Thursday, December 02, 2004

Environmentalist Two-step

My political and social philosophy is what is commonly known these days as conservative. It goes without saying (or it should) that this is not absolute and I never agree fully with all conservatives, but agree with most things they espouse.
However there was a time when my views were far more liberal and I was much more likely to vote for a Democrat than a Republican, when I was a member of one or more green-type clubs and organizations. I was even a member of the Young Democrats when I was in college.
A number of things have influenced my opinion over the years. Mostly I would say I just grew up, but getting married, having kids and accepting Christ as my lord and savior had much to do with it.
Working for a timber management company certainly has enabled me to view the other side of things as well.

Now, I have not renounced all of my environmentalist ways. I don't think that I'm anywhere near alone among conservatives when I say that I do care about the environment, recycle regularly (in fact I get pretty uptight when I can't find an appropriate recepticle for cans or paper around) and try not to be wasteful. I enjoy the federal forest and park lands and am glad that there are places where I can walk for 10 hours and not see a single other person.

Which is why many serious environmentalists truly drop the ball and set the whole movement backwards when they use junk science to promote some pet peeve they have. If you think belief in Jesus Christ as God is a stretch, you need to understand that some of the things in the environmentalists' dogma is based on pure faith in the unknown, because the science is just not there.
This happens even on issues that are legitimate, but are handled by the environ community so badly that many people have a hard time accepting anything they say.

It's even harder to move the beaurocracy when real science is involved because the faithful are blind to reason. For example, we have terrible trouble with the State of Washington DNR on the issue of Spotted owls. It is incredibly hard to de-list an owl location on your industrial forest land, even if the owl has not been anywhere near there in years. The Spotted owl in on the decline in Washington, but not because of people. The Barred Owl is moving into Washington from Canada and driving the Spotted owls out, but the DNR refuses to recognize this and instead is pushing for tougher regulations. This is a natural extinction folks.

Anyway, all this came up in my head because of an post that RoguePundit wrote after reading an issue of National Wildlife magazine recently. He is upset by the overtly political nature and bad scientific support of the material these days, as opposed to its roots of, as he puts it, "oustanding efforts that allow one to revel in the beauty and intricacy of nature." The Rogue Pundit critisizes 5 articles in one issue.
This is consistent with material I see from the Audobon society and other big environmental organizations. I once poked through a book published by the Audobon showing large pictures of the ravages of clearcutting in California. I happened to be sitting next to a forester who had worked in California and recognized some of the pictured areas. Many of the cleared areas being used as examples in the book were actually fire ravaged or happened to be natural clearings in the forest. It occurs to me that urban environmentalists probably don't have very good aerial photo skills regarding terreign they don't spend that much time in.

I honestly worry about the state of the environment all the time. But I can't trust those who pop themselves out of a truffula tree and call themselves Lorax until their use of science to back up their positions comes back into the realm of responsability.

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