The "environment" has long been an issue fraught with angst for me. Everyone wants to do the right thing for the environment. If you are an environmentalist you can hang with the cool crowd, you get to feel self righteous, and you can yell at other people because you are not out for yourself! You're only thinking of the children!
I used to be an environmentalist. I remember meeting at the home of a woman I didn't know (this was when I lived in Plant City, Florida), gathered with a group of women who were concerned about the planet. We were kicking around ideas for projects that we could start at a grassroots level. I felt pretty good as I sat there. Surrounded by women who were obviously very savvy, very aware, very concerned. Exactly the way I wanted to be (the way I saw myself, if I'm being honest). Heck, I love trees. I'm grateful for clean air, for safe water, for the birds in my backyard. Who isn't?
The first chink in my environmentalist armor came when I went to work for a recycling company. Our focus was on fluorescent light bulbs. You know -- those things that we're all going to be forced to have in our homes thanks to Congress essentially outlawing the beautiful incandescent bulbs that we all grew up with? Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury which is dangerous if it gets inside of you or seeps into drinking water (where it can get inside of you). We went around to businesses (like grocery stores) and picked up the bulbs that they were required by law to recycle. We had a HUGE room that contained a HUGE machine into which a worker would feed the spent bulbs. The machine would crush the bulbs in a contained unit, extract the mercury, and magically separate the other components. If you worked in the back by the machine you had to have blood tests regularly because even though the machine kept the mercury separate things have a way of not working exactly as advertised. If the blood test showed unacceptable levels of mercury, you had to work in the office until your body could get all of that nastiness out of your system.
(Now, of course, we will all be using fluorescent bulbs and almost none of them will be recycled. So the mercury will be free to settle into landfills (or to be in the air you breathe if a bulb breaks in your house). Smart move, Congress.)
We also picked up paper for recycling. Truckloads of undeliverable junk mail from the post office. Business trash. Old newspapers. You name it, we had it. Our intent was to sell paper to manufacturers where they would recycle it into new paper. Only...sometimes it would rain and the rain would make the paper wet and nobody will buy wet paper. Not because it's wet, exactly (the recycling process involves plenty of water), but because paper is sold by the pound and wet paper is HEAVY. So the "recycled" paper would end up in the dump.
Over the years so many cracks have appeared in the environmental movement that any pretense I ever had about being an environmentalist is completely gone. I love creation. It's one of God's great gifts to us and I firmly believe that we are to honor this gift and husband it wisely. But I will not call myself an environmentalist because I believe the term has been corrupted by politics.
I'm not going to rehash the global warming insanity here. There's plenty to rehash, though, as I'm sure you know. Today's rant is being sponsored by ethanol subsidies.
The whole ethanol business was a scam from the get-go. Ethanol contains less energy than gasoline and takes more energy to create (by a lot). Al Gore has come out against ethanol subsidies, but here is the point which reinforces my anti-environmentalist stance: he admits that he was for them in the first place because he wanted to pander to farmers when he was running for office.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what is wrong with the environmental movement. It's NOT selfless, it's NOT scientific, it's NOT about what is best for the planet. It's about getting a piece of the pie, about profits, about power, and in extreme cases it's about pushing an anti-human agenda.
I'm not going to bother explaining all of this when Ed Morrissey does a dandy job of it. Click on this link and read all about it.
The bottom line is that I don't trust anybody who cloaks himself in the mantle of environmentalism. Gore won a Nobel prize based on "science" that has been debunked up one side and down the other. I would absolutely LOVE for someone to rise up and speak truthfully and reasonably, but I don't know who that is. Until I do, I'm not an environmentalist.