Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day brings out the loons

Today is that great pagan holiday, Earth Day.

It's a day when the state's newspapers are obligated to pretend that extreme environmental looneys are mainstream, and so we get treated with articles and op-ed contributions that reveal some of their more breathtaking nihilism.

For instance, check out this front-page story in the Oregonian that explains how great our deep recession is for the environment. Landfill garbage is down 16% and air pollution is down too. Turns out if we just produce less and less, there will be less waste product! Why didn't we think of that before?

Answer: the enviro-loons HAD thought of this before. In fact, for some, that is their end game!

From the article:

"The less industrial production, the better for the natural world -- that's quite obvious," says John Zerzan, a Eugene-based writer and activist. "Do we want a big recession? No, we don't. But the whole model is a loser -- a no-win thing to me." Zerzan says it's time for a full retreat from global society to small communities based on an agrarian way of life.

Pick a century - say, the 12th. Is that about the lifestyle you have in mind for us all, Mr. Zerzan? Has he himself "fully retreated" from global society? Or did the Oregonian perhaps talk to him on his cell phone?

Meanwhile, over on the editorial page, we get a fuller explanation of the enviro-designers aims. Some guy named Spencer Beebe, who runs an outfit called "Eco-trust," tells us that the challenge of Earth Day is to "define the operating rules of a new era."

I don't know about you, but my skin crawls when I hear environmentalists say things like this. Scratch a greenie and he bleeds totalitarian. What does he mean?

Luckily, he is more than happy to explain:

"The goal must be to participate -- to innovate, invest and inspire -- in the wholesale redesign of our social and economic life to create resilient regional economies that can compete successfully worldwide."

Wholesale redesign of our social and economic life? Thank you, Mr. Beebe, but I will take a pass on letting you decide how to redesign our society. Apparently the thought never crossed his mind how frightening it would be if ANY entity, government or otherwise, had the power to "redesign" our social and economic life.

He goes on to blather about the usual greenie wish list: a $100 per barrell floor on oil, renewable energy, mass transit, compact cities, etc. Nothing new there.

He concludes with a clarion call that is standard fare for enviroloons. The problem, he says, isn't that we don't know how to achieve his "wholesale redesign." "The challenges are not principally money and technology, but culture."

In other words, the problem is, left to pursuing the way we want to live, we don't choose to live the way he envisions. So he wants us to change our culture. A "cultural revolution, you might say.

How did that work out for Mao?

32 comments:

Me said...

Wait a minute.
If the culture isn't right why is Metro trying to expnad what doesn't fit the culture?

Instead they're helping Beaverton and other jurisdictions with Beaverton Round-like "designs" which don't fit our culture and fail over and over again.

How is their effort to push for more that does not fit not insane?

According to the planning class, Beebe ignores, if we simply keep doing what doesn't fit eventually the culture will catch up?

Roadrunner said...

Rob,

We might take you seriously if you actually used reason rather than name-calling.

And to think that just a couple of days you were complaining of illogic on BlueOregon.

Rob Kremer said...

With all due respect, RoadRunner, I am not really all that concerned whether you take me seriously or not.

And name calling is not an example of illogic. Sometimes it is simply correctly labeling something or someone.

I stand by my label of "Loon" for someone who either suggests we return to an agrarian society and/or someone who suggests we completely redesign our social and economic life.

I would be interested to know your thoughts on these two fellow's statements.

Me said...

Roadrunner,

If you didn't make stuff up like the typical lefty loon maybe we'd take you seriously.
But you lie even when you're advising.

No you would not "take Kremer serioulsy" even if you perceived him as "actually using reason".

You loons don't do that. Ever.
It doesn't matter how Kremer or any conservative addresses an issue in response to the liberal
veiwpoint.

And he wasn't simply complaining of illogic on BlueOregon.
It was incoherent gibberish he was calling attention to.
Much like your contributions.

Any time the left in engaged, especially in their domains, they use a few boiler plate ways to desparage the conservative, avoid the central point and ALWAYS pretend the conservative is uncivil while the lib is thoughtful.
Your observations are more of this lame liberal BS.

Anonymous said...

I'm very inexperienced with political debate. When following issues I'm interested in I see arguments like RoadRunner's over and over again.

I'm wondering if the internet specifically attracts arguments from the most poorly reasoned and defensive segment of liberals or if what I see is the general liberal perspective?

What a bitter, misled state of mind. No wonder their asking for a pre-defined social life.

OregonGuy said...

There is an unassailable truth: the power of the market is greater than the power of any government.

It is perhaps wise, therefore,to remember what Edmund Burke wrote about the nature of governments. He observed that it is in the nature of people to do what it is that they do.

Nothing particularly brilliant, I suppose. But think about a puppy. Puppies poop and whiz in a pretty much willy-nilly fashion. But even then, those puppies are perfect. It is in their nature to poo and wee without regard to place and time. And, they leave the mess for us to clean up. But, they are perfect.

