I think ^(link) therefore I err

Monday, April 24, 2006

Keeping up with the Environment

Well let's see here. Where to start.
Mark Steyn has a piece in the Suntimes reminding us about keeping movements alive and well. From 1940-1970 the worry was about global cooling. In 1970 it stopped cooling and started warming. Right up to 1998 when it started cooling again.
And this time the doom-mongers said, "Look, do we really want to rewrite the bumper stickers every 30 years? Let's just call it 'climate change.' That pretty much covers it."

Here's the thing. Environmentalism should be a fantastic movement. Everyone and their mother should be on board and giving money hand over fist to keep the environment healthy and beautiful. We all like clean air and clean rivers. We all like species variety and greenness vs parking lots and heat sinks from large cities. So why aren't we. Because they are, as my dad likes to say, wackos. Environmentalists can't be happy until/unless the environment itself has run people out.
Since 1970, carbon monoxide emissions in the U.S. are down 55%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Particulate emissions are down nearly 80% and sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced by half. Lead emissions have declined more than 98%. All of this has been accomplished despite a doubling of the number of cars on the road and a near-tripling of the number of miles driven, according to Steven Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute.
(ht Tim Blair)
Those are just easy numbers found from the FDA. In the real world, I can see Pikes Peak every day now vs during the 70s when it was covered with such a "brown" cloud that it only showed itself on the occasions right after a strong wind had gone through on a Saturday. That way, on Sunday when there was less driving you could sometimes see it. That happened because of the clean air act. Because of Democrats. Because of environmentalists.
There's no doubt the greens have succeeded in promoting higher environmental standards, which in turn have contributed to cleaner air, water and land almost everywhere you look. Today, game fish have returned to countless American streams and lakes, the Northeast has more forestland that at any time since the 19th century and smog is down dramatically in places like Los Angeles. But environmental activists don't want to believe their own success, much less advertise it. They need another looming catastrophe to stay relevant, not to mention to keep raising money.
If they stayed sane people like my father - who actually one day admitted to me that he appreciated the "wackos" because whatever changed, he sees bald eagles all the time now - would be more likely to be associated with the name, "environmentalist" and would more likely contribute dollars.
The environment is everyone's business. Not just liberals. The
Environmental Republican
has a link to a post today from the last time gas went up. We COULD get serious about energy needs and how it all affects the environment. But it won't happen if the environmental movement continues to treat itself like a bunch of clowns.

As a matter of fact we may come up with a new barometer for stuff. If your movement/idea/speech gets itself into a Mark Steyn column, chances are good that you look like a loon and should change.
On Europe
On Democrats
On the riots in Australian
etc etc