This section begins with more of the chronology and ends with excerpts from several articles that give a flavor of how Wise Use activists saw themselves and their foes. Given that the COINTELPRO hate campaign was implemented through this ‘movement’s’ activists it is worth looking through their ranks for suspects. The chronology at the beginning was written both before and after the bombing motivated by the hate campaigns and its influence on my organizing work including The Country Activist whose advertizers and staff were subjected to an assortment of mail and phone threats in the year and a half before the bombing.
There is money to be made in politics and in influencing public opinion. Whoever controls the narrative gets the most. Control of populations has been an eternal study called advertising, public relations or COINTELPRO. For 65 years, the CIA has been studying control techniques and the way to disrupt entire societies and cultures. They have learned much and practiced their techniques in many foreign countries [Guatemala, Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Panama and Venezuela to name a few near home].
(Theory) The Wise-use Movement was created to provide a domestic vehicle to insert techniques, devised to counter US foreign enemies and influence control over foreign governments, into domestic politics. The use of these techniques was exhibited on California’s Northcoast during the years 1987-1990.
(Theory) John B Connally may have provided favors to the US foreign policy establishment and received favors as in his use of domestic CIA assets in favor of such industries as oil and timber.
The forestry reform momentum in Mendocino County brought a ballot measure to the June ballot spurring the formation of Northcoast Citizens in Humboldt County. A late January meeting of California forestry activists in Arcata, prompted by a hearing on legislation by Senator Barry Keene and Assemblyman Byron Sher, spawned a coalition aimed at a joint venture with the Sierra Club and local activists to bring additional suits and to put a State-wide initiative on a ballot in 1990.
Earth First! issued its 98,000 acre, Headwaters Wilderness Complex Proposal in January. By May, WeCARE had mailed copies of it to all landowners and assorted others to draw out as much reaction against it as they could. Their organizing culminated in the May 17 Truckers Rally to support the re-election campaign of Humboldt County Supervisor Harry Pritchard. Simultaneously the battle to save ancient forests turns to the federal courts in a suit by Northcoast Environmental Center to force the listing of the spotted owl as an endangered species. As the environmental forces began to elicit a governmental response, the industrial timber leaders began the process of dividing the workers from the rest of the community, isolating the workers and cutting off the community’s discussion of its future. Examples abound but none more ominous than the Scotia Inn, located in Pacific Lumber’s company-owned town, refusing to allow Pritchard’s opponent, John Maurer, an ex-PL employee, to hold a candidate’s cocktail party at the Inn citing “community objections that might lead to violence”. The Inn’s management privately admitted that PL’s pressure on management caused the refusal.
As the election approached John Campbell sent a notice to all PL employees warning of possible lay-offs if PL could get around the obstacles presented by ‘environmental extremists.’ This followed a call for organizing against environmentalists published in the April issue of the “Logging and Sawmill Journal”
In June the Mendocino forestry reform measure lost 3-2. WeCARE mailed a right-wing tract by H L Richardson to all timber workers. The tract called environmentalists pagans lead by communists.
PL and WeCARE organized a workers group called TEAM from the workers at PL and Eel River Sawmills, forcing the workers to make contributions to the new group, which quickly began to look like a subset of the right-wing of the Republican Party.
The Country Activist distributed its analysis of the timber situation called” Timber Outlook” as a major article in its regular monthly publication. Northcoast Citizens burst on the scene with a whirlwind signature gathering campaign for the November 1988 election that qualified three county ballot measures dealing with off-shore oil drilling, nuclear free zone creation and recycling. TEAM responded through a PL orchestrated campaign to rouse the workers to boycott the Country Activist and other publications PL saw as unco-operative to its efforts at speeding its cut of the redwoods.
The Timber Association of California, the Sacramento lobbying organization, took the offensive with an anonymous full page ad in the Eureka Times Standard [T/S], ostensibly from “local employees”, blaming everything on the environmentalists. TAC’s director Bill Dennison used the term “Environmental terrorists” when announcing the offensive and claimed, “We’ll never resort to violence.”
Dave Galitz, PR Director for PL, in an article in the Redwood Record, blamed EF! for the unfortunate death of a PL guard, in an auto accident, as the guard returned from his post in the woods.
In the November election the Northcoast Citizens measures win big. The Country Activist was easily identifiable as the progenitor of NC.
TEAM’s boycott which began with front page coverage by the Beacon in August took shape as merchants who advertized in the Country Activist experienced a series of anonymous threatening phone calls and letters.
WeCARE sent a tract on “property rights” written by ERS’ Dennis Scott to its members and the members of Women in Timber.
Simpson’s old growth mill was closed down, environmentalists were blamed but, in one of his last benign acts, State Senator Barry Keene pointed to the rapid depletion of timber resources as the reason for the closure. LP, while secretly planning to open a mill in Mexico, closed its Potter Valley mill blaming environmental lawsuits.
As is known now, because of the 1991 exposure of internal LP memos written before the closure, its cause was overcutting combined with the mistaken belief that the timber industry could force a complete strip logging of the national forests.
This was not the only piece of truth that would await two years or more for exposure. EF! had been infiltrated and the infiltrators were hard at work.
At the end of November EF! organizers Cherney and Judi Bari engaged in a counter-demonstration at an anti-abortion rally in Willits. Photos were taken of the action by Pam Davis another EF! activist and by a now suspected infiltrator Irv Sutley. The next day with Davis’ camera Sutley posed Cherney and Bari with Sutley’s weapons for a series of “Tanya” style photo. Cherney and Bari thought them a joke, but near the end of the year the photos were stolen, as was discovered some two years later when they were published on the front pages of the regional newspaper following the tragic events of May 1990.
In what was to become another unfortunate unforeseen event EF! staged a December rally in Scotia named “Day of the Living Dead Hurwitz’.” Photos of this event were to become the major photos in a hit piece to affect the outcome of NCC’s 1990 campaign to shut down the major polluters in Humboldt County.
The year ends with a T/S editorial blaming job loss on environmentalists.
Robert K Gray was chairman of Hill and Knowlton.
Robert K Gray: Bio as CIA asset in Guatemala 1954?
Louisiana Pacific was using H-K. Maxxam hired H-K in mid 1987. Don Winks and Bob Irelan, Irelan now with Maxxam, were the H-K representatives to PL.
(Jun)Ex Texas Governor John B Connally joined Maxxam Board of Directors and the Coastal Corporation Board.
As the ability of the Environmental Movement to affect Public Policy increased, numerous industry-funded domestic organizations grew. The generic name for these groups in the Northwest and elsewhere was the Wise-use Movement. These groups were funded by industrial corporations and right-wing foundations. The following are a few of those with Hurwitz connections, that are identified as providing support to these groups or contracting for related services with the industrial concerns supporting these groups:
PR firms associated with domestic propaganda and dirty tricks campaigns:
Hill and Knowlton, Wash DC
E Bruce Harrison Co., Wash DC
Moresby Consulting, Canada
Ketchum Communications, Fla
Think Tanks similarly associated include
Private Security firms similarly associated include
Vance Security Assets Protection Team
Business Risks International
Dan Cor Ltd
In an effort to affect public opinion industry groups formed and funded various private organizations for various purposes. Those which were related to the elections in Humboldt County and California (the related funders are in parens) are
Global Climate Coalition (Dupont(DP), Kaiser Aluminum)
Keep America Beautiful (Dupont, Georgia Pacific)
Accuracy in the Media (Kaiser Aluminum)
Alliance for a responsible CFC Policy (Dupont, H-K)
Business Council for Sustainable Development (Dupont)
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise(GP,LP,PL,DP)
The Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise’s (CDFE)advisory board included Dick Cheney (H-K, ex Nixon or Reagan Sec of Defense), Charles Cushman (Wise-use) and William Simon of the Heritage Foundation. The staff was lead by Wise-use organizers Alan Gottlieb and Ron Arnold.
CDFE, based in Bellevue, Washington was founded in 1981 with Gottlieb as its President. In 1982 Floyd Brown is said to head CDFE. In 1984 Gottlieb was indicted for filing false tax returns and sentenced to a year and a day. Gottlieb was the owner of Merril Assoc. Also in 1984 Gottlieb was sued for misusing funds contributed through Gottlieb’s fundraising apparatus to the gun lobby groups.
Floyd Brown: identify
Merril Assoc: identify
Ron Arnold of CDFE said that the Timber Industry could not compete against the environmental groups.
In early January, a now EF! suspected infiltrator, Irv Sutley, mailed a photo, of Bari with a semi-automatic, to the Ukiah Police Department accompanied by a note describing her as a communist and a drug dealer. The infiltrator had been married to such a person and even after 5 years of separation he occasionally visited his ex-wife [Tony Novak] and her new husband [Eldon McFarland] both Peace and Freedom Party activists.
I knew all three of the PnF party people probably in the same way Judi Bari knew them through CISPES. From my experiences with them individually and together I felt entrapment was their goal. I have had other experiences with entrapment before and since.
Humboldt County’s conflict between enviros and the timber industry showed signs of heating up with the federal courts blocking timber sales on the national forests because of declining species, the timber apologists began a campaign to spread the word about the economic effects of environmentalism.
January ended with reports of a fire at a Dixon cattle feed lot causing $3,000 in damages. The reports told of an anonymous caller who claimed EF! was responsible.
By the end of February this fire had been cited numerous times in letters and articles as proof that EF! was violent. The fire was well timed to suit the needs of the cattle industry and those in timber who needed a cause through which to attack all environmentalists. EF! had been planning a campaign to stop over-grazing in the national forests which when underway at the end of February was reported on the wire services along with the month old news of the fire.
