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GUEST COMMENTARY: How liberty can fuel energy production

Thursday, January 12, 2012 | 2:10 p.m. CST

Freedom, opportunity, prosperity and a civil society have made America exceptional. But without energy — secure and affordable energy — many of our great accomplishments would not have been possible.

Unfortunately, our already tenuous energy security is being threatened and diminished by policies emanating from Washington. That need not be the case, and conservatives can meet the challenges we face by applying important principles of a free society to natural resource and energy policies.

Almost every thoughtful person knows reliable and affordable energy is essential to have a healthy economy that creates jobs and to make everyday life possible. Hurricane Irene brought this home dramatically, as families in the eastern part of the country worried about the storm's effects on electrical power, food supplies, businesses and hospitals. Irene made those in its path more conscious of something we often take for granted.

Although the storm has passed, damage to our energy security continues as Washington bureaucrats seek to constrict energy use, obstruct its development and mandate just what kind we use without consideration of how efficient it is.

The reality is that we need more reliable and affordable energy. There are three principles that can help us get it.

First, we need to clearly state and stick by the principle that people are our most valuable resource. Natural resources and energy policies should be judged first and foremost on how good they are for people. Meeting human needs should be paramount. This is because we value people's well-being above other measures such as carbon emissions or the population of a rare insect and because we recognize that the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of a free people hold the keys to meeting our challenges.

Americans have always been able to meet our energy challenges, discovering ways to find, extract, develop and market energy resources. Impediments aside, Americans will continue to meet our needs today and allow for other generations to enjoy our natural resources as well.

It was a private visionary, not the Department of Energy, who combined existing technologies — horizontal drilling and fracking — to dramatically increase the amount of natural gas we might now be able to tap.

Green extremists and their Washington bureaucratic allies are trying to stop us from harnessing this energy, warning of irreparable environmental harm. The truth is that we can tap energy sources while being good stewards of the air, water and other resources that make up our environment.

Second, we need environmental policies that are site- and situation-specific. What works for the people of West Virginia or Alaska might not work elsewhere. The Environmental Protection Agency and other federal minders don’t always know best, but the regulators do hold many big sticks. Congress should require them to leave to the states as much of the processes overseeing energy resource development as is possible and right.

State officials can set standards that allow energy sources such as coal, oil and gas to be tapped responsibly and cost-effectively. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas and Colorado are among states with known energy resources that could be tapped more quickly with state and local officials, rather than Washington bureaucrats, overseeing site- and situation-specific regulation.

Third, we need to recognize that the most promising opportunities for improving our environment are not in government ownership and regulation, but in extending the protection of private property and unleashing the creative powers of the free markets.

Owners of land with energy resources have the incentive to develop energy using the most effective technologies. If they are also responsible for any real pollution they create, free-market competition will spur technologies that reduce negative impacts to keep down development costs.

Where energy sources are held on government property, it gets trickier. The government owns about a third of the nation’s land and most of the ocean areas where energy resources could be tapped. The permit process and other regulatory hurdles have been used to stymie energy development on the federal estate, all of it treated like "leave only footprints" national parks.

Yet the hundreds of millions of acres held by the Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service or in the outer continental shelf were never meant to be shut off like a national park.

This needs to be acknowledged, and the size of the federal estate should be limited. We need to establish means of extending rights that will encourage rather than discourage responsible tapping of national energy resources. Locking up these resources is not good stewardship and not in the best interests of Americans.

Free markets, protection of property rights, site- and situation-specific oversight and keeping people first are principles that can help us secure affordable and reliable energy supplies.

Becky Norton Dunlop, a former secretary of natural resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia, is now vice president for external relations at The Heritage Foundation.


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Comments

John Schmidt January 12, 2012 | 3:56 p.m.

I'm glad to know this was written by a former political appointee that now works for the Heritage Foundation, because my first impression was that it was written by a teenager and I was wondering why the editors had allowed her that much print space to excrete hot air.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 12, 2012 | 4:16 p.m.

JohnS: You didn't say much, either.

(Report Comment)
John Schmidt January 12, 2012 | 4:24 p.m.

But I didn't waste any print!

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 12, 2012 | 4:33 p.m.

