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December 26, 2005

Good Editorial On ANWR

At the New Editor, from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

But then why would environmentalists care that locals think their ANWR claims are ridiculous? All that matters is taking a stand against the excesses of capitalism. That's because the ANWR fight isn't really about proper stewardship of nature. Instead, it is a proxy issue for environmentalists who believe that America is a rapacious, corporate-dominated menace which must be starved of any new natural resources.

This belief is fed by the endless sky-is-falling rhetoric that environmental groups use to goose their fund-raising and thus maintain their clout with Democrats.

Meanwhile, these same groups duck much more important oil-related fights, such as seeking higher miles-per-gallon requirements for new U.S. cars. Gregg Easterbook of the liberal New Republic magazine nailed this hypocrisy in a 2002 essay:

"ANWR drilling is both a pleasantly symbolic ideological issue and, since 99 percent of donors to environmental groups don't live in Alaska, can be defeated without personally affecting most environmentalists in any way. On the other hand, there are plenty of environmentalists and enviro donors who drive big SUVs. ... Had a higher MPG standard been enacted, some environmental donors might have had to make a lifestyle change rather than just demanding change from others."

Bingo!

The Washington Post and New York Times used to themselves battle against this nature-as-god silliness in the eighties, arguing in favor of oil exploration of ANWR. It's sad that smart, reasonable liberalism is no longer the fashion, at least as regards environmental issues. (For the NYT, of course, it's no longer the fashion as regards any issue.)

Meanwhile... Japan's population bomb starts its slow-motion implosion, sooner than expected.


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posted by Ace at 12:35 PM

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