Questioning the Ethics of Environmentalist Legislation

Without focusing on the causes and consequences of “accelerated climate change”, which is a linguistic suggestion to move away from the redundancy of speaking of “climate change” when climate is inherently change-based, there seems to be an ethical dilemma with the idea of promoting environmentalist legislation on a global scale.

Let me here coin, and subsequently use, the term “white-line” as a means to designate a point in which the western world, hence the “white” part which I fear will be seen as race-baiting despite my intentions, decides to stop its engagement in a specific type of behavior based, partially, on the questionable ethics of said behavior. At this point, the western world then draws a “white-line” which celebrates its ethical elevation and prevents any other nation in the world from reverting beyond that white -line by engaging in these now unethical behaviors. This has happened time and time again from slavery, to child-labor or the treatment of women.

Therefore, if we were to successfully implement environmentalist legislation on a global scale would we once again be drawing a white-line which would prevent emerging nations still attempting to catch up to the wealth which the western world acquired through industrialization from doing so?


Ironically one of the ideas through which I see this question answered is one which would sound quite out of place coming from the average environmentalist and that is the idea of American exceptionalism; or at least the idea that those who “grow” faster, ethically speaking I suppose, have a duty to raise the bar on a global scale.