Real Greens Have Manure on Their Boots
A shovel-ready test to separate the authentic environmentalists from the phonies.
December 30, 2009 - 12:00 am
Every time I see former Vice President Al Gore and current POTUS Barack Obama waxing on about global warming, I wonder if they’ve ever stepped into a pile of cow manure.
No, this is not a joke about a pile of you-know-what, but a sort of imaginative test of their real environmental awareness.
A truly environmental lifestyle would involve the kind my parents brought over from their undeveloped Slovenia in the late 1950s. My father continued what he had learned growing up and taught it to me as I helped him dig compost and cow manure (when he could get it) into the garden of our tiny city lot in Rochester, New York. My parents, through this little garden, as well as fruit trees and grapevines (from which they produced wine and the fruit brandy called Slivovitz), offered a glimpse in miniature of the lifestyle of my relatives still in Slovenia that I would see when we visited in 1969. Riding bicycles or walking, pumping water from a well, and using no appliances, they led a hard life with never a day off from milking or taking care of the animals. My cousin who is only several years older than I told me about hoeing in the fields as a teenager and wishing she could sit down and read a book.
But they — and nineteenth-century Americans — left a very light carbon footprint.
Not so the Botoxed jet-set eco-celebs who lecture to us peasants about “saving planet Earth.” In fact, last spring when I looked at the photo of Michelle Obama in her gardening outfit of fashionable black knits and boots that looked more like something someone would wear to Starbucks if she wanted to pass herself off as a poet or playwright, I thought to myself: only someone from Hollywood, Washington, New York, or academia would believe that this would be proper farmer attire.
But the apologists at the New York Times will make excuses for the need of those like Mayor Bloomberg to fly to the climate summit in Copenhagen and in the process consume 37 times more resources than flying commercial. For example, Jim Dwyer chides the hoi polloi with: “It is probably not a good idea for the rest of us to look down our noses at people who cannot resist such temptations until we can afford them ourselves.” That’s right: You should first walk a mile in my shoes — or more appropriately, fly four thousand in my private Gulfstream — before you criticize. None of the lawnmower-like cars for the bigwigs who are escorted around in armored SUVs and limousines that idle, keeping temperatures constant as they wait for the honored guests. No bundling up in jackets and sweaters if you are the green U.S. president, as Obama demonstrated by keeping the heat up in the White House last winter so he could work in shirtsleeves.
Our self-evaluated B+ (“No, no, you’re too kind to raise it to an A+ … but, okay, after all, I am a Nobel Prize winner”) president declares victory at Copenhagen, but has no qualms about spewing tons of carbon to get himself and his retinue there.
Fortunately, nothing binding came from the excursion (except for a pledge of $100 billion of our tax money). But if anyone has any doubts about the real agenda, one needs to remember Hugo Chavez’s comment there about the “silent and terrible ghost” of capitalism in the room, a comment that reportedly brought thunderous applause. Going overtime on his speech, Chavez then continued on about the other ghost in the room, of “socialism,” which, of course, will help “all people.”
It’s the Green Party message, one I remember being surprised by in my politically naive days when I went to a meeting thinking that the environment would be at the top of the agenda.
The Green Party would not adopt free market solutions to environmental issues even if they did save “planet Earth,” for the environment is simply a pretext for ushering in a new international socialist order. We saw that with ousted green jobs “czar” Van Jones, someone who would not know what to do with a shovelful of manure.
In fact, socialism harms the environment. No more glaring examples of environmental devastation are to be found than in the former Soviet Union and in current communist China.
Certainly, free market factors will serve to protect the environment better than the kleptocracy that we’re heading toward. Green is a commodity people will pay for. Wooded lots increase property values. People do not want to live in smog-filled cities. And the market follows suit. More will be able to afford to shop at Whole Foods (vilified by the left for the owner’s objection to government-run health care) if we get the economy going again.
Cutting back on welfare programs and wasteful public school expenditures will cut down the income and property tax burden and allow small farmers to keep their farms. Perhaps the accountants and attorneys that work at corporate farms devising ways to get federal crop subsidies would instead go and live a more Jeffersonian lifestyle. That would cut down the incentives for illegal migrant workers crossing over and leaving environmental pollution in their wake. In fact, we should eliminate farm subsidies, especially subsidies for such products as sweeteners, which artificially lower the price of sugary drinks and foods and encourage obesity.
Speaking of sugar, no one seems to remember the deal that Clinton/Gore made with sugar plantation campaign contributors in draining the Everglades. Gore then touted himself as an environmentalist as the federal government (read: your tax dollars) “reclaimed” the Everglades.
Of course, such politicians are abetted by gazillionaire movie stars who also fly around the world raising environmental awareness about the loss of rain forests and other natural habitat.
Why do they not buy up some of that land and maintain it with their own fortunes? Why not buy some in the U.S. and set up a camp for city kids?
These children could be taught valuable lessons about hard work on a self-sustaining farm. Maybe after spending a day out in the fields hoeing they’ll appreciate sitting down with a good book. Maybe they’ll learn something about self-sufficiency and gain self-esteem. They could read Wendell Berry and the politically incorrect Southern Agrarians and be persuaded that an independent cultured existence close to God and nature is preferable to the degenerate lifestyle of the currently rich and famous, like rappers, rock stars, politicians, and rich community agitators like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. They should also learn to distinguish legitimate science from fraudulent ideologically driven science as the exposure of email exchanges on global warming has revealed.
Ah, yes, the contemplative life, with the ability to weigh evidence, to appreciate the written word, to be able to analyze current events in the context of history. That is what the advances of the West have brought to more people than ever and that is what the eco-propagandists have set out to destroy, beginning with scare tactics in the classroom by those like Al Gore willing to destroy the environment for political power.