Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: No man's land -
Posted on 06/23/2007 11:37:25 AM PDT by UnklGene
Mark Steyn: No Man's Land -
The trouble with environmental visions of a greener future is that we don't get to stick around to enjoy it
Mark Steyn - June 18, 2007
In St. Albans, Vermont, just south of the Quebec border, I happened to find myself behind a car bearing the bumper sticker "TO SAVE A TREE REMOVE A BUSH." Bush, geddit? As in George W. of that ilk.
It seemed a curious priority considering that, at that point, on all sides, east, west, north, south, there was nothing to see but trees. Hemlock, birch, maple, you name it, Vermont's full of it. The state is more forested than it was a century ago, or two centuries ago. It's on every measure other than tree cover that Vermont has problems. It's a beautiful state to drive through--picture-postcard New England town commons with clapboard churches and grade schools--until you pull over and realize the grade schools are half empty. I used to joke that Vermont was America's leading Canadian province, but in fact it's worse than that: demographically speaking, the Green Mountain State qualifies for membership in the European Union. It has the lowest birthrate of any American state. The number of 20 to 34-year-olds in Vermont has fallen by 20 per cent since 1990. Some schools have seen student populations fall by a third since 2000. Vermont's family tree is all tree and no families.
So how are the legislature and the governor dealing with their lack of human resources? Vermont already has the highest tax burden of any state, but that's no reason not to regulate even more of the economy into the ground. They've just introduced a law forbidding school buses from running their engines while waiting for children to board. With student enrolments plummeting, that would seem to be one of the few problems not requiring urgent action. But, as Governor Douglas (a Republican) boasted, "This is a great step forward for our state." Great for the environment, fuel conservation, all the good stuff. The wheels are coming off the Vermont bus, but at least its engine won't be idling as the thing falls apart.
The contrast between our solicitude to "the earth's resources" and our carelessness about human resources grows ever sharper. North of the border, we are blessed with the sage of sages, David Suzuki, who offered us his thoughts in a column called "Climate Change Myths Debunked." It wasn't the most helpful headline: the "myths" referred to were not the scaremongering of the Suzuki crowd but rather the "myths" of those climate change "deniers" who protest the scaremongering. In other words, Suzuki was going to "debunk" those of us who think that on this global warming business he and his pals are perpetrating a massive fraud on an admittedly gullible western world. They've been saying for years that "the science is settled" and they don't like the way of late they wander in for a softball TV interview only to find the producer, showing appalling l?se-majesté, has booked some impertinent whippersnapper of a dissenter for one of these point-counterpoint deals. "Media outlets love these guys (yes, they are mostly men and they tend to be the same, often paid, 'experts' over and over again) because it stirs things up," sighs David Suzuki, who evidently isn't a man, never appears on media outlets, and refuses to accept payment for his services.
So I settled down to enjoy his "debunking" of these mostly male experts. "Doubting the science of global warming has taken on an almost religious zeal," he complains, "doubting" being a renowned characteristic of religious zealots. "Talking to these people is hard because they come armed with obscure-sounding references about things like the 'medieval warm period,' 'solar flares' and 'hockey-stick' graphs."
They're not so "obscure-sounding," are they? The "medieval warm period" was the cluster of centuries around the turn of the first millennium when Greenland was really green, and a "solar flare" is a massive release of energy by the sun, and the "hockey stick" is a shameless bit of totally bogus mumbo-jumbo produced by the eco-zealots to suggest the planet's temperature chart looked like a long bungalow with the CN Tower tacked on the end to represent the 20th century. There, that wasn't so difficult, was it? One sentence.
But that's one sentence more than the great Suzuki can be bothered with. There's no "debunking" of any "myths" in his column. Instead, he just airily refers readers to the New Scientist website but, if you're too busy to get around to that, you should just take his word for it: the planet is in great peril and anyone who raises a skeptical eyebrow and starts talking about the "medieval warm period" is just some huckster who's trying to confuse poor l'il ol' you with a lot of flim-flam.
