TCS Daily


Teddy Roosevelt vs. the Noisy Environmentalists

By Jerry Bowyer - August 3, 2008 12:00 AM

Whenever we're in Washington, my wife and I try to visit the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. Everyone else goes to the Lincoln or the Jefferson or the Washington, and they are all wonderful. But the TR is different. There are almost never any crowds. That's because it is hidden in the middle of the woods at the heart of the island. In fact, Susan and I discovered it quite by accident a few years ago as we were hiking through the woods.

You walk along a system of trails through thick forest, and then all of a sudden everything opens up in front of you and you find yourself in a clearing. Teddy is standing in the middle of it, in bronze, and he is ringed by massive stone panels, into which are chiseled some of his statements about manhood, the state and development. The site is peaceful, almost holy, and beautiful - usually.

But not last time we visited, at least not after EarthFirst arrived.

My wife is kind of an amateur naturalist (she and the kids are gradually working on a survey of the flora and fauna of Wilson's Run, the valley adjoining our property), and they were enthusiastically identifying trees and wild flowers. That's when the clamor started. Loud noises began to drift up from the south trail and echo around the pavilion.

Suddenly a hundred or more young men and women were stomping their way into the memorial, all wearing green shirts, on which were printed the words "EarthFirst". They were chatting, flirting, and texting away. No one was looking at the trees. No one was reading the quotes on the obelisks. There were TV cameras, and they were getting tape on all of this. I leaned over to Susan "That's for the funders", I told her. "They'll want to show the video to their board."

We knew the TR Memorial would not be a memorial for the next hour or so, but a stage, on which young people (bored by the specific flora and fauna around them) would congratulate themselves, before the cameras, for their love of 'the earth'. So we left, sadly, the sound of speeches, zeal and sanctimony trailed us into the woods for a hundred yards or so, until it was swallowed by the forest.

I wished that they had actually stopped for a moment to read the memorial, especially the part where TR admonishes us that, "Conservation means development as much as it does protection." That's probably the thing that mob needed most (even more than "Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.") Maybe if they came to understand that Teddy was not an early version of themselves; that the founders of their movement fought him, they might have a moment of self-doubt about whether the earth really should be put first. Teddy certainly didn't think so. He thought people came first.

Teddy was a conservationist, not a preservationist. Not surprisingly, this meant that he wanted to conserve natural resources, not preserve them. To conserve is to save in order to use later. Cash reserves are money set aside for the future. Fuel reserves are there in case you need them later. Preserves are not supposed to change. Like a museum or an archeological site, they are to be frozen in time.

TR and his Director of Forestry Services, Gifford Pinchot created a system of 'wildlife Reserves'. They argued that it would not be fair for one generation to do all the logging and all the digging and to leave nothing behind for future generations. They didn't think of these reserves as something pristine, which would be rendered somehow ceremonially unclean by the signs of human development. They just wanted to share natural resources and beauty with future generations, like ours. In fact the shift in language from 'resources' to 'the environment' signals the shift in world-view from conservation to preservation. A resource, by its very nature, is to be used, sparingly, perhaps, but nonetheless, used.

This is why the Roosevelt-Pinchot philosophy is known to historians as the 'wise-use' movement. It's why the administration's forestry handbook contained explicit instructions for how to extract lumber and minerals from the protected lands. That's why the memorial lauds 'development', which contemporary environmentalists forbid in places like ANWR.

The preservationists of the time, like Sierra Club founder, John Muir, fought against them. While Roosevelt/Pinchot sought to make nature useful to humanity, by opening it to efficient use, and protecting it from destruction, Muir claimed that nature was to be useful to nature itself, not to man. For Roosevelt earth is for us, for people. For Muir man and land were equals. It wasn't the conservationist Roosevelt who put ANWR's oil out of our reach, but the environmentalist Carter.

In other words, the activist/extras who stomped their way across the memorial that day, did it under a slogan (EarthFirst) against which Teddy most heartily disapproved.
Categories:

395 Comments

Conservation vs. Protectionism
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Nowhere is this conflict more telling than in Oregon, where the greenies fight the timber industry tooth and nail, and the timber industry extracts every ounce of profit they can from the state. It's an ugly situation, really, with very little middle ground. The environmentalists hide behind the endangered species act and litigous bureaucracy, and the timber industry tries to slip as much through as they can. Wouldn't it be better if the state taxed timber heavily, as it is done for oil in Alaska, such that the state is at least partially compensated for the clear cutting and there is less incentive to harvest commercially marginal forests? It seems like a fairly simple solution, but the environmentalists haven't pushed it for some reason...

