Two writers who have been highly influential to me were Ayn Rand and Ward Churchill. If these two co-existed, they would have been at each other's throats. Ayn Rand would have called Ward Churchill a savage, and Ward Churchill would have called Ayn Rand a psychopath. However both have one major thing in common. They are life-affirming. Ward Churchill affirms life of nature that man hasn't created; and Ayn Rand affirmed life of civilization that man has. Of course there is a need for both. We see some arrangements that lack both nature and civilization, such as Brazilian farmers burning down rainforest to make ranches that turn into wasteland in two years. We see arrangements such as that of the Native Americans, where there was respect for nature but not much produced in favor of technology. We see arrangements such as many in the West, where there is civilization and no nature. And we have also seen what I regard as an optimal arrangement – having both nature and civilization at the same time. We see this with the Incas. The Incas trod lightly on nature while producing magnificent architecture and first-rate agriculture. Incan structures look like extensions upon the mountains on which the were built. Incan agriculture used terracing that prevented soil erosion. They made the most of civilization and the most of man. We are seeing some of this being re-created by environmentalism in places such as California. Now there are some who think it hypocritical for a person to value nature even as he is living prosperously; but that is entirely not the case. At fault is not technology or prosperity. At fault is wrong technology and short-sightedness that has people use wrongful technologies when there are better technologies out there. The stance of the technological environmentalism is the best one out there. Here, people provide for their needs at present or greater levels while treading lightly upon the nature that man has not created and cannot re-create. The problem is not technology and it is not capitalism. A lot of the environmental destruction is low-tech. The problem is short-sightedness and conmanship. Wrong technology got us into this mess; better technology will lead us out of it. Nor is the problem “progress.” Oil is no more progress now than horse and buggy was at the beginning of 20th century. The problem is reliance on destructive technologies when there are better technologies out there. I support both nature and civilization. There is much that is good in both worlds. We need to quantify nature in the same way as we quantify everything else. Burning rainforest should be prohibitively expensive. And better energy technologies should be put into place to provide for people's energy needs while treading lighter on nature that man has not created and cannot re-create. In this, once again, we can look back to the Incas. They were one of the most impressive civilizations ever to have graced the earth. In less than 100 years they achieved the level of development comparable to that of the Roman Empire. And they did that in a way that allowed their mountains to continue to bloom. It is time to restore the world to the same level of understanding. Keep the civilization and make it blossom through use of better technologies. And make your contribution to life a positive one all around, so that you are not destroying what you have not created and cannot re-create while also allowing the civilization to reach ever greater heights.