Too many environmentalists assume if you want to be an environmentalist, you have to disagree with Senator Inhofe’s positions on the environment, if not consider him nuts, and you should rejoice and support his being targeted by environmental organizations to “eliminate” him in November 2008.
An American who can still speak his mind.
These same environmentalist forces eliminated the unbowed California Congressman Richard Pombo in the 2006 election, and now they’re taking their war to Oklahoma; to the American heartland.
The problem with environmentalists targeting Inhofe is that nothing is necessarily wrong with Senator Inhofe’s positions on the environment.
They might even be considered rational environmentalist positions. As Inhofe tirelessly advocates, we need more public works projects; more canals, more deep water reservoirs, more freeways, more parking garages and urban street arteries. We need to build more nuclear power plants and more fossil fuel infrastructure of almost all types. Naturally all of these projects need to be state-of-the-art and clean, but along with “green” innovations, we need them in order to help make us energy independent and prosperous, and so does the rest of the world.
Another of Inhofe’s “crimes” is to try to open Yucca Mountain. But why is it so hard to get Yucca Mountain open for business? We’ve dug deep into a huge mountain in one of the most remote, inert areas on earth. Even if there is some kind of cataclysmic earthquake or water intrusion – extremely unlikely – so what? The waste is planned to be within containers so strong you could practically drop them from orbit and nothing bad would escape. Opening up Yucca Mountain and starting to empty and clean up smaller dumps around the USA and elsewhere seems fine to me. How many cubic meters of nuclear waste equate to 50 gigawatt-years, anyone? And commissioning nukes could help save the rainforest from pre-green biofuel incarnations.
Perhaps addressing all of Inhofe’s infrastructure agenda isn’t necessary. But too many environmentalists don’t want ANY infrastructure. By the time anything significant is built, it costs 10x and takes 10x as long, and happens 1/10th as often as it should. Many things desperately needed, like more freeways, are off the table. Projects are backed up and our economy suffers because today anti-Inhofe environmentalists wield far too much influence, blocking and micromanaging all development.
For his failure to recognize the deadly role of CO2 in our planetary future, Inhofe is a heretic, and like all such heretics today, he is the target of an internationally coordinated professional propaganda effort to demonize him in the public eye. His motives, his sanity, and all of his associations are called into question. This is not healthy debate, nor civil; environmentalists are worthy of something better.
We should embrace debate as to what it is to be a rational environmentalist. We should accept both infrastructure proponants as well as global warming skeptics into the environmentalist fold, because the strengths of their convictions may be no less sincere, and their contributions no less valid. And to those professionals who are targeting Inhofe from Oklahoma, an independent voice in the heartland of America, know this: California is also in play, because the truth is stronger than the trend, and it is wrong to try to silence and demonize those who disagree.