Protecting private property rights
Those who own the property they make their living from are not inclined to destroy that property for their children.

It seems like a fairly simple solution, but the environmentalists haven't pushed it for some reason
...because (a) they want us all (except for the elite few -- the enviros themselves) to live in grass huts after the population collapses to only 1/999th of that it is today and (b) they don't get anything themselves from it. Indeed, many are hard-core Reds anyway. So, a heavy resource tax base would naturally generate demand for cutting taxes in other areas -- like Oregon's hideously punitive income taxes. We can't have that getting in the way of establishing their ecotopian version of a global USSR now, can we?

A suggestion to the editors
Feedback will be a lot more useful if the post # is appended to the subject, such as

Conservation vs. Protectionism by moeglein (1)
It seems like a fairly simple solution, but the environmentalists haven't pushed it for some reason by Zyndryl (2)
Protecting private property rights by marjon (3).

It would be more useful if the post # also includes the orginal post like this :-

It seems like a fairly simple solution, but the environmentalists haven't pushed it for some reason by Zyndryl (2-1)

More so, b'coz I am NOT getting emails when people reply to my post. AND the editors haven't
bothered to answer EVEN a SINGLE one of the many emails I sent out on this matter.

This numbering could help me find out who responded to my posts.

It would help anybody to concentrate on the NEW posts since he/she visited the feedback section.

Freedom and Private Property
Ahh yes, but those in the modern environmental movements do not seek to just preserve the land, they seek to take if for they know wealth and power are only possible if private property are allowed.
There is a reason Pelosi and the left seek to nationalize Western lands and energy production. In fact, I will argue the new gold is energy and that the left seeks to totally control energy production. By controlling it they have absolute power over our lives.
How much you want to bet the lefts minions gladly hand over all this with a whimper.

Feedback
Considering that this site (aside from the trifling once-every-six-weeks new topic postings) is pretty much dead, I have serious doubts that those editors doing any semblance of maintaining the husk are interested in suggestions at this time....

The value of an island
I know TCS is now in semi-retirement... but six weeks between posts does seem like a very long time. And what they have published here looks like a very small blip of an article, significance-wise.

The whole thing appears to be a tirade against Earth First. But in fact Mr Bowyer doesn't mention a single thing Earth First might have done that's deserving of blame. They didn't trash the island, they didn't make any noise... and in fact there is nothing on their web site to describe any activity having taken place on Roosevelt Island. Their sin, apparently, lies in their just having been there that day.

I grew up across the channel from R.I., back when there was nothing on it except weeds, bugs and critters (and some snagged fishing lines). You needed a canoe to get there. TR's legacy was to have left a place fifty yards from the nation's capital that hadn't a single trace of man on it. As a kid, I really liked that.

Then they built the causeway for weekend bikers and hikers, put in a walkway, erected a plaque, and so forth. Now it's just kind of an unkempt looking city park.

The article's central point is that conservation is of no useful purpose if it doesn't imply "for development at some later date", and that nature without profit for someone is literally worth-less. I have to disagree with that view.

Some places should just be... because they're home to the creatures that already live there. And when there are no more such places, and every acre of the planet has been converted into someone's personal real estate, I think we will all be the poorer that a few wild places no longer exist.

Had TR not passed a bill forbidding private ownership of Roosevelt Island in perpetuity, it would by now just be another stack of expensive condos. Better? Or not so good?

Jerry: certainly you must have traded a few words with those Earth Firsters you met. Instead of talking about them behind their backs, why not tell us what opinions they offered to you? I'd be curious as to their actual thoughts.


Nationalizing western lands
I guess you haven't noticed. Those western lands not in private hands are run by the Forest Service and the BLM. And they're given away to the friends of politicians, who get the timber nearly for free and then sell it to us. No, I don't think many lefties are happy with that.

If we really did have honest government, and it nationalized our energy resources, we'd be getting our coal, gas and oil at production cost. And I think just about everyone would benefit. The system as it exists today is just a method of transferring huge sums of money from the pockets of the many into the pockets of the few-- in the form of undeserved profit.

ANOTHER site to while away our time!! www.dailyreckoning.com
And I am planning to read this book they are plugging, for whatever it's worth.

http://www.dailyreckoning.com/MobsMessiahsandMarkets.html

A government powerful enough to...
You want a government with the power to own coal and timber and compete against private property owners and you expect such government to be honest?

