth’s capacity for regeneration is more than sufficient to ensure whatever lifestyle we want. (Perhaps another variation is that The Rapture will soon be upon us, so it doesn’t matter: that certainly exists, but it isn’t common).
So…any ideas? What are the classics of anti-environmental literature? Any other way to define it?