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The fires that are raging across the West are just the beginning of
the consequences of inept environmental management policies that the
Clinton-Gore administration has inflicted upon the people of America.
This administration has legitimized and legalized the pseudo-religious
earth worship of environmental extremists. These emotion-based,
tree-hugging policies can only result in even worse disasters if common
sense continues to be ignored in favor of “sustainable” propaganda.

The Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, and other environmental groups,
proudly wage their anti-logging campaign, describing chainsaws as murder
weapons, and loggers as pawns of corporate resource rapists. The
federal government, now manned by former executives of these
organizations, dutifully responds by closing forest roads and outlawing
timber cutting.

The nightly news reports as much as five million acres destroyed by
wildfire. There is no inventory of the toasted wildlife. There is no
measure of the tons of pollution released into the atmosphere, or the
miles of streams that will be filled with ash and sediment when rain
finally falls.

The best defense against forest fires are firebreaks. Roads through
the forest serve this purpose, and roads allow firefighters access to
the flame. Common sense. So the Clinton-Gore administration adopts a
policy of closing forest roads — to the cheers of environmental
organizations who prefer to blame the fires on climate change caused by
use of fossil fuels. Go figure.

A second defense against forest fires is thinning the growth.
Selective harvest of mature and diseased trees keeps the fuel supply at
a minimum. Common sense. So the Clinton-Gore administration adopts a
policy of non-removal of any trees, even those blown down by storms.
Environmental organizations file lawsuits by the dozens to prevent any
timber harvest by invoking the Endangered Species Act to protect some
obscure so-called endangered bug or beetle. It’s acceptable, however,
if those same bugs and beetles are roasted in a massive barbecue.

Forest fires, though, are not the most serious consequence of this
extreme reverence of the earth.

The same extremism has prevented exploration and development of oil
and coal reserves in the United States. More than half our energy comes
from foreign sources. The Clinton-Gore administration reflects the wish
of the extreme environmental organizations to eventually ban the use of
fossil fuel and force Americans to rely on solar, wind, and other
“alternative” fuels.

“Force” is the active word here. Technology — in pursuit of free
markets — will supply an alternative source of energy when it is
advantageous to do so. Extreme environmentalists are unwilling to rely
on the marketplace, and are using government to force the market to
accept technology that is neither adequate, nor environmentally
appropriate.

A drive through the windmill farms east of Oakland, Calif., will
convince most people that mile after mile of giant, noisy windmills –
through which eagles fear to fly — is far more destructive to the
environment than a modern oil well, which can produce far more energy
per square foot of land, than windmills or solar panels.

Environmental extremists are lobbying to remove hydroelectric dams on
rivers across the country to protect some species of fish. To them, the
fish are more important than the humans who depend upon the electricity,
or upon the income produced from use of the waterway. Environmental
extremists claim that naturally-bred fish are superior to hatchery-bred
fish, and club the hatchery-bred fish to death, while claiming that the
same species is endangered.

The consequence of this earth-worshipping nonsense will inevitably be
an energy shortfall. As bad as the forest fires are, they are nothing
when compared with the absence of energy. As bad as high-energy prices
are, they are nothing when compared with the absence of energy.

If a crash program were launched today to meet the anticipated energy
demands of 2020, it is unlikely that the demand could be met. But there
is no crash program. Instead, there are policies in place that make it
nearly impossible to build a new nuclear generating plant, or to build a
new oil refinery, or to even pump oil from known oil reserves. The
entire coal industry has been nearly shut down for fear of releasing
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But it’s acceptable to burn the
forests, which releases more carbon dioxide in a single fire than coal
burning plants release over many years. Go figure.

Perhaps the worst consequence of this environmental extremism is the
growing acceptance of the idea that somehow government knows best,
providing, of course, that government is informed by the former
executives of environmental extremist organizations. Government is
consolidating its power to control, not only land and resource use, but
the lives of individuals as well. The opposite side of every new power
government assumes, is the loss of freedom for individuals.

The Conservation and Reinvestment Act — heralded by the Clinton-Gore
administration and environmental extremists alike, as the most
significant conservation legislation since Teddy Roosevelt — represents
an incredible loss of freedom for private land owners. Propaganda
surrounding the proposed law says that only “willing sellers” will be
asked to sell their land to the government. The fact is, however, this
administration is well-practiced in making “willing sellers” out of any
individual who is targeted. What’s called multi-media enforcement of an
arsenal of regulatory procedures can — and has — crushed individuals
who dare stand between the federal government and its goals.

Environmental extremists have succeeded in transforming America from
a nation where common sense informed responsible environmental
stewardship into a nation where the color of science is used to
camouflage what is actually a form of paganistic earth worship.
Environmental extremists have infiltrated our institutions of higher
learning, our schools, our government, our churches, and they are
succeeding in transforming our nation.

The wildfires that are burning across the country are an early
warning of the consequences yet to come if this environmental extremist
philosophy continues to shape our public policy.

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