As March began the propaganda from the right-wing grew to new heights of hysteria. Pleas for property rights, warnings of physical threats to loggers families, proclamations from WeCARE that EF! has turned to terrorist attacks citing the Dixon fire and the 1987 exploding sawblade that injured the off-bearer George Alexander as proof. When a mill shut down environmental extremists were blamed, editorials decried “ecotage” claiming George Alexander carried the scars of ecotage and again citing the Dixon fire.
Pipe bombs exploded in small towns with no apparent motive.
In mid-March the yearly logging conference featured Charles Cushman telling people to rise up and fight the preservationists.
TEAM expanded its boycott, sending economically threatening letters to Country Activist advertisers whose employees began receiving anonymous threatening phone calls and letters.
Candy Boak of Mothers Watch began her own letter campaign.
By the beginning of May a sharp increase in anti-enviro letters-to-the-editor was noted including ones calling EF! terrorists, arsonists and talking about setting off nail bombs and car bombs.
In June, WeCARE launched its wise-use campaign and TEAM launched its Wise-Use Advocate publication. Foreman is arrested in Arizona
The Kerry Report linked Casey to BCCI.
Donald Segretti worked for Hill and Knowlton in its Hong Kong office.
Ketchum Communications planned a campaign to defame Greenpeace for its client Clorox to defeat Greenpeace’s campaign called “Chlorine Free By ’93”. Major chlorine users also benefitted from the Ketchum campaign. These include Humboldt County, California pulp and paper manufacturers Louisiana Pacific and Simpson Pulp. Ketchum is also of interest because of its Specialized Services Group headed by its President, Herbert David Gordon. A “Herbert Gordon” has been identified as a former CIA agent and may be the same person. Gordon of Ketchum resigned in late 1990 to be replaced by Paul H. Alvarez.
Wackenhut conducted an investigation against an environmentalist concerned with the Alyeska pipeline. The investigation included setting up fake environmental organizations, faking various documents and attempting to compromise the morals of the whistle-blower. Ex-Wackenhut employee David Ramirez testified before Congress on this matter. Alyeska is a consortium of oil corporations which claimed it was not responsible “because the firm (Wackenhut) was a contractor responsible for its own actions.”
Wiseuse Activists include Candy Boak, local loggers, local republicans. Charles Cushman had a dirty tricks campaign involving the above. Environmentalists received direct threats to life and limb from these campaigns. These activists claimed to be secular but they used Dominionist rhetoric. The threats were signed as The Stompers or The Avengers among other names.
The local organizations WeCARE, Team and Mother’s Watch coordinated with Chuck Cushman’s Inholders Association.
The following groups who are primarily extremist, but have at times resorted to terrorism include: The Wise Use movement who had some effect on the government’s policy on natural resources, but fringe members have been implicated in criminal actions such as the use of pipe bombs, car bombs, and physical violence.
Arnold is a professional writer, brags about having a 168 IQ and proves it as he has stunning “total Recall” knowledge of both the left and right and he made total fools of the FBI. He’s is the vice president of Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and a Christian fundamentalist and sports a fundamentalist beard. [RM pg 102]
Arnold’s economic and religious fellow commander and co-founder of the Christian Reconstruction movement, Gary North , a prolific writer wrote, ”In winning a nation to the gospel, the sword as well as the pen must be used.” (Christian Reconstructionism 6:1, p. 198) North subscribed to the Austrian School economists Ludwig von Mises, F.A.Hayek, and Murray Rothbard i. e. so-called “Free Market,” economics.
The theme that environmentalists put nature ahead of people is an often repeated one. Charles Cushman (pictured), one of the Wise Use Leaders, is reported to have said, “The preservationists are like a new pagan religion, worshipping trees and animals and sacrificing people.” Arnold and Gottlieb argue, “We see that every place where people want to make a living is suddenly recognized as the habitat of The Last Big Old Tree or The Last Cute Little Animal or even The Last Ugly Bug…”.
Reference: Charles Cushman, Multiple-Use Land Alliance, quoted in Michael Satchell, ‘Any color but green’, U.S.News & World Report, October 21 1991, p. 75; Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb, Trashing the Economy: How runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America(Bellevue, Washington: Free Enterprise Press, 1993), p. 7.
In a speech in 1992 Ron Arnold stated his intention to destroy the environment movement: “there is no compromising with the environmental movement, there is no redemption for it. It cannot be reformed. It must be dismantled entirely and replaced… ”
Reference: Ron Arnold, ‘Transcript of Closing Remarks’ Paper presented at the Maine Conservation Rights Institute Second Annual Congress, 20th April 1992.
However the Movement has been able to go further than environmental groups by using pubic relations techniques and industry resources, mainly supplied by the timber, mining, agriculture, real estate, chemical, oil and gas and vehicle manufacturing industries. It claims it is able to “inundate legislators with thousands of letters against pending environmental legislation in just hours via a nationwide fax network.”
Reference: Phil Brick, ‘Determined Opposition: The Wise Use Movement Challenges Environmentalism’, Environment, Vol. 37, No. 8 (1995), p. 19.
Arnold, Ron, 1992, ‘Transcript of Closing Remarks’ Paper presented at the Maine Conservation Rights Institute Second Annual Congress, 20th April.
Arnold, Ron and Alan Gottlieb, 1993, Trashing the Economy: How runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America (Bellevue, Washington: Free Enterprise Press).
Baum, Dan, 1991, ‘Wise Guise’, Sierra (May/June 1991), pp. 71-3, 92-3.
Brick, Phil, 1995, ‘Determined Opposition: The Wise Use Movement Challenges Environmentalism’, Environment, Vol. 37, No. 8, pp. 17-20, 36-42.
Burke, William Kevin, 1994, ‘The Wise Use Movement: Right-wing anti-environmentalism’, Propaganda Review, No. 11, pp. 4-10.
Collins, Clark, 1995, ‘Off Highway Vehicle Enthusiast Input Needed on Endangered Species Act (ESA) Reauthorization’, (BlueRibbon Coalition).
Deal, Carl, 1993, The Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental Organizations (Berkeley, California: Odian Press).
Echeverria, J. D. and Eby, R. B. (eds), 1995, Let the People Judge, Washington, DC, Island Press.
Gottlieb, Alan, ed. 1989, The Wise Use Agenda: The Citizen’s Policy Guide to Environmental Resource Issues (Bellevue: The Free Enterprise Press).
Grumbine, Edward, 1994, ‘Wildness, Wise Use, and Sustainable Development’, Environmental Ethics, Vol. 16 (Fall 1994), pp. 227-49.
Helvarg, David, 1994,The War Against the Greens: The “Wise-Use” Movement, the New Right, and Anti-Environmental Violence (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books).
Helvarg, David, 1994, ‘Anti-Enviros are Getting Uglier’, The Nation(November 28), pp. 646-51.
Helvarg, David, 1995, ‘Red Herrings of the Wise Use Movement’, The Progressive (November), pp. 18-20.
Maughan, Ralph and Douglas Nilson, 1994, ‘What’s Old and What’s New About the Wise Use Movement’, GreenDisk, Vol. 3, No. 3.
Ness, Erik, 1995, ‘Taking it All Away: The Private-Property Movement Carves up America’, The Progressive (November), pp. 21-3.
O’Callaghan, Kate, 1992, ‘Whose Agenda For
O’Keefe, Micheal and Kevin Daley ,1993, ‘Checking the right’, Buzzworm, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 38-44. America?’, Audubon(September/October), pp. 80-91.
Poole, William, 1992, ‘Neither wise nor well’, Sierra (Nov/Dec 1992), pp. 59-61, 88-93.
Rauber, Paul, 1995, ‘Wit and Wisdom of the Wise Users’, Sierra, Vol. 80, No. 6, pp. 31,33.
Ridgeway, James and Jeffrey St.Clair, 1995, ‘Where The Buffalo Roam: The Wise Use Movement Plays on Every Western Fear’, Village Voice, July 11, pp. 14-16.
Roush, Jon, 1995, ‘Freedom and Responsibility: What we can learn from the Wise Use Movement’, in John D. Echeverria and Raymond Booth Eby (eds), Let the People Judge (Washington, DC: Island Press), pp. 1-10.
Rowell, Andrew, 1996, Green Backlash: Global Subversion of the Environment Movement (London and New York: Routledge).
Satchell, Michael, 1991, ‘Any color but green’, U.S.News & World Report, October 21, pp. 74-6.
Stapleton, Richard, 1992, ‘Green vs. green’, National Parks(November/December), pp. 32-7.
Tokar, Brian, 1995, ‘The “Wise Use” Backlash: Responding to Militant Anti-Environmentalism’, The Ecologist, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 150-6.
The following section is extracted from Robert McLaughlin’s work on death squads [Amazon] p.
Although many New Right funders have supported the Center’s work, Arnold and Gottlieb claim they don’t rely on large corporate donations. Gottlieb is considered one of the most talented direct-mail fundraisers in the country, and reportedly sends out twenty million pieces of mail each year. This nets $5million annually for CDFE and its sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the right to Bear Arms. In 1984, Gottlieb spent a year in jail for filing false tax returns.
Coors Foundation, Georgia Pacific, Louisiana-Pacific, Mac Millan, Pacific Lumber, Exxon, DuPont, Agricultural Products Division, Boise Cascade, Seneca Sawmills, Sun Studs, Burkland Lumber, F.M. Kirby Foundation.
Alan M. Gottlieb, President, Ron Arnold, Executive Vice President, Samuel M. Slom, Vice President, Merrill R. Jocobs, Secretary, Jeffery D. Kans, Treasurer.