People are perfect, too. What Mr. Burke observed is that governments that attempt to intrude in excess of the wants of the people find themselves at odds with those people. So, there is an elegant solution to protect oneself from that objection; don't work to change the Nature of Man. Accept the Nature of Man.

Sure, there are times when we "wee" and "poo" at inappropriate times. And we may even need help cleaning up the messes. But Man is perfectly human.

It's a gift...and a curse.
.

MAX Redline said...

Today is Earth Day, a holiday created to honor the planet and to raise the consciousness of man’s effect on the environment. Philadelphia has a very strong tie to this day. One of its native sons, Ira Einhorn, was a co-founder of the environmentalist jubilee.

But Mr. Einhorn has another line on his resume. In addition to being a environmental guru, he is the Unicorn Killer.

While a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Einhorn dated a Bryn Mawr College graduate by the name of Holly Maddux. When the affair ended in 1977, Mr. Einhorn went into a jealous rage and murdered her.

He concealed his crime for 18 months by stuffing Ms. Maddux’s body in a trunk that he kept in his apartment. The foul odor of the decomposing corpse coming from Mr. Einhorn’s Powelton Village apartment caused neighbors to complain. In 1979, police found the trunk stored in a closet in Mr. Einhorn’s apartment.

Ira Einhorn, member of the counterculture pantheon, one of the founders of the environmentalist movement, icon of the liberal intelligentsia, was charged with murder. But it was not just a simple murder, it was a gruesome case of domestic violence.

Roadrunner said...

The problem, Rob, is that only people who already agree with you are going to take you seriously.

First of all, Earth Day is not a "Pagan Holiday", the Beltane, which happens in about a week and a half, is (Christmas and Easter also have Pagan roots, by the way.)

It is difficult to read through your post, because you use so much name-calling boilerplate that it's unclear that you have any understanding of what you're writing about.

I realize that we look at the world through vastly different lenses. You see government regulation as an infringement on people's rights.

I see government regulation as a necessary way to force businesses to behave responsibly.

The radio show Democracy Now! has a story today about Libby Montana, and the terrible rate of lung disease in that town. The actions of W.R. Grace and Company can only be called criminal--they knew in 1956 that asbestos was toxic, yet they didn't tell the workers, and, in fact, spread tailings on the high school track and the local ice rink.

Tell me, what market forces are there to prevent actions such as those?

I don't pretend to have all the answers, and some of the extremists in the environmental movement can certainly seem wacky.

However, extremists on the other side, who deny that global warming is caused by humans, even though the overwhelming evidence is that we do, are at least as wacky, and likely more harmful to the world.

Here's a tip, Rob. Follow the golden rule (the "do unto others" one, not the "thems that have the gold" one), and you might actually get some real conversations where both sides might learn something.

Continue with the childish name-calling, though, and you're just talking to the mirror.

DavidAppell's conscience said...

Yeah, Rob. I'm just trying to look out for you here. I could really be on your side if you were only reasonable.

David Appell said...

Kremer wrote:
> In other words, the problem is,
> left to pursuing the way we want
> to live, we don't choose to live
> the way he envisions. So he wants
> us to change our culture. A
> "cultural revolution, you might
> say.

What an incredibly arrogant statement.

These writers want to change the world no less than you do. And yet you make fun of them and think that your way is the only possible way for humans to live.

It is not. Life is very complex and there are many ways of living it. in 500 years our attitudes about many things will look as foolish as do those who lived circa 1500 AD do today, if not more so.

Today's society has good things about it, and things not so good. To boisterously pretend that today's American lifestyle is the only way for people to possibly live is arrogant, ignorant, short-sighted, and lacking in vision. And insecure.

There are many things good about today's world, to be sure. There are also many things wrong about it, especially in the realm of sustainability and justice.

To pretend otherwise is a form of hubris befitting an ideologue or talk show host, but no one who really things about things in depth.

There is not nearly sufficient room here to debate this topic, just to criticize the idea that this way is the only way and all other visions are to be denigrated and laughed at.

Which also indicates a very poor understanding of history.

Perhaps Zerzan is not completely right. Maybe he's only partially right, or just has one or two good ideas. But I also doubt that Kremer is completely right either. Kremer's reaction, in fact, seems mostly to be defensive, as if the world could not possibly be any different than it is today.

But science clearly shows that we're on a nonsustainable path, and deep down almost every one us knows now that the 21st century will be one of correcting the previous two centuries and putting the world on a green, clean path.

Kremer -- as a blogger or as a talk-show host -- has shown little understanding of the complexities of today's life and seems mostly interested in honing to an extreme path that gets him the most viewers/readers. This is, sadly, a loss for the entire world.

David Appell said...

