True environmentalists vs. the enviro-nuts
Recently, a gentle reader objected to my use of the term: enviro-nut. So, maybe it is time to explain the difference between the true environmentalist/conservationists and the environ-nuts whom I consider misguided at best and, probably, insane.
One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. By that definition, those who think “conservation” and a timely discovery of an alternative to fossil fuels are going to solve our current energy problems are insane. From October, 1973, when OPEC cut off oil to the U.S. for our support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War, we have tried conservation and we have sought alternatives to fossil fuels. Result? We are dependent on foreign oil – more than ever.
We cannot “conserve” our way to independence from foreign oil and we have yet to invent that slam-dunk practical, affordable and environmentally sound alternative to fossil fuels. To think that we can is, well… insane or nuts. Ergo: environ-nuts.
That understood, what can be done, energy-wise, by people whom your humble observer considers true environmentalists and conservationists? And then, how do we distinguish them from the enviro-nuts?
Let’s start with the environmentalist/conservationists who live in mountain and/or rural America: They put high R-factor insulation and low-E windows in their homes. They have their own wells and environmentally friendly septic systems that do not pollute surface or ground water. They harvest dead wood on their land and burn it for heat. They plant new trees. They turn off their heating system before Memorial Day and don’t start it again until the first snows in mid-October. They have no central air-conditioning. If they get cold, they don vests and jackets. If they get too hot, they open the windows and use ceiling fans. They support hunters who only take game to feed themselves and their families. They drive the smallest vehicles capable of dealing with winter snows and with muddy roads in summer. They keep their vehicles serviced to reduce pollution. They pick up litter. They sail rather than motorboat. They cross-country ski. They catch and release fish. They support reform of the Endangered Species Act so it actually saves species rather than provokes their destruction by landowners desperate to save their land from government confiscation. The list goes on ….
Now, let’s turn to the enviro-nuts. One time your humble correspondent attended a professional football game in the Los Angeles Coliseum. My host and I parked in a pay lot about a mile away and walked. As we arrived, I noticed a line of limousines virtually bumper-to-bumper circling the Coliseum in a slow procession. I asked my host for an explanation. He said, “Oh, those limousines drop off the Hollywood glitterati and then, to keep the police happy, the limo drivers slowly circle the Coliseum until the game is over and then they pick up their ‘masters’ and take them back to Brentwood or Malibu or wherever.”
That was an eye-opener and has ever since informed this observer when I see some of the biggest names in Hollywood oppose near-term solutions to our energy crisis such as: opening those measly 2,200 acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, opening more waters for off-shore drilling for oil and gas, the construction of more oil-refining facilities, the increased use of nuclear power, the harvesting of wooden deadfall in time for it to have commercial value such as processing it into environmentally-friendly wood pellets. They even oppose more windmills because they kill the birds stupid enough to fly into them. Hello. That’s Darwin at work.
In short, the enviro-nuts oppose any steps to make better use of our domestic fossil fuels because -- while their gas-guzzling limousines circle the Coliseum -- they want you and me to “conserve” and to be better stewards of our natural resources. What a bunch of male bovine excreta
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.