“Congressional Advisors (1992)” most have co-authored anti-environmental legislation)
Senators Alfonse d’ Amato, (R-NY), Jesse helms (R-NC), Don Nickles (R-OK), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Representatives Phillip Crane (R-IL), Mickey Edwards (R-OK), Robert L. Livingston (R-LA), Don Young (R-AK); former Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH); former representatives John Hiler (R-IN), Stan Oarris (R-VA), Guy Vanx “Distinguished Advisers (1992)”
Dick Cheney, former US Secretary of Defense (are you starting to get the picture), Charles S. Cushman, National Inholders Association; Donald Devine; Bettina Vien Graves; Wayne Hage; Richard Inchord; American Freedom Coalition; Barbara Keating; Consumer Alert; Dawson Mathis; William Simon; Heritage Foundation.
From; the Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental Organizations; editors, Arthur Naiman, Martha Honey, Susan Mc Callister, Joan Baranow
The FBI investigated the incident as officially recognized domestic terrorism with ties to Earth First! Ron Arnold of Wise Use also places responsibility with Earth First! The Earth Night Action group whoever they were certainly were not Earth First!ers. Earth First! has nothing like stopping electricity in their agenda.
Radical Religion vs. The Environment
Dominion Theology is a generic term for a set of biblical beliefs, with the common dogmatic teaching that society must be controlled by biblical law, as they believe the Bible demands, and not by secular laws or mores. We are using this specific term to separate a particular movement associated with the concept that Christ will not return to earth until the environment is almost completely destroyed and must actively participate in that destruction. This concept is associated with a secular movement called “Wise Use”, promoted by the work of Ron Arnold, an advocate of the right to own property and use the planet’s resources for the benefit of mankind; the most important benefit being corporate profit. The darkest aspect of the Dominionist agenda is that they not only ignore environmental degradation, but actively promote it, and strongly condemn the environmental movement as being an impediment to the plan of God. Considering that there are groups which believe the actual destruction of the environment is a prerequisite for the return of Jesus, this group of beliefs is particularly dangerous. Predictions of the rapid decline of the environment is shocking and troubling to society as a whole, yet, to certain radical elements in fundamentalist Christianity, it is joyous news.
Increasing numbers of “progressive” Christians are now beginning to view environmental degradation as an issue all people of faith need to address. But, the radical Christian Right has chosen to limit their attention to social moral issues such as homosexuality and abortion, as well as, theocratic domination of society. Part of that theocratic domination is a concept that the sole purpose of nature and its resources are for the use of mankind only. God put man in charge of the resources of Earth, and mankind has the divine right to use it as it pleases. And, added to this, they hold the mistaken belief that God created the Earth with enough resources to last until he destroys it again, and after he “raptures” his “chosen ones”. This combines a destructive belief with a complete ignorance of its impact.
Unrestrained use of environment, no matter how destructive, is not thought to be a problem, because Dominionists believe that when it finally runs out, or collapses completely, it will signal the imminent return of Jesus. Any opposing that concept are labeled as New Age followers of Satan, tree-huggers, nature-worshipping pagans, or godless socialists. These neo-conservatives have completely ignored the undeniable facts about environmental destruction, and have instead chosen the path of supporting the corporate view, which is shared by the Bush administration and the corporate mentality that human progress is the highest priority of human existence. Human progress, especially, when it causes environmental destruction, is considered by many to be a glorious goal, heralding the quick return of the Savior of faithful Christians. Destroying the planet to force Jesus to save mankind may seem like convoluted reasoning, but to the Dominionists, it makes perfect sense.
The Christian Right holds the environmental movement in utter contempt and many Christians, who claim to love the Creator of all things, choose to express hatred for those who try to preserve the very Earth their God created. And, many in the Christian Right believe encouraging sustainable lifestyle is no less than satanically inspired. The reason for these bizarre beliefs is simple; power and money, and, although the powerful opposition to the environmental movement has nothing to do with Christian values, it has everything to do with the conservative and wealthy Christian ministries. The lay members in these movements are completely sincere, although obviously lacking a sense of logic and concern for the environment they are blessed to inhabit. They are only accepting the rhetoric of the pulpit that they honestly believe is the truth. After all, questioning your church leaders, no matter how insensitive their concepts, is considered heresy, and often, proof of demonic possession. Even though the Bible clearly says to prove all things, (I Thess. 5:21), attempting to do so will label you a blasphemer and earn you quick condemnation to Hell. Also, adding to this anomaly is the prosperity doctrine; a belief that God blessed his faithful with wealth and power, exactly the thing Jesus preached against. Reaping the wealth God placed in the environment is just thought to be reaping your just reward for your good works.
Here are the main points that guide the Dominionist view of why the environment should be destroyed:
● Scripture defines God as the source of private property: “For every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them” (Ecclesiastes 5:19)
● Dominionists take their core beliefs from the Puritans, who were early settlers in America, that believed they were given a divine mandate to build the ‘city on a hill’ in the new America. The Puritans perceived themselves as God’s special people who inherited the covenants God made to Israel.
● Dominionists are both “Preterist” and “Post-millennialist”. Pretarism is the belief that the prophesies of Revelation are already happening. Postmillennialism is the belief that Christ cannot make an appearance until a certain amount of achievements have been made by the church.
● The Kingdom on Earth described in scripture is represented by the Church in its current form, based on their interpretation of Revelation. The Dominionists are the new chosen people, and they should have dominion now.
● Dominion is a divine mandate issued at creation for Adam to subdue the Earth on behalf of God. Since Adam failed, it now falls on the shoulders of present day man to play this mandate out.
● Since Dominionists have been given divine orders to subdue the Earth, then nothing is sacred, and given Adam and Eve’s failure, the Earth is cursed, hence, there is no reason to protect the environment.
● Dominionists hold that there is nothing wrong with destroying the environment because the right to private property is more important.
● It is now the responsibility of Dominionists to destroy the cursed Earth, in order to provide means to reconstruct society into a theocracy, which will ensure the return of Jesus.
Wealth is the Catalyst
The pulpits espousing these beliefs are controlled by ministries, which are often generously funded by people whose business activities are the most damaging to the planet and its inhabitants. Many of the leaders of these ministries are wealthy from ownership of stock in major corporations, and the portfolios of the major Christian fundamentalist churches are awash in corporate investments. They actually believe that God is blessing them through investments in corporations whose very existence and profitability revolve around environmental destruction. Pat Robertson, the head of the Christian Coalition, is a classic example. Robertson is owner of CENCO Refining, and the Pat Robertson Charitable Remainder Trust is owner of the mining company Freedom Gold created in the Cayman Islands to mine gold in Liberia, with the infamous Charles Taylor as his partner. He is only one example of many whose wealth is gained at the cost of Earth’s sensitive environment. By demonizing the environmental movement, the Christian neo-cons are only fighting for their business interests, not their Christian values.
Some quotes from conservatives on environmental protection:
● “I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I’m going to buy a Suburban next time. (Jerry Falwell)
● “I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming. We’ll be in global cooling by then, if the Lord hasn’t returned. I don’t believe a moment of it. The whole thing is created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.” (Jerry Falwell)
● “The radical environmental movement is destroying America. It is turning our society, once based on individual freedom and responsibility, into little more than mindless followers of regulations established at the whim of unelected special-interest groups.” (John Meredith)
● “While the Soviet Union has collapsed, communism is not dead. It has [been] repackaged under a new name: environmentalism. Communism is about extensive government regulation and control by elites, and so is environmentalism.” (Walter Williams)
● “Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” (Senator James Inhofe)
John O’Sullivan, a famous New York journalist, editorialized in 1845 that “it was the nation’s manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given.” O’Sullivan’s mantra “Manifest Destiny,” spurred the belief, during the 19th Century, that Americans had an obligation to settle the Western territories. Indeed, the phrase “Manifest Destiny” implied that America’s expansion was predetermined and, most importantly, inspired by God. Manifest Destiny was taken up by those in government who determined that the entirety of the North American continent must be settled. Using this as a religious rationale to facilitate this goal, was a convenient way to encourage settlers to “Go West”, and provided the spiritual rationale for westward expansion.
Fast forward to the present and we find the same rationale being programmed into the religious right, with a new twist. Large, well-organized, and powerful groups of anti-environmental activists are using similar tactics. The anti-environmental philosophy, known as “Wise Use”, has now replaced “Manifest Destiny” as the mantra. And, these activists hold a powerful and destructive influence over government, to the point of even ignoring the warnings of their own experts, and going so far as to silence them and alter their reports, to support unfettered growth. The close ties between anti-environmentalists, who subscribe to the ideas of Wise Use, and members of fundamentalist Christian churches and organizations is alarming. This also mirrors the traditional relationship between religious and political conservatives. In so doing, they have gained a literal army of God to promote their own agenda.
Wise Use – Greed Masked as Wisdom
Right-wing activist and timber industry consultant, Ron Arnold, the current leader of the corporate-sponsored, anti-environmentalist movement, has been credited with coining the term “Wise Use”. The phrase was actually originated by Gifford Pinchot, the man appointed head of the U.S. Forest Service by Theodore Roosevelt, a century ago. Pinchot used the term in a book he wrote titled “A Primer of Forestry” in 1903. Railroad companies were exerting intense pressure on the Roosevelt administration to use Forest Service lands. Pinchot used this concept in an effort to strike a balance between preserving the nation’s forests and the interests of corporations.