The socialist fantasy, it will work if only a perfect human being were in charge.

I would suggest comparing the Black Hills of SD to much of the government owned west. Much land is in private hands is is land in TX.

BTW, why do nearly all the massive forest fires occur in government owned forests?

The solution in the west is to SELL ALL the government land. Take the proceeds and create a REAL trust fund for social security.

roy actually thinks that nationalization is a good idea.
Not that I'm surprised, he has pretty much stated that govt is the source of all wealth.

If nationalizing resources were such a good idea, would you care to explain why every country that has done so has gone down to ruin?

btw, there is no such thing as honest govt. Never has been, never will. It's an impossibility as long as it's being run by humans.

Far too simple a comment
"Not that I'm surprised, he has pretty much stated that govt is the source of all wealth."

No I haven't. In fact I disagree with this idiotic statement-- despite the fact that governments print all the money. Wealth is not equal to money.

"If nationalizing resources were such a good idea, would you care to explain why every country that has done so has gone down to ruin?"

Nations in possession of their own resources have always been a target for American aggression. They would like to own their stuff. We would also like to own their stuff. Historically, we have been the big winners.

Still-independent nations, like Venezuela, have seen commendable increases in their standard of living, due to the profits from their resources being invested in the public welfare instead of being shipped offshore to foreign investors.

"btw, there is no such thing as honest govt. Never has been, never will. It's an impossibility as long as it's being run by humans."

One point you systematically miss is that the same holds true for corporations, also run by humans. In either case, venality has risen to the top.

Take the case of Plum Creek. Private ownership of forest lands by this company has resulted in the land being stripped of timber and then sold to developers as raw land. At least when private for-profit companies strip timber from public land, it is allowed to grow back again.

Whether the depredation and profit-taking are public or private, the result is land stripped of both useful assets and the ability to regenerate naturally. Such damaged land is vulnerable to increased risk of drought and fire... as we can readily see in today's western states.

A government acting as prudent caretaker for the land would guard a sensible proportion of natural cover as national reserves, and protect them from profit-taking by the greedy few. Your characterisation of all humans as being fundamentally dishonest is a projection designed to justify actions you approve of and identify with.

We're not all like that.

Dubious statements
I'm a little baffled by your comments.

"You want a government with the power to own coal and timber and compete against private property owners and you expect such government to be honest?"

Most coal and timber extraction today occurs on federally owned lands. This is due to subversion of the aims of government, not to the principle that federally owned lands should be developed only for the the benefit of the general public. Crooked politicians have sold out our publicly owned assets to the greedy interests of the few.

"The socialist fantasy, it will work if only a perfect human being were in charge."

They don't have to be perfect... only honest. The public needs to be educated on the need to eject bad leaders from public office and demand honest ones.

"I would suggest comparing the Black Hills of SD to much of the government owned west."

Okay. In what way?

"Much land is in private hands is is land in TX."

The statement is unintelligible. Are you saying more of our land should look like Texas? This is the absolute crap end of the country.

"BTW, why do nearly all the massive forest fires occur in government owned forests?"

Mismanagement. The US Forest Service has allowed the degradation of forests by commercial exploiters, and that has left them vulnerable to fire. Old growth forests, when left undamaged and free of road cuts, are very fire-resistant.

"The solution in the west is to SELL ALL the government land. Take the proceeds and create a REAL trust fund for social security."

The revenues from timber concessions, oil and gas leases and other such sales have historically never even covered expenses. Road-building alone costs more than the USG takes in from timber sales. Bad idea.

A good rule to keep
I'm sure you're familiar with the problems inherent in a fiat currency. Not to mention the problems ahead for the dollar. So you could save the cost of this book just by adopting a general rule:

Don't invest in anything denominated in dollars. Or dollar-pegged currencies. Other than commodities, which will all be rising relative to the dollar.

Thanks for the advice Roy. Unfortunately, the order is already on the way
Anyway, by buying this book, I AM investing in commodicties (paper), which has BETTER intrinsic use than dollar bills.

Government fails again, what a surprise
"Mismanagement. The US Forest Service has allowed the degradation of forests by commercial exploiters, and that has left them vulnerable to fire. Old growth forests, when left undamaged and free of road cuts, are very fire-resistant."

So the government failed, again, but it was not the fault of government, it was the fault of the 'exploiters'.
Maybe you will find you messiah in BHO. He claims to be 'the one'.

