Environmentalist =/= Tree Hugging Hippy

For my chemistry lab this week, me and my group took a sample of water from a nearby lake and performed tests for phosphate, nitrate/nitrites, total water hardness, and total dissolved solids.  Luckily, our samples turned out to be ok.  Some other groups from other areas of the lake, however, were not so desirable.

I’m going to take a small stab in the dark and conjecture that the reason my group’s water quality was so much better than most the other groups’ was because we took our samples near the KU boating docks.  Guess those liberal academics just have nothing better to do than clean water, right?

How about we all take a step back.  How is it that environmentally friendly practices are deemed “liberal” to begin with?  How is it that some people not only tolerate but accept active, obvious degradation and pollution to their local environment?

To any liberal, the answer is obvious:  conservative fat cats manipulating their constituents to support environmental policy that allows for business and private individuals cheap and easy means to dispose of waste.  To any conservative, this is offensive hogwash.

How about we look at this issue from a different angle, an angle not twisted by the schemes of politicians trying to gain leverage against their opponents and support for their side.  How about we instead throw politics out the window for a while and consider the facts.

Even a conservative, rural small town can quickly become an environmentalist breeding ground after a cancer outbreak is unleashed.  Gee, I wonder why?

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To the facts:  destabilization of the environment destroys our own resources and source of livelihood.  This is not negotiable, nor counter-able.  No, this is not me being a one-sided, biased, liberal nut.  Unfortunately, this is nature being a “one-sided, biased, liberal nut.”  Experiments conducted to understand and measure the effects of certain practices on local environments yield what is called “empirical results”.  An empirical formula is a formula derived from observations and data collected from natural phenomenon, not some theory that someone brewed up in their mind that sounds good on paper.  The results are indisputable.  The great thing is, you do not have to believe me!  You can go out and see for yourself!  Awfully hard for anyone to trick people under such circumstances…

Degradation of the environment, ultimately at least, affects everyone.   Whether it kills the local fishing business, imbues aquatic life with mercury, releases sulfur into the drinking supply, raises the local infant mortality rate, raises the local cancer rate, or turns local bodies of water into unusable sludge reservoirs,  it affects individual health.   Deforestation removes our oxygen supply, you know, the stuff we need to breathe, let alone attributes to ozone depletion (and therefore crispification of the Earth, excess UV radiation is bad, mmk?).  I’m not saying stop using wood products at all, that’s just stupid.  I am saying you could, oh I don’t know, maybe replant the dang things.  Tropical regions could start building “tree farms”, little orchard like farms that are specifically meant to grow wood supply, rather than slashing and burning rainforest that cannot be restored.  We get some of our most important medical innovations from rainforests, not to mention the majority of our oxygen.  Let’s try to keep them around, shall we?

Of course there’s the argument about poor farmers needing that slashed and burned land, but let’s consider this:  that land is only useable for about one or two crop cycles.  Play me a song on the world’s smallest violin all you want, but it’s a practice that will eventually come to a screeching halt.