Who are the “environmentalists?” Are all Birkenstock wearers part of the movement? What about the lady at the grocery store with a canvas sack for her purchases?
There is a difference between those who care for the earth, want to use it wisely, and believe in recycling--and those who are in decision-making positions, setting policy and/or funding the programs. Most Americans fit into the first group. We learned not to be a “litter-bug,” and we surely want clean air and water. Yet, the majority of Americans who value the earth and all that it has to offer us are not pushing an environmentalist agenda.
We need another word, one that sets those of us who care for the earth apart from those pushing an extreme agenda. Ron Arnold uses the term “Big Green” to represent the combination of activist, government, and donor working together to change policy--essentially creating an iron triangle. Big Green is an apt description as the combination does effectively communicate something bigger than the lady with the canvas bag in the checkout line. Like big labor or big business, Big Green carries the connotation of power.
At CARE we like the idea of a “Watermelon.” We, perhaps, have popularized, but did not create the moniker. We have received a positive response to “Green on the outside like environmentalism, red on the inside like neo-communism or neo-socialism.” We have bumper stickers that say, “Smash the Watermelons” and pens that are green on the outside that write with red ink. Both are very popular.
Whatever label you like, keep in mind that we are talking about something bigger, something organized, and something with plans greater than saving polar bears or spotted owls. If you study the Watermelons--Big Green groups, the key players, their leadership, and their funding--you’ll find plans to fundamentally transform the United States of America.
Whether we refer to them as Big Green or Watermelons, there are hundreds of these groups influencing policy in America. We questioned the motives. As we’ve already seen, energy is essential to the life we live. Following the actions of these myriad groups, it appears that their plans will end the America we know and love. When you study this day in and day out as we do, you have to wonder, “Why are they doing this?” Some do not seem to like any energy source--many even oppose the so called “darlings” of the energy world: wind and solar.
They use the courts, case-by-case, permit-by-permit, to increase the costs of an individual or company using their own property with the goal of discouraging the development of that property. There appears to be an aversion to someone benefiting from their own personal property--as if it should be used only for the collective good.
Permitting is used as a tool to stop development. This can happen because a person who owns a piece of property, needs a permit to do anything on it--even building a house. Because the permitting process is so backlogged, the property has a much higher value if it is already permitted. Due to department staffing shortages, many agencies are months behind in permitting.
There seems to be a simple solution. With all the stimulus spending, use the funds to hire more people in the departments that are backlogged. That would be the solution if you wanted growth. But that is not the goal of most agencies today. The permitting process is complicated for a reason.
During the Clinton administration, many of the people in the Environmental Protection Agency, and other like departments, were personal appointees of Al Gore’s. Many are still there. They deliberately derailed the regulatory process to put an end to economic development. Off-shore drilling is an example of the regulatory process deterring development of oil and gas resources in America.
The true environmentalists want people to move into cities where they are easier to control. They want to get rid of inefficient human patterns--which happens when people live in rural locations. Think about it. Many of the ideas lauded by environmental groups: electric cars, community gardens, and mass transit--for example, only work in cities.
As we learned more and more about the environmentalists’ efforts, it became clear that “control” was really the issue. A complete picture began to emerge and the painting looked a lot like a watermelon: green on the outside and red on the inside.
Of course, the environmentalists do not fit the true Marxist model, but in the general sense, the idea of “red” explains a lot. Columnist George Will says, “Today’s ‘green left’ is the old ‘red left’ revised.” In his op-ed on polar bears, he states, “The left exists to enlarge the state's supervision of life, narrowing individual choices in the name of collective good. Hence the left's hostility to markets. And to automobiles--people going wherever they want whenever they want.” This explains the “red.”
George Will continues, “The green left understands that the direct route to government control of almost everything is to stigmatize, as a planetary menace, something involved in almost everything--carbon. Environmentalism is, as Lawson (author of
An Appeal to Reason: a Cool Look at Global Warming) writes, an unlimited ‘license to intrude.’ ‘Eco-fundamentalism,’ which is ‘the quasi-religion of green alarmism,’ promises ‘global salvationism.’”
This increasing government theme is repeated in the writings of Fred L. Smith, Jr., President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In a 2004 article titled, Eco-Facism Going Global, he says:
We can say this for environmental activists--they are persistent, constantly developing collectivist schemes to increase the size and scope of government. And they are becoming more ambitious.
