Environmental groups endanger progress

Self-appointed activists assign obscure values to our natural resources and then raise phony fears to prevent land uses that for decades have provided us with safe, comfortable and efficient living conditions. Recently, propagandists from the Southern Environmental Law Center (link) announced a “list of the most endangered places in the Southeast,” promoted by a Wilmington StarNews article. (link)

This tactic attempts to deceive the public about potential harm and bully legislators into stopping planned development projects that provide public benefits. The scheme often works with some feckless politicians fearful they will be labeled “anti-environment”—and, of course, press editors and reporters usually aid the eco-bullies by failing to question their motives and methods, and present the rational, positive side of development with equal vigor.

Timber sales, oil and gas drilling, building reservoirs, highway construction and mining made the SELC hit list in the states of Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and, of course, North Carolina.

Subversive groups in a vast conspiring network (link) threaten to shut down land development projects necessary to provide our needs for wood products, water supplies, energy, waste disposal, highways and minerals. They gin up unfounded fears that these projects will destroy “wetlands,” assumed in the religion of environmentalism to have some unrecognizable, but sacred purpose. They worry about animal and plant “habitat” to which environmental zealots assign an esoteric value greater than the needs of humans. And two other favorite frights include “threaten water supplies” and “scar” landscapes.

Environmentalist’s Chicken Little fears don’t materialize. Further, American technology can avoid or correct problems that rarely occur. And we have wealth enough to be able to mitigate even falsely expressed concerns (e.g. creating new “wetlands” or “green space”). However, these measures add excessive cost to planning, construction and maintenance; increasing prices, taxes and adding public debt. Environmental demands are based on false premises, unreasonable and costly.

Here in Southeastern North Carolina we’ve witnessed several years of vicious tactics against the Carolinas Cement Company planning to build a modern plant on an old mining site north of Wilmington. The Stop Titan Network (link) has used unfounded propaganda about potential health harms, slanderous statements against company people and litigation schemes to stall operations. The company has rebutted “myths” spread by the Network (link).

I believe that the largely silent public realizes that organized, activist environmentalists threaten human progress. Support of them endangers our quality of life.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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