Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Abolishing Human Development

I'm embarrassed to report that the editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal have got the goods on me and mine:

[W]hat can one conclude from environmentalists' insistence that coal be removed from the country's energy portfolio? That their focus has moved from reducing pollution to abolishing human development and prosperity.
This is one of my favorite denialist fairy tales: Once upon a time, environmentalists were reasonable people who simply sought to make this country a happier, healthier place. But now, sad to say, they've all turned into dirty fucking hippies who hate prosperity.

Naturally, this drastic change comes as quite a shock to the RJ, despite the fact that it's been a conservatarian article of faith for years. I can't recall when I first saw this tactic used; it must've been at least two decades ago. Since then, I've been alerted hundreds of times to the overnight transformation of the environmental movement from a well-meaning group of seal fanciers to a force for anarchy, poverty, and chaos that won't rest until we're all shivering in the darkness.

Despite hating prosperity and all its good works, environmentalists are also well-connected moneygrubbers, with a staff of "well-paid lawyers" who delight in terrorizing the defenseless fossil-fuel industry. Who can doubt that when America falls, these opportunists will land on their feet? Once the collapse comes, and we're reduced to living in caves and trees, we're sure to find that the Sierra Club has cornered the market in clay and wattles; unless you want your rosy-haired, golden-cheeked children to run around as naked as jaybirds, you'll have to pay your Green Overlords as many cowrie shells as they ask.

The editors aren't provincials by any means; they're worried about all of us. Still and all, there's no harm in using plucky little Nevada as an example of the deadly peril we face:
Nevada's demand for electricity has grown 230 percent faster than the rest of the country, and is expected to double in less than a decade.
You can see the bind they're in, sitting out there in the sun-scorched desert, with the hard-earned money of hapless gamblers piling up in their coffers. Do you have any idea how much coal it takes to power a single hotel like the Rio? If you did, you'd stop worrying about Appalachian mountaintop removal, and start worrying about how much air conditioning it takes to keep Penn Jillette from cooking down into six cubic yards of reeking fat.

Not that it matters or anything, but the Review Journal is owned by The Stephens Group, which has made extensive investments in fossil fuels, and has been accused of far worse things than that.


Anonymous said...

i am sad to report that my otherwise marginally reasonable republican pa-in-law is of this particular school of thought. he all but mutters "damn environmentalists" when it rains, or his favorite football team loses. but then, he also thinks that efforts to prosecute torturers is a waste of taxpayer money.....

okay, i take it back. i love pa-in-law, but in all things political, he is a four-square, five-star idiot.

roger said...

it's a setup for blaming the dirty hippies when the economy falls into a depression and the skies are full of coal dust. it's bankrupt the country and blame the next president on a bigger scale. we all see what's coming so let's lay the groundwork for blaming someone else.