Ron Arnold is employing the same concept to enhance the bank accounts of corporate stockholders at the expense of the entire world’s environment. It is the same strategy, but with a much broader and damaging agenda. Gifford Pinchot used the “Wise Use” concept in response to the views of naturalist John Muir, who strongly advocated that public lands remain pristine. Roosevelt considered the ongoing expansion of the population into the Western territories as the agenda of what he called the “land grabbers.” Pinchot was trying to change this view, thus allowing the Western territories to prosper, while preserving many forests and other natural environments for future generations. Arnold cares little for preserving anything, save his image as corporate darling.
Although Ron Arnold did not invent the term Wise Use, he has coined other terms such as “ecoterrorist” and “rural cleansing”, a great difference, when compared to the way it was initially used by Gifford Pinchot. He has, through a series of writings and public appearances, created a combative style of demonizing the environmental movement that is dangerous and alarming. Arnold is executive vice president of the appropriately titled “Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise”, a think tank, which claims it monitors and acts against “threats to free markets, property rights, and limited government”, and, falsely claims to be “an educational foundation for individual liberty.” It is, in truth, a center for anti-environmental activism. Arnold espouses the concept that the environmental movement has a radical political agenda with a goal to “hamper property rights”, and “dislodge the market system with public ownership of all resources and production.” He believes that the only solutions to the world’s environmental problems will be found by the leaders in technology, industry, and trade. He actively promotes the convoluted and corporate-prompted belief that “Our limitless imaginations can break through natural limits to make earthly goods and carrying capacity virtually infinite.”
Lobbying by the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, and associated interests, has led directly to timber industry exploitation of public forests, the development of resorts in our national parks, and the opening up of the highly destructive use of off-road vehicles in our National Park system. In a series of articles, he wrote: “Citizen activist groups, allied to the forest industry, are vital to our future survival. They can speak for us in the public interest where we ourselves cannot. They are not limited by liability, contract law or ethical codes. Industry must come to support citizen activist groups, providing funds, materials, transportation, and most of all, hard facts.”
Dominionists and the Wise Use Movement
The connection between the environment and dominion theology can be found in Genesis: “God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:22) Although there are many interpretations of what this passage means, many Christians believe it means we must take care of the environment. The Evangelical Environmental Network, for instance, states: “Most major environmental problems such as air pollution, water pollution, and the threat of global warming hurt people. These problems fight against Christ’s reconciliation of all of creation. In many instances they hit the poor, the children, and the elderly the hardest.”
Unfortunately, the Dominionists, who are strongly allied with “Wise Use” movement, believe Genesis 1:22 means that mankind has the right to rule over the natural world and use it as he sees fit. Combined with their belief that the End Times are near, this leads millions to believe that, not only is there is no need to care for the environment, but, unbelievably, destroying the environment will hasten the Second Coming. Since Jesus predicted there would come a time, when, unless he intervened, all living things could be destroyed, (Matt. 24:22), Dominionists take this to mean that the faster they destroy the planet, the sooner he will return.
The Champion Dominionist
When we look back and wonder how the planet came to the precipice of destruction, which it certainly will, George Bush will stand out clearly as the champion of that destruction. Although he does not publicly confess a Dominionist belief, he certainly qualifies as the poster boy for the movement. His administration has completely reversed the gains made to protect the environment over the last half-century, and may just have single-handedly pushed the planet over the edge. Every action the White House has taken has dramatically increased the damage to the environment and richly rewarded the corporations doing the damage. When he was running for office, he stated “I’m going to give you clear skies, clean air, and clean water,”. When he became president, he gutted the environmental controls that were designed to provide clean air and water. He has blocked every effort nationally and internationally to curb global warming, and done everything to nullify any efforts made by other nations.
He undermined the Montreal Protocol to Protect the Ozone Layer and weakened the G-8 Climate Plan, gutted wetlands protection, repealed the Clean Water Act, de-funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and has persistently tried to drill for oil in sensitive wilderness areas. His anti-environmental agenda is clearly evidenced in his judicial nominations, his witch-hunts against climate change scientists, and consistently ignoring the science on clean air. He has also tried to soften greenhouse gas links to global warming, and allowed power plants, refineries, and other industrial sites to spew several more millions of tons of unhealthy pollutants into the air, than were being released before he took office. He may not be a Dominionist, but they would have a hard time finding anyone that does more to advance their dark agenda.
Dominionists in Presidential Politics
In response to a journalist’s inquiry into Republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee’s past as minister for 12 years, before entering politics, his campaign refused to release the text of any of his sermons. A similar response was received from the two churches he pastored, and, probably for good reason. In a book titled “Kids Killing Kids”, which he wrote in 1998, Huckabee described the things that he believes are fracturing our society, and lumps together AIDS, drug abuse, pornography, homosexual activism, and environmentalism in the same category. One wonders what environmentalists have to do with purveyors of pornography, or anything else he listed, but classifying environmentalism with sin is a clear calling card of the anti-environment agenda of many Dominionists. And, his sudden surge in the polls, just before the Republican
Convention, has been attributed to a rapid growth in support from Christian Evangelicals. Even though many of those Evangelicals may not agree with his connection of environmentalism to sin, they certainly don’t seem to believe that is of enough importance to deny him their support. This indicates that, though many Evangelical ministries have taken a pro-environmental stand, it is of a lower priority in their judgment about who leads the country than their theocratic views.
The Godly Must Be Crazy
Again, unbelievably, Dominionists beleive that the Bible teaches that the faster they destroy the planet, the sooner Jesus will return to take them to Heaven and they consider this a divine mandate. But, isn’t this like thinking that if you set your house on fire, it’s ok; the Fire Department will put it out? Of course it is, but there’s a bizarre twist to this way of thinking. What if that person believed that, as soon as their house burned to the ground, some mythical benefactor would move them into a huge mansion in a gated community, give them a magic elixir that would make them live forever, and provide them with unlimited resources for eternity? And, what about your neighbors, who may lose their houses, and lives, by the threat you cause? No problem, your benefactor has firmly convinced you that they are all evil automatons, and that he will kill them by burning them alive in their houses, anyway. Only you, and a few “chosen ones”, have been selected to receive his blessing. The others will have no need for a place to live.
That may sound strange, but that is exactly what the majority of Christians, not just Domionists, believe. They have been programmed to believe that Jesus only loves them, and hates the billions of others that don’t believe the way they do. He will take them, (he Rapture), to “Heaven”, (the gated community complete with a guard named Peter), give them eternal life, (the magic elixir), kill all the rest of humanity, (your neighbors, the evil automatons), by burning them alive, (the destruction of Earth by fire and the false concept of Hell). So, the sooner you burn your house down, the sooner you get your mansion.
If you think that is a radical concept, just spend a few Sundays in the pew of a fundamentalist Christian church. Not only will you be told all of the above, but you will be told that if you don’t accept this terrorist doctrine, your absolute destiny is to suffer an unimaginable torture for the same eternity that the rest of your pew mates will be spending in unimaginable bliss. Fear and incentive are the tools of ruthless dictatorial rulers throughout the entire existence of mankind. And, if you don’t think most church leaders are ruthless dictators, just try questioning their authority.
Put the Ron Arnold’s and Pat Robertson’s of the world on the same path, with the same agenda, and you have a recipe for certain disaster, such as we are now experiencing in its early beginnings in the world’s environment. They are literally marching the world into a manmade Hell for what they perceive to be a heavenly cause. But, can they be stopped? Not without denying them freedom of religion and speech, in other words, a “Catch 22”. So, if the predictions of Jesus are true, that he will intervene just when the Earth is in its death throes, the Dominionists are actually fulfilling their own sick agenda. But, how will they justify destroying the environment they claim “their” God created? They might be in for a shocking experience when the real God points out that they have completely ignored his prime edict on the environment, when he said “Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit.” (Numbers 35:34)
When it all comes to a head, and the Dominionists think they have accomplished their destructive agenda, they will, hopefully, have the time to reflect on the true results of a failure to “wisely use” the planet they inhabit. “After the last tree has been cut down; after the last river has been poisoned; after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.” A Cree Prophecy
Pro Wise Use Ideology: This article is Arnold at his best mentioning terrorism 17 times in 15 pages. Following the title below is
Interview With Ron Arnold, March1998
The Conservative Monitor interviews noted environmental activist and author, Ron Arnold
“Wise Use” in the White House
Yesterday’s fringe, today’s Cabinet official.
by David Helvarg, September 2004
Ron Arnold: Climate hustlers destroying our civilization for a lie
By RON ARNOLD (@RON_ARNOLD) • 3/21/13 12:00 AM
Also from the Washington Examiner
Obama endorses Clinton for president
By Nicole Duran • 06/09/16 1:56 PM
The following essay by Ron Arnold is regarded by many as the seminal expression of the ideas that have evolved into the richly diverse wise use movement.
Overcoming Ideology by Ron Arnold
From A Wolf in the Garden : The Land Rights Movement and the New Environmental Debate
Edited by Philip D. Brick and R. McGreggor Cawley, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, 1996 ISBN 0847681858
It was 1964, the year of the Wilderness Act. Historian Leo Marx began his classic, The Machine in the Garden, with the assertion that “The pastoral ideal has been used to define the meaning of America ever since the age of discovery, and it has not yet lost its hold upon the native imagination.”1
A little more than thirty years after, we have the present volume, A Wolf in the Garden, echoing Marx less than tolling a sea-change in American notions of exactly what is meant by the pastoral ideal.