Socialism not good for business
"More than four in ten of them have ranked New York as the worst state to do business in--second only to California in unfavorable mentions. The most common gripes included high taxes and anti-business regulations. Joining New York and California on the list of most unpopular states were New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts.

The DCI study, coming as it did amidst growing talk of state fiscal crises around the country, is particularly revealing. Of the approximately $48 billion in accumulated budget shortfalls that the 29 states with projected deficits are facing, $33 billion, or two-thirds of the gap, is concentrated in those five states considered by corporate executives to be the least friendly to business. Meanwhile, among the five states ranked as having the best business environment, Texas and North Carolina have no projected budget gaps, and Georgia, Tennessee and Florida are facing shortfalls amounting to about $4.1 billion, or less than one-tenth of the states’ total."

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2008/08/antibusiness_states_awash_in_r.html

Give me examples of any state owned 'asset' that is managed well.


"The revenues from timber concessions, oil and gas leases and other such sales have historically never even covered expenses. "

All the more reason to sell. I don't mean sell the oil, I mean sell the land, ALL government owned land. Most land east of the Rockies is privately owned. Why should most of the land in AZ, NM, NV and many other states be 'owned' by the federal government? It drives up land values in nearby cites and restricts development of the assets.

Map of AZ
Look at this map of AZ.

http://www.land.state.az.us/images/maps/state.png

85%+ is owned by some government agency, NOT by private citizens.

And?
I'm missing your point. 85% of Arizona is publicly owned. Doesn't that just mean only 15% is worth owning? Otherwise wouldn't someone have bought the remainder?

If there's mineral wealth underneath any of that land, US policy is to sell someone the rights to take it for far less than they're worth. Thus mineral extractors are able to get the milk without having to buy the cow.

Explain how this is wrong.

Say what?
"So the government failed, again, but it was not the fault of government, it was the fault of the 'exploiters'."

I think it was implicit in my comment that what we have is a collusion between the government and the extractive industries. So neither side of the scam is any more culpable than the other.

The name of this game is for the corps to socialize expenses-- leaving them for the public to pay-- while privatising the profits. This is certainly not pure capitalism, which would require that those who benefit pay the costs incurred. And it sounds like we are both in disapproval of the practise. Right?

No, it doesn't mean it is not worth owning.
Cities keep trying to expand all the time but bump into government land.

Just as ranchers many want to buy their range, but can't.

But it doesn't really matter much in AZ because people who do own land have had it taken by the state for defending their property from illegal aliens or because there is some flower the environuts want to save.

Selling 'rights' is not the same as owning the land.

Again we agree
Socialism not good for business? I could care less. Socialism, propeely conducted, is good for the public. We could just let business go overseas, and find new ways to circulate our coins.

If you haven't noticed, business has been disastrous for America in recent years. First, we chased the manufacturing industries overseas and had to try to make our living in the service sector. Then we let nearly all the coin in circulation go into investor profits as opposed to wages. This gave rise to a financial sector that is now in the early stages of a serious toppling. It will, as the pundits are mostly all predicting now, be very, very bad on all of us in the coming couple of years. The dollar has been grossly mismanaged.

The last time this happened, the financial and investment sector lost between seven and eight trillion bucks' worth of value. That was in 2002. Had those trillions of dollars been allowed to stay in employees' pockets, we would have had boom times like never before in history. But it was all pissed away in a fit of unwise speculation, "irrational exuberance". And now it's about to happen again.

I say get rid of business. Let it all go to China, and destroy their economy like it's been doing to ours. We can start over from zero and still do better than we'd do by keeping the current people in power.

Land ownership
"Cities keep trying to expand all the time but bump into government land."

You're telling me Phoenix can't expand at will in any direction it chooses? It certainly can. The only limit is water. And the governments (state and federal) not only sell municipalities and developers land as it has been made usable, they often even pay the costs of providing the water.

"Just as ranchers many want to buy their range, but can't."

No rancher wants to buy BLM land. They don't have to. Grazing rights are cheaper than the taxes and upkeep would be if they had to own it. And again, the federal gubmit pays to keep it in good shape for grazing.

On the other hand, when ranchers do own the land they usually only have surface rights. Someone can buy the mineral rights, drill their land and flood the surface with toxic drill water, poisoning the browse their cattle depend on. It's all nice and legal.

"Selling 'rights' is not the same as owning the land."

If you really want to buy some useless desert that won't perk or give water, I suspect the government would be willing to sell some to you. But I think you misunderstand the nature of property ownership.

