can destroy, too
by PAT MURPHY
lately has been filled with appeals for donations from environmental and
wildlife organizations that probably didn’t exist a generation or so
to this question: In what shape would our environment be today if these
groups weren’t around?
these groups, for example, would’ve ignored belittling epithets of
"tree huggers" hurled by critics and go on to pressure Congress
to create an Environmental Protection Agency, to add wilderness areas and
parks to the nation’s land bank of recreation areas, to put on pressure
to protect endangered species, to clean up air and waterways, to create
and write tough workplace health and safety regulations?
these groups, would’ve run the gantlet of industry lobbyists in state
legislatures to persuade local lawmakers to enact environmental and open
absence of regulatory oversight or public outcry, would industry have
willy-nilly slashed down forests for timber, continued pouring toxic waste
into the air and waterways, and sportsmen allowed to kill off species that
had dwindled to the threshold of distinction, thus reducing the United
States to a giant environmental disaster area?
only look for an answer in countries where air and water are poisoned,
where the landscape is stripped of vegetation and timber, where the
incidence of disease from environmental pollution is alarming.
every advancement made in environmental protection began with grassroots
groups who volunteered time and funds to found and fuel movements that
ultimately benefited all of us.
group, but certainly not the only one, met last weekend at Redfish Lake,
south of Stanley, to review issues and concerns.
the Idaho Conservation League are no less passionate today than when the
group was formed more than 25 years ago. On its front burner now is
persuading Congress to create wilderness areas in Idaho’s southwestern
Owyhee County and the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains north of Ketchum.
speaker, Idaho’s U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, gave me pause when he said he’d
never met anyone who consciously wanted to destroy the environment.
be correct about not "consciously" wanting to destroy the
environment. But ignorance of environmental destruction can be just as
culpable and evil as willful vandalism.
President Bush and his appointees are on the march, determined to loosen
or change environmental protection regulations created over the past 20 to
Bush & Co. is not always successful. The other day, a bristling Chief
Federal Judge Charles Haden II of the Southern District of West Virginia
blocked a Bush administration effort to allow mines to dump millions of
tons of dirt and waste into waterways, which, Judge Haden found, is an
"obvious perversity" of the Clean Water Act.
proof of its low-IQ ignorance, the mining industry’s response to Judge
Haden’s order was to whine that it would be disastrous for the industry’s
economy. As if dumping waste in waterways would be a benefit?
isn’t the only incident. The Bush White House wants to take it easy on
smokestack electric generating plants that belch toxins into the air. It
also wanted to increase the content of arsenic in waterways, until a
national outcry made the White House back down.
know what George Bush thinks about global warming. Like most rigid
Republican conservatives, he adheres to the Rush Limbaugh School of Logic:
global warming is sheer poppycock and little more than a liberal plot to
impose new costly air quality controls on industry.
So, if not
"consciously" destroying the environment, then the Bush
administration has espoused destroying it piecemeal out of ignorance.
ignorance is what should be expected of this White House.