Valentine: Let's use common sense with environment

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Obama Administration's Environmental Protection Agency is currently on an 'Environmental Justice' tour. I know, I rolled my eyes, too, when I first heard about it. This is apparently a burning passion with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The message: Eco-issues aren't just for rich people.

Jackson is handing out grant money at every stop like candy for all sorts of stupid projects. In Connecticut a group got a grant to teach poor people how to recycle. Let's see, the plastic, aluminum and glass go in the blue bin and you then set it out by the curb. Sounds like a horribly difficult class.

In Harlem they got a grant to "develop a community-based climate change readiness plan." What, are they issuing blue helmets to citizens to patrol the streets on those particularly hot days? Climate change readiness plan? Please.

In Chicago we gave money to a group that is organizing to get the two largest power plants in their area removed. I guess they'd rather be green than warm on those cold Chicago nights. They're already in the dark.

A group in Missouri got a grant to teach poor folks what the key words and symbols in the weather advisories mean. Let's see, that little funnel symbol. What on earth could that mean?

One group in Denver called the Front Range Earth Force (don'tcha love that name?) will use our money to study the environmental impact of idling cars in the pick-up line at an area middle school.

Oh, and speaking of Denver, have you heard about their water rates? After implementing a water conservation program it was so darn successful that now their water rates are going up by over 31 percent. This same phenomenon is being replicated across the country. These knuckleheads didn't have the foresight to see that if people really took to this water conservation, which they did, that revenue to the water company would be greatly curtailed, which it was. Now they're paying more for less water. One average rate-payer complained that she had cut back as much as she could and her monthly water bill was still $400! How about a little money conservation, huh?

Environmental justice. What exactly does that mean? Well, it's akin to 'peace and justice,' a term the socialists and communists are fond of using. It basically means redistribution of wealth in some way.

But, let me point out something that may be obvious that you haven't really thought about. Where is most of the trash and nastiness in an average city? It's in the poor areas. That's where you see garbage all over the streets. That's where you see graffiti and run-down houses and businesses. Is it because the rich folks are driving over to the poor neighborhoods and dumping their trash? No, it's because that's where you have a larger concentration of people who just don't care.

I know this is something that isn't often said out loud but somebody has to say it. And I haven't done a study but I would suspect the areas that get the most government handouts are the nastiest areas in town.

Well, expand that to the global level. Where's the most pollution in the world? In the poor countries. The rich countries, like the rich neighborhoods, keep their areas clean. They don't put up with trash and pollution. And what are the richest countries? The capitalist countries. So, it stands to reason that if you want to clean up the planet you spread capitalism. Instead, these environmentalists are spreading socialism and communism.

Environmental justice? How about a little environmental common sense?

Phil Valentine is an author and syndicated radio talk show host. His website is