Archive for the ‘Environmentalism’ Category

I would like to reintroduce the Lesser Horned Barfing Newt, the poster animal for the not-so-cute-and-fuzzy side of the environmentalist movement!  (He’s become something of a household joke around here since his initial appearance.)

No adorable, heart-string tugging pandas here!  Yeah, sure, it’s on the verge of bankrupting hundreds of farmers because of the waters it lives in becoming protected and, thus, not available anymore for crop irrigation, but, hey, we have to save it!  And never mind that it looks and acts a heck of a lot like several other local newts, which are doing just fine, we have to save this one!  (I will gladly accept any and all donations so that I can continue to ever-so-diligently and selflessly raise awareness of the plight of the barfing newt… and maybe buy myself some extra chocolate while we’re at it.)

It just begged for an illustration.

He will show up at the top of environmentalists-behaving-badly posts from now on, because if you can’t laugh about it, you’ll cry.  And, no, he isn’t real.

What is real, however, is the environmentalist movement’s anti-people ugly underbelly. 

Those of us participating in the local prayer siege got to observe the *beautiful people* arriving for the huge new Planned Parenthood clinic’s big ribbon-cutting gala.  Valet parking, huge catering trucks, ties and dresses, etc.  (Struggling non-profit in need of government funds my… um… foot.) 

The arriving vehicles were interesting.  We saw a couple of Hummers and tons of Lexus, Mercedes, etc.; this was not your average cross-section of vehicles in our area.  What got my attention, however, was an oddly high number of “clean vehicle” license plates and hybrid cars.

As I once snarked at a left-leaning relative, “Save the baby owls, kill the baby humans, huh?”

In the years since, I’ve noted that, when they’re being honest, the environmentalist response is, “Yeah, of course.  So?”

*sigh*  Here’s your barfing newt!


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I saw several rather disturbing videos in the Glenn Beck e-newsletter.

Now, as a pro-lifer, I can’t say that the woman advocating smothering a disabled child as a kindness is much of a surprise.  Several American hospitals were investigated a while back for quietly placing disabled newborns in the back of the neonatal wards to die, often with their parents’ knowledge.  Killing the born is only the logical extension of killing the unborn; if you would have aborted the baby for the disability, it isn’t much of a jump to infanticide when you’re surprised by something diagnosed after birth.  It has been denied that that’s where abortion is leading, but it was, of course, also denied that contraception would increase infidelity (it did) or be used for anything other than the minimum responsible child spacing within marriages (yeah, right) and would have no effect on those outside of marriage (anyone believe that anymore?).

As with so much of what President Obama and his appointees have said, the woman in the video simply let the veil drop off the truth… and couldn’t comprehend why the other women on the show were horrified.  She can’t seem to comprehend how a mother could be so “uncaring” as to not smother to death a suffering child.  (Similarly, the Obama administration seems confused as to why Americans get upset about some of their appointees.  It’s like a nasty game of Duck-Duck-Goose: socialist… socialist… socialist… communist!  You’d think they’d at least have the decency to pick people who didn’t publicly espouse doctrines seeking the destruction of the U.S. as we know it.)

The second video is an ad called “No Pressure”.  Believe it or not, it’s from an enviromental group… and I wouldn’t really recommend watching it.  It’s disturbing.  The synopsis (and then you can decide if you want to watch it): teacher (properly un-put-together in a hippie/green kind of look) is rambling on about how the class needs to consider decreasing their carbon consumption and talk to their parents about it to encourage them to change, too.  “No pressure,” the teacher keeps saying.  One white-shirted student after another (British school uniforms) offers how they’re going to become more “green.”

Towards the end, the teacher takes a poll to see who’s going to take this *voluntary* project on board.  Some raise their hands with big, self-righteous grins, some raise their hands tentatively, as if they’d rather say no, but are afraid to.  Two children don’t raise their hands and are identified in front of their classmates by name: Philip and Tracy.  “Good, good!” claps the teacher.  “Oh, wait, I before you go, I just have to… um… [teacher shuffling papers on her desk] oh, here it is… I have to push this button.”  Teacher pushes big red button on her desk, and the two students who didn’t join the *voluntary* project explode.  Not in a cartoonish way, either; the remaining students are spattered with chunks of flesh and sprays of blood.

The teacher then dismisses the class with a reminder about the reading assignment, “except, Philip and Tracy, of course,” she adds with a smile, wiping a spot of blood off her cheek as the shocked students just sit there, petrified.