J.S. - You wasted it all.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor January 12, 2012 | 5:00 p.m.

Why are we wasting time posting about it. If Becky released any hot air she needs to be turned over to the EPA for her lashes!

I am suprised she didn't mention the national petroleum reserve. 23.5 million acres that was set aside specifically for energy reserves yet now some of those areas have been blocked from leasing by activist courts. Even though there are 19 million acres of fed wildlife refuge lands close by...

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 12, 2012 | 8:50 p.m.

"I am suprised she didn't mention the national petroleum reserve. 23.5 million acres that was set aside specifically for energy reserves". Neither did she mention the elimination of the cleanest, non-polluting coal in the world as a source of U. S. energy by the executive order of prez Clinton. The coal is found only in our West, Utah, Colombia, Central America and Indonesia.
"When the President signed the Executive Order designating 1.7 million acres of land in southwest Utah as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, his action placed the area off limits to mineral extraction and development.

The New York Times reported that the monument encloses the largest coal field in the nation, the Kaiparowitz Plateau, which contains at least 7 billion tons of coal worth over $1 TRILLION.

Kentucky-based company Andalux Resources, which holds leases on 3,400 acres in the area, was planning to open a huge operation (underground, not strip mining) that would have generated 1,000 jobs, $1 million in annual revenue for Kane County, and at least $10 million a year in state and federal taxes, according to the New York Times. Folks living in the area wore black arm bands the day o the signing - but Clinton didn't see them. He chose to make his announcement in a neighboring state. WHY?"

LIPPO Corp. of Indonesia donated 4M$ to Clinton re-election campaign. Obama sat on our free trade agreement with Colombia, because that government was not treating unions fairly. It was finally approved LAST October.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 13, 2012 | 8:49 a.m.

Well, this was interesting:

"Unfortunately, our already tenuous energy security is being threatened and diminished by policies emanating from Washington. That need not be the case, and conservatives can meet the challenges we face by applying important principles of a free society to natural resource and energy policies."

False. The universe doesn't care about your political affiliation, nor does it care about your definition of "free society." Things work the way they do irrespective of our ignorance on the matter. Also, call me crazy, but I would imagine that our tenuous energy security situation could be ameliorated if we developed sustainable, renewable energy technology and stopped subsidizing Middle Eastern dictatorships to meet our oil demands.

"First, we need to clearly state and stick by the principle that people are our most valuable resource. Natural resources and energy policies should be judged first and foremost on how good they are for people. Meeting human needs should be paramount."

False. Despite the fact that you wouldn't be incorrect characterizing our relationship with nature as parasitic, it's worth noting that parasites are better off not killing their host despite the one-sided relationship. Resourcefulness is a pretty meaningless trait to have if there are no resources.

"This is because we value people's well-being above other measures such as carbon emissions or the population of a rare insect and because we recognize that the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of a free people hold the keys to meeting our challenges."

False. Knowledge is what holds the keys to meeting our challenges, and given that our knowledge on all subjects is incomplete, you have no idea what increasing carbon emissions or eradicating animal species will do in the long term. Again, the planet doesn't care about our opinions; either we will do the sensible thing and work toward limiting our negative impact on the environment (which will benefit us too), or we will fail to do so and suffer the consequences later. And I'm not a global-warming catastrophist or anything--all I'm saying is that the answers to these questions won't come from politicians.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 13, 2012 | 8:50 a.m.

"Second, we need environmental policies that are site- and situation-specific. What works for the people of West Virginia or Alaska might not work elsewhere. The Environmental Protection Agency and other federal minders don’t always know best, but the regulators do hold many big sticks. Congress should require them to leave to the states as much of the processes overseeing energy resource development as is possible and right."

False. Whatever problems exist at the federal level will persist at the state level so long as the people holding the big sticks are politicians who don't know squat, or lobbyists whose only concern is personal gain. The great thing about science is that it deals with facts, and a politician's ignorant opinions are irrelevant when there are right and wrong ways to move about the landscape.

"Third, we need to recognize that the most promising opportunities for improving our environment are not in government ownership and regulation, but in extending the protection of private property and unleashing the creative powers of the free markets."

