Time to re-examine the Department of Ecology

One of my liberal critics has been obsessing over the last few weeks for me to “come clean and recognize that the climate change scientists involved in the climategate scandal have been cleared.” Sorry, ain’t going to happen. I read with interest many of the press releases and “news” stories about the decision of various commissions and panels who have examined the facts and decided none of the scientists involved did anything wrong.

The problem is their decisions are all about their bottom line. Not the scientific diligence of their researchers. For example, Pennsylvania State University cleared climate researcher Michael Mann of any wrongdoing in the matter. In the article about their decision in the Scientific American, PSU spokesperson Lisa Powers said, “The university receives $765 million annually in research money. We would not put our reputation at risk over a single researcher. Our expectations are very high.”

Extreme environmentalism is an irrational obsession. I am not surprised that environmental researchers have “cooked the books” and distorted the information to gain more dollars to support their misguided research. Think I’m wrong? In 1990 “scientist” Michael Oppenheimer predicted, “…by 1995 the greenhouse effect would be desolating North America and Eurasia with horrific drought causing crop failures and food riots…by 1996 the Platte River of Nebraska would be dry.” And in an Earth Day speech in 1970 “scientist” Kenneth Watt predicted “the world would be 11 degrees colder by the year 2000.”

Let’s get one thing clear. I want clean water, clean air and a healthy environment as much as the next person. But I believe we can have that and a healthy economy as well. But from my observations the self-proclaimed “environmentalists” do not believe that. In fact, their proposed solutions for solving the problem is simply to eradicate any activity that has advanced our quality of life.

So what exactly has all of this environmental regulation done for us? Essentially it has shut down our energy, mining and timber industries. As a result we have sent most of our wealth and our jobs overseas to countries that could care less about the environment. The net result is we have reduced the standard of living in our own country while doing very little to actually clean up the environment. I guess as long as we don’t actually have to observe the environmental abuse then it doesn’t exist.

Sure we have made mistakes in the past in developing our resources but intelligent people learn from their mistakes. We can build a better life for our citizens while protecting our environment. The current way we are trying to protect our environment is to shut down all of our natural resource industries and buy those products from someone else.

The truth is that we can develop our own energy – oil, gas, coal, geothermal, wind and solar – in a much more environmentally sensitive way than any third world dictator. I have no doubt that we could reinvigorate our moribund economy and eliminate our need to import oil from countries that seek to do us harm.

The environmentalist solution is to regulate and fine anyone that would attempt to improve our lives through use of the materials we have around us. In other words their solution is to build disincentives to produce those things that have made our lives what they are today.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Washington’s Department of Ecology are not programs that inspire positive change in environmental policy. They are agencies that are impediments to economic and environmental progress. It is time to reevaluate these programs. It is time to dump the environmental zealots that run them and start over with a program that builds positive incentives that encourage enlightened development and true progress.

Science that retards human progress is not useful, and scientists that become too emotionally attached to their theories need to be reminded of that fact.