Marx saw it as a cultivated rural “middle landscape,” not urban, not wild, but embodying what Arthur O. Lovejoy calls
“semi-primitivism”; it is located in a middle ground somewhere between the opposing forces of civilization and nature.2
The pastoral ideal is not simply a location, but also a psychic energy condenser: it stores the charge generated between the polarities of civilization and nature. Ortega y Gasset recognized this as long ago as 1930 in The Revolt of the Masses: “The world is a civilized one, its inhabitant is not: he does not see the civilization of the world around him, but he uses it as if it were a natural force. The new man wants his motor-car, and enjoys it, but he believes that it is the spontaneous fruit of an Edenic tree.”3
There was a certain truth to this blind sight: producers in the middle landscape invisibly yielded the raw materials for the motor-car (and everything else). The labor power of dwellers in America’s middle landscape has always been reified as an Edenic tree to be plucked by distant capital and unappreciative consumers, and the dwellers felt it keenly.
Since 1964, the rise of environmentalist ideology has pushed the pastoral ideal increasingly toward nature, striving to redefine the meaning of America in fully primitivist terms of the wild. Eco-ideologists have thrust their metaphoric raging Wolf into every rank and row of our civilized Garden to rogue out both the domesticated and the domesticators. The Wolf howls Wild Land, Wild Water, Wild Air. Whether Wild People might have a proper place in Wolf World remains a subject of dispute among eco-ideologists.4
Public policy debate over the environment and the meaning of America has been clamorous these thirty years. Its terms were succinctly put by Edith Stein:
The environmental movement challenges the dominant Western worldview and its three assumptions:
Unlimited economic growth is possible and beneficial.
Most serious problems can be solved by technology.
Environmental and social problems can be mitigated by a market economy with some state intervention.
Since the 1970s we’ve heard increasingly about the competing paradigm, wherein:
Growth must be limited.
Science and technology must be restrained.
Nature has finite resources and a delicate balance that humans must observe. 5
That fairly delineates the public debate. However, in order to critique an ideology, one needs an accurate statement of that ideology. The environmentalist ideology striving to redefine the meaning of America was expounded most realistically by author Victor B. Scheffer in a Northwest Environmental Journal article, “Environmentalism’s Articles of Faith.” The five tenets Scheffer proposed appear to be the core of shared beliefs actually held most widely by environmentalists:
1) All things are connected. “[N]ever will we understand completely the spin-off effects of the environmental changes that we create, nor will we measure our own, independent influence in their creation.” Scheffer adds, “I use the word nature for the world without humans, a concept which–like the square root of minus one–is unreal, but useful.”
2) Earthly goods are limited. “As applied to people, carrying capacity is the number of individuals that the earth can support before a limit is reached beyond which the quality of life must worsen and Homo, the human animal, becomes less human. One reason we humans–unlike animals in the wild–are prone to exceed carrying capacity is that our wants exceed our needs.”
3) Nature’s way is best. “Woven into the fabric of environmentalism is the belief that natural methods and materials should be favored over artificial and synthetic ones, when there’s a clear choice. Witness the vast areas of the globe poisoned or degraded by the technological economy of our century.”
4) The survival of humankind depends on natural diversity. “Although species by the billions have vanished through natural extinction or transformation, the present rate of extinction is thought to be at least 400 times faster than at the beginning of the Industrial Age. Humankind’s destruction of habitats is overwhelmingly to blame.”
Scheffer adds, “No one has the moral right, and should not have the legal right, to overtax carrying capacity either by reducing the productivity of the land or by bringing into the world more than his or her ‘share’ of new lives. Who is to decide that share will perhaps be the most difficult social question for future generations.”
5) Environmentalism is radical “in the sense of demanding fundamental change. It calls for changes in present political systems, in the reach of the law, in the methods of agriculture and industry, in the structure of capitalism (the profit system), in international dealings, and in education.”6
One can see the Wolf skulking in each of Scheffer’s five tenets of eco-ideology.
Actual organizations and individuals comprising the environmental movement stress different clusters of these tenets. Although the environmental movement’s structure is complex and amply textured, three distinctive axes of influence dominate environmental politics in America:
1. Establishment Interventionists – acting to hamper property rights and markets sufficiently to centralize control of manytransactions for the benefit of environmentalists and their funders in the foundation community, while leaving the market economy itself operational. They tend to emphasize the need for natural diversity and in some cases to own and manage wildlife preserves. Notable organizations in this sector are the Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society.
2. Eco-Socialists – acting to dislodge the market system with public ownership of all resources and production,commanded by environmentalists in an ecological welfare state. They tend to emphasize the limits of earthly goods. Greenpeace, Native Forest Council, Maine Audubon Society are representative groups.
3. Deep Ecologists – acting to reduce or eliminate industrial civilization and human population in varying degrees. Theytend to emphasize that nature’s way is best and environmentalism is radical. Earth First!, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Native Forest Network are in this category.7
The Wolf in these varieties of sheep’s clothing is rapacious, not simply protecting nature, but also annihilating the livelihoods of dwellers in the middle landscape.
Today the Wolf is firmly entrenched in Washington, D. C., where important environmental groups have established headquarters or major operating bases. Eco-ideologists have written many laws, tested them in the courts and pressured many administrative agencies into compliance with their ideology. They have, in brief, become the
Establishment. The apparatus of environmentalism is no longer represented merely by non-profit organizations, but has grown to encompass American government at all levels.
Since the inception of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) in 1985, the foundation community has usurped substantial control of the environmental movement. The standard philanthropic model, “non-profit organization submits its proposal to foundation for funding,” has given way to “a combine of foundations selects and dictates grant-driven programs to non-profit organization.” In the instance of the Ancient Forest campaign in the Pacific Northwest, a cluster of six EGA foundations even went so far as to create their own projects because of dissatisfaction with the capabilities of the Washington, D.C. environmental community. The foundations derive their income from managed investment portfolios representing the power elite of corporate America.8
As the environmental debate developed during the late 1980s, the “dominant Western worldview” gained an organized constituency and advocacy leadership: the wise use movement. Incipient and gestating more than a decade in the bosom of those who had been most wounded by environmental ideology, the new movement congealed at a conference in Reno, Nevada in 1988. It was centered around a hodgepodge of property rights groups, anti-regulation legal foundations, trade groups of large industries, motorized recreation vehicle clubs, federal land users, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, trappers, small forest holders, mineral prospectors and others who live and work in the middle landscape.9
It came as a shock to environmentalists. The “competing paradigm” unhappily found itself confronted with a competing paradigm. The free ride was over. A substantial cluster of non-profit grass roots organizations now advocated unlimited economic growth, technological progress and a market economy. They opposed the eco-ideologists’ proposals using the tactics of social change movements, such as mobilizing grass roots constituencies, staging media events including protest demonstrations and orchestrating letter-writing campaigns to pressure Congress.
It was a pivotal shift in the debate. No longer were eco-ideologists able to face off against business and industry, pitting greedy for-profit corporations against environmentalism’s non-profit moral high ground. Now it was urban environmentalists defending their vision of the pastoral ideal against those who actually lived the pastoral ideal in the middle landscape.
This simple structural rearrangement of the debate went virtually unnoticed, but was crucial: Now it was non-profit against non-profit, one side promoting economic growth, technological progress and a market economy, the other opposing.
The emergent wise use movement held up a mirror to the embarrassing questions posed by the “competing paradigm”:
Just who will limit our economic growth? Who will restrain America’s science and technology? Who will decide what “delicate balance humans must observe”? The answer was clear: only environmental ideologists, and not those who create economic growth, science, technology or the market economy.
Asserting such onerous control over others was not attractive and clarified the environmental movement as just another special interest protecting its selfish economic status. Economics is not about money, it is about the allocation of scarce resources. The wise use movement bared the environmental movement’s ambition to be resource allocator for the world.10
Environmentalism’s efforts to turn America’s pastoral ideal wild stood out in sharp contrast to the wise use movement’s actual stewardship of the land, the water and the air. Wise users were not perfect, to be sure, but they were down to earth, real, and necessary. They created economic growth, employed science and technology, and drove the market economy.
Environmentalism, by contrast, appeared in the same light as pastoral literature in critic William Empson’s Some Versions of Pastoral: “about the people but not by or for them.”11
Environmentalism, like pastoral literature, was about those pastoral rural dwellers who produced dinner, dress and domicile for everyone, but was generated by the educated elite, not by those who lived the pastoral ideal.
Environmentalism’s ideology was promulgated for the ruling elite, not for the farmer or rancher or family forest owner or mineral prospector.
When the wise use movement arose to demystify eco-fetishism, the environmental movement lost its grip on the debate. It was as if history had played a huge joke on environmental ideology.
The environmental movement was not amused.
The first environmentalist reaction to the emergence of the wise use movement was passive denial–ignore it and it will go away. That lasted from 1988 to early 1992. The present phase of active denial began with a study of the wise use movement by the W. Alton Jones Foundation dated February, 1992, portraying the rising social force as a mere front for industry, created by industry, paid for by industry, controlled by industry. The fact that foundation analysts sincerely believed this assessment points up how unprepared the environmental movement was to lose its favored “non-profit versus for-profit” moral high ground in the debate. Industry had to be the opponent. The wise use movement had to be a mere front. So that’s what they saw.12
This humbuggery lasted only half a year. Further research, sponsored by The Wilderness Society and conducted by the Boston-area media strategy firm MacWilliams Cosgrove Snider, disclosed a disturbing truth: “What we’re finding is that wise use is really a local movement driven by primarily local concerns and not national issues…. And, in fact, the more we dig into it, having put together over a number of months a fifty state fairly comprehensive survey of what’s going on, we have come to the conclusion that this is pretty much generally a grass roots movement, which is a problem, because it means there’s no silver bullet.”