If you can enjoy all the benefits of ownership without having the costs of maintenance or property taxes, why would you want to own any land? You'd do better just leasing the rights to use it.

On the other hand, if you have the deed right there in your hand, and the government decides they want it, you see that it's not really your land. They just decide how much they want to pay you and presto, your deed is dissolved through eminent domain.

And you thought you could "own" land.

Avoiding your share of taxes
I think your comments are a wee bit off target. First, do you really think the elites in our society are the environmentalists? Those folks are just a crowd of thinkers who care about the health of the earth they inhabit. The people who actually do all the moving and shaking are the business elites. They run our government, control our jobs, operate the media we read and watch, and in general determine the nature of our very lives. It's the rich industrialists, not the guitar players and movie stars, who control us.

Next, you say these people would like us to "live in grass huts after the population collapses to only 1/999th of that it is today". I don't think so.

The population will be contracting, although not to anything like that degree. And the reason will be resource depletion. A high level of prosperity in the face of unsustainable consumption will cause living standards to fall-- and they will fall the hardest for those who do without. Ther will be resource wars in the coming generation, particularly over water. And the poorest and least powerful among us will be the big losers.

That's easy to predict. Are environmentalists in favor of it? Hardly. They're the ones trying to limit their personal consumption, so as to alleviate the coming collapse to the degree that they can.

"...Oregon's hideously punitive income taxes".

If Oregon is a little to steep for you, taxwise, maybe you should move to Florida. No personal income taxes there. Or try Wyoming, which is a lot closer. There the state can provide excellent public services, by just taxing the extraction industries (oil and gas).

BTW there's so much money to be made there, the energy industries don't mind in the slightest. They're flocking to Wyoming to do business and be taxed on it.

How do you keep the government honest?
From what I have observed, and pointed out, the most corrupt governments are those with a majority democrat party in NJ, NY, MA, LA.

Is it a coincidence that democrats are socialistic?

If you insist upon having government, the record indicates the most honest governments are the ones that are limited in power and are not dominated by a single party.

How as socialism been good for the public in Cuba or DPRK?
Socialism could not even work with Christian pilgrims in MA.

The ONLY socialist societies that have worked are those in which the participants are 100% volunteers, like a monastery or a Hudderite colony.

Hi Roy!
First of all, if he had actually READ what I said, I was referring to the elites of the enviro movement, not the elites running society.

Then, you respond in the negative of what I said THE ENVIROS WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN by talking about your predictions of what WILL happen. Now, for the sake of argument lets say I did agree with what you think WILL happen. What does that have to do with my original point of what the Enviros WANT to have happen?

C'mon, Roy. You're outta practice here and SLIPPIN!

Oh, and as for 'water wars'. Water usage is so wasted both currently and in the past. So, a lot of low-hanging fruit can be had in water efficiency measures, like drip irrigation techniques developed by the Israelis and investing in fixes and upgrades of old water lines. Where the actual wars over water will happen is precisely in countries/regions that didn't do enough to invest in water infrastructure and supply in the first place. And the causes of that isn't environmental, but economic/political. So, I don't agree with your Malthusian take on 'resource depletion'. It is as fallacious as it was in Malthus' time.

Anyway..back to your not-very-well-thought-out rag...

"They're the ones trying to limit their personal consumption, so as to alleviate the coming collapse to the degree that they can"

Uh-huh...like Napolean and the rest of the pigs running the show in Animal Farm limited their personal consumption? Hmmm...I wonder how much jet fuel Al Gore and John F. Kennedy, Jr. both burned last month as they flitted around to various enviro 'personal consumption limiting' parties and confabs?

"If Oregon is a little to steep for you, taxwise, maybe you should move to Florida. No personal income taxes there"

I live in California (which is almost as bad as Oregon and about to become worse), but referred to Oregon BECAUSE THAT WAS THE TOPIC OF DISCUSSION of the post I was responding to. Or, did you not even read that one either?

Oh, and I am a member of the top 10% of taxpayers who provides 70+% of the revenues. So, I am not paying my share. I am paying my share AND for the 'share' of quite a few other people. So, I do believe that gives me quite a bit of moral authority to ***** about it.

Where can Phoenix expand?
http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/fedlands/az.pdf

This doesn't include land owned by the state of AZ.

Compare this with TX: http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/fedlands/tx.pdf

Or NV is nearly completely owned by the government.

http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/fedlands/nv.pdf

Even if people think they own their house, it certainly makes a difference. Neighborhoods of owners look much better than neighborhoods of renters.