Not content with giving more power to Uncle Sam, they now seek to give greater power to the United Nations, a move that would seriously undermine American sovereignty and pave the way for top-down global wealth transfer schemes that would make the Great Society look small. Let's take a look at two such schemes.
The Law of the Sea Treaty: This treaty would give the U.N. the power to regulate and tax deep-sea mining and redistribute the receipts to Third World governments. It would simultaneously legitimize the principles of green collectivism and global income redistribution. President Reagan rejected the treaty in 1982, but a loose coalition of interest groups and activists are now working to revive this monster.
The Kyoto Protocol on “climate change”: This treaty seeks to restrict global greenhouse gas emissions, including those of carbon dioxide--the inescapable by--product of energy production. Kyoto's backers ignore the lack of evidence for catastrophic warming and the dire economic consequences of an energy-starved future, but no matter. They seem most interested in Kyoto's wealth transfer potential. Statements by one U.N. official suggest that if Kyoto took effect, the U.N. would ask rich countries to provide “funding” to poor countries to “help [them] better adapt to climate change” in the name of global “equity.”
Notice how these two eco-collectivist treaties would give the U.N. control over large sums of money. The Iraqi oil-for-food program scandal has given us a stark lesson on how the U.N. handles funds. As P.J. O'Rourke said about another group of bureaucrats, giving the U.N. more money and power would be “like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
Are the pieces of the puzzle beginning to fit together?
This thinking maybe totally foreign to you. Even when you can see what’s happening today, your probably have to wonder about the root cause. We’d heard many people mention something like, “many of the environmentalists operate as a result of a 1960s and 1970s mindset they had never grown out of.”
One of our members suggested that checking out a written in the early 1970s: Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches. How could a book by that title could help us on the quest for understanding this mindset. The subtitle is The Riddles of Culture. Still no clue. He said, “Hang in through the whole book. It came together at the end.” It did, Chapter 11.
The Watermelons--those who are green on the outside and red on the inside are operating on the remnants of the 60s and 70s. Back in the day, the mindset was, according to Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches, referred to as the counter-culture or Consciousness III.
The following is the description of counter-culture: “Counter-culture celebrates the supposedly natural life of primitive peoples. Its members wear beads, headbands, body paint, and colorful tattered clothing; they yearn to be a tribe. They seem to believe that tribal peoples are nonmaterialistic, spontaneous, and reverently in touch with occult sources of enchantment.” While much of that comment is totally 70s, the idea of the primitive peoples, of the tribe, seemed to have a current quality to it. It helped to understand the apparent hatred of modern development and the inherent desire to go back to caves.
Previous paragraphs made more sense. Read this general introduction of the counter-culture mindset:
“The unexpected resurgence of attitudes and theories long held to be incompatible with the expansion of Western science and technology is associated with the development of a lifestyle which has been given the name ‘counter-culture.’ According to Theodore Roszak, one of the movement’s adult prophets, counter-culture will save the world from the ‘myths of objective consciousness.’ It will ‘subvert the scientific worldview’ and substitute a new culture in which the ‘non-intellective capacities’ will reign supreme. Charles A. Reich, another minor prophet of recent years, speaks of a millennial state of mind which he calls Consciousness III. To achieve Consciousness III is ‘to be deeply suspicious of logic, rationality, analysis, and of principles.’
In the lifestyle of the counter-culture, feelings, spontaneity, imagination are good; science, logic are bad. Its members boast of fleeing “objectivity” as if from a place inhabited by plague.
A central aspect of counter-culture is the belief that consciousness controls history. People are what goes on in their minds; to make them better, all you have to do is give them better ideas. Objective conditions count for little.”
No wonder the fact that you cannot power the world on wind or solar power doesn’t phase the Watermelons in their insistent push for ineffective systems. They believe that if they say it enough, it will be so. “Science, logic are bad.” “Objective conditions count for little.”
See if you don’t agree that the following sentences from Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches don’t sound like the Watermelons we have come to know. As you read, try replacing the word “superconsciousness” with the word “Environmentalism.” “Its advocates insist that superconsciousness can make the world into a more friendly and more habitable place; they see flight from objectivity as a politically effective way to achieve an equitable distribution of wealth, recycling of resources, abolition of impersonal bureaucracies, and the correction of other dehumanizing aspects of modern technocratic societies. …Capitalism, the corporate state, the age of science, the Protestant ethic--all represent types of consciousness, and they can be altered by choosing a new consciousness.”