The words are those of Debra Callahan, then director of W. Alton Jones Foundation’s Environmental Grass Roots
Program, at the 1992 Environmental Grantmakers Association annual fall retreat. Her session, titled “The Wise Use Movement: Threats and Opportunities,” capped off the three day convocation of foundation executives.13
Callahan’s source, the MacWilliams Cosgrove Snider report, titled “The Wise Use Movement: Strategic Analysis and Fifty State Review,” affirmed that the wise use movement was the greatest threat the environmental movement had ever faced.14
“What people fundamentally want, what people fundamentally believe about environmental protection,” Callahan said polls revealed, “is that no, it’s not just jobs. And no, it’s not just environment. Why can’t we have both?
“The high ground is capturing that message, okay? The wise use movement is trying to capture that message. What they’re saying out there is that ‘We are the real environmentalists. We are the stewards of the land. We’re the farmers who have tilled that land and we know how to manage this land because we’ve done it here for generations. We’re the miners and we’re the ones who depend for our livelihood on this land. These environmentalists, they’re elitists. They live in glass towers in New York City. They’re not environmentalists. They’re part of the problem. And they’re aligned with big government. And they’re out of touch. So we’re the real environmentalists.’
“And if that’s the message that the wise use movement is able to capture, we are suddenly really unpopular. The minute the wise use people capture that high ground, we almost have not got a winning message left in our quiver.”
Judy Donald of the Washington, D.C.-based Beldon Fund, and Callahan’s co-presenter, took the conclusion another step. “There are, as Deb has made clear, ordinary people, grass roots organizations, who obviously feel their needs are being addressed by this movement,; said Donald. “We have to have a strategy that also is addressing those concerns. And that cannot come simply from environmentalists. It can’t come just from us. That’s the dilemma here. It’s not simply that people don’t get it, it’s that they do get it. They’re losing their jobs.”
Barbara Dudley, then executive of the Veatch Fund, now head of Greenpeace, stated: “This is a class issue. There is no question about it. It is true that the environmental movement is, has been, traditionally … an upper class conservation, white movement. We have to face that fact. It’s true. They’re not wrong that we are rich and they are up against us. We are the enemy as long as we behave in that fashion.”
These commanders of environmentalism had acknowledged they were destroying jobs and hurting those who produce our material goods. They admitted themselves the enemy. This moment of self-comprehension was a tremendous opportunity to repent and reach out to wise users, dwellers in the middle landscape who felt betrayed by big government and big business.
Instead, the foundations and their environmental cohort deliberately fell back on their stereotype, portraying wise use as a front for corporations, and risking a frontal assault against wise use with new tactics: “Attack Wise Use…. Find divisions between Wise Use and Wise Use and exploit them…. We need to … talk about the Wise Use agenda. We need to expose the links between Wise Use and other extremists….”
In other words, a smear campaign would be mounted to tie wise users to unpopular extremists such as the John Birch Society, the Unification Church, Lyndon LaRouche, and to violent factions such as the militias. They knew they couldn’t shoot the message, so they settled for shooting the messenger.
To implement the smear campaign, W. Alton Jones Foundation helped found the Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) in 1993 with two grants totaling $145,000. In the same year Jones gave numerous grants in the $20,000 to $30,000 range to small local organizations that agreed to conduct smears against wise use.15
The Sierra Club engaged private investigator David Helvarg to write an anti-wise use tirade titled The War Against the Greens claiming a conspiracy of violence by wise users against environmentalists. Helvarg’s sponsors also funded a road show for him to tie wise use to an alleged far-right terrorist network.16
The EGA foundations and their grant-driven environmentalist dependents spent millions on related media saturation projects designed to identify the words “wise use” with “violence” in the public mind. Reliance on The Big Lie revealed grant-driven environmentalists as intellectually and morally bankrupt, and the technique backfired, just as EGA members Donald and Dudley foresaw.
Grass roots environmentalists saw that big-money foundations controlled the “mainstream” environmental movement, which they felt had sold out true reform for pallid incrementalism. They deserted by the hundred thousand, preferring to form scattered local and regional groups of their own. The Wilderness Society and Sierra Club were hit particularly hard, losing 125,000 members and 130,000 members, respectively, in 1994.17
Most devastating for the foundations, an icon of the Left, author and syndicated columnist Alexander Cockburn, aired their dirty laundry in the progressive flagship, The Nation. “For years now,” wrote Cockburn in August 1995, “David Helvarg has been backed by environmental groups such as the Sierra Club to investigate and smear the Wise Use movement by any means necessary. This goes back to the early 1990s when the Environmental Grantmakers Association offered a de facto bounty for material discrediting Wise Users as (a) a front for corporations or (b) part of a far-right terrorist network.”
Cockburn–an equal opportunity critic who routinely berates the wise use movement for its failings–deplored the smear tactic. He wrote, “And so we have the unlovely sight of Helvarg behaving like an F.B.I. agent. He prowls across literature tables at Wise Use meetings and ties all the names on the pamphlets, letterheads and books into his ‘terror network.’ The trouble is, he never makes his case. Helvarg never comes up with the terrorist conspiracy he proclaims, because there hasn’t been one.”18
Indeed. What there has been, and what environmentalists cannot confront, is a potent movement subversive of environmentalism’s articles of faith. That is why they resort to a hoax rather than lively debate on the issues.
Although it would be rash to propose wise use’s articles of faith–it is a diverse movement–some of the following principles would probably find wide agreement among those who provide the material goods to all of humanity:
1) Humans, like all organisms, must use natural resources to survive. This fundamental verity is never addressed by environmental ideology. The simple fact that humans must get their food, clothing and shelter from the environment is either ignored or obliquely deplored in quasi-suicidal plaints such as, “I would rather see a blank space where I am–at least I wouldn’t be harming anything.”
If environmentalism were to acknowledge our necessary use of the earth, the ideology would lose its meaning. To grant legitimacy to the human use of the environment would be to accept the unavoidable environmental damage that is the price of our survival. Once that price is acceptable, the moral framework of environmental ideology becomes irrelevant and the issues become technical and economic.
2) The earth and its life are tough and resilient, not fragile and delicate. Environmentalists tend to be catastrophists, seeing any human use of the earth as damage and massive human use of the earth as a catastrophe. An environmentalist motto is “We all live downstream,” the viewpoint of hapless victims.
Wise users, on the other hand, tend to be cornucopians, seeing themselves as stewarding and nurturing the bountiful earth as it stewards and nurtures them. A wise use motto is “We all live upstream,” the viewpoint of responsible individuals.
The difference in sense of life is striking. Environmentalism by its very nature promotes feelings of guilt for existing, which naturally degenerate into pessimism, self-loathing and depression.
Wise use by its very nature promotes feelings of competence to live in the world, generating curiosity, learning, and optimism toward improving the earth for the massive use of future generations.
The glory of the “dominant Western worldview” so scorned by environmental ideologists is its metaphor of progress: the starburst, an insatiable and interminable outreach after a perpetually flying goal. Environmentalists call humanity a cancer on the earth; wise users call us a joy.
If there is a single, tight expression of the wise use sense of life, it has to be the final stanza of Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound. I think wise users will recognize themselves in these lines:
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seem omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope itself creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory!19
3) We only learn about the world through trial and error. The universe did not come with a set of instructions, nor did our minds. We cannot see the future. Thus, the only way we humans can learn about our surroundings is through trial and error. Even the most sophisticated science is systematized trial and error. Environmental ideology fetishizes nature to the point that we cannot permit ourselves errors with the environment, ending in no trials and no learning.
There will always be abusers who do not learn. People of good will tend to deal with abuse by education, incentive, clear rules and administering appropriate penalties for incorrigibles.
4) Our limitless imaginations can break through natural limits to make earthly goods and carrying capacity virtually infinite. Just as settled agriculture increased earthly goods and carrying capacity vastly beyond hunting and gathering, so our imaginations can find ways to increase total productivity by superseding one level of technology after another. Taught by the lessons learned from systematic trial and error, we can close the loops in our productive systems and find innumerable ways to do more with less.
5) Humanity’s reworking of the earth is revolutionary, problematic and ultimately benevolent. Of the tenets of wise use, this is the most oracular. Humanity is itself revolutionary and problematic. Danger is our symbiote. Yet even the timid are part of the human adventure, which has barely begun.
Humanity may ultimately prove to be a force of nature forwarding some cosmic teleology of which we are yet unaware. Or not. Humanity may be the universe awakening and becoming conscious of itself. Or not. Our reworking of the earth may be of the utmost evolutionary benevolence and importance. Or not. We don’t know. The only way to see the future is to be there.
As the environmental debate advances to maturity, the environmental movement must accept and incorporate many of these wise use precepts if it is to survive as a social and political force.
Establishment Interventionism, as represented by the large foundation and their grant-driven client organizations, must find practical ways to accommodate private property rights and entrepreneurial economic growth.
Eco-socialism’s collectivist program must find practical ways to accommodate individual economic liberties in its bureaucratic command-and-control approach.
Deep Ecology’s biocentrism must find practical ways to accommodate anthropocentrism and technological progress.
To accomplish this necessary reform, environmentalists of all persuasions will have to face their ideological blind spots and see their own belief systems as wise users see them, i.e., in a critical and practical light.
This is a most difficult change for ideological environmentalists. Failure to reform environmentalism from within will invite regulation from without or doom the movement to irrelevancy as the wise use movement lives the pastoral ideal in the middle landscape, defining the meaning of America.
1. Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America, Oxford University Press, New York, 1964, p. 3.
2. Arthur O. Lovejoy, et al., A Documentary History of Primitivism and Related Ideas, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1935, p. 369.
