Sunday, December 19, 2004


First they destroyed the gasoline station, so that you have to drive miles out of your way to get gas. Then they destroyed a parking lot. Now they want to destroy a dam and a reservoir that supplies more than 2 million people with water. No, these are not al-Qaeda terrorists. These are our own home-grown fanatics -- and the places mentioned are all in Yosemite National Park. They call themselves environmentalists but a more accurate term would be green bigots. What makes someone a bigot is that he wishes to deny other people the same rights he has. That is the hallmark of the environmental zealot.

Green bigots operate internationally, just like the more famous fanatics. They are trying to stop a hydroelectric dam from being built in Uganda and they have already succeeded in getting "nature preserves" created in various parts of Africa -- which is to say, vast amounts of land where Africans are forbidden to hunt for food because the green bigots prefer keeping the land "natural."

African economist James Skikwati in Kenya put the case against affluent Western environmental extremists very plainly when he said, "wealthy countries want the Earth to be green, the underdeveloped want the Earth fed." He asked: "What gives the developed nations the right to make choices for the poor?" A hydroelectric dam in Uganda would bring electricity to millions of Africans but it would also annoy the delicate sensibilities of environmentalists in Berkeley who like waterfalls.

By and large, the green bigots use politics, nuisance lawsuits, and physical obstruction, rather than violence, but some of them do not hesitate to booby-trap trees, threatening those who cut them down with injury or death. And they use the media to spin their party line.

A recent newspaper story -- headlined "Renaissance at Yosemite" -- refers to new restrictions on people who visit Yosemite National Park, created at the urging of environmentalist groups. "The fight to get people out of cars and onto bikes and buses has been won after years of bitter wrangling," the story says. If people wanted to get out of their cars and onto bikes and buses, they could have done this at any time and without any wrangling. We are talking about green bigots forcing millions of visitors to Yosemite to do what the green bigots want, rather than what the visitors themselves want.

Such ego trips by coteries of self-exalting people are treated in the media as idealism, rather than the petty tyranny it is. Making it a hassle to drive a car in Yosemite means letting the green bigots regiment visitors in buses. Instead of going where you want to go, when you want to go there, you will go where the park bureaucracy wants to take you.

When you are in your own car, you can stop and get out to walk around when you see something you like, or just go to the bathroom when you need to. When you are regimented in buses, you can go only when and where the bus schedule permits. For young children and the elderly especially, this can turn what could be an enjoyable experience into needless stress.

The last thing you can expect to learn from most media accounts of the activities of green bigots is an account of other people's objections to their power grabs. Instead, there is a whole vocabulary of misleading words used to paper over and sugar coat the plain fact that green bigots feel entitled to impose their vision at the cost of other people's rights. Thus it is called a "renaissance" to lose your right to choose what you want to do in Yosemite. There is never a lack of excuses when people want to boss other people around. There are lots of vague and lofty words about a "fragile" or "sensitive" environment -- but ask the green bigots for concrete criteria by which we can determine whether a particular environment is or is not "fragile" or "sensitive." Then ask for hard evidence. You are not likely to get any.

The story about the "renaissance" in Yosemite speaks of the new changes as having "restored" the Merced River. I have watched the Merced River flowing and cascading through Yosemite for more than 20 years without seeing anything that needed to be "restored." Maybe honesty needs to be restored.



Comment from a reader: "After a killer shark attack off South Australia, environmentalists are opposing the government's plan to hunt and kill the maneater. Maybe they should put their convictions where its mouth is and create a human chain in the water to 'protect' the shark


An expert glaciologist concludes that big changes happen NATURALLY -- due to solar oscillations -- and that we don't know enough to do anything about it

Glaciologist Lonnie Thompson worries that he may have found clues that show history repeating itself, and if he is right, the result could have important implications to modern society. Thompson has spent his career trekking to the far corners of the world to find remote ice fields and then bring back cores drilled from their centers. Within those cores are the records of ancient climate from across the globe. From the mountains of data drawn by analyzing countless ice cores, and a meticulous review of sometimes obscure historic records, Thompson and his research team at Ohio State University are convinced that the global climate has changed dramatically. But more importantly, they believe it has happened at least once before, and the results were nearly catastrophic to emerging cultures at the time. He outlined his interpretations and fears today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

A professor of geological sciences at Ohio State and a researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center, Thompson points to markers in numerous records suggesting that the climate was altered suddenly some 5,200 years ago with severe impacts. He points to perfectly preserved plants he discovered that recently emerged from the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes as that glacier retreats. This monstrous glacier, some 551 feet (168 meters) deep, has shown an exponentially increasing rate of retreat since his first observations in 1963. The plants were carbon-dated to determine their age and tests indicated they had been buried by the ice for perhaps 5,200 years. That suggests that somehow, the climate had shifted suddenly and severely to capture the plants and preserve them until now.

In 1991, hikers found the preserved body of a man trapped in an Alpine glacier and freed as it retreated. Later tests showed that the human -- dubbed Oetzi -- became trapped and died around 5,200 years ago. Thompson points to a study of tree rings from Ireland and England that span a period of 7,000 years. The point in that record when the tree rings were narrowest -- suggesting the driest period experienced by the trees -- was approximately 5,200 years ago. He points to ice core records showing the ratio of two oxygen isotopes retrieved from the ice fields atop Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. A proxy for atmospheric temperature at the time snow fell, the records are at their lowest 5,200 years before now.

He lists the shift by the Sahara Desert from a habitable region to a barren desert; major changes in plant pollen uncovered from lakebed cores in South America, and the record lowest levels of methane retrieved from ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica and all occurred at the same time -- 5,200 years ago. ''Something happened back at this time and it was monumental,'' Thompson said. ''But it didn't seem monumental to humans then because there were only approximately 250 million people occupying the planet, compared to the 6.4 billion we now have. ''The evidence clearly points back to this point in history and to some event that occurred. It also points to similar changes occurring in today's climate as well,'' he said. ''To me, these are things we really need to be concerned about.''

The impact of a climate change of that magnitude on a modern world would be tremendous, he said. Seventy percent of the population lives in the world's tropics and major climate changes would directly impact most of them. Thompson believes that the 5,200-year old event may have been caused by a dramatic fluctuation in solar energy reaching the earth. Scientists know that a historic global cooling called the Little Ice Age, from 1450 to 1850 A.D., coincided with two periods of decreased solar activity. Evidence shows that around 5,200 years ago, solar output first dropped precipitously and then surged over a short period. It is this huge solar energy oscillation that Thompson believes may have triggered the climate change he sees in all those records. ''The climate system is remarkably sensitive to natural variability,'' he said. ''It's likely that it is equally sensitive to effects brought on by human activity, changes like increased greenhouse gases, altered land-use policies and fossil-fuel dependence. ''Any prudent person would agree that we don't yet understand the complexities with the climate system and, since we don't, we should be extremely cautious in how much we 'tweak' the system,'' he said. ''The evidence is clear that a major climate change is underway.''



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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