Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
There are two ways to get ahead. Pull yourself up or push other people down. There are few better exponents of the pushdown option than the environmental groups and their supporters. They are, for the most part, urban guerrillas, useless people who do little or nothing except undermine the lives of others. They are the green bullies who tell others how to live, yet, hypocritically, live in similar lifestyles. Of course, in the case of Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, they live energy gobbling lifestyles beyond the imagination of those they condemn. This includes going to the point where they destroy people’s lives, economies, and communities. Trump talks about the loss of businesses across the US but needs to note that much is due to the work of environmentalists and politicians at all levels.
Where was Greenpeace during the recent hurricanes? I went to the American Greenpeace web page to find out what they were doing to assist people afflicted by the recent hurricanes. Their US web site says nothing about help. I thought a tag that read “What We’re Doing” would list places where you could donate, plans to send supplies and other rescue efforts. All it did was list six things such as “Fighting Global Warming” and “Saving the Arctic.” The only request about paying was a headline under a picture of an ExxonMobil storage tank that read, “Make fossil fuel companies pay for hurricane destruction.” This implies they believe that human CO2 mostly created by burning fossil fuels is responsible for the hurricanes. They don’t present any evidence to support this claim. Of course, they can’t present evidence because it doesn’t exist.
The web site expects you to send them money for doing nothing to help the people affected. Instead, they point fingers from their urban armchairs at the energy companies that provided the fuel for the people to head down the highway away from danger. While real, employed, hard-working people were doing remarkable things to save lives and help others, Greenpeace asked for money to undermine their economy and further destroy their lives. The problem is Greenpeace is not alone. Most environmental groups, do little more than collect amounts of money, so much of which goes to further destroy jobs and the economy.
They are aided and abetted by political leaders at all levels and of all stripes. These politicians fulfill H.L. Mencken’s observation that,
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins all of them imaginary.
Notice that the only leader to act decisively and effectively was the White House. All the critics could do was make fun of Melania’s shoes, but they even got that story wrong. A real measure of the White House success was that there were virtually no stories about the impact of the hurricane or of people who suffered any more than was necessary. This was because they would have to report how successful the effort was.
Trump is one of the few leaders to see the fraud that was the Paris Climate Agreement. He is also pulling the plug on all the wasteful and unnecessary expenditures made by other politicians who want to appear good to groups like Greenpeace. The following is a classic example of the ignorance, arrogance, and wrong thinking in a recent report about the preparedness of US urban areas for global warming.
In an article titled “The Best US Cities to Live in to Escape the Worst Effects of Climate Change” the author writes.
“The bottom line is it’s going to be bad everywhere,” Bruce Riordan, the director of the Climate Readiness Institute at the University of California Berkeley, told Business Insider. “It’s a matter of who gets organized around this.” Still, there are some cities with a better chance of surviving the onslaught of a warmer planet, Vivek Shandas, an urban-planning professor at Portland State University, told Business Insider. “There are places that might at least temper the effects of climate change,” he said.
The Pacific Northwest is the best overall US region for escaping the brunt of climate change, Shandas said. Cities in the area aren’t perfect — “they have other challenges,” he said, but added that “their infrastructure tends to be newer and more resilient to major shocks.” That’s is key when it comes to coping with heat and rising water. Seattle is one of the most “well-positioned” of these cities, Shandas said.
Portland was the first US city to come up with a plan to prepare for climate change. The city’s historic Climate Action Plan, created in 1993, is a set of policies and initiatives aimed at slashing the city’s carbon emissions. The goal is to cut them 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
I assume Seattle is prepared for sea level rise better than Denver or they are prepared for a stampede from California’s the heat increases there. These comments only bear consideration because they are so ignorant.
I learned a great deal about these urban guerrillas over forty years of working with primary producers like farmers, foresters, and fishermen. No, I won’t be politically correct and call them fishers. Sensible, intelligent, people know it is an inclusive generalist term. My experience is that few groups, especially those in urban areas know or care more about the environment and climate. It affects their daily lives, their homes, children, and income.
Trump talks about the Washington Swamp, but for most rural primary producers every urban area is an ungrateful, ignorant, swamp. We can define the Washington Beltway as the distance that swamp dwellers can see. Maurice Strong knew what he was doing when he set up the global warming deception through the bureaucrats who live in the swamp. The distortions this creates are evident in the weather forecasts. On a regular basis, you hear forecasts offering sunshine and heat when the crops and farmers need cool and rain. It occurred this summer when the entire focus was on the plight of the urbanites forced to flee the hurricanes. Meanwhile, few know about the drought that has affected the crops and everything else in the north-central US. I recall one summer in Manitoba Canada when urban dwellers complained bitterly about the weather. It was sunny all week and rained every weekend jokes appeared that asked, “What do you call it after two days of rain?” Answer, “Monday.” “What do you call it if it rains on Monday?” Answer; “A long weekend.” Farmers loved the summer as they could work in the fields and spend the weekends with their families as the rain nourished their crops.
