A general rule is that I will tolerate any one-time hit on nature and I am in favour of technologies that create new ecologies. But I am strongly opposed to any technology that demands continuous and ongoing consumption of nature to create value.
So I am strongly in favour of deep sea mining which may destroy "fragile ecosystems" of "unique species". These mining operations will put valuable minerals into the economy which will be recycled again and again and again while the affected ecosystems will recover. And I am strongly in favour of bioremediation using mycellia, living machines, urban gardens and green roofs. In contrast, I am strongly opposed to all biofuels, biomass and solar power.
The assumption that underlies this is that nature is different from us. It should be enjoyed at a distance. We shouldn't cover ourselves in nature or ingest it for the sake of ingesting it. Magical thinkers, eco-zealots, don't grasp the concept that nature is different from us and that by consuming it we are destroying it and not "becoming a part of it".
And this eco-vampirism of the "greens" shows up all over the place. It shows up in the greens' love of solar power and their desire to put solar panels on every rooftop. They are willfully blind to the fact they would be displacing green roofs and/or the opportunity for such green roofs. It shows up in their hatred of cities despite their having far lower ecological footprints than "eco"-housing built from "renewable" resources out in the middle of a forest.
It shows up in biofuels (biodiesel, ethanol) and biomass when they seek to consume nature to put it into the gas tank. It shows up in their enthusiasm for thermal depolymerization of manure and agricultural "waste". Because of course it's preferable to consume fertilizer than to give it away for urban gardens, compost heaps and living machines.
It's part of a general trend among "greens" that denies any standing for nature separate from humans. Either humans must consume nature or, in the case of the primitivists, humans must be consumed by nature. This kind of narrow-mindedness is actually broader than the "greens" since it shows up around civil engineers considering water-use issues.
For instance, one of the techniques used to "save water" is to line canals to "reduce water losses" This is good, right? Not so. Because by lining canals you reduce aquifer replenishment. It's not as if freshwater can be lost out on a high plain. Molecules of H2O aren't going to disappear or teleport themselves to the ocean.
In general, there's no such thing as "waste" when the environment is capable of making use of the resource. The environment can't use lead so it's a waste, it can use water so it's not a waste. It can use manure therefore ... it isn't a waste. At best it is being misused. And actually, since lead is used in industry, it too cannot be considered a waste. It can only be a waste if it is removed from the economy. In other words, labelling it a waste makes it a waste.
But even if eco-vampirism isn't restricted to "greens" it is particularly galling to find it among these hypocrites who so love to uphold their "closeness to nature" as a standard even as they are consuming it. Putting up solar panels doesn't make anyone "closer to nature" by the magical Law of Similarity. And living in a concrete jungle doesn't make one's lifestyle "unsustainable". On the contrary, using less of the same resources which the biosphere uses (land, water, sunlight) by relying more on the resources it doesn't use (copper, iron, uranium) makes one more sustainable.
The basic difference between greens and rationalists is the rationalists don't need to consume, or become, nature in order to appreciate it. They can enjoy it at a distance, marvelling at its presence. Nor do they need to put it to any utilitarian purpose. But best of all, rationalists are not scarcity-minded individuals. There is plenty of energy around, nuclear energy, so we hardly need to exploit nature to get it.
Since greens are magical thinkers they do not grasp many logical connections. Such as that by more efficiently exploiting nature, they impose enormous costs on the biosphere. I do grasp it and that's why I'm against biomass and in favour of nuclear power. Because nuclear power does not displace nature and so does not compete against it. Because nuclear power stands apart from nature it also doesn't touch nature.
And that is why "tree-hugger" is the worst possible epithet for an environmentalist. A tree-hugger's compulsion to hug nature to himself is so strong he willingly crushes it. Now if only someone would pull a gun on them and yell "Sir, put your hands on top of your head and step away from that ecosystem!"