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America’s New Dark Ages

by Tom DeWeese
Intellectual Conservative, November 24, 2003

Today’s environmentalist movement has little to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with imposing a radical agenda to derail human progress, destroy free enterprise, and diminish individual liberty. “Nuts,” you say? Maybe you’re not paying attention.

Item: In a recent issue of The DeWeese Report, there’s a photo of a team of oxen. The Associated Press photo was taken at a demonstration to show the “ecological advantages of animal-driven farm equipment.” Incredibly, the enviro-wackos seek to turn back human progress to the days of Daniel Boone by eliminating modern farm equipment such as tractors and return to days of the oxen cart. Just some fringe nuts with no credibility, you say? This demonstration was held at an AG Expo at Michigan State University with your tax dollars!

Item: An environmental coalition agreed to pay PPL Corporation, the power company that operates dams on Maine’s Penobscot River, $25 million to tear down two dams to aid in the recovery of Atlantic salmon. The environmentalists’ generosity allowed the power company to increase power generation on six other dams on the river. However, what this really means is that Maine residents will lose ten percent of their current energy source. Observers believe the “voluntary” agreement will pave the way for the removal of other dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers in the Northwest to improve the recovery of the Pacific salmon.

“This could be used as a model across the country,” said Andy Goode, vice president of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s American program. The groups have five years to raise the $25 - $27 million to close the deal and, as usual, they aren’t going to put up their own money, but expect it will be paid for by federal and state grants (taxes) and private donations.

Item: A land-use organization called “Scenic America” doesn’t think property owners ought to be allowed to build on their land or rearrange the landscape if it interferes with the activists’ selfish notions of scenic views. They, along with other “thought police” environmentalists believe that the view belongs to everyone and no one should be allowed to dot the landscape with their houses – no matter how far the private land may be from a public park or scenic highway.

Gary Johnson, the chief resource planner for Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway, spends his workdays inventorying the parkway’s “viewshed.” A viewshed is simply what the eye can see from a certain vantage point. Land grabbers use the official-sounding term to expand their control over development of private property. Johnson worries about what the National Park Service can do about landowners who build on their property within the “viewshed” of the Parkway from as far as twenty miles away!

According to environmentalists, tourists looking for a pretty view should get precedence over tax-paying property owners. Think of the consequences of such policy: There are vantage points in the nation where one can see for hundreds of miles. Pressure groups like Scenic America call for no human habitat on any of the land in view.

Today, as a result of such policy, 100 families along the New River Parkway in West Virginia are to lose their homes (some holding deeds signed by President John Adams) simply because their homes can be seen by people driving on the Parkway.

Item: An environmentalist group calling itself the Chesapeake Climate Action Network has called for a “National Protest Day Against Hummers.” Their claim is that this automobile is contributing “enormously to global warming, air pollution, and childhood asthma.” Here again we have yet another example of the effort to tie the operation of any vehicle to the discredited junk science claims that the Greens have been making for decades. The ultimate aim, as always, is to undermine the use of all petroleum products.

In these and countless other ways, Greens seek to drag Americans and others around the world to a new Dark Ages in which all private property would be eliminated, all sources of energy, all efforts toward the development of new technologies, and all use of the Earth’s natural resources would be reduced and, with it, the quality of life for everyone on the planet.

Tom DeWeese is publisher and editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots, activist think tank headquartered in Warrenton, VA.
America’s New Dark Ages
Intellectual Conservative, November 24, 2003

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