Following the classroom scene, there are nearly identical scenes in a workplace and a soccer field.  Finally, the voice over lady (Gillian Anderson, of X-Files fame, who I didn’t recognize) intones, “Care to join us?”  Then, we see her talking to the recording guy in the booth, who asks what she’s going to do.  She declines, saying she thought the voiceover was help enough.  “Oh.  Sure.  No pressure,” says the recording engineer, smiles, and pushes the button.  Voiceover lady explodes, and the video ends with her remains graphically sliding down the sound booth glass behind the words, “Cut your carbon by 10%.  No pressure.”

Or what?  You’ll blow us up?  Or our kids while they’re at school?  And if you don’t blow them up, you’re certainly letting us know that you’re working to turn our kids into green informants on their parents to the eco-fascist state?  This is supposed to make me follow your cause?!?  If this ad was put out by anti-environmentalists, I’d get it.  It would still be grotesque and deplorable, but at least I would understand what they were trying to say.

The spokeswoman for the environmental group who put the ad out defended it as humorous.  (They yanked it and the “making of” video, but it’s all over the web.  As one commenter pointed out, they had big names working on this and spent a considerable amount of money for a four minute video.  This wasn’t an off-the-cuff joke.)

I suppose the good news here is that the people who promote abortion as a kindness and environmentalism as a cause worth forcing down peoples’ throats have become so convinced of their coming victory and/or perfect righteousness that they aren’t cloaking things so much anymore.  “The callousness can show now, almost everyone agrees with us!  They’ll think exploding kids are funny, and it’ll remind them to bike to work and buy mercury-packed CFL’s!”

And, suddenly, more people are waking up to the realization that neither environmentalism nor abortion are kind, loving, or progressive (at least not in the “progress” sense)… nor is either movement particularly concerned about people they have no use for, which is why the movements get along so well.

“You want to get rid of more people?  Really?  So do we!  We should get together for lunch…”

(And their website comes up with a pink smiley face on the tab in the browser.  Nice.  What will you be doing Oct. 10 to help?  Maybe I’ll write a post on Chesterton’s comment about how worshiping animals (or, more broadly in the current context, the environment) usually seems to lead to human sacrifice, one way or the other.)

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Catholic Wifi Radio (who I am sorry to admit I had never heard of before) had a short article on Dale Ahlquist talking about G.K. Chesterton that linked to mine because of WordPress’s automatically generated “possibly related posts.”

One quote that particularly attracted my attention (from The Uses of Diversity, essay at the Chesterton Society):

Wherever there is animal worship, there is human sacrifice.

I have several major complaints against the environmentalist movement as it currently stands:

  • lack of logic (if the earth has changed before, it will change again; deal with the fact that it may not actually be man-made change… and that the temperatures have been dropping for the last ten years or so)
  • over-reliance on emotionalism and cute animals to sell their ideology (there’s a reason it’s a panda and not some less-cute animal (the lesser horned barfing newt?) on the World Wildlife Fund logo: pandas sell)
  • excessive focus on gigantic issues, to the detriment of local issues (forget the rainforest, could we stop throwing trash out our car windows?  Or bother to use the recycling bins?)

The worst of it, however, is the environmentalists’ emphasis on sort of an “animals are people, too” argument.  I don’t know if this is quite what Chesterton had in mind, but, baring some sort of neo-pagan revival, the environmentalist movement seems to be the center of animal worship in the Western world today.  (Apparently, ex-PETA employees told the paper that PETA is great about bringing your “canine companion” to work and other animal-friendly policies, but not so great on its people skills.  The word “abusive” got a workout in that article.)

Besides merely having poor people skills, however, the green movement is decidedly anti-people.

Not them, of course: they’re ok.  As I think Chesterton also said, although I cannot find the quote, people pushing eugenics or population reduction always seem to think that they are safe; it’s only you who’s got to go.

So, the animals stay, the people get… removed.

Which is the core reason I will never be an environmentalist: they are fundamentally anti-people.

Saying that, “No, no, we aren’t anti-people, we just want to reduce the population of the planet by a billion/two billion/down to 5 million or so…” misses the point.  How do you get the population that low?

In China, it takes the coercive and abusive One Child Policy that has given China one of the highest suicide rates in the world, predominantly women, which is very strange (generally, women attempt suicide more often, but men succeed more often).  The One Child Policy has also resulted in a gender skew: there are already 22 million men who are old enough to marry but can’t, because their would-be wives were aborted or allowed to die as infants so their parents could have another chance at birthing a boy.

In India, family planning billboards remind women that two children makes a happy, wealthy life… and three or more mean living in miserable squalor.  Really subtle, huh?