False. If you think it's a bad thing that corporations are dumping their toxic waste in Guatemala and Honduras because of our strict environmental regulations, without regulation all that would change is that they would be dumping it on US soil instead. The mythical self-regulatory properties of the free market are a myth precisely because the goal at all times is money. While it would be stupid of them not to be on the lookout for new profit opportunities, as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

"This needs to be acknowledged, and the size of the federal estate should be limited. We need to establish means of extending rights that will encourage rather than discourage responsible tapping of national energy resources. Locking up these resources is not good stewardship and not in the best interests of Americans."

A key word there is "responsible." There's a huge difference between doing what's responsible and doing what's profitable.

It's interesting that government regulation is a horrible thing only when it's convenient to state such a thing. Where's the outcry against government regulation in the form of criminal laws? Why shouldn't we just get rid of all laws and marvel at the self-regulatory properties of a truly free society? Why are we not up in arms arms about this cockamamie government scheme called the US Constitution, which overtly intrudes upon our rights as human beings? Why are we so afraid of legalizing gay marriage and polygamy if things just take care of themselves once we remove all the silly red tape?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor January 13, 2012 | 9:21 a.m.

@Jon
What if rat stew was considered the best food you could eat in the thirteenth century. Being the gluttonous pigs we humans are, we would have eaten the rat to extinction. I guess that means we also would have saved 25 million humans because there would have been no host for the fleas that caused the plague in the next century. I guess since, in your words, "have no idea what eradicating animal species will do in the long term", our actions might have positive effects.
Why do you liberals always have to be so negative?
;-)

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 13, 2012 | 10:35 a.m.

Jon H. - "Also, call me crazy,". OK, you are crazy!

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 13, 2012 | 10:52 a.m.

"Why do you liberals always have to be so negative?"

It's the only way they can survive with their ideology intact. There must always be problems to "solve", with money extracted from government.

One would think 4T$ in new debt, with another trillion being sought by one prez administration would have solved All our problems. Unfortunately, disastrously, who could point to even one?

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub January 13, 2012 | 11:29 a.m.

"Why do you liberals always have to be so negative?"

"It's the only way they can survive with their ideology intact. There must always be problems to "solve", with money extracted from government."

You guys keep creating the problems and we keep trying to fix them.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 13, 2012 | 12:43 p.m.

"You guys keep creating the problems and we keep trying to fix them." - "with money extracted from government.".

Why do you always have to be corrected?

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub January 13, 2012 | 3:08 p.m.

The government is us, and when we have problems we have to pay for them.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 13, 2012 | 4:11 p.m.

Sigh. I'll admit that my tone tends to be grating and disrespectful, but at least I make an effort to present arguments--in this case arguments as to why I think this article is garbage. And, all I get in response is the usual mindless drivel from frank and a quasi-joke from mike mentor, lol. Weird that apparently I'm the kid around these parts and yet it's the adults acting like children.

I'm aware that walls of text are not fun to read, much less respond to, so I'll narrow down the focus and ask anyone here to offer some thoughts on my last paragraph (on the seemingly arbitrary abhorrence of government regulation). This is the issue around which practically the entire conservative agenda is centered, and it's precisely the argument used in this article to paint environmental regulation and its supporters as evil incarnate.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 13, 2012 | 5:15 p.m.

Jonathan - You might consider that your posts were "garbage". Consideration of your last paragraph is not worth the time it takes to read it.

Your wordy response to each of the writers points (in case you can't see it) were only a recitation of the liberal hatred of conservatism, capitalism with it's corporations, lobbyists and unwanted innovation and free market.

You give us environmentalism, which can only wrap us in regulation to achieve their vision of our world, then suggest All regulation might be rescinded. You presented not one shred of evidence to buoy your well worn assertions.

This may be new stuff to you, but the rest us have heard
and many rejected it since the days of James E. Carter.

This is effect of your "walls of text", IMHO.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 13, 2012 | 5:28 p.m.

Jon: I'll take a stab at the part where you said, "Why are we not up in arms arms about this cockamamie government scheme called the US Constitution, which overtly intrudes upon our rights as human beings?"
_____________________

I don't view the Constitution as a government scheme at all.