Roy...I think you need to go see a doctor
...because senility is starting to set in:

Marjon writes:

"BTW, why do nearly all the massive forest fires occur in government owned forests?"

You didn't get it and wrote:

"Mismanagement. The US Forest Service has allowed ..."

Which was Marjon's whole point to begin with. Government land is way more mismanaged that private land is, just like government housing vs. private housing. And since the Feds don't own much land in Texas, it is not a wonder that Texan land is more well managed.

You ended up reinforcing Marjon's point and didn't even realize it. I suspect it is because you are not reading or comprehending what you do read. Another example:

Marjon: "The solution in the west is to SELL ALL the government land."

You respond: "The revenues from timber concessions, oil and gas leases and other such sales have historically never even covered expenses. Road-building alone costs more than the USG takes in from timber sales"
Ummm...Marjon was talking about outright SELLING the land, not concessions or leases. No roads have to be built, either. All is required is a good escrow officer, real estate legal contract services and at least two bank accounts to SELL the land, Roy.

You sure you are ok, Roy? On new meds or something?

Roy...I think you need to go see a doctor
...because senility is starting to set in:

Marjon writes:

"BTW, why do nearly all the massive forest fires occur in government owned forests?"

You didn't get it and wrote:

"Mismanagement. The US Forest Service has allowed ..."

Which was Marjon's whole point to begin with. Government land is way more mismanaged that private land is, just like government housing vs. private housing. And since the Feds don't own much land in Texas, it is not a wonder that Texan land is more well managed.

You ended up reinforcing Marjon's point and didn't even realize it. I suspect it is because you are not reading or comprehending what you do read. Another example:

Marjon: "The solution in the west is to SELL ALL the government land."

You respond: "The revenues from timber concessions, oil and gas leases and other such sales have historically never even covered expenses. Road-building alone costs more than the USG takes in from timber sales"
Ummm...Marjon was talking about outright SELLING the land, not concessions or leases. No roads have to be built, either. All is required is a good escrow officer, real estate legal contract services and at least two bank accounts to SELL the land, Roy.

You sure you are ok, Roy? On new meds or something?

Ummm
Commodities have been FALLING against the dollar. Recently, oil. But before that soybeans, even some metals.

As for the dollar, well...it has been rising against currencies other than the euro, Roy. Expand your horizons (or at least your sources of information).

roy continues with his america is the source of all evil logic
I'm sure it makes sense to him.

Oh yes, he also thinks that capitalism is another ultimate evil, that only turning control of everything to govt can save us from.

Roy is consistent.

you don't understand, someone who works for govt is magically transformed into a pure creature.
Incapable of doing wrong.

Unless one is a Republican, in which case the magic fails.

Doing socialism wrong? (Your buddy Chavez is at it again)
"Chavez opponents also are outraged by 26 laws the president just decreed, some of them mirroring the socialist measures voters rejected in a December referendum.

"We said in the referendum that we didn't want that, and now he's put it in the decrees," said protester Josefina Bravo, a 59-year-old who wore a sticker reading "No means no" on her baseball cap. "That's the problem we have: All the powers are concentrated in the president.""

"Other decrees empower Chavez to expropriate goods from private businesses and increase state control over food, punishing business owners who fail to comply with price controls with fines, closure and even 10-year prison terms."

{Sounds like what BHO wants to do.}

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080807/D92D4QGO0.html

You beat me to this. The CRUX of the matter is, GOVAGs continuously try doing things PEOPLE explicit
After all, what do they (the people that is) know what is best for them.

The CRUX of the matter is, GOVAGs continuously try doing things PEOPLE explicitly REJECTed
..

Those evil Greens
Well hi, yourself.

I may have missed what you thought "enviros" wanted to happen. Are you saying they are in favor of a precipitous population collapse? I don't think so, and said as much right here:

"Are environmentalists in favor of it? Hardly. They're the ones trying to limit their personal consumption, so as to alleviate the coming collapse to the degree that they can."

The root of the problem is that you're apparently only reading from the rabid press-- not from anything written within the environmental movement. That's like reading Goebbel's version of what the Jews are like, or any number of people's version of what all Muslims are like. You're not getting a very good picture.

Sure, you can with a bit of looking find misanthropes who think the planet would be better off without mankind. But they are not characteristic of the movement. Most environmentalists proceed from the premise that if man and beast are to share the planet to the mutual profit of each, some intelligent planning for further development is in order. And that going in the direction we're now going in is a prescription for disaster.

