Arguments

The essay provides a fairly sound critique of the environmental optimist position. However, it also has a number of important drawbacks. The article cites global warming as the evidence of inadequacy of environmental optimism. However, there is still a debate going on in scientific circles concerning the causes of global warming. There is no persuasive evidence that global warming is induced by human activity. Therefore, citing global warming as an example of inadequacy of environmental optimism is a risky strategy.The second argument used to refute environmental optimist position is formulated in a confusing way. It is not before the middle of essay that the actual claim is made in a comprehensible manner. The claim itself is disputable: the essay states that in the environmental optimist view, there is a positive correlation between the economy and the environment; however, evidence proves otherwise. The essay supports this statement by showing negative causal relationship between economic development and pollution. However, the article makes a factual mistake by listing China and India as developed countries; in fact, they are developing countries with low environmental standards and high industrial output, therefore they are among largest contributors to pollution.Consumerism is also cited as a problem that is getting amplified rather than solved by industrial development. However, the essay ignores the ongoing shift from material values to post-material values (e.g. solidarity, national self-identification, community, culture etc.) that is happening in many European countries and catches on in the U.S. This trend might be the turning point in the relations between humankind and environment. Therefore, environmental optimism remains a credible theory.