In the Phillippines, a law was defeated just a few years back (sorry, can’t find the article right now) that would’ve effectively encouraged abortions.  Families with only two or fewer children would receive tax breaks.  Children from families of more than two would be less likely to be admitted to college or other schooling.  Technically, the government wasn’t forcing people to have abortions… just promising that they would ruin your family’s current financial state and future educational opportunities if you went against the government’s will.  Thanks to heavy lobbying by grassroots organizations and the Catholic bishops, the bill was defeated.

Where do these ideas come from?  Not the environmentalists directly (usually), but from their influence.  The relentless drumbeat of “the environment is good, people are evil”, “people are a cancer on the planet”, “Mother Earth is too crowded”, “people are the reason animals go extinct”, “an endangered minnow is more important than all the farmers who depend on the water the minnow happens to live in”, etc. gets into peoples’ minds.

Soon, the economists are saying it, too.  A nice, big article in our local paper’s business section (picked up from some national source) listed the ten worst things you could do for your financial well-being.  One of them was, “Have a child.  Because if you have one, you might want another, and that would be even worse, because it costs a bijillion dollars to raise a child to eighteen…”

And so, the anti-people, anti-child mentality spreads.

I certainly wish my neighbor would stop spraying clouds of poison on her weeds on windy days (said poison then drifting across my yard).  I would prefer that we stop farming animals in such awful conditions that 80% of the antibiotics in this country are fed to healthy animals (I thought the doctors always told us to be judicious about antibiotics use, or we’d cause a super-drug-resistant virus?) and another 12% go to the sick animals.  I’d rather that we help farmers find better ways to eke a living out of a variety of fragile ecosystems instead of clear-cutting the rainforest (which has really poor soil, anyways, so the farmers have to move every few years, so it doesn’t even make much economic sense).  I wish solar panels worked well enough to be worth the investment, instead of barely paying themselves off by the time they need to be replaced.

But I will not buy those improvements by supporting a movement that pushes abortion and sterilization as “solutions” to the “plague” of humanity, or ignores the consequences of its “green” initiatives on people.  (Remember the corn riots caused by cropland going over to ethanol production, which caused corn shortages and skyrocketing prices?  Or those nasty little CFL bulbs full of mercury which are probably turning yet another couple of Chinese rivers into toxic sludge so that Americans can salve their consciences with a “green” lightbulb?)

So, I am not now and, at the rate the movement is going, will never be an environmentalist.  Maybe someday, if logic and compassion make a comeback within the green ranks, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Our local aquarium, where we are members, sends out an e-newsletter monthly.  “Interviews” with the aquarium residents, news about the whale watching season, etc.  The usual.

Today, however, I read a *fascinating* article about April, an aquarium employee who has seen what balloons do to sea turtles, which normally eat jellyfish.  Occasionally, they also eat things that look like jellyfish, like plastic shopping bags and, apparently, popped balloons.  These, as you might guess, are not good for the turtles.

April, being a concerned person, first petitioned Trader Joe’s to have a “Pop it and trash it” campaign.  Happily for April and concerned environmentalists everywhere, Trader Joe’s, after multiple customer complaints, decided to just stop giving away balloons entirely.  April described this as a “win-win” for the company and the animals.

Now, I’m a conservative, which means I try to apply logic before jumping in with both feet to “solve” problems.   Did all the dead sea turtles’ stomachs contain only Trader Joe’s balloons?  Do all loose Trader Joe’s balloons end up in the ocean?  Do most of the balloons Trader Joe’s gives away get loose at all?  I’m guessing the answers to all three questions are, “No.”

But we aren’t talking about logic, are we?  If we were, she’d have gone after Party City, which sells hundreds of balloons in every store every weekend.  But, no, she shops at Trader Joe’s, so that’s where the offense met her eyes as she contemplated the fair-trade carob chips or something… after she’d driven past hundred of other food stores to the only Trader Joe’s in our area, which is located 45.69 miles from the aquarium, where she works.  (Found out today that there is a new Trader Joe’s, in the sort of upscale shopping area closer to the aquarium.)  But, hey, if Al Gore can own multiple gigantic, energy munching mansions and jet around the world while lecturing us on our carbon footprints, then April’s cross-city trek to a specific food store is hardly an issue, right?

I’m guessing April isn’t a mom (kids cause carbon footprints, so, if she’s consistent, she won’t have kids, but the article didn’t say).

As a mom, let me point out that those balloons at the end of the shopping trip are a little bit of joy to small kids.  Now, I know that April thinks I’m too stupid to know not to let the balloons go in the parking lot, but, seriously, we try not to lose those inflated pieces of latex because the tantrum ensuing from a lost balloon is something you want to avoid.  Plus, it’s littering, and I tell my kids it’s at least very impolite to make someone else deal with your trash.  But that’s not good enough, apparently.

