Ecological zealotry is an ugly sight to behold, as is all frenzy of people holding irrational beliefs; Each totally convinced of the absolute steadfastness of their pillars of truth and their unwavering determination to carry out the will of the system. Contradictions are mere misunderstandings, and alternate views are unworthy annoyances to such people. They want to be right - no matter what. Not only that, you are wrong if you are not one of them. They believe the world will be perfect when they are always right - might is right - and the rights of you to be right is wrong because they say you are wrong. But if we put aside the emotionally hypercharged and identity invested aspects of environmentalism, we can see some kernels of truth blatantly visible to all willing to take a good hard look at the obvious. And the plain truth is that the activities of man for its own gain is a fundamentally destructive process. We do destroy the Earth because we excuse the destruction. We do ruin the environment because we are individuals with our own wants and needs. We ravenously consume because we can, and we care and feel guilty, but don't want to give up what we have. It's so much easier for us to shift the blame on others and propose remedies that let us "keep our cake and eat it too". Oh, the agonizing choice between schwartzwalder and cremeschnitte! How can we ever debase ourselves to eating mere apple pies?
One of the ways of "fixing the environment" is to then reduce the destructive activities and replenish the natural habitats to offset the losses. If a tree is felled, plant three more. If a lake is drained, fill three more. If a hundred fish are caught, raise three hundred more. It is the same strategy as taking care of farm lands rather than letting them go sallow and become unusable later on. Such efforts make little economic sense in the short term but they should actually be viewed as investments instead, and perhaps as an incentive to maximize the utility of the raw goods extracted from the natural sources. And one of the ways of maximizing that utility is to recycle; And to recycle locally as a profitable business. These businesses essentially form a local primary sector economy, capable of providing materials needed by local secondary sector economies. Therefore if the structures and systems are in place to enable such a vision, then the recycling effort can actually have a positive economic impact for the local communities. We could save the environment by pursuing local business ventures, and by investing in technologies that can efficiently process and extract the wheat from the chaff. Surely this is preferable to burning hydrocarbons to transport these across the globe and burying our heads in the sand; stoutly convinced that somebody else will take care of the problem for us?
assert(q); // TODO: Verify assumption