I view it as a "people setting up their government" thingie.

The main part describes how we wish to set up our government. But, the main evidence I have for my view of the Constitution comes from a reading of the Bill of Rights, i.e., the first 10.

In the same way you know that I am addressing you right now (via my words/phrases/grammar printed here), the words/phrases/grammar of the Bill of Rights tell me that WE are talking to the government, not vice versa. WE are telling the government what it can and cannot do. WE are establishing certain rights. Hence, we have the "shall nots", and "Government shall make no laws..." and the like. The government grants us nothing; we grant the government what we want to.

We are the grantors.
___________________________

I do not think anyone here will argue "regulation" is unnecessary. Indeed, the Constitution many of us support is the very definition of "regulation". We support criminal laws. We even support reasonable environmental laws, or at least I do. The argument, in my view, is if and when and whether these regulations are an overreach.

There is a balance somewhere between anthropocentric versus ecocentric/biocentric environmental ethics, but we haven't found it yet.

And probably won't.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 13, 2012 | 6:15 p.m.

As expected, frank again drops another pearl of drivel.

"You give us environmentalism, which can only wrap us in regulation to achieve their vision of our world, then suggest All regulation might be rescinded. You presented not one shred of evidence to buoy your well worn assertions."

lol. Conservatives routinely yell and scream that regulating taxes, and healthcare, and education, and the economy, and the environment, and everything else under the sun is a terrible thing to do and a clear abuse of government power, so let's not pretend that I grabbed context-specific arguments and blew them completely out of proportion.

So, having established that conservatives claim to hold nothing but contempt for all things regulation, it stands to reason to wonder what's the difference between the kind of regulation mentioned above and the kind of regulation that restricts our rights at an individual level (aka criminal law). I sure don't see any conservatives up in arms about our inability to do as we please when we please, so what gives? Perhaps you would also care to elucidate on the apparent hypocrisy behind wanting a small government that feels it should be able to tell us what we can and can't do in the bedroom. Oh yeah, let's also remember that this small government commands a huge military.

So, short version for the slower ones out there (i.e. frank):

1. Is all regulation bad?
2. If not, what's the difference between bad regulation and good regulation?
3. How and why do these criteria establish the goodness and badness of said regulation?

Alright, three simple questions. Can you answer them, please? Pretty pretty please?

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 13, 2012 | 8:34 p.m.

The writer claims, perhaps innocently, that "people are our most valuable resource." What short-sighted, anthropocentric arrogance. Our most valuable resource is the planet we live on, though you would hardly know that, given the policies of most countries. Placing wantonly prolific, wasteful, and short-sighted humans at the center of your universe, while understandable, is madness.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 13, 2012 | 9:45 p.m.

Hank - I had thought of telling Jon that the environmentalist would tell him just that, about humanity and the planet. I'll ask him for an elaborate answer. (I won't have to mention elaborate.)

Jon - "Conservatives routinely yell and scream that regulating taxes, and healthcare, and education, and the economy, and the environment, and everything else under the sun is a terrible thing to do and a clear abuse of government power," Sorry, but this is a blatant, ignorant, falsehood. I tire of the silly inferences that you post as something someone should concern themselves with. They are not.

Explain to environmentalist H. Ottinger the error of his post to you.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 14, 2012 | 6:15 a.m.

@ Michael Williams:

The first 10 amendments to the U. S. Constitution do indeed represent limitations on the powers of federal government. Unfortunately the 10th Amendment seems to have been cast aside, beginning in the 20th Century.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 14, 2012 | 3:42 p.m.

Jonathan, you claim

"Why are we not up in arms arms about this cockamamie government scheme called the US Constitution, which overtly intrudes upon our rights as human beings?"

Name a right that is infringed by the Constitution or its amendments? Let's see how well you play devils advocate...

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 14, 2012 | 11:00 p.m.

For the "progressives", here is an excellent column on the effects of over-regulation, from where the rubber meets the road:

http://www.american.com/archive/2012/jan...

Timothy Noah, David Brooks, many of the bureaucratic functionaries of our Hopey-Changey administration, do or have done little, if any, business in the real world. The author of this piece has, and does.