Meaning, a disaster for mankind as well as for the planet generally. So if you think all "enviros" are anti-human, perhaps you should re-examine your assumptions.

Socialism destroys the environment
The best system to reach your objective has been demonstrated. It is called capitalism.

Socialism has been proven to destroy the environment, so why do you insist upon its implementation?

Water wars
Another point where we disagree: "Where the actual wars over water will happen is precisely in countries/regions that didn't do enough to invest in water infrastructure and supply in the first place. And the causes of that isn't environmental, but economic/political."

Poor countries, by definition, can't invest in water infrastructure or anything else without applying to the bank for a loan. And they are understandably hesitant to do that because the bank never has their best interest at heart.

Take the World Bank, for example. If they loan someone a hundred million to design and implement some water project, the entire sum goes to an American contractor. It never even touches down for a millisecond in the host country. Then the contractor does some work that the WB controls and oversees. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. There is, of course, no actual accountability.

But whether or not the project has any value, from that point on the poor country in question is indebted to The Man. It's just another hook to catch them fast and make them beholden to the big money.

There's a second observation I can make. In the world of tomorrow, with nine billion souls mostly striving toward affluence, water needs will be tremendously greater than they are at present. Already we see the strains from China's newly arrived middle class, driving up the price of corn by buying it to feed the bef cattle that suddenly more millions of families can afford.

Not only is there not enough arable land on earth to grow all that corn, there's nowhere near the water it would require.

Worldwide, existing aquifers are being drained by agriculture and urbanisation faster than they can be replenished. And shifts in global climate are already resulting in a new regime of chronic drought, in places like Australia and Africa. We're running out of agricultural-grade water, on an absolute scale.

No prob, you say. Let's just desalinate the oceans. Cool idea. Where, in addition to all our other projected energy needs, do you propose we find all that energy? Providing nine billion x three meals a day costs quite a lot of clean water, measured in trillions of acre-feet.

Quicker than finding the solution in such a direction, I think we will address the problem in the way humans always have. We'll steal the water form one another, and fight bloody wars of attrition until the size of the herd gets trimmed down to an appropriate number.

Note that I do not endorse such a solution. I only predict it.

Closing thoughts
"I live in California (which is almost as bad as Oregon and about to become worse), but referred to Oregon BECAUSE THAT WAS THE TOPIC OF DISCUSSION of the post I was responding to. Or, did you not even read that one either?"

No need to be snotty. Let's try to be gentlemen here, shall we?

"Oh, and I am a member of the top 10% of taxpayers who provides 70+% of the revenues. So, I am not paying my share. I am paying my share AND for the 'share' of quite a few other people. So, I do believe that gives me quite a bit of moral authority to ***** about it."

The top ten percent pay the majority of taxes only because they make most of the income and own nearly all of the wealth in the country. Proportionally, you and yours do not pay your fair share. Not Warren Buffet's opbservation that his secretary pays far more than he does in taxes, as a proportion of income.

Note also that income earned by labor gets taxed at twice the rate unearned (that is, passive) income does. Fair?

The game is fixed. You and your fellows should be embarrassed by this state of affairs.

Everything boils down to socialism, right?
I've been noticing for some time now that no matter what the comment, your response is always the same: the problem is socialism. In fact, it's not the root of all evil in the world.

And to state something preposterous, like "Socialism has been proven to destroy the environment" without ofering anything in the way of prooof-- or even illustration-- is to demonstrate yourself as being an intellectual flyweight.

Why are the world's remaining tropical and temperate forests being devastated at an unsustainable rate? It's the profit motive. This is abundantly obvious.

Everything is wrong about clearing off the forests. It destroys an abundance of life that has taken us a half billion years to accumulate. It wrecks the carbon cycle, by removing the trees that are our best barrier against the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere. And it brings drought down upon us because the tree cover transpires the moisture that drives most continental rainfall. It's a disaster-- for the planet generally and the human race specifically.

So why do we do it? Because large (capitalist) developers can make a short term profit that way, at the planet's long term expense. And the process is inevitable for so long as it remains profitable.

Of course, you can choose to explain to me how our environment has been damaged by the principle that the world's resources should be owned and operated by the world's people.

Fault of governments
Those countries are poor because of totalitarian socialism.

In the western USA, water is controlled and subsidized by the government so rice can be grown in the CA desert.

Numerous technologies exist to purify water and other technologies exist to reduce water use for waste disposal. Too bad the government inhibits their implementation.