3. José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, trans. anon., (first published in Spanish, 1930), reissued 1993 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, p. 82.
4. Bill Devall and George Sessions, eds., Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered, Peregrine Smith Books, Salt Lake City, 1985, passim.
5. Edith C. Stein, The Environmental Sourcebook, Lyons & Burford, New York, 1992, p. 6. Victor B. Scheffer, “Environmentalism’s Articles of Faith,” Northwest Environmental Journal, Vol. 5:1, Spring/Summer 1989, pp. 99-108.
7. Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb, Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America, Free Enterprise Press, Bellevue, Washington, 2nd ed., 1994, pp. 57-67 et passim.
8. Taped sessions of the Environmental Grantmakers Association 1992 Annual Fall Retreat, Conference Recording
Service, Berkeley, California, 1992. Session 2: “North American Forests: Coping With Multiple Use and Abuse;” Session 19: “Environmental Legislation: Opportunity for Impact and Change;” Session 23: “Media Strategies for Environmental Protection.”
9. Alan M. Gottlieb, ed., The Wise Use Agenda, Free Enterprise Press, Bellevue, Washington, 1989. This document was the result of the 1988 Wise Use Strategy Conference and consists of recommendations for natural resource use from 125 of the 250 conference participants.
10. Michael Kelley, “The Road to Paranoia,” The New Yorker, Vol. LXXI, No. 17, June 19, 1995, p. 60. 11. William Empson, Some Versions of Pastoral, New Directions, New York, 1974, p. 6 et passim.
12. W. Alton Jones Foundation, The Wise Use Movement, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1992. 13. Taped session of the Environmental Grantmakers Association 1992 Annual Fall Retreat, Conference Recording Service, Berkeley, California, 1992. Session 26: “The Wise Use Movement: Threats and Opportunities.”
14. The Wilderness Society, The Wise Use Movement: Strategic Analysis and Fifty State Review, prepared by MacWilliams Cosgrove Snider, Boston, 1992. Distributed by Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, Washington, D.C.
15. W. Alton Jones Foundation, Form 990 Annual Report to the Internal Revenue Service, 1993, Page 10, Part XV, Line
3a, Grants and Contributions Paid this Year. Anti-wise use grant recipients included Environmental Defense Fund
($75,000); Idaho Conservation League ($30,000); Kentucky Coalition ($30,000); Maine Audubon Society ($26,250);
Missouri Coalition for the Environment Foundation ($20,000); Pennsylvania Environmental Council ($30,000); Piedmont
Environmental Council ($25,000); Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests ($26,250); Southern Utah
Wilderness Alliance ($30,000); Vermont Natural Resources Council ($26,250); Western States Center ($20,000);
16. David Helvarg, The War Against the Greens: The “Wise Use” Movement, the New Right, and Anti-Environmental Violence, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1994.
17. Keith Schneider, “Big Environment Hits the Recession,” New York Times, January 1, 1995, p. F4. See also, Stephen Greene, “Environmental Groups Advised to Slim Down,” Chronicle of Philanthropy, January 12, 1995, p. 29.
18. Alexander Cockburn, “Exchange,” The Nation, Vol. 261, No. 5, August 14 / 21, 1995, p. 150.
19. Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Prometheus Unbound” in The Works of Percy Bysshe Shelly (Roslyn, N.Y.: Black’s Reader Service, 1951), 180.
Interview With Ron Arnold, March1998
The Conservative Monitor interviews noted environmental activist and author, Ron Arnold
Ron Arnold is the Executive Vice President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. He is one of the leading proponents of the Wise Use Movement and has written several prominent works on the environment and environmental terrorism.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: Your Book, “Eco-Terrorism” chronicles the story of the Unabomber’s last victim. Why is it important to put a human face to the label, “victim”?
RON ARNOLD: It’s the traditional answer, “Many deaths are a statistic, one death is a tragedy.” I told the story of Gil Murray not only because he was a personal colleague, but also because It brings home the true terror that grips the survivors around an ideological murder victim.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: Your book outlines Ted Kaczynski’s ties to the Environmental Movement. It also describes and lists other terrorist acts perpetrated in the name of the environment. How common is this kind of action?
RON ARNOLD: My book details more than 1,000 crimes committed to save nature, many with arrest and conviction records of the environmentalists who committed them. Ecoterror is virtually an everyday event, yet it is the most unreported crime in America. Now that Theodore Kaczynski has admitted his extensive correspondence with the radical environmental group Earth First! and that he targeted Thomas Mosser, his next-to-last murder victim, from an Earth First! Journal article, I think the world needs to turn its attention to ecoterror. Law enforcement is already mounting serious investigations. Congress is also working toward early House hearings on ecoterror.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: Though the Sierra Club is a widely popular organization, it is not loved by those who wish to protect property rights. Yet, as your book points out, the Sierra Club is not necessarily popular among environmental radicals either. What is the reason for their animosity?
RON ARNOLD: Many radical environmentalists feel that the big Washington, D.C. lobbying groups such as the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society have lost touch with their grass roots, have fallen captive to the political coils of compromise, are caught up in internal turf and ego wars of rank, salary and advancement, and for all these reason fail to “save” nature. When radicals see such groups fund-raising on the claim that they are the saviors of the planet, it appears as mere self-aggrandizing and arrogant rhetoric without substance.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: The spectacular scandals going on in the White House is causing much commotion in the press. Do you think it is diverting public attention from more important issues, for example the connection between the Unabomber, Eco Terrorism and the environmental movement in general and what this means to the country at large?
RON ARNOLD: Getting your own news release drowned out in a busy news day is a common experience for authors, but in this instance the commotion coming from the White House threatens to drown out virtually all other news, not just that about the threat posed by ecoterrorism. But a growing network of pro-technology activists is making sure that the message of my book EcoTerror will stay before the public for as long as it takes to produce results. By results, I mean congressional hearings and legislation to protect the public from environmentally motivated violence.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: What do you say to environmental critics who argue that the free enterprise system encourages destruction of the environment for short term gain?
RON ARNOLD: I agree. And add two points: First, there is no human system that does not encourage destruction of the environment. For humans to obtain food, clothing and shelter at even the most primitive level, objects and organisms must be converted by human labor from their original place and condition into usable products, which appears to be destruction from the viewpoint of the converted items, but appears to be creation from the viewpoint of the human whose life is increased thereby. The real question is which of the available human systems is most desirable: hunter-gatherer tribes, slash-and-burn shifting planter tribes, nomadic animal husbandry bands, settled agricultural communities, classical pre-industrial civilizations, industrial societies, or high technology cultures. I promote high technology cultures for their ability to learn and their power to correct mistakes while offering the widest variety of lifestyles and mind-styles to their citizens. The second point is that short term gain includes your meals today and your bed tonight and everything else you use all your life, therefore, short term gain should not be looked upon solely as an evil, because it may well be part of a long-term survival strategy of excellent quality, which is the case in most free enterprise business plans.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: In your new book, “EcoTerror”, you chronicle the history of the extreme and radical environmental movement. You point out that the initial driving force of the Earth First! Movement, Dave Foreman, identifies himself as a Republican and a conservative. Can you tell us a little about this seeming contradiction in the man?
RON ARNOLD: There are two parts to the answer. One is that showman Dave Foreman is exaggerating his Republican credentials, and the other is that deep ecologist Dave Foreman may instruct us that conservatism and radical environmentalism are not entirely mutually exclusive.
Showman Dave Foreman, like many another college student of the 1960s, became politically aware through Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” joined Young Americans for Freedom (more libertarian than conservative) and registered to vote as a Republican because it was the closest thing to Rand’s objectivist philosophy. Ayn Rand, recall, rejected religion and social conservatism while espousing an economic conservatism similar to Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian School of economics. Dave Foreman gradually jettisoned even economic conservatism in favor of anarchy (in his rhetoric) and total state control (in his legislative recommendations such as the Wildlands Project that would depopulate and remove civilization from half of the United States to make a nature preserve). Thus, regardless what his voter registration card says, his voting record probably isn’t very Republican – witness his loud denunciations of Ronald Reagan’s administration. And most Republicans have never entered a guilty plea of felony conspiracy to blow up the power lines of several nuclear generating stations, as convicted ecoterrorist Dave Foreman did in 1991. Deep ecologist Dave Foreman is conservative only in the sense of resisting change, and the only change he resists is man’s impact on the natural world. However, today’s conservative community also harbors very real resistance to change, both social change and technological change. Many conservatives also approve of government arrangements to preserve nature without asking too many questions about how that affects our life, liberty and property. The “Good Old Days” are an ideal both to conservatives such as Pat Robertson and to radical environmentalists such as Dave Foreman. The difference is that conservatives are thinking about the bucolic America of a century ago and Dave Foreman is thinking about the Early Stone Age. We usually think of “radical” as meaning “revolutionary,” but it doesn’t, it only means “of the root,” as in “going back to the root.” Radical environmentalism is not revolutionary, it is devolutionary. It’s going backward, not forward. We also usually think of environmentalism as “leftist,” with its command-and-control, top-down, you-don’t-matter politics. It’s not on the left. The Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain (an unquestionably leftist organization), for example, absolutely rejects and denounces environmentalism as being opposed to human progress (see my web-site at http://www.cdfe.org/communist.html). Environmentalism has gone so far around the political spectrum it has become that farthest-to-the-right of all ideologies, fascism. But it’s a fascism without Hitler or Mussolini. It’s a fascism with equally self-righteous zealots absolutely convinced they are right and willing to disregard you if you disagree. Radical environmentalism is not progressive, it’s retrogressive, aiming to blast us not to some utopian future, but back to primeval nature or even — as Dave Foreman’s magazine Wild Earth wrote of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement — to oblivion. Some radical environmentalists are willing to use violence to achieve their goals, which is why I wrote EcoTerror.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: Gordon Durnil, author of “The Education of a Conservative Environmentalist”, has hypothesized that conservatives and Republicans could and should take up the environmentalist standard. He believes that it is an issue that resonates with many and that conservatives are the group to handle environmental issues in the most responsible manner. Do you foresee environmentalism ever becoming a “conservative issue”?