Yes, I know, it is from the American Enterprise Institute. Hack away, "progressives".

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 15, 2012 | 6:44 a.m.

@ Tony Robertson:

Thanks for sharing the article. (The children pictured are adorable.)

There's a saying, not much liked by the teaching profession, that those who can do, do, and those who can't do, teach. That may be true in some instances, and we may be able to come up with a parallel saying regarding regulators.

Those who can do, do, and those with neither the ability nor inclination to do, regulate.

They might eventually be promoted to "neighborhood organizers." I have a neighborhood in mind. :)

Those familiar with the late and unlamented Soviet Union may recall that during the catastrophic famines of the 1920s endless regulations were pouring out of Moscow concerning agriculture. Maybe the politburo should have printed them on nutritious, readily edible paper.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 15, 2012 | 5:05 p.m.

My right to have a
Theocracy or censor
The press is infringed!

My right to charge a
Poll tax, or force quartering
Of troops is infringed!

My right to impose
Punishment unusual
And cruel is infringed!

But seriously,
Don't conflate liberty with
Justice - they're for all.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 15, 2012 | 5:58 p.m.

John Schultz: "Name a right that is infringed by the Constitution or its amendments? Let's see how well you play devils advocate..."

Any document that sets restrictions upon what we can and cannot do by definition infringes on our freedoms. Why did the writers of the Constitution feel that limiting the powers of government was important? Because they already knew what people are capable of if given carte blanche, a problem that becomes exponentially worse when these people are in power. Laws wouldn't be necessary if people behaved as they should on their own accord, but they don't, hence why we have restrictions on human behavior and ways to enforce them, aka government.

Ellis Smith: "The first 10 amendments to the U. S. Constitution do indeed represent limitations on the powers of federal government. Unfortunately the 10th Amendment seems to have been cast aside, beginning in the 20th Century."

Overall, do you think it's a good or bad thing to extend the Bill of Rights' limitations to state and local governments as well? (And if you think this should be determined on a case-by-case basis, what's the rationale we should use?) Would you object to a state's sudden decision not to honor the First Amendment on that basis? "Well, residents of Michigan, given that the First Amendment refers only to the federal government, our elected officials have decided to establish Islam as the official state religion. Peace be upon you."

Tony Robertson: "For the "progressives", here is an excellent column on the effects of over-regulation, from where the rubber meets the road:"

I was expecting to have to put a lot of thought into my response, but it turns out there was no need, as the article can best be summarized by this paragraph:

"We can attempt to estimate the costs of regulations, but those estimates cannot capture the real burden of regulation. The problem is not the dollar amount of the fine my fertilizer supplier paid, or the loss of my grandchildren’s labor on our farm. We could quantify those things, but the number would mean very little. The true cost was described by the economist Bastiat when he wrote about the costs of the 'things not seen.'"

Excellent argument indeed. "Regulation is such a horrible thing, but I can't tell you why because the reasons are all intangible (even imagined). I can't define bad regulation, but I sure know it when I see it."

"The real cost is the investment not made, the risk not taken."

That's not the result of regulation so much as basic human psychology:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversi...
http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/03/25/t...

Despite the nitpicking I've bee hearing over my comment about the Constitution, I'm still curious as to what makes criminal laws so different from any other kind of "larger-scale" regulation, such that conservatives tend not to have a problem with the former yet like to throw fits over the latter.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 15, 2012 | 6:24 p.m.

Jon Hop- - And, what about "Explain to environmentalist H. Ottinger the error of his post to you."?

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 15, 2012 | 9:10 p.m.

Jonathan Hopfenblatt says: "I was expecting to have to put a lot of thought into my response, but it turns out there was no need..."

I am going to ease out on a limb here, and speculate that Mr. Hopfenblatt does not manage a business that requires significant devotion of time and resources to regulatory compliance (not that it's all bad, mind you).

Such lends itself to a bit more realistic perspective, as the author of the linked piece displays. That real-world experience makes it more difficult to simply dismiss valid concerns as right wing nuttery and paranoia.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 15, 2012 | 10:36 p.m.

frank: Until you answer the questions I asked you earlier, don't expect me to answer yours. Quid pro quo and all that jazz.