Yet another greener-than-thou bit of killjoy.  Yeah, great work, April.

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Exactly two months ago, I wrote a post I called “What’s Next?”  I concluded that I was pretty sure that, whatever it was, I didn’t want to know.  In the first 100 days, President Obama rammed through a number of pro-abortion efforts, insulted allies, played nice with enemies, and promised more havoc on the horizon.  Good grief, he moved so fast, we were left wondering what he could possibly jump into next.

Well, now we all know.

“What’s next?” has been answered by the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill, 1500 pages of cap-and-trade legislation passed tonight by the House.  During the campaign, President Obama promised that this kind of legislation would cause energy prices to “skyrocket”, although that apparently doesn’t bother him.  In the video clip of the pertinent interview, he has this sort of “why would that be a bad thing?” look on his face.  I’m sure parts of the environmental movement will love it; heck, parts of the environmental movement think people breathe too much air that could be used by the nice, natural animals.  Forcing people to use less resources by making them pay more for what they need is great, right?  (At least as a stop-gap until we can get rid of most people altogether.)

Except that Greenpeace (not known for being mild-mannered or wishy-washy in their environmentalism) is against this bill.  Something about it not being based on science.

Of course, as we discovered when gas prices spiked after Katrina, when energy prices go up, everything gets more expensive, since pretty much everything we eat, wear, or otherwise purchase had to be shipped from somewhere else.  Which means that the people who will really pay for this bit of pseudo-environmentalist posturing (which will largely profit big business) is the poor.  The rest of us will pay the taxes and go without vacations or new clothes; the poor will have to go without food.  Remember that “hierarchy of needs” thing they used to teach in social studies?  I seem to remember it saying something about food being basic, and lack of food rendering all higher goals (especially fuzzy ones like “saving the planet”) irrelevant.  Even if you accept the argument that the poor suffer disproportionately from pollution, cleaner air isn’t going to make up for slowly starving because they can’t afford food.

(Not that I seriously think the environmentalists care about the poor.  Or people in general.  The food riots caused by corn shortages, which were caused by cropland being shifted to corn for ethanol instead of corn for food, hardly caused any concern.  The ethanol is still mandated, because, I guess, a couple of people killing each other over a sack of cornmeal in Africa or South America is less important that the possibility of Manhattan flooding when the ice caps melt.)

Spain tried cap-and-trade.  Critics estimate that for every “green” job they created, they killed 2.2 jobs.  They have noted that the cap-and-trade program didn’t do anything for the environment, and mostly lined the pockets of those trading the pollution permits.  Spain’s unemployment rate is 18%, twice that of the rest of Europe, which has not tried cap-and-trade policies as agressively.

Australia tried cap-and-trade.  The program has been delayed, and now looks as if it’s in danger of being completely rejected in the Australian senate.  Apparently, the Aussies started looking at the actual cost of self-righteousness and decided it wasn’t worth the price tag, especially with the growing body of evidence that whatever the Earth’s climate is doing (and we aren’t even sure of that), man’s influence is dwarfed by other factors.

I would also point out that, as Obama’s would-be poster-child, Spain, is drowning under cap-and-trade, Europe in general took a strong conservative lunge in the last elections.  After decades of socialism, Europe is beginning, ever so little, to pull back from it.

But the Americans, as usual, are charging in where angels (or at least the rest of the world) fear to tread.  We are hopelessly convinced that we can do right what the rest of the world has tried and failed at.

When combined with planning, forethought, and perseverance, that can be an admirable trait.  We have done some great things that Europe dismissed as ridiculous or outright impossible, because we learned from others’ mistakes.

When we try to just plow in and do it just like it was done before, however, things tend to go very badly, just as they did before.

My main hope for my country at this point is that President Obama will so aggressively institute the entire absurd wish-list of the far left, that the country will be thoroughly disgusted with what they finally recognize as the real liberal agenda.  Maybe, just maybe, voters will realize that pretty talk about sympathy, diversity, and saving the planet is actually covering up some pretty rotten ideas and a greed for control.

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Did we do Earth Day?  Yes and no.

I’m a sort of Christian, conservative, penny-pinching type of not-quite-environmentalist.

I try to be responsible about what I do in regards to the environment, because I believe God gave man stewardship over the earth, which means we are to take good care of it, improve it, etc.  Not because I think spotted owls are more important than people.

I dry my clothes outside on a line because it means I don’t have to pay for as much electricity to run the dryer for a full cycle.  Granted, that didn’t work too well today; I had to run outside to rescue two different loads of wash from sudden showers because of erratic weather.