RON ARNOLD: Yes. Conservation of resources and conservatism are philosophical cousins, but not brothers. There are some points in common that philosophical conservatives may embrace, but probably not political conservatives. I don’t think Republicans will turn environmentalism into their political issue because it requires too much government intrusion. Republicans may try to co-opt the issue as an insincere popularity measure, but are likely to be rebuffed by the environmental establishment because liberal social agenda items necessarily accompany ideological environmentalism.
CONSERVATIVE MONITOR: Environmental standards imposed by the government may be responsible for cleaner air and cleaner water in the 1990s than existed in the 1970s. Taking into account Malthusian fears of population growth and the need to support that population, what do you see as the future for the liveability of our planet?
RON ARNOLD: I see technological civilization overcoming obstacles, solving supply problems by closing the open loops in our resource streams and finding better ways to make more products from less material. The great marvel of technological civilization is its ability to learn and its power to solve problems imaginatively. I foresee Western standards of living extending worldwide in stages as Third World cultures throw off the yoke of environmentalists who have imposed no-growth policies on them. Watch for some determined struggles of the poor to better their lot and a revolutionary awakening of global populations to the negative influence of environmentalism on human life.
“Wise Use” in the White House
Yesterday’s fringe, today’s Cabinet official.
by David Helvarg, September 2004
Fifteen years ago the anti-environmental “wise use” movement made a splash with its talk of timber wars, threats to shoot “jackbooted” park rangers and resource managers, and attacks on grassroots environmental activists. You don’t hear much about wise use anymore, but that’s not because the wise-users went away.
Far from it. Just as neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle long pushed their hawkish agenda from the sidelines before becoming key officials, veterans of once-discredited militant anti-environmental groups are now setting natural-resource policy for the Bush administration.
Wise use arose in 1988, combining property-rights activists with elements of the timber, mining, oil, and off-road-vehicle industries and a smattering of Reagan administration leftovers. Its original focus was the perceived threat that George H. W. Bush would follow through on his pledge to be “the environmental president.”
Wise-use activists went on to confront the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, and local environmental activists, sometimes with vigilante-style tactics ranging from telephone death-threats to arson and shootings. In Washington, Idaho, Montana, and New Mexico, a number of wise-users even united with the militia movement.
That alliance proved their undoing: Following the deadly 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by militia associates Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, wise use lost much of its industry backing and went into decline.
Today wise-use veterans and their lawyers and lobbyists are back, working for the son of the president they once detested. Among prominent appointees in the administration with wise-use backgrounds is Interior Department secretary Gale Norton, who began her career at the Mountain States Legal Foundation back when it billed itself as the “litigation arm of Wise Use.”
Mountain States was the brainchild of Reagan’s notoriously anti-environmental Interior secretary James Watt. (After being forced to resign, Watt told a group of ranchers that “if the troubles from environmentalists cannot be solved in the jury box or at the ballot box, perhaps the cartridge box should be used.”)
Department of Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman also has roots in the movement. As a lawyer in California, Veneman represented wise-use activists opposed to a federal conservation plan for the Sierra Nevada. Her chief of staff, Dale Moore, is a former lobbyist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a stalwart member of the wise-use coalition, while her undersecretary for natural resources, Mark Rey, was a timber lobbyist and featured speaker at wise-use events through the late 1990s.
Back in its heyday, the movement put forth a 25-point “Wise Use Agenda,” which at the time was dismissed as right-wing fantasy. It included a call to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to log Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, to gut the Endangered Species Act, and to open up public lands to motorized recreation. These and other wise-use bullet points now frame Bush administration environmental policy.
Drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge has been a constant preoccupation, and the Tongass was opened to wide-scale logging last December. The Endangered Species Act has been continuously undercut. Secretary Norton reversed a plan to ban snowmobiles from several national parks, instead increasing their numbers. She also directed the Bureau of Land Management to find ways to expedite coal, oil, and gas development on 250 million acres of public lands.
The Wise Use Agenda also called for privatizing the national parks and handing them over to people “with expertise in people-moving such as Walt Disney.” Norton has promoted “outsourcing” thousands of National Park Service jobs to the private sector to provide “better delivery of services to the public.”
“I wish we could take credit for that, but we can’t,” demurs wise use’s founding ideologue Ron Arnold of the Center for Defense of Free Enterprise. “Dick Cheney sits on my board of directors, but we’re not pen pals. Sometimes you just put something out there long enough and it gets picked up, despite what you do.”
One victory wise use will take credit for goes back to the early days of the Bush administration, when it appeared the White House might appoint John Turner as Interior secretary. Turner had been head of the Fish and Wildlife Service under the elder Bush, and was a fishing buddy of Dick Cheney’s.
But he was also president of the Conservation Fund, a “non-membership, non-advocacy” land preservation organization, so wise use considered him a “land-grabber” aligned with “the Rockefeller Family Foundation and their financing of the environmental left,” according to Chuck Cushman of the American Land Rights Association. Cushman (known to his admirers as “Rent-a-Riot”) organized an anti-Turner campaign; the angry protest spooked the Bush White House, and Turner’s name was replaced by Gale Norton’s.
“They caved, they blinked,” says wise-use founder Arnold. “Cheney’s probably angry at us, but who cares? Norton is a friend.”
This spring, wise use again stepped in to block the Senate from ratifying the Law of the Seas treaty, an innocuous framework agreement for ocean management and marine protection. With broad support from the Navy, oil companies, the White House, and environmentalists, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had voted 19—0 to take the agreement to a final vote.
Then wise-use veteran Henry Lamb, former head of the so-called Environmental Conservation Organization (a group founded by developers opposed to wetlands protection) got involved. His new group, Sovereignty International, claimed that the Law of the Seas treaty was a plot to undermine the United States by establishing a “blue hull” United Nations navy (from which presumably to launch the black helicopters of militia-movement fantasy).
Lamb’s group got Senator James Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma to call a hearing regarding “national security concerns” over the treaty, leading Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to put off the vote until after the presidential elections so as not to alienate Bush’s supporters on the far right.
While traditional wise-use paranoia still proves effective, its rhetoric is softening. Where once leaders like Arnold railed against environmentalists (“We’re out to kill the f––s. We’re simply trying to eliminate them. Our goal is to destroy environmentalism once and for all”), today’s wise-use veterans like Interior secretary Norton take a softer tone.
“We have in many ways reached the limits of what we can do through government regulation,” she blandly asserts. Now that they occupy the seat of power, the wise-use movement no longer needs its blowhards and bullies as it quietly and effectively implements its radical agenda.
David Helvarg is author of The War Against the Greens (revised and updated 2004, Johnson Books) and president of the Blue Frontier Campaign. Illustration by Victor Juhasz.
Ron Arnold: Climate hustlers destroying our civilization for a lie
By RON ARNOLD (@RON_ARNOLD) • 3/21/13 12:00 AM
“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably.”
This private musing between climate scientist colleagues first surfaced along with a whole raft of embarrassing material in 2011, when the anonymous Climategate leaker “Mr. FOIA” leaked his second set of emails from Britain’s disgraced Climate Research Center at the University of East Anglia. Last week, Mr. FOIA emerged for a third time, sharing with the world not only his entire batch of 220,000 encrypted emails and documents, but also, for the first time, his thoughts.
Mr. FOIA had previously released two batches of 5,000 files each in 2009 and 2011. This enormous third batch went to a network of friends for decoding, sorting and publication.
The first and second email batches contained conversations among “scientists” documenting that their claims of a man-made global warming crisis were deliberately contrived for career gain, research funding and “the cause,” as climate scientist Michael Mann calls it. The emails sparked a furious “hide the lies” denial campaign that ironically calls skeptics “deniers.”
“Hide the lies” generated lawsuits and countersuits between believers (what kind of science requires belief?) and skeptics of “dangerous man-made planetary warming” — along with ridiculous conspiracy theories such as “Big Oil hired evil hackers in a plot to discredit angelic climate scientists.”
Mr. FOIA denies these absurd claims in his 3.0 message. “I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again,” he said. “That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn’t plot this. USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK. There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.”
“The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to garner my trust in the state of climate science — on the contrary,” Mr. FOIA continued. “I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.”
Why did he do it? His answer was both angered and anguished: “Climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material ‘might.’ … The price of ‘climate protection’ with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations,” he wrote. “We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not [taking] away from something and someone else.”
Didn’t he fear discovery? “When I had to balance the interests of my own safety, the privacy and career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades … millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. … the first two weren’t the decisive concern.”
Also from the Washington Examiner
Obama endorses Clinton for president
By Nicole Duran • 06/09/16 1:56 PM
Last weekend, London’s Mail on Sunday newspaper ran an outraged feature based on the British Meteorological Office’s recent admission that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in more than 15 years. Citing a chart of predicted and actual temperatures, the Mail noted: “Official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed. The graph on this page blows apart the ‘scientific basis’ for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. The chart shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions. The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data.”
And by people who knew exactly what they were doing.
Examiner Columnist Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.