A post was made recently on the Heritage Foundation’s blog The Foundry entitled “6 Environmental Truths the Left Conveniently Ignores.”
I was keyed up. What are these truths and why would the so-called “left” ignore them if they were truths?
First, “Human freedom and prosperity lead to environmental success.” What does that even mean? Human freedom…which ones and measured how? Remember, the intellectual love child of Jim DeMint…er, the Heritage Foundation is anti-choice when it comes to things that they disagree with. This is all about human freedom as long as you agree with the position. Usually missionary and definitely not with another man.
Second, “We’re not running out of resources.” I do not know of a single person in the environmental community who say that we are running out of resources, in general. In terms of specific resources there is no doubt that an increasing population will increase demand to such a point that prices will be sky high. That’s just high school economics. I think it was the first lesson called supply versus demand, but I might have fallen asleep.
The discussion about resources usually revolves around oil and other fossil fuels. It’s also an argument that is more nuanced than “running out” of stuff. With regard to oil the argument is generally about the availability of easily extracted crude. Sure, you can squeeze oil from a rock but that is less economically ideal than sticking a straw in some Middle Eastern sandbox.
Third, “The quality of our air is cleaner and safer.” Yes, it is. Because of regulations stemming from legislation like the Clean Air Act. The Heritage Foundation likes to cite the improvement since 1980—you know, because Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 and nothing existed before Saint Reagan—but the progress actually started when the Clean Air Act was signed into law in 1970.
What would the air look like without regulation and government oversight? Kind of like China’s:
Fourth, “Although tough to measure, water quality is also improving.” Yes, because of the Clean Water Act and other initiatives to make the water cleaner. It’s not magic. It’s not the free marker. It’s not right wing ideology. It’s also true that in some communities the water has gotten worse because of oil spills, fracking fluid, drought, and the toxic sludge left over when Mitt Romney washes the product out of his hair.
Fifth, “The government owns more land than it can manage.” The Sagebrush Rebellion is just a nice right-wing trope that will refuse to die. Too bad Cliven Bundy turned out to be a racist clown and his militia buddies were not much more than fame whores masquerading as patriots.
Why would the private sector manage this land any better than the BLM or the states? It would not. The management of this land is not just about the extraction of resources. It is about maintaining a resource for all of the American people. It is our children’s inheritance.
Finally, “Thanks in part to the big successes made in other areas of the environment, the environmental pressure groups have pitched global warming as the next great environmental issue of the day.” No, global warming and the attendant climate change are the next big issue because it literally impacts the future of life on this planet as we know it. Simple.
So, this was just a rehashed list of right wing talking points about stuff they dislike framed in a way to sound like left leaning environmentalists were asking for too much. Yeah, because asking for clean air, clean water, and a future for our shared planet is a lot to ask for. I hope this kind of shrill writing is the death rattle of the extreme right wing as it rides a demographic time bomb into the sunset of relevance.
I did like the caveman cartoon to lead things off. Nothing says hard hitting political commentary like a half-assed editorial cartoon.