This a macro perspective on conservation over potential development - elites suggesting that there should be no more growth on the back of environmentally unfriendly excess. There is a micro view as well, recently discussed by Steyn and others over at NRO. This is not elites of the world telling entire countries how they should live, it's elites of the US telling less fortunate Americans how they should live.
The best example is Al Gore, he of the 10,000 sq ft mansion in Nashville, telling Americans that we only have X number of months to save the world. As far as I know, there only two Gores left at the family home - Al and Tipper. Their children are all grown. Why do they need 10,000 ft for 2 people?
There is another example, brought to the fore by Steyn and Greg Pollowitz. That is of Thomas Friedman who has said the following things about environmentalism:
- Henceforth, every investment decision made in America — about how homes are built, products manufactured or electricity generated — will look for the least-cost low-carbon option. And weaving carbon emissions into every business decision will drive innovation and deployment of clean technologies to a whole new level and make energy efficiency much more affordable.
- How could Republicans become so anti-environment, just when the country is going green?
- You want to make a difference? Then get out of Facebook and into somebody’s face. Get a million people on the Washington Mall calling for a price on carbon.
- What I've been trying to do in this book [Hot, Flat, and Crowded] is to rename green as geopolitical, geostrategic, geo-economic, capitalistic, patriotic.
- There won't be such a thing as a "green home," there will just be a home, and you will not be able to build it unless it is at the highest standards of green energy, efficiency and sustainability.
Update: Here's a nice overhead shot:
What kind of environmental impact is there from maintaining that palatial landscape?
By the way, Friedman has two adult daughters now. One would expect it's about time for him and his wife to downsize and become more patriotic because, as you may know, he likes to say "green is the new red, white and blue".