The environment turns up everywhere these days, even in the most unsavoury parts of the environment. For example, a Toronto crime scene. On May 18th, after a convivial lunch at the World Wildlife Fund, Glen Davis was shot to death in a parking garage. Aside from being a generous donor to Suzukiesque causes, the murder victim was best known for being the heir of Nels Davis, who became an extremely wealthy man in the Toronto of the 1930s and, upon his sudden death, bequeathed his fortune to his son. Davis fils lacked the entrepreneurial energy of his pa but he gave a lot to charity. In a column speculating on the possible reasons for such a bizarre murder, the Toronto Sun's Mark Bonokoski wrote:
"It was because of the sad state of an overpopulated planet, in fact, that Glen Davis and his wife, Mary Alice, reportedly decided against having children--despite the wherewithal to adopt entire Third World orphanages."
I don't know whether the planet is in a "sad state" but that paragraph certainly suggests the late Mr. Davis's life was. The reason the deceased did not "adopt entire Third World orphanages" is because he preferred to devote his "wherewithal" to the World Wildlife Fund and the Sierra Club, even though wherewithal-wise they've got more than they'll ever need. Glen Davis, like many others, subscribed to a thesis encapsulated in a crack made by one of my rougher rural neighbours from the porch of his broken-down cabin: "This'd be a pretty nice piece of land if I didn't live here," as he remarked to me drolly one morning.
The ecochondriacs mean it: This'd be a pretty nice planet if we didn't live here. David Suzuki's Canada is a prime example of the phenomenon: as our population becomes ever more urbanized around half-a-dozen metropolitan areas, we've lost any meaningful connection with the land but instead developed a bizarre fetishistic reverence for it. The land is no longer a source of sustenance for man. Au contraire, man must now sustain the land, constraining himself, abasing himself, apologizing to the trees for his mere presence while attempting to reassure "the environment" that, although undoubtedly a blight on it, he's not as bad as Bush. It's tough trying to keep up. I noticed the other day that all those yuppiefied municipalities that banned unsightly clotheslines a few years back are being forced to rethink their position because now the real environmental ugliness is that electric dryer in your laundry room. Another half-decade and we'll be back to beating our clothes dry on the rocks down by the river while singing tribal chants all morning long.
In the rest of the world, alas, life--i.e., human life--goes on. Glen Davis may have forsworn children, as have many other anti-humanists in North America and Europe. But in Sudan and Yemen and Pakistan they're still getting to it with gusto. One Canadian multigazillionaire's moppet here and there doesn't make a lot of difference when across the world others are more than willing to pick up the slack.
So many of the shibboleths of the age are a form of displacement. At the 2004 "March for Women's Lives" in Washington, the actresses Ashley Judd and Cybill Shepherd brandished a placard bearing the words "TOO BAD JOHN ASHCROFT'S MOTHER DIDN'T BELIEVE IN ABORTION!" Mr. Ashcroft was the U.S. attorney general at the time and a popular hate figure among kindly types like the Misses Judd and Shepherd.
But I wonder whether the progressive lefties ever think through the logic of their own bumper stickers. Perhaps they're right. Perhaps John Ashcroft's mom didn't believe in abortion, which is why he's around to terrorize Ashley and Cybill. But what of all the millions of mothers who do believe in abortion and an overpopulated planet and the other pieties? Will they all vote, as Glen Davis did, for self-extinction? And, if they do, who'll be around to run the world? The future belongs to those who show up for it.
God, he's good.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Well, the planet would be better off if some people lived somewhere else.
Why settle for “moderates” when you can have the real thing:
ecochondriacs .... love that word!
Wow...he looks HORRIBLE. He probably doesn’t want to run again because he’d hafta to on a diet.
flag for later
Ecology - The “enlightened” pantheistic religion of the left.
What a bloated beastie! (Not you!!! - the Algore).
Definition of having a way with words: To be Steynlike in the use of language.
"Doubting the science of global warming has taken on an almost religious zeal," he complains, "doubting" being a renowned characteristic of religious zealots.
God, he's good.
Possibly, even, the best.
(It is such a brilliant obversation.)
These last 2 lines say it all, the Mooslims are showing up to the future in droves and the enviro-weenies are self destructing. Classic Steyn, his book America alone is coming true before our own eyes.
Ecosystem rights move forward in Washington County
By Mike Cronin
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Slavery once was constitutional. So was prohibiting women from voting.
Some Pennsylvanians hope people have the same reaction years from now when they realize trees, streams and soil did not have constitutional rights in 2007.
An environmental group in Chambersburg is working with towns throughout the country to grant legal standing to ecosystems....
The incredible thing is that there are some people who will take them seriously -- when all they deserve is laughter and scorn.
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