Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Lenin's Birthday to all My Leftie Friends!

No need to be uncivil just because we are enemies and all that sort of rot. I just want to take advantage of this religious holiday for all the Little Green Men and Women out there who are not from Mars. I realize it is known as "Earth Day" in many circles so as not to alarm the bourgeois, so I'll promise I'll keep the secret.

Stephen Hayward at The Weekly Standard has a nice piece on the decline of Earth Day called "Earth Day Blues."

Environmentalists are used to wallowing in misery--in fact, it makes them happy--but the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this week should offer up an extra helping of woe, for the movement has lost its mojo. Opinion surveys show not only that public belief in and concern for global warming is plummeting, but that environmentalism in general is falling out of favor. They have no one to blame but themselves.

The first Earth Day in 1970 was a sensation, amounting to a coming out party for a major new social and political force, and for the next decade the environmental movement became arguably the most rapidly successful social movement in U.S. history, with a string of landmark national statutes passed in quick succession with large bipartisan majorities, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and culminating in the Superfund toxic cleanup act in 1980. But the field has been stagnant ever since, with environmental issues becoming highly polarized on ideological lines resulting in a complete stalemate on new legislative policy initiatives (though environmentalists are still thriving in the courtroom and in the bureaucracy).

In 1990, according to an ABC News/Gallup survey series, 75 percent of Americans said they considered themselves to be environmentalists, with only 24 percent saying they did not. The numbers have been slowly reversing over the last decade. As of 2008 (the most recent year the question was asked), only 41 percent of Americans identified themselves as environmentalists, with 58 percent now saying they do not. And Gallup’s annual environmental survey also finds the public now favors economic growth over environmental protection by a 53 – 38 margin. For most of the last 25 years, even during previous recessions, the public favored the environment over the economy by as much as a two-to-one margin. In 1991, the beginning of a recession, the margin was 71 – 20 in favor of environmental protection over the economy. Surveys also show surging support for nuclear power and expanded oil and gas production in the U.S. No wonder the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is passing quietly this year."

Environmentalism is what happens to former Puritans who no longer believe in God but still believe that they deserve to be punished for their sins. So maybe it would be nicer of me to wish you all: "Miserable Earth Day (aka Lenin's Birthday)!"


Chuck B said...

Not sure you're being entirely fair to the Puritans. For one thing, it seems to be a baseline fact of the Gospel that we do all deserve God's wrath, which makes his grace manifested in Jesus gracious. For another thing, the Puritans were as insistent as any (and perhaps more than most) on preaching the doctrines of grace. Maybe I'm just quibbling with a rhetorical flourish, though.

Craig Carter said...

The Puritans are also unfairly caricatured as humorless as well!