Here are a few comments on Drs. Deneen, Adams, and Hayward below:
1. The fundamental distinction is between prudential environmentalism and moralistic environmentalism.
2. Prduential environmentalism is anthropocentric. Human responsibility is fundamentally personal. Thinking of ourselves as part of an impersonal whole called nature is a form of self-denial.
3. Moralistic environmentalism is quite different from previous forms of modern, secular religions. Communism etc. were HISTORICAL. Moralistic environmentalism is PANTHEISM--t’s about the end of history, about the end of distinctively human footprint upon nature.
4. Moralistic environmentalism often tends to hope for a techno-catastrophe that would return the world to the scarcity that made morality and community easier. Prudential environmentalists tend to think the bomb probably won’t fall, so to speak, and that’s good. They think about the virtue required to live well, to live responsibly with what we can’t help but know and do now. Moralistic environmentalists tend to be romantics; prudential environmentalists are realists.
5. Because prudential environmentalists are realists, they don’t really think that technology and markets can take the place of moral and political deliberation about our true situation. The prudential environmentalist is the mean between the extremes of libertarianism and moralism.