Economist Steven Landsburg

Steve Landsburg

Recycling, as you know, is one of the principle tenants of the Religion of Environmentalism.

Criticize recycling, even on scientific grounds, and you’re a candidate for crucifixion, as I’ve learned firsthand.

But of course all the dogma in the world and of course all the adherents to that dogma do not, in the end, alter facts.

Steven Landsburg, an economics professor at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York, included the following as part of a longer essay (that longer essay is entitled “Why I’m not an Environmentalist,” and it’s well worth reading), in which he calls environmentalism a “coercive ideology” targeting children, the better to inculcate their young brains with apocalyptic propaganda.

Here is part of what he wrote his daughter’s teacher:

We do not recycle. We teach our daughter not to recycle. We teach her that people who try to convince her to recycle, or who try to force her to recycle, are intruding on her rights.

After my daughter progressed from preschool to kindergarten her teachers taught her to conserve resources by rinsing out her paper cup instead of discarding it. I explained to her that time is also a valuable resource and it might be worth sacrificing some cups to save time…

Here’s the full letter:

Dear Rebecca:

When we lived in Colorado, Cayley was the only Jewish child in her class. There were also a few Moslems. Occasionally, and especially around Christmas time, the teachers forgot about this diversity and made remarks that were appropriate only for the Christian children. These remarks came rarely, and were easily counteracted at home with explanations that different people believe different things, so we chose not to say anything at first. We changed our minds when we overheard a teacher telling a group of children that if Santa didn’t come to your house, it meant you were a very bad child; this was within earshot of an Islamic child who certainly was not going to get a visit from Santa. At that point, we decided to share our concerns with the teachers. They were genuinely apologetic and there were no more incidents. I have no doubt that the teachers were good and honest people who had no intent to indoctrinate, only a certain naïveté derived from a provincial upbringing.

Perhaps that same sort of honest naïveté is what underlies the problems we’ve had at the JCC this year. Just as Cayley’s teachers in Colorado were honestly oblivious to the fact that there is diversity in religion, it may be that her teachers at the JCC have been honestly oblivious that there is diversity in politics.

Let me then make that diversity clear. We are not environmentalists. We ardently oppose environmentalists. We consider environmentalism a form of mass hysteria akin to Islamic fundamentalism or the War on Drugs. We do not recycle. We teach our daughter not to recycle. We teach her that people who try to convince her to recycle, or who try to force her to recycle, are intruding on her rights.

The preceding paragraph is intended to serve the same purpose as announcing to Cayley’s Colorado teachers that we are not Christians. Some of them had never been aware of knowing anybody who was not a Christian, but they adjusted pretty quickly.

Once the Colorado teachers understood that we and a few other families did not subscribe to the beliefs that they were propagating, they instantly apologized and stopped. Nobody asked me what exactly it was about Christianity that I disagreed with; they simply recognized that they were unlikely to change our views on the subject, and certainly had no business inculcating our child with opposite views.

I contrast this with your reaction when I confronted you at the preschool graduation. You wanted to know my specific disagreements with what you had taught my child to say. I reject your right to ask that question. The entire program of environmentalism is as foreign to us as the doctrine of Christianity. I was not about to engage in detailed theological debate with Cayley’s Colorado teachers and they would not have had the audacity to ask me to. I simply asked them to lay off the subject completely, they recognized the legitimacy of the request, and the subject was closed.

I view the current situation as far more serious than what we encountered in Colorado for several reasons. First, in Colorado we were dealing with a few isolated remarks here and there, whereas at the JCC we have been dealing with a systematic attempt to inculcate a doctrine and to quite literally put words in children’s mouths. Second, I do not sense on your part any acknowledgment that there may be people in the world who do not share your views. Third, I am frankly a lot more worried about my daughter’s becoming an environmentalist than about her becoming a Christian. Fourth, we face no current threat of having Christianity imposed on us by petty tyrants; the same can not be said of environmentalism. My county government never tried to send me a New Testament, but it did send me a recycling bin.

Although I have vowed not to get into a discussion on the issues, let me respond to the one question you seemed to think was very important in our discussion: Do I agree that with privilege comes responsibility? The answer is no. I believe that responsibilities arise when one undertakes them voluntarily. I also believe that in the absence of explicit contracts, people who lecture other people on their “responsibilities” are almost always up to no good. I tell my daughter to be wary of such people — even when they are preschool teachers who have otherwise earned a lot of love.


Steven Landsburg

To my knowledge, the teacher did not reply.


  • Greg

    April 28, 2014

    We are seeing some environmental indoctrination in a Montessori school in Texas. Our boy, 4 years old at the time, came home one day and skeptically asked if using a fresh sheet of paper would kill a polar bear.

    I felt deeply depressed by the question but encouraged that he recognized the absurdity of the assertion.

    Now he has no qualms about ‘wasting’ paper and his new preschool appears not to recycle as everything goes into the trash bin.