The message has percolated down through the years. The counter-culture has been successful in bringing about a new consciousness. Later in the book, Chapter 11 says, “Consciousness III will destroy the corporate state ‘without violence, without seizure of political power, without overthrow, of any existing group of people.’ Counter-culture is sworn to attack minds, not capital gains or depletion allowances. … The hope that counter-culture will transform society into ‘something a human being can identify as, home’ rests on the fact that it is a middle-class movement. What makes it so important ‘is that a radical rejection of science and technological values should appear so close to the center of our society, rather than on the negligible margins. It is the middle-class young who are conducting this politics of consciousness.”
For 40+ years, they have continued quietly “conducting this politics of consciousness” with results the author of the book probably never imagined. As we have seen, they mostly do not hold political office. Without violence, they have attacked minds. They have transformed society--all while we were sleeping. Toward the end of the chapter, the author, Marvin Harris, again quotes Theodore Roszak, stating that the primary goal of counter-culture is to proclaim “a new heaven and a new earth.”
In general, with each of the thirty plus year old quotes, if you replace the words “counter-culture” or “Consciousness III” with “environmentalism,” they could have been written today. The environmentalists do definitely dream of a new earth. They have visions of a utopia. They do not have any real plans as to how we will get there. But they are conducting politics of consciousness and in the thirty-plus years since, have managed to transform much of society into believing with them.
Patrick Moore is one of the founders of Greenpeace. His experience with the environmental movement of the 60s and 70s supports the thesis of Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches--though we are not saying he’s ever read it. Patrick Moore in New Mexico in 2009 where he said that the environmental movement depends on politics of confrontation--which he defined as telling people what they should not do. His comment was specifically in reference to energy.
Moore explained that the 80's ushered in the age of environmental extremism. The basic issues for which he and Greenpeace fought had largely been accomplished and the general public was in agreement with the primary message. In order for the environmentalists to stay counter-culture, they had to adopt ever more extreme positions. “What happened is environmental extremism,” said Moore. “They've abandoned science and logic altogether.”
Moore said the extremism movement is dying off because young people are more accepting of new technology. The extremist message today is "anti:" anti-human, anti-science, anti-technology, anti-trade and globalization, anti-business and capitalism, and ultimately, anti-civilization. No wonder it seems no regulation goes far enough to appease them.
Addressing his change in position, Moore says, "I had been against at least three or four things every day of my life for 15 years; I decided I'd like to be in favor of something for a change. I made the transition from the politics of confrontation to the politics of building consensus." Today, Patrick Moore is known for his work supporting nuclear energy.
To the environmental extremist, as Patrick Moore calls them, the Watermelons as we call them, or Big Green as Ron Arnold calls them, America as we know it is bad. But if we follow their plan, we will have a new earth--and it will not look much like the country people are risking their lives to get into. It will not be a super-power. Instead it will be a superconciousness, looking more like a hippie commune than the wealthiest nation in the world.
Which of today’s “necessities” would you want to live without? As seen in the commentary, for Economist and actor Ben Stein, he would not want to live without the air conditioner. For you, maybe it is not the air conditioner--though probably none of us would really want to live without it. Most of us would have a hard time picking just one modern convenience we would not want to live without. You might think, “I really like hot water when I turn the handle. My cell phone is very convenient. I do like clean clothes. Then there is my car. Oh, my computer!”
Each year as the Christmas season approaches, inventors come up a new energy using appliance, mechanical toy, or computer product that we cannot live without. Children must have what their friends have--even if the item is close to lethal or exorbitantly expensive. We all want to be “with it.” We plug in one more energy draining unit while praising the idea of “going green.” It’s a patriot idea as long as it takes nothing away from our personal pleasures.
The records for 2010 show that Amazon’s best-seller was the Kindle--a simple tool that allows us to read books without ever really buying one. No trip to the library or bookstore. We stay warm in our well-heated homes and plug the Kindle into its source of energy.
We are used to available energy. We do not want to be without it and we don’t want to take a big step backward.
If you like the freedoms and luxuries that make America great, you’d better thank energy, as it is what separates us from the undeveloped countries. This is why it is important that we smash the Watermelons--no, not them personally (we am not inciting violence), but their pervasive hold on America’s energy policy.