Urbanites criticize primary producers for changing and damaging the environment, but the only place on Earth was a human-induced warming is attributable and measurable is in the urban heat island effect (UHIE). They blame the rural people for pollution and overuse of chemicals. The problem is the highest levels of pollution and concentration of waste are in the urban areas, and immediate surrounding farmlands used as landfills and hazardous waste dumps in classic, not in my backyard (NIMBY) exploitation. In fact, in most regions farmers are not replacing the chemicals they take from the ground and send to the urbanites as food. Les Henry, a Saskatchewan soil specialist, told me that across the Canadian Prairies they had not replaced 50 percent of the nitrogen taken from the soil. Part of the reason is cost, but a major part is a false concern created by urbanites accusing them of using too many chemicals.
The biggest hypocrisy is that urban areas only developed because the rural areas produced a surplus of food. It is the origin of the word civilization, but now, as they become detached from the production process they become less civilized. As we became urbanized, most people forgot that the society only exists because of that surplus. Many years ago, I coined the phrase that “there are no farms in the city, but no city without farms.”
In the year 2000, I was speaking to approximately 1000 farmers in Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan/Alberta border. Their concern was the drought decimating their crops, and forcing many to slaughter cattle they could no longer support. Politicians and urbanites were not listening, or even aware of their plight. I pointed out that about 60 percent of the people in Toronto were not even born in Canada. They represented a bigger vote pool than most of the farmers on the Prairies. It is another measure of the genius of the US Founding Fathers who recognized these inequities and created the Electoral College. Canada is still coping with the monarchical system that puts all the power in the urban areas.
One farmer got up and asked me what I thought they should do. I said the problem requires a solution they would never consider because of who they are and what makes them cope. They must get together and announce they are not planting a crop or sending any animals or byproducts to the urban areas. The irony is society considers farmers conservative, but they are the biggest risk takers. Every time they plant a crop they are at the mercy of the vagaries of weather and nature.
In 1786 Thomas Jefferson expressed the difference between primary producers and the urban dweller.
“An industrious farmer occupies a more dignified place in the scale of beings, whether moral or political, than a lazy lounger, valuing himself or his family, too proud to work, and drawing out a miserable existence by eating on that surplus of other men’s labor which is the sacred fund of the helpless poor.”
Jefferson’s description is almost identical to the derogatory dictionary definition of a parasite.
“• derogatory a person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives nothing in return.”
I watched and was directly involved with what happens when Greenpeace target an issue they deem unacceptable. One of the jobs we did in anti-submarine patrol out of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, was monitoring the annual seal hunt in the Gulf of St Lawrence. This hunt for seals for food and clothing is centuries old, an extremely dangerous and miserable job for extremely low pay. It was the sole source of income for hundreds of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The idea is to get your ship locked in the ice then do daily hunts across the ice. Greenpeace decided this had to stop and began a campaign with staged videos of the hunting method designed to not mar the skin. Besides depriving a hunt that was carefully monitored and provided basic livelihoods, they did more harm than good. For example, they went out on the ice and sprayed green dye spots on the seals to make the pelt worthless. The problem is this destroyed the seal’s camouflage. Seagulls swooped in and killed them by pecking their eyes out. I watched Orca (Killer whales) come up under the ice and break through to capture seals.
The Newfoundlanders responded with great skill and humor as ordinary working people do. Greenpeace claimed they were defending the seals. The Newfoundlanders said the seals ate the Cod and somebody needed to defend the Cod. They formed a group called Codpiece. To further amplify their focus on the hunt, Greenpeace were part of arranging a visit from Brigitte Bardot to witness first-hand what was happening. Newfoundlanders offered to help in their friendly way. Witness what they did when aircraft landed there during 9/11. They said Ms. Bardot needed appropriate clothing for the cold, wet and slippery conditions involved. Only after she came back off the ice did they inform her that the boots and clothing were made from sealskins.
I used to ask where the Sierra Club was when the forest fires were burning? Similarly, I asked where was Greenpeace when the hurricanes hit? Indeed, where are any of the parasitic environmentalists when disasters hit? They are usually sitting in their armchairs blaming those dealing with the problem and planning more destruction. But, based on what I witnessed when they became involved, it is better they stay home. What we need to do, like the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is expose and ridicule their misinformation, lack of understanding, and document the enormous damage they do to people’s economies and lives, by pushing other people down.