I’m a somewhat contrary person. (Right now, those who know me well are probably off laughing hysterically somewhere at my understatement.) Because the environmentalists are pushing so hard, from Al Gore on down, my instinct is to push right back. Pushing back makes me sound as if I don’t care about the environment, but that’s untrue. I like a healthy environment, whether it’s clean air, potable water, or abundant wildlife. The environment matters to me.
Some environmentalist initiatives are fine. Just as women’s hats were perfectly good without egret feathers, so too is it pretty unnecessary for women to wear baby seal fur or for someone to have a genuine ivory pendant. Giving up decadent fashion statements shouldn’t ever be a problem. My multiculturalist chops, never very strong to begin with, also fail me entirely when I contemplate all the Asian men chomping away at the tusks and testicles of various exotic animals in a superstition-driven quest to further their own libidinous desires.
My problem is with the thoughtless, hysterical, emotion-driven initiatives that seem to be concerned with punishing humans than with helping animals. The most recent example of this knee-jerk environmentalist destruction took place in Australia. Someone took a video showing the horrible conditions Australian cattle experienced in an Indonesia abattoir. That is a terrible thing. Although I’m a carnivore, I vastly prefer meat that is humanely raised and humanely slaughtered.
Once the video went public in Australia, the subsequent outcry from the environmentalist/animals rights crowd resulted in immediate government action banning all meat sales to Indonesia. Apparently no one thought to examine the whole baby – bathwater principle.
Yes, the cattle were spared the cruelty that was inflicted on them at some (not all, but some) Indonesian slaughterhouses. However, there were two obvious consequences for anyone paying attention. First, the Indonesians simply looked to a different marketplace, so that the ban had no impact whatsoever on the poor cattle in Indonesia. Second, Australia suddenly had a surplus of cattle, and cattle ranchers without a marketplace or income. In the short term, prices dropped. The long term prognosis, though, was that ranchers were heading for bankruptcy, which meant no one to care for all those poor beasties. Uncared for beasties die miserably from starvation or dehydration, or they’re shot to put them out of their misery. Way to go, environmentalists!
Just today, faced with the threat of its own ranchers slaughtering thousands of cattle, Australia rescinded its ban on exporting the meat to Indonesia. Instead, the government is doing what it should have done to begin with, which is to put some systems in place to protect the exported animals.
The Australian cattle story is not an isolated one. Thanks to AlBore, corn crops that could have been used to feed animals (which feed people) or to feed people directly, have been diverted to ethanol. Now even AlBore has conceded that ethanol, especially heavily subsidized ethanol, was a mistake. Ethanol is also an environmental disaster, sucking up fossil fuels to produce lesser amounts of ethanol. So the greenies had us spending bazillions of dollars on a quixotic environmental adventure that starves people and animals, uses up otherwise arable land, and consumes more fossil fuel than it produces.
And think about all those electric cars that are going to save the environment. Except they’re not. A recent study revealed the ugly truth, which is that it takes such enormous amounts of resources to produce electric cards that the average driver cannot put enough mileage on the car, before the car wears out, to offset that energy. Another environmentalist dream out the window.
None of the above is to say that future electric cars or future alternative fuels won’t be useful and help the environment. It is to say, though, that you can invariably trust environmentalists to go off half-cocked and scream so loudly that ill-informed politicians leap on unstable, unsustainable bandwagons without a second thought, all at great expense to consumers and the environment.
I also have a problem with environmentalist’s hostility to humans. Sometimes they frame it in terms of protecting little lizards or owls, and sometimes they just come out and say that people should be downsized altogether. Of course, that’s just for the hoi polloi. The environmentalists obviously don’t ever consider doing away with themselves, and the famous ones are pretty sure that they still have breeding rights.
So I love the environment; it’s the environmentalists I hate.
Cross-posted at Bookworm Room