rendered obsolete

A part from a passage which was written in 1990's:

In 1990, Gaylord Nelson the former senator from Wisconsin who was a prime mover behind the first Earth Day in 1970, said that environmental problems ''are a greater threat to Earth's life sustaining systems than a nuclear war.'' And in 1993 Vice President Al Gore said that the planet now was suffering ''grave and irreperable damage.'' But at least insofar as the Western World is concerned, this line of thought is an anachronism, rendered obsolete by its own success.

Why a success makes this movement ''obsolete''? Somebody said me that the accomplishments of the environmental movement have made its public pronouncements irrelevant , but how we can extract this from passage?

Thank you.
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    I guess it depends on what the word "it" refers to; "the Western World" or "this line of thought".

    If it is the former I would think that the line of thought was made obsolete because of the success of the West. In other words, if the West had not "succeeded" then people would have continued to view environmental problems as viable threats, but since the West did "succeed" there's nothing to worry about, and the "alarm" therefore belongs to the past (an anachronism).

    If it is the latter then I guess the same would sort of apply, but with the distinction that the damage warned about actually was taken care of, so current and future "alarms" aren't perceived as that, well, "alarming". I have a hard time agreeing with that though seeing that Al Gore warned about global warming, and the planet is still warming, so from that perspective we did in fact not see a change (i.e. no "success"). Unless of course "success" refers to people becoming aware of the warnings. In that case I understand and agree.

    But I'm curious to see what others think of it.
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