Gentry liberalism reflects the narcissistic values of successful boomers and their offspring; their politics are all about them. In the past this was tied as much to cultural issues, like gay rights (itself a noble cause) and public support for the arts. More recently, the dominant issue revolves around environmentalism… Yet in recent years, the green agenda has expanded well beyond that of the old conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt, who battled to preserve wilderness but also cared deeply about boosting productivity and living standards for the working classes… the modern environmental movement often adopts a largely misanthropic view of humans as a "cancer" that needs to be contained. By their very nature, the greens tend to regard growth as an unalloyed evil, gobbling up resources and spewing planet-heating greenhouse gases.
…For such people, the crusade against global warming makes a convenient foil in arguing against anything that might bring industrial or any other kind of middle-wage growth to the state. Greens here often speak movingly about the earth — but also about their personal redemption. They have engaged a legal and regulatory process that provides the wealthy and their progeny an opportunity to act out their desire to "make a difference" — often without real concern for the outcome.