The piece starts thusly:
Maybe a painful confrontation with the facts of life early on makes it harder in later years to get all worked up over abstract issues that seem to preoccupy the left.
Once you have ever had to go hungry, it is hard to get worked up over the fact that some people can only afford pizza while others can afford caviar. Once you have ever had to walk to work from Harlem to a factory south of the Brooklyn Bridge, the difference between driving a Honda and driving a Lexus seems kind of petty as well.
Would a poverty-stricken peasant in Bangladesh find the difference between the average American's standard of living and that of a millionaire to be something to get excited about? If he had a choice between a certainty of getting the first and one chance in two of getting the second, would he take the risk to go for a million bucks? I doubt it.
More good stuff follows, and later in the piece Sowell talks about how easy it is to over romanticize nature when you know the vacation will end, and rescue helicopters are at the ready. When I hear someone getting over-enthused about nature, I think to myself, "Yeah, nature is my friend. It wants to starve me, dehydrate me, sting me, devour me, parasitize me, freeze me, burn me, drown me, and infect me. And those are just the things I can rattle off off the top of my head."
This is a fallen world. It has not yet been restored. There is an enmity betweeen ourselves and nature.
Genesis chapter 3, people!
I like Nature, and I am often deeply inspired by it, but I surely do not worship it! And I look forward to the time when all things will be restored, when there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth, and we can be close and trusting friends, Nature and I.