Yes, which is the Captain Planet view of environmentalism.One of the big things about defilers was that anyone with talent could cast as a preserver. So defiling was a choice to gain, initially, a small bit more power than other mages. The act of doing it at low levels was like burning fields of grass or a tree just because you could. If it's all black and white anyone does it and their wrong you lose a lot of the original flavor of magic.
And how much more delicious would that be if preservers were so hated despite the fact that they’re willingly giving up power to fight that good fight? Not only are they using magic for good, they’re taking a hit to be able to do so. And the thanks they get for it is that everyone assumes they’re just as evil as every other spellcaster. How tempting would it be to become the monster they think you are (all in service to the Good Fight, of course! You swear, you’ll stop defiling for good just as soon as you’ve defeated those bad Defilers!)one of the most fun things for me as a DM was everyone hates mages even preservers who are fighting the good fight. that drove lots of story lines and hooks.