Sacramento, California, is arguably the epicenter of the green policy initiatives that are changing the world. But living here in the center of the storm, watching the impact as these new “enlightened” policies get implemented, is not as blissful an experience as one might think.
According to today’s environmentalist
wisdom, if you have yard that requires
water to grow life, you are a eco-criminal.
Everyone must now live in cluster homes.
Having been an avid, utterly committed environmentalist for nearly 40 years, I think I’m entitled to a bit of skepticism while witnessing these latest, fairly intense iterations of environmentalism. I am increasingly convinced that much of the conventional wisdom of environmentalists today is dead wrong, and destructive to our way of life, our prosperity, and our freedom.
Being an environmentalist, to me, means being emphatically in favor of clean air, clean water, and clean soil. It means supporting reasonable efforts to preserve wilderness and wildlife, and more generally, to embrace a holistic world view that believes we should assess and mitigate all of our impacts so our civilization is sustainable, and nurtures the natural ecosystems of the planet. But in my opinion, this core set of beliefs has been perverted by environmentalists who are either well-intentioned but misguided, or who have hidden agendas.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to purchase a home in a quiet, semi-rural suburb. But today I see my lifestyle, and that of millions of hard working Californians just like me, under relentless attack. Why? Because our civic leaders have decided “open space” is so sacred that they have to declare “urban service boundaries” around the “footprint” of existing cities, beyond which no development can take place. Meanwhile, California’s population increases by over 500,000 persons per year. So “infill” developments of ultra high density are being crammed into every beautiful low density neighborhood within existing cities, with civic leaders designating “special planning areas” to get around zoning laws. There is no end in sight.
This is a bunch of communist nonsense. Why on earth did we bother spending a trillion dollars to defeat the Soviet Union, if today in the name of environmentalist values, property rights of anyone outside the “urban service boundary” are disregarded, and neighborhoods inside this prison wall (which is what it is) are utterly destroyed with hideous ultra-high density developments that make mockery of zoning laws which supposedly were designed to protect us?
We are within a few years of abundant energy – solar thermal, photovoltaic and wind sources alone will easily disrupt energy price equilibriums and provide abundant, cheap and clean energy to power not only homes, but cars. We don’t need to eliminate freeways if cars are clean and energy is abundant. And we certainly don’t have to cram people into “transit villages” where there are 10 (or even 20!) single family homes per acre. Ultra high density developments, outside of the chic urban core, will inevitably degrade to become slums. And these slums, via infill, are going to innoculate every beautiful semi-rural suburb in California with congestion and crime, unless the open space fanatics are challenged, and their influence over our elected officials is broken.
Being an environmentalist does not mean you have to be a misanthropic communist. But in practice, that is exactly what is happening.