About the Book
The environmental movement has helped produce significant improvements in the world around us—from cleaner air to the preservation of natural wonders such as Yellowstone. But in recent years, environmental activists have arisen who regard humans as Public Enemy #1. In this provocative book, Wesley J. Smith exposes efforts by radical activists to reduce the human population by up to 90% and to grant legal rights to animals, plants, and Mother Earth. Smith argues that the ultimate victims of this misanthropic crusade will be the poorest and most vulnerable among us, and he urges us to defend both human dignity and the natural environment before it is too late.
Named by National Journal as one of America’s leading experts in the area of bioethics, attorney Wesley J. Smith is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and the previous author of books such as A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement, Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World, and Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America. Smith also writes the popular Human Exceptionalism blog at National Review Online.
Table of Contents
Introduction: People Are the Enemy
Chapter 1: Deep Anti-Humanity
Chapter 2: Homo Sapiens, Get Lost
Chapter 3: Global Warming Hysteria
Chapter 4: Pardon Us for Living!
Chapter 5: The “Rights” of Nature
Chapter 6: Pea Personhood
Chapter 7: Ecocide—A Crime against Humanity?
Conclusion: Old Faithful Is Not a Person
Excerpt from the Introduction: “People Are the Enemy”
In 1972, Canadian science broadcaster David Suzuki told some giggling students, “One of the things I’ve gotten off on lately is that basically… we’re all fruit flies.” But that was just the start: Suzuki then likened us to “maggots” who are “born as an egg” and “eventually hatch out and start crawling around,” eating and “defecating all over the environment.”
Denigrating humans as maggots was edgy back in the hippy-dippy days (and Suzuki looked the part with his long-hair and John Lennon-style glasses), but few took such assertions very seriously. They were made to shock or get attention more than to express genuine misanthropy. Back then, the environmental movement didn’t generally denigrate human beings. Rather, it advocated preventing and cleaning up pollution, protecting endangered species, and conservation as a matter of human duty. Those are noble goals, ones which I support.
Unfortunately, the primary values of the original environmental movement have gone the way of bell-bottom jeans. In recent years, like termites boring into a building’s foundation (to borrow a Suzuki-type metaphor), anti-humanism has degraded environmentalist thinking and advocacy. Indeed, environmental activists today routinely denigrate humans as parasites, viruses, cancers, bacteria, and murderers of the Earth.
Suzuki, now a world-famous celebrity and anti-global warming activist, certainly hasn’t changed his old anti-human views. When asked by a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interviewer in 2009 about how his “not very optimistic” perception of humanity has changed since he called people maggots, Suzuki merely deflected the question, noting that racism had lessened but also lamented that “Humanity is humanity… I just wish they’d stop being so human!”
The popular culture has certainly embraced Suzuki’s anti-humanist theme. The A-List remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring the movie mega-star Keanu Reeves, provides a vivid case in point…
Discovery Institute Press, 208 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA 98104
If there were an international award for continuing to focus on and document cultural and political threats to basic human life and potential–I emphasize human—the winner would be Wesley J. Smith… [In The War on Humans] Smith has now written a riveting expose of this multi-dimensional assault on human beings that for life saving reasons—I kid you not—must be read by human beings beyond their political, religious, and all other affiliations.Nat Hentoff, Syndicated Columnist
The War on Humans is terrific. Within the world of benign and admirable conservation and ecological-awareness organizations, an irrational and misanthropic ideology has metastasized that in its fanaticism is as dangerous as the fascist and communist crusades of the past century. In The War on Humans, Wesley Smith succinctly exposes the “philosophy” and the aims of this movement, cites its deep unreason, and brilliantly extrapolates the horrors inevitable should it triumph. Sincere conservationists should be concerned if only because anti-humanist thinking has the power, in the social and economic destruction it would create, to discredit even those with humane and reasonable goals of conservation, preservation, clean water, and clean airDean Koontz, Bestselling Novelist
It used to be said of certain kinds of scientific utopians that they loved humanity, but didn’t like any actual humans. Now many scientific utopians don’t even like humanity. Wesley Smith grasps the dangerous paradox of thinkers whose first step in exalting nature is to attack human nature. In order for nature to have ‘rights,’ it has become necessary for humans to have none. This is always the first step toward tyrannical dehumanization of real human beings. We owe much to Wesley Smith for keeping vigil against this deeply anti-human strain of modern thought, for issuing another timely warning before it is too late to avoid another self-inflicted humanitarian catastrophe.Steven Hayward, Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy, University of Colorado, Boulder