The ancient city of Constantinople was heralded as a “new Rome” and quickly replaced the old one in splendor and importance. As the western Roman Empire withered and fell, the eastern Christian empire flourished. But after a few centuries of success, their good fortune ran out.
The first recorded bubonic plague killed more than a third of Constantinople’s inhabitants. Then in a series of bloody, expensive wars with the Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Persians, the city finally stabilized their empire only to see the majority of it swallowed by Muslim conquerors. Add in the coups, civil wars, and a spectacular volcanic eruption off the island of Santorini, and Christians wondered what they did to lose the favor of God.
The sky is always falling. If the new ice age doesn’t do us in, the ozone hole will. The instant DDT is banned, aerosols must follow. Global warming is replaced by climate change is replaced by “global weirding.”
And what is the solution to these often-contradictory scenarios? We anachronists who retain a bias toward the hard sciences would employ very different measures to prevent a freezing ocean and a boiling one. To an engineer, soldier or plumber, this is obvious.
But how do leaders of the environmental left address these opposing doomsdays? By raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Coincidentally, the same policies they would promote if their supposed environmental catastrophe was utter fiction. It is little wonder that voters are suspicious.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was in a tense standoff with federal agents over the weekend. He wanted to keep grazing his cattle on the federal land his family has used for decades. Washington, D.C. wanted him to pay for those rights or they would seize his livestock.
After Bundy supporters flocked to the scene and a media spectacle followed, the feds backed off — at least for the time being. Much of the reporting has been contradictory, but the government claimed to be protecting the desert tortoise in the area. D.C. claims the reptile is endangered by grazing cows, while Bundy calls this nonsense.
There was a similar Rancher vs. Tortoise battle in Arizona. Through wise legal maneuvering and scientific savvy, this standoff was a win for both the cowboys and the reptiles. The anti-progress environmentalists and bureaucrats were the only losers.
Christine Pelosi, activist and daughter of that Pelosi, responded to a major offshore earthquake with the sophistication and nuance you would expect from a San Francisco Democrat:
In a 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, Barack Obama uttered a prophetic statement about energy prices. “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” The senator added, “under my plan… electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
The candidate was talking about his cap-and-trade scheme which Congress shelved long ago. But the president’s EPA is going around democratically elected legislators and their constituents to attack the coal industry administratively.
The EPA has mandated that new coal plants use expensive and unproven carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology despite angry resistance from coal states and their representatives. Now the administration admits that the new rules will drastically increase electricity prices.
We had to replace our 12-year-old washer and dryer a while back.
“What a compelling lead sentence, Jon! I can’t wait to see how this cliffhanger ends!” Don’t worry, I’ll get to the point soon.
Since our old appliances were bargain basement, no-frills models, we thought we’d treat ourselves to something a little higher-end. The cheapest new units were double what we paid a dozen years ago and they had fewer features. The really expensive units looked nice, but behind the bells and whistles they felt plastic and cheap.
Chicken, Alaska is a tiny community 30 miles west of the Canadian border and about 300 miles east from Fairbanks. With an official population of 7, Chicken has no electrical service, telephones or central plumbing.
Needless to say, the quiet band of residents was shocked to see a SWAT-style squad pour out of the wilderness wearing full body armor demanding answers. Was it an attempt to break up a terror cell, arrest drug runners, or rescue endangered women, children and puppies?
The Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force conducted the paramilitary raid to check for dirty water.
The 1970s were awful and not just because of the fashion. The decade of Nixon, Ford and Carter was plagued with skyrocketing oil prices, hours-long lines at gas stations, and ubiquitous warnings of environmental catastrophe.
Reacting to the bleak public mood, a series of hideous, fuel-efficient cars were promoted by Detroit (they used to build cars there). But the great automotive hope was the electric car. In a few short years, Americans would simply plug-in their Family Truckster, free from that expensive crude oil and the icky pollution it created.
A SWAT team broke through the gates of a small Arlington, Texas farm and led a massive 10-hour search of the property. The residents were handcuffed and held at gunpoint while they watched more than 10 tons of their property hauled off in trucks.
What dangerous contraband required this massive governmental response? It wasn’t illegal explosives, stolen vehicles or drugs, but rather organic blackberry bushes, okra plants, and sunflowers.
The federal government is upset that spotted owls are disappearing. So they’re going to kill 3,600 barred owls to even the score.
The Pacific Northwest has been dealing with the caprices of government for decades when it comes to the northern spotted owl. Twenty-three years ago, environmentalists noticed that the population of the birds was decreasing faster than they liked.
The owl-huggers successfully lobbied the federal government to list the bird as an endangered species and drastically reduced the logging they had blamed for the owl’s predicament. Problem solved!