This quiz was originally created by Ken Crossman. The site that hosted it no longer exists, so I have posted it here in an effort to help keep it alive.
Unfortunately I can’t get the quiz portion of this post to function, so if you would lke to be graded, please go to the following site.
Since I have begun writing on this subject, I have had many people say to me “you are only focussed on the fringes of the movement – it is unfair to target mainstream Environmentalists for their beliefs.”
But as this quiz shows quite clearly, one of the most “Mainstream” Environmenalists has views that are closely in line with what many would consider to be the ultimate in “Fringe”.
For those readers to young to remember the Unabomber, here is a link to his wiki page.
Did Al Gore say it? Or was it the Unabomber?
It may be more difficult to decide than you think.
Each quote below is either from Al Gore’s Book Earth in the Balance or from the Unabomber’s Manifesto.
To be fair, I should point out that while Al and the Unabomber identify the “problems” similarly, they part on the solution. Al wants a “Global Marshall Plan” with enforcement across national boundaries while the Unabomber prefers the idea of revolution.
There may or may not be an equal number of quotes from both thinkers.
“The twentieth century has not been kind to the constant human striving for a sense of purpose in life. Two world wars, the Holocaust, the invention of nuclear weapons, and now the global environmental crises have led many of us to wonder if survival – much less enlightened, joyous, and hopeful living – is possible. We retreat into the seductive tools and technologies of industrial civilization, but that only creates new problems as we become increasingly isolated from one another and disconnected from our roots.”
1 – Gore — Unabomber
“Again, we must not forget the lessons of World War II. The Resistance slowed the advance of fascism and scored important victories, but fascism continued its relentless march to domination until the rest of the world finally awoke and made the difference and made the defeat of fascism its central organizing principle from 1941 through 1945.”
2 – Gore — Unabomber
“It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for countless centuries, many different kinds of human societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become really devastating.”
3 – Gore — Unabomber
“Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet’s ecological system. The ferocity of its assault on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences are occurring so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them, comprehend their global implications, and organize an appropriate and timely response. Isolated pockets of resistance fighters who have experienced this juggernaut at first hand have begun to fight back in inspiring but, in the final analysis, woefully inadequate ways.”
4 – Gore — Unabomber
“Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.”
5 – Gore — Unabomber
” All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The Industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before.”
6 – Gore — Unabomber
“The positive ideal that is proposed is Nature. That is, wild nature: those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are independent of human management and free of human interference and control.”
7 – Gore — Unabomber
“Any child born into the hugely consumptionist way of life so common in the industrial world will have an impact that is, on average, many times more destructive than that of a child born in the developing world.”
8 – Gore — Unabomber
“And tragically, since the onset of the scientific and technological revolution, it has become all too easy for ultrarational minds to create an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of nightmarish cruelty on an industrial scale. The atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, and the mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been inconceivable except for the separation of facts from values and knowledge from morality.”
9 – Gore — Unabomber
“The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many things against which he is helpless: nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food, environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his privacy by large organizations, and nationwide social or economic phenomena that may disrupt his way of life.”
10 – Gore — Unabomber
“Industrial society seems likely to be entering a period of severe stress, due in part to problems of human behavior and in part to economic and environmental problems.”
11 – Gore — Unabomber
“What does it say about our culture that personality is now considered a technology, a tool of the trade, not only in politics but in business and the professions? Has everyone been forced to become an actor? In sixteenth century England, actors were not allowed to be buried in the same cemeteries as ‘God-fearing folk,’ because anyone willing to manipulate his personality for the sake of artifice, even to entertain, was considered spiritually suspect.”
12 – Gore — Unabomber