My kids all wore cloth diapers because plastic diapers are expensive and take forever to break down in the landfill.  (Guys, skip this parenthetical… ok, gone?… About to “go cloth” myself, for the same reasons.  Plus, plastic chaffes and some people insist that the chemicals in plastic pads exacerbate all those nasty menstrual symptoms.  See here for full instructions.  (Because, as I said, I’m a cheap environmentalist, and I won’t pay fifteen dollars and up for one of these things.))

I’m all for saving the Chesapeake Bay… because it means more blue crabs for everyone.  My all-time favorite environmental commercial opens talking about excess lawn fertilizer run-off and the negative effects on crab population.  “No crab should die like this,” says the voiceover, “They should die drenched in tasty butter!”

I view ethanol not as a cure-all, but as a stupid emotion-driven mistake.  Especially since 10% ethanol in my gas seems to have dropped my mileage by 8%.  And corn is one of the worst crops around for “organic” farming; it is very (artificial) fertilizer intensive, especially as grown by large farms.  “Eeek!  Eeek!  We must do something!  Forget research, just do something now!”  And, of course, corn for fuel meant less corn for people (and subsequent world-wide food riots), which bothers me, even if it doesn’t bother some environmentalists, who seem to think that the world would be better off without people at all.

I don’t use pesticides unless I absolutely have to because I don’t want that kind of stuff around my kids.  And, again, it’s expensive; I’d rather use my compost to try to grow healthy plants, which stand up to insects better, anyways.  Plus, I appreciate the song birds and fireflies.  If it comes down to the birds or my kids, however, kids win.

I don’t do organic, because it often doesn’t mean much, since the terms are not regulated in all sectors of farming.  But I do keep a vegetable garden; I can verify what I did to the plants!  I’m trying to be better about keeping it all under cultivation this year, instead of giving up on sections when it gets too hot.


I would love to have solar panels, but I won’t pay tens of thousands of dollars for something that won’t cover all of my electrical needs.  Now, one of the reasons I’d love to have them is for when the electrical grid goes out (around here, normally because of hurricanes).

On another in-case-of-hurricanes-or-end-of-society-as-we-know-it, we did build a solar oven.

Ta da!  (photo taken before last reflective panel inside the box was done, since that was middle child’s panel, and doing it without his assistance would result in a disappointed fit)


One old moving box from the far corner of the attic, some tin foil, a pyrex bowl, and a Paula Dean cast iron casserole (on sale at a local close-out chain because of the close-out of Linens-N-Things, which carried her stuff).  I wanted a cast iron casserole for camping cooking, anyways, and I already had everything else around the house.

I’ll update this tomorrow after we get to test it (it was too stormy today).  The kids think it’s kinda weird.  I don’t think they actually believe it will cook anything.  They’re lobbying heavily for the test recipe being brownies.  I’m thinking this might be a great way to force myself to actually think about dinner ahead of time, avoiding that four o’clock panic of, “Oops!  What the heck can I whip up for dinner?!?”

The theory is, you put the solar oven in the sun, the pyrex bowl helps insulate the cast iron casserole, and all those tinfoil panels focus the sun on the pot (the front flap will be adjusted to focus the sun).  This is a very simple one; most seem to be a more complex shape.  I first heard of solar ovens in connection with charity work in Africa, where, of course wood for fuel is both in desperately short supply and going out of town or the refugee camp to find it can get you killed.  With these ovens, made with whatever is on hand, women don’t have to risk going out to find wood.  They can also be used to pasteurize water, another advantage in areas of Africa that don’t have safe drinking water.

So, it’s kind of a saving energy, don’t want the oven on in the summertime, hey kids you should appreciate how hard things are in Africa and other war-torn areas, maybe we’ll take it camping, darn it I’m going to cook brownies next hurricane just because I can (it’s usually nice and sunny after the hurricane blows through), gee I want to see this thing work sort of project.

As for Earth Day, I wouldn’t go near most of the usual end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stuff.  I don’t think we should tank the economy (further) for alleged human-caused climate change.  Saving spotted owls and the rainforest is great, but we have to find ways for humans and animals to share space, not just ways to remove people from the environment.  I love recycling and pestered people at the Academy to put their cans in the recycling bin instead of the trash, but I think we’ve lost view of the idea that you’re supposed to do something with the cans after they make it into the bin (i.e. not send them to the trash heap, which is what often happens when the disposal company can’t sell them).

And, above all, I do not see nature as an end in itself.  People are an end in themselves.  Nature is something we should treasure and appreciate, but not worship.

I have a religion, thanks.  I don’t worship the earth or anything on it.  I worship the Creator.

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