On Election Day 2004, I had the pleasure of discussing the day’s events with a young and forthright Kerry supporter. I mean this with sincerity. Too many consider politics a sport of bickering, most recently exemplified by the two stabbing fights between Obama and Clinton supporters. Such people deprive themselves of the opportunity to share ideas and to positively influence others. And while there’s precious little you can do to stop a shrieking, hollering, insane lunatic who’s screaming at you because you disagree over the color of George Washington’s white horse, exchanging viewpoints with a sensible person who has a different view, even if it’s due to them being unaware of certain facts, can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, whether it be a thought provoking one, or simply a teaching one.
The young man in question wanted to discuss any and every issue. He challenged me to pick any issue and debate whether the candidate I supported, George W. Bush, had a better position on it than the candidate of his choice, Senator Kerry. I picked the economy and terrorism, but before I could get anything out of my mouth he said “let’s start with the environment.” (His jumping the gun and rescinding the offer that I choose the topic was the only negative part of the conversation. Well, that and his campaign buddies cutting the conversation short, but those were minor issues and were to be expected. After all, he was a Kerry supporter J ).
My response to him was that President Bush was better on this issue as well, for two reasons. One, Kerry’s proposals called for heavy regulation and large scale economic interference. They would turn the public off of anything environmental for good, even needed measures like reforestation and inner city pollution/smog control. The second reason was a simpler one. Namely, that detonated nukes are bad for the environment too. (I know, there is no terrorist threat anywhere. We don’t need to protect ourselves. “Republicans are our only enemies.” But reality begs to differ).
The second reason speaks for itself. However, the first reason needs further examination as the problem that it points to goes well beyond John Kerry. It goes to the profound damage that environmentalist groups are doing and have done to a cause they purport to uphold so vociferously. Simply put, no one is doing as much damage to the environment as the environmentalists themselves.
This is no laughing matter. Conservatives and liberals agree on the need for clean air, healthy living and protection of our natural resources. Where many part ways is in strict adherence to fact. Conservatives demand nothing less, and sadly, the environmental movement has a terrible track record in this regard. In fact, due to the exaggerations and overbearing practices on the part of environmentalist leaders, the entire cause of environmentalism is about to be turned into a laughingstock.
I’m not just referring to activists’ always changing/never stopping thermostat, the one that goes from global warming to global cooling, back to global warming and so on every thirty years. That, in and of itself, wouldn’t be enough to brand the entire movement with the “Sheep Activists Who Cried Wolf” label. Not even their latest attempt to change the public conversation from global “warming,” to “something’s going on with the weather,” would so disgrace their entire movement, even though their argument is an effective admission that the warming theory they’ve spouted for decades as fact, while branding all who dared to question as imbeciles or worse, was in error.
But when they silence all critics, refusing to report any of over a hundred studies challenging their myths, when they refuse to report that while one Arctic icecap is melting, three or four are solidifying, they lose credibility. They lose even more when they ignore a prominent study that shows a global cooling trend that started in 1998 (see recording of official global temperatures by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia), caused by natural weather cycles. Their loss is sealed when they promote films like An Inconvenient Truth as unvarnished and indisputable fact, despite it being the subject of a British court order mandating a teacher’s disclaimer prior to all classroom viewings that points out 9 scientific inaccuracies in the film. Moreover, when prominent members of the environmental movement, such as RFK Jr. compare those who challenge their unsubstantiated version of environmental pseudo-science to fascists, you know that you’re smelling what’s left of the remains of an organically decomposing rat.
It doesn’t stop there. To paraphrase one of the two Democratic candidates for president who are currently ripping each other apart limb by limb, “we’re just getting started.” Beyond the lack of real scientific interest and the vilification of all who dare to examine facts, beyond the careless rhetoric of David Suzuki, other “scientists” and their supporters, the environmental movement is doing irreparable damage to itself and to its cause.
That’s what happens when environmentalists mandate the replacement of Edison’s incandescent light bulb with a tiresome contraption that if broken releases a toxic amount of mercury in your home. And that’s leaving out the fact that prolonged exposure to fluorescent light bulbs have in some cases been shown to affect the nervous system (I’d joke that this may be the reason for the jeering attitude of the environmental leaders, except this is no laughing matter). When environmentalists ban clearing of underbrush in California, leading to uncontrollable forest fires near densely populated areas, when they ban prudent tree cutting in other states that would serve to prevent forest fires and when they stop any oil refinery from being built in North America for 30 years, leading to our continent to be the only one on the globe not producing more oil since 2002 (save Antarctica), they damage their movement irreparably. And it’s a shame, because clean air, smog reduction and reforestation are all worthy and needed projects. Yet they will all fall victim to the fanatics who cried “warmth.”
So why do they do this? Why would seemingly passionate and concerned environmentalists risk alienating the public from their cause? Why can’t they focus on those environmental issues we can all agree upon? The answer lies in what the real goal of their leaders is, and surprisingly, or perhaps not, it has little to do with the environment.
Now, before I continue, let me state clearly that I’m not referring to grassroots activists or other environmental believers. They’ve been sold a story and they sincerely believe that they’re doing the right thing. I would only ask of them that they carefully examine the facts and then form a position on the issue. But when I say that there is an ulterior agenda, I’m referring solely to the movement’s leaders.
The true agenda of environmental leaders can be seen by their actions. Take Canada for example, a country in which environmentalists have greater support than almost any other. A leading environmentalist non-profit hosted a derogatory picture of the country’s Conservative Prime Minister on its website while boosting the Liberal leader on the same page. And this would make sense, albeit contrary to the mission of a non-profit, which must stay apolitical, had the Conservatives opposed environmental legislation. But they didn’t. In fact, they enacted tougher environmental standards than their Liberal predecessors, who signed the Kyoto treaty but then proceeded to ignore every single target. Yet for some reason almost all environmental groups in Canada saw fit to favor the empty platitudes of the Liberals over the concrete and more far reaching action of the Conservatives.
More telling still is that Canada’s environmentalist leaders now admit that the political leader who did the most for their supposed cause was Brian Mulroney, the Conservative Prime Minister of the country during the 1980s and early 90s. They say this now, when saying so is irrelevant. Back when it counted they fought him, backing his less committed but more liberal opponents. This is all too similar to what environmentalists did here in the US with Kyoto. When President Clinton wanted to sign the treaty, the Senate voted it down unanimously. Not a single Democrat voted to uphold it (and it wouldn’t be surprising if this was done partly at Clinton’s request, so that he could claim to support the treaty abroad without actually letting the disaster pass at home). Yet as soon as President Bush took office, almost all Democrats jumped ship in an effort to paint him as anti-environment for not agreeing to the monstrosity.
The leaders of the environmental movement routinely spout anti-free market rhetoric. Their most favored piece of proposed legislation is a global carbon tax or something of that nature with the same results, to be administered by the UN. If they were truly concerned about raising environmental awareness they would have thought long and hard before they imposed so many intrusive regulations that are of little or no actual environmental benefit. They would have thought twice before they introduced their planned banning of incandescent light bulbs. If they cared for the cause, they wouldn’t ridicule their opponents or seek to squelch scientific findings from the public, because they know that the truth eventually does come out and that their actions would cause a backlash.
So what group would wreak havoc in an all out attempt to impose their agenda, even if it risks alienating people from needed environmental projects? Global redistributionists would. Their agenda is clear and it has nothing to do with the environment.