Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Is California Being Run by Eco-fascists?
One might think a book called “Eco-fascists” would emanate from a conservative think tank. Elizabeth Nickson, however, is a committed environmentalist and mainstream journalist who was mugged by what she now calls “the tyranny of the environmental movement.”
This “mugging” occurred when she attempted to subdivide her twenty-eight acres on British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island and was met with a green fury that was only matched by an authoritarian bureaucratic structure that squelched any resistance to environmental dogma.
Californians would be well advised to peruse this work that provides several Golden State examples of the devastation wrought by government agencies and green groups working largely under cover of the Endangered Species Act.
Nickson cites the Klamath River Basin in California as “a case study in how the movement destroys a region in order to turn it first to wilderness, then, seemingly inadvertently, to desert.”
Thanks to unnecessary spotted owl forest shutdowns, only two of that area’s twenty-two sawmills now function, and unemployment stands at 25 percent. Moreover, vast amounts of wood that could be harvested is left on the forest floor to fuel an environmentally catastrophic fire.
Due to such ideology-driven policies, California, which has the second-largest forest in the country, now imports 80 percent of its wood.
Environmentalists are also pressing for removal of the four low-cost energy-producing dams on the Klamath River, the largest dam removal in history—all for the sake of a species, the coho salmon, that never thrived in the chemical-rich riverbeds of the upper Klamath.
The Klamath’s green disaster has a counterpart in Del Norte County. There the creation and expansion of Redwood National Park resulted in dramatic losses of forestry and service-related jobs. By 1998 that county’s poverty rate was almost 23 percent.
The tourism that was supposed to compensate for all those lost family-wage jobs never materialized and is even discouraged by “wilderness” policies proffered by the California Coastal Commission. In the words of one county supervisor, “The park expansion turned us into a welfare county.”
The anti-rural devastation Nickson describes in Northern California is also evident in the dramatic reduction of San Joachin-Sacramento River water sent to Central Valley farmers. The dubious ecological rationale? A three-inch sub-species called the Delta Smelt.
Even San Diegans living in areas with puddles designated “vernal pools” can wake up and discover environmental activists and government bureaucrats confiscating their property rights in the name of a tiny fairy shrimp.
The final irony, as Nickson argues persuasively, is that “ecosystem” science is deeply flawed and often destructive of the nature it supposedly preserves--all at the worldwide cost of millions of human lives and trillions of life-enhancing dollars.