Redline wrote:
> Today is Earth Day, a holiday
> created to honor the planet and to
> raise the consciousness of man’s
> effect on the environment.
> Philadelphia has a very strong tie to > this day. One of its native sons, Ira > Einhorn, was a co-founder of the
> environmentalist jubilee.

By all means, let's be as stupid as humanly possible and conflate the actions of one twisted individual with the intentions of hundreds of millions of people who aren't killers or extremists and who only want a cleaner planet and a better life for all.

It's this kind of lunacy that makes it clear why Max Redline is a coward who hides behind anonymity and who is afraid to sign his real name to his opinions. Because they are utterly ludicrous.

What a brave man.

DavidAppell's conscience said...

It's great to be back. I'm sure you all missed me. Can't sleep. Must. Destroy. Conserv-a-Nutz.

Roadrunner said...

David,

Thank you for your thoughtful posts.

There seems to be a lot of projection among those on the right--they project their own bitterness, anger, and hate on the left.

The sad part is that I'm sure there are worthwhile ideas to be had from the right, but the make dialogue impossible with their inability to be civil.

Rob defends his name-calling by saying that some people really are loons, but can't really explain why they are loony, except that they have ideas he finds unacceptable.

Roadrunner said...

Of course, it's difficult to have a rational conversation with someone who sees those of us with a different political outlook as "occupiers".

Rob Kremer said...

Roadrunner writes:

First of all, Earth Day is not a "Pagan Holiday", the Beltane, which happens in about a week and a half, is (Christmas and Easter also have Pagan roots, by the way.)
Yeah I know, RR. Calling Earth Day a pagan holiday was an example of sarcasm.It is difficult to read through your post, because you use so much name-calling boilerplate that it's unclear that you have any understanding of what you're writing about. So it was not clear to you that the point of this post was to point oout the inherent totalitarian mindset presented by both the "loons" that I quoted? Really? The historical reference to Mao's Cultural Revolution and what is suggested by Beebe was lost in my blizzard of name-calling?I realize that we look at the world through vastly different lenses. You see government regulation as an infringement on people's rights. Not always. Government regulation can be a way to protect rights from being infringed by others. But government regs intended to force people to behave as an elite class of planners desire is almost always an infringement on rights. Unfortunately, Oregon has gone way overboard with these types of regulations.I see government regulation as a necessary way to force businesses to behave responsibly.

The radio show Democracy Now! has a story today about Libby Montana, and the terrible rate of lung disease in that town. The actions of W.R. Grace and Company can only be called criminal--they knew in 1956 that asbestos was toxic, yet they didn't tell the workers, and, in fact, spread tailings on the high school track and the local ice rink.

Tell me, what market forces are there to prevent actions such as those?

Tort law, for one. However, I support government regulations in the case of negative externalities. I have never once said that markets never fail. Externalities are one type of market failure that justify government intervention. This is a far, far cry from "redesigning our social and economic life." That is totalitarian, pure and simple.

Roadrunner said...

Frankly, Rob, so much if your language is over-the-top that any sarcasm is lost.

I'm glad to see that you recognize that government has a role in dealing with externalities. Isn't that the same position as environmentalists?

Pollution is an externality. Global warming is an externality. How arrogant is it to say that we in the U.S. Have a "right" to spew pollutants into the atmosphere that have a global impact. Isn't that a form of totalitarianism?

I'm all for individualism--far more so than most on the right I've seen--but individuality is empty if it's done irresponsibly.

Rob Kremer said...

RR:

First, no, it is not a form of totalitarianism for a country to allow its people/corporations to pollute the air. Do you know what totalitarianism means?

Second, CO2 is not a pollutant. And it doesn't cause global warming. Don't believe everything you think.

Roadrunner said...

Rob,

Can you point to three peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate that humans aren't the primary cause of global warming?

If it weren't so sad, it would be hilarious--someone who claims that the overwhelming majority of relevant scientists are wrong who then calls those who a

It's also clear that you don't have even a basic understanding of the issues involved.

Some substances are pollutants at any level, some become pollutants over a certain threshold.

One example is salt in the ocean. It occurs naturally, but too much of it and sea life starts to die--at that point it's a pollutant.

Besides, CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas. Methane is a worse greenhouse gas, and is clearly a pollutant.

Perhaps you should follow your own advice, and not believe everything you think.

Finally, W.R. Grace & Company subjects an entire town to a substance they know to be lethal, that's a form of totalitarianism. The company saw its profits as more important than the health of the people who created those profits. The people of that town are paying with their lives.

DavidAppell's conscience said...

Can you point to three peer-reviewed studies ... Oops. I just outed myself as Roadrunner. I did not mean to do that. Rob, can you please delete that last comment for me? I'd worked hard to establish the Roadie identity. All because of that Middle Class-hating Coyote. Why did I leave my telltale 'three things' in there? Cr@p. I can't even name three people who have visited my Quark Soup blog. Jeez.