Tony Robertson: I certainly don't run the business, but given that I'm in construction design, I know what it's like to have to wade through volumes of dense language and legalese in order to make sure my design doesn't run afoul of some obscure line in the building code. As for those who do run the business, I'm sure that my bosses would rather not have to waste all that time reviewing construction documents either, just as I'm sure they would prefer not to have to worry about getting sued (or going to prison) if our design ended up killing people. That's the price of business, though, and there's nothing unreasonable about having quality standards, especially when lives are at stake.

You just said that you don't think all regulation is bad, so my question still stands: What's the difference between good and bad regulation? All I'm trying to establish is whether or not there's any rhyme and reason to the arguments against "big government." Without some underlying framework that is consistent across the board, the argument may as well be, "I don't like it because I don't like it."

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 16, 2012 | 7:10 a.m.

Jon H. - I hope you dance better on the floor than around here. Mr. Ottinger "dissed" your designation of the position people occupy in the "chain of life" on our planet. It is he you should be Anxious to answer, not me.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 16, 2012 | 7:43 a.m.

Ellis - To yours about USSR and regulation. I believe it was Nat'l Geographic that publicized the draining of the Aral Sea (4th largest) thru irrigation for cotton crop, by Soviet government. An environmental disaster, but wait! They were all "socialists"!

http://www.theworldwonders.com/asia/aral...

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 16, 2012 | 10:59 a.m.

I noted this tidbit from the link above:

"The Syr Darya, historically known as the Jaxartes, begins in the Tien Shan Mountain Range in Kazakstan and travels 1370 miles to the Aral. Because it is a closed system, the Aral Sea historically has a good indicator of global changes. Since the Pliocene Epoch (more than 2 million years), the Aral depression has been repeatedly flooded and desiccated (dried up). During cooling/glacial periods, the Aral Sea decreased in size because water was tied up in glaciers. During periods of global warming (inter-glacial periods), glaciers melted, and the volume of the Aral Sea increased. The Aral Sea has always been in a state of flux because of its sensitivity to natural changes in the global environment. [3]"

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 16, 2012 | 11:10 a.m.

frank: I'm not the one who said that "people are our most valuable resource," so try again?

I guess I'll spell it out just in case:

1. The writer of the article said that people are our most valuable resource (6th paragraph, 1st sentence of the original article).
2. In response to that, I said that humans are parasites (5th paragraph, 2nd sentence of my first post). Does that sound to you like someone who agrees that humans are our most valuable resource?
3. Hank also disagrees with what the author said.

So, either he "dissed" me, like you said, or you just need to pay attention next time to who said what. I'm leaning toward the latter.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 16, 2012 | 12:55 p.m.

Likewise I lean.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 16, 2012 | 1:20 p.m.

J.H. - I appears that for once in your recent dissertations here you are quite correct.

Mr. Ottinger wrote, "The writer claims, perhaps innocently, that "people are our most valuable resource." I remembered reading that and thinking that as a human being you may have gotten on the side of the people in at least one instance. You have now reminded me that you see humans as parasites. Might I now assume that as far as you are concerned, human beings are expendable for whatever purpose deemed necessary for the preservation of the planet? Don't answer.

I intend to more closely check a liberal's statement in future. Thanks for the "heads up".

(Report Comment)
mike mentor January 16, 2012 | 5:56 p.m.

"Mother Nature" has eradicated more species on this planet than we will ever even come in to contact with. "Mother Nature" has been the cause of more climate change than we could possibly cause in the next million years.

Why are we protecting her? What has she done besides cause mass extinctions and ice ages and global warming for billions of years?

Maybe we should not worry so much about her, but worry about us. She has been wreaking havoc for 4 billion years after all. She has had her time at the top. It is time for us to take charge! Until we have caused a few mass extinctions, warmed up the planet considerably and the froze it again a few times, she has nothing to say to little 'ol us!

Being good stewards of our environment while balancing the needs of our species is good for us. Being gluttonous polluters would be bad for us. Let's try to keep our science free from agenda so that we may find the truth and act accordingly, striking a balance against our needs and the incredible resiliency of mother nature.

(Report Comment)

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