  • Ray

    April 28, 2014

    Jesus, that’s depressing.

  • Micky

    April 30, 2014

    At least hes wiping his ass now.

  • Ray

    May 2, 2014

    Don’t be so sure.

  • Micky

    May 2, 2014

    The last few days I’ve been arguing the Constitutionality of the 2 1/2 million dollar fine on Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
    I think hes a punk, and thats that.
    But maybe you’d give some input as to how a league can stipulate in a contract that they can take your stuff, your private property, based on actions that took place on your private property and not while in any professional capacity at a public area or event.
    Why the hell should I give you anything if you’re throwing me off a cliff ?
    I can agree to banishing and forced sale of the team, an NBA brand.
    But giving you 2 1/2 million after I was forced to sell a most substantial income and disowned is not punitive, its vindictive.
    If I’m correct everytime league members are fined its a condition of their continued employment.
    Sorry bout the rant, been a rough week fighting with idiots who think they have the right to “NOT” be offended.

  • Micky

    May 2, 2014

    Here in the Islands the schools have an approach to inserting environmentalism by camouflaging it as an ethnic Hawaiian study that focuses on and teaches all the mainstream green ideas under the premise that those ideas will save Hawaii from the destruction, progress, and modernization evil white men have brought.
    The funny thing is that most of the kids who attend this class come from Hawaiian families who are part of a movement to reverse statehood and bring the return of “The Nation of Hawaii”.
    Cultural traditions and methods in farming and hunting are taught while making sure the lessons are fused with useless green practices such as recycling, burning cow shit and pissing as far downstream as possible.
    The really dumb part of all this is that a huge part of the platform of this separatist movement is that the “re-born” Nation of Hawaii will be as adherent to its traditional Hawaiian practices, governing and lifestyles as possible using none of the advancements made since their Queen sold them out/the white man annexed Hawaii illegally like Putin did the Crimea. (Take your pick.)
    And then at the end of the day, these same parents are waiting in front of the school to pick up their kids while sitting in their Cadillac Escalade stuffing their dome with McDonalds and having sex with their I-phone.
    You cant make this shit up

  • Ray

    May 5, 2014

    “sitting in their Cadillac Escalade stuffing their dome with McDonalds and having sex with their I-phone.”

    That sounds like my prom night (all those years ago).

  • Micky

    May 8, 2014

    Its typical Liberal hypocrisy.
    They’re all sporting bones in their noses that aren’t even real and instead made out of high density polyethylene from their recycled Hawaiian Spring water bottles.

  • Ray

    May 10, 2014

    “Sporting bones in their noses that aren’t even real” — the noses or the bones aren’t really? But what does it really matter? It’s all pink on the inside, isn’t it?

  • Micky

    May 15, 2014

    Good one Ray, I’m sure theres some rhinoplasty at the states expense somewhere in there.
    Its hard for me to voice the following sentiments without the worry of me being seen as racist.
    I’m sure some well driven liberal will jump all over my shit for the following rant.
    When the subject of environmentalism comes up my brain does a ffwd replay of all the conflicting bullshit it involves. I go into this sort of overload attempting to make sense of it all.
    I sat here and read “Why My Daughter Doesn’t Recycle” while remembering 7 years ago how you educated Jersey McJones, myself and others to just what a freeking joke recycling is unless its used for materials such as aluminum other metals. We dont tear down an entire forest everyday so we can wipe our asses.
    Anywho, during my overload it occurred to me that biggest offenders/polluters are the minorities the left has kept in poverty for some pretty ulterior motives.
    Take a drive thru any of these hoods and all you see is garbage, illegal dumping and neighborhoods that go totally against mom natures intention to the ambience and theme it designs.
    They cant seem to hit the can when shitting.

  • Ray

    May 17, 2014

    Thanks, Micky!

    I make funny joke, see?

    I’ve been meaning to ax you: why isn’t your blog still up and running?

  • Micky

    May 19, 2014

    I’ve always had more fun running around beating up liberals.
    Recently I’ve found myself beating up on Conservatives who dont know wtf they’re talking about.
    I know you and I differ on religion and ideologies, that will always be respected, but I would rather a half assed Conservative or Libertarian be in office than a half assed Liberal.
    Theres a huge difference today between Conservatives and Liberals and theres far too many assholes out there speaking on behalf of a party they know little about.
    These are the type of morons who think they’re Conservatives are the antithesis to what I believe is the more capitalist and tolerant group.
    In short, the last two I bent over…
    one professes to be Christian while suggesting sex change recipients have their dicks cut off so they can bleed to death.
    The other one suggests we take Hitler’s advice in order to win the next election.
    They’re not helping, and just as destructive as any moonbat.

  • Micky

    May 19, 2014

    “Theres a huge difference today between Conservatives and >>REPUBLICANS<<

  • Ray

    May 21, 2014

    “I would rather a half assed Conservative or Libertarian be in office than a half assed Liberal.”

    I agree with that.

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