Roadrunner said...

Go ahead Rob and DAc and the RNC, along with Lars and Rush and Bill and Ann, with your childish name-calling.

It worked for a little while, but Americans have decided figured out that they aren't children, and it isn't working any more, and they realize how morally and intellectually bankrupt you are.

So, keep it up, at least for another year or two. Eventually, we'll need a real opposition party, one that can actually come up with some useful ideas. But at the moment, it's good for the country that you low and sinking lower.

Anonymous said...

Road,

What a ridiculous game you play.
You gotta be some BlueOregon regular.
Your asinine misrespresentation of conservatives is right out of their
boiler room.

Go listen to your lefties on the radio and tv and see how thoughtful they are.

Your nonsensicle observations and beliefs are a joke here.

And Appell is know liar and manipulator.

DavidAppell's conscience said...

OK Rob. I get it. So you're not going to delete that comment at 2:40pm. I asked nicely but obviously you are an unreasonable rightwinger. So now everybody knows that Roadrunner is David Appell. That's just great. Now even Scott Moore won't return my phone calls. Jeez. If that interview with Axelrod and Podesta gets canceled on account of this I am going on the warpath. I will not forget being treated like this.

Roadrunner said...

I am not David Appell.

The lack of substance in the right-wing comments here is amazing.

As long as you on the right act like ill-mannered children, you can expect to keep losing at election time.

Anonymous said...

Road,
Stop trying to pretend your attempt to define Republicans and conservatives should be pondered.

You're a predictable liberal spewing your daily tripe.

Roadrunner said...

Actually, anon, it's Republicans who have fefined themselves as the party of childishness. I'm merely pointing it out.

I've also pointed out that Rob is a willing participant in the childishness.

He hasn't responded AT ALL to David's substantive points.

UnionOrganizer said...

Roadrunner, give it up. We know all about you. You can try all you want to suck up by doing your
David Appell imitation' (wink, wink) here but we are not letting you back in the union no matter what. Not after what you did ... repeatedly. I don't think you really want us to discuss that here, do you? Now it's time you left these poor people alone and stopped trying to use them to get back into SEIU. It ain't gonna happen.

David Appell said...

Rob Kremer wrote:
> Tort law, for one. However, I support > government regulations in the case of > negative externalities....
> This is a far, far cry from
> "redesigning our social and economic
> life." That is totalitarian, pure and > simple.

Only a very spoiled, well-fed American could equate today's attempts at regulation with "totalitarianism." Even trying to do so indicates a very weak understanding of history. Rob, you might try reading anything Solzhenitsyn, especially "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" or even "Cancer Ward," or some of Wiesel's most famous works. Or simply rent "The Killing Fields" if reading is too much effort for you. Then you might see what real totalitarianism is like.

You hideously insult such true survivors by comparing your situation to theirs. You should, frankly, be ashamed.

David Appell said...

I've told you people several times: I am not afraid of who I am or of my opinions. I always -- always -- post under my real name and have no need for pseudonyms.

There is no need to hide when you are honest about what you think, whether it's correct or it's not. Pretending otherwise just indicates the weakness of your argument.

David
--
David Appell, freelance science journalist
e: appell@nasw.org
w: http://www.nasw.org/users/appell
m: St. Helens, OR

DavidAppell's conscience said...

Frankly, I often forget to give shameful people like you my photo. Jeez. Just go here: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/12/12/1229093410321/david_appell_140x140.jpg

Stephen said...

I am curious. Why is it that on both sides, we can't treat each other respectfully? I am a conservative, at least I lean in that direction I don't agree with everything on one side of the line. I'm not afraid to say that, however I don't think someone that is on the left is insane for believing what they do. I'm sorry, I just happen to feel that we are all human and have the freedom to choose to believe what we feel is right, whether it is because we were raised that way or because of the conclusions we ourselves have drawn. Seriously. This is completely ridiculous that everyone leaving comments here has said nothing of value. I read every last comment, and it's not very impressive. I'm 15 years old. You guys are the ones out there ruining my opportunities. I want a government that can work together to deal with real issues, not bicker and fight and name-call after every and any word that someone with a different view of the world says. It's as if we have two completely different races here, and both hate the other with a passion. And for no reason! We are all Americans, we have enough intelligent people to solve the world's problems, but there is too much of a failure to listen, and it is bringing the rest of the world down with us. I want to have some kind of life when I get older, and I don't want this kind of disability to cooperate with one another to be detrimental to my future.

Stephen said...

And by the way, everyone on this site may wish to look up the meaning of totalitarianism, because you (on both sides) have used it either completely incorrectly and/or in the wrong context. I'm not trying to burst your bubbles or anything, just a heads up.

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