There are all sorts of ways:

http://www.rise.org.au/info/Tech/lowtemp/desal.html

'Quicker than finding the solution in such a direction, I think we will address the problem in the way humans always have. We'll steal the water form one another, and fight bloody wars of attrition until the size of the herd gets trimmed down to an appropriate number."

Not surprised you would resort to violence as that is the first choice of socialists, force.

Changing the subject
You can't refute my comment just by switching the subject. Please address what I said in my comment above.

On your subject, I don't defend the DPRK. The salient point about such a place, or Myanmar, or Zimbabwe, is not that those governments are socialist. As a matter of fact, they aren't. They are all kleptocracies. (Look it up.)

Who owns the forests?
Individuals who own the land won't destroy it for short term gain.


Why doesn't Buffet pay more?
The government accepts donations.

In any event, Buffet plans to donate all his money when he dies.

I suspect the charities he donates to will be much more responsible and effective than any government agency.

Snide and snippy again
Did you really not grasp my comment? It sounds like you just read the first ten words and jumped on your hobby horse.

The system we have right now is a disaster. And it's not a matter of government vs. industry. It is the COLLUSION between government and industry. That's what has brought such monstrous mismanagement about.

You seem to believe we're at war with ourselves-- and we either have to have a pure, untrammeled capitalism with no controls, or we have to have an onerous, crushing weight of absolute and stifling government. And I'll have to say, such dramatic oversimplicity seems to be the hallmark of nearly everyone posting here. So it's not just your problem.

In fact we endure a system where industry has found a way to game government. In this game, fantastic profits are possible because the leaders of industry are able to privatise profit while socialising the costs. Thus the feds "own" federal lands, meaning they pay to maintain them, and give the fruits away to leaseholders who strip off the assets while paying far less than value for the privilege.

Re the thought that federal lands are not for sale, please look over the following:

http://usgovinfo.about.com/blsales.htm
http://www.usa.gov/shopping/realestate/realestate.shtml

You can buy as much as you want-- no one's stopping you.

Finally, you offer the point that land in Texas is far more well managed than are federal lands. Please expand on that thought-- maybe by showing me how a cattle rancher can get richer buying dry dirt in Texas than he can paying a fee to graze his herd on well maintained range up in Montana. I'd like to see you make your case.

Plum Creek Corporation
"Individuals who own the land won't destroy it for short term gain."

Of course they will. This is very naive.

Plum Creek has made a career of buying up timber land, stripping off the timber and selling it as prime vacation property-- golf and ski resorts, vacation estates and the like.

In the Brazilian Amazon, the practise is to bribe government officials to provide clear title to public lands without the need to pay for them-- thereby transforming them into the privately owned lands you hold so dear.

Then they are stripped and burned in great piles-- unless they are close enough to a railhead that the timber can be sold. And the newly cleared land is sold off to soy farmers.

Environmentally destructive? Unsustainable? Sure is. But very, very profitable. It's a one time culling of value-- enough for many people, no matter how greedy they may be.

Looking at the numbers
You say "Not surprised you would resort to violence as that is the first choice of socialists, force."

I guess you forgot to read the part where I wrote "Note that I do not endorse such a solution. I only predict it."

If you think "the government" is inhibiting implementation of sound water rules, you might offer up some examples. I subscribe to Water News, and find that the municipalities, state and federal agencies, universities, farmers and ranchers and city planners are all thinking this crisis through in concert, just as competently as they can. My opinion, though, is that in the long term the numbers just don't work. We will end up having a greater demand for water than we have a supply, no matter how dramatically the technology progresses.

If the government slows down aquifer depletion, for example, they precipitate a crisis among their constituents-- the people whose livelihoods depend on that aquifer. So we're going to keep draining the pond until one day, predictably, it will be dry. Read about water issues and you'll come away with that impression.

The good news is that we can now desalinate a gallon of salt water for only fifty cents. Grow rice with such water and the rice'll only cost you about thirty bucks a pound.

Finally, water is a good example of something that can't be privately owned. It is a shared commodity. Imagine, for example, how you might allocate the Colorado River just by private ownership. You have to have a Water Board for all the joint users to discuss the system by which they share.

And so it is with all water resources, whether above or below ground.

Those evil Democrats
Your comment is moronically partisan. Corruption, of course, has nothing to do with ideology. They are two distinct entities.

All corrupt politicians are Democrats? Really? How about Duke Cunningham, Tom DeLay and that ilk?

Also, you seem to think you can injure me by slandering the Democrats. Are you actually under the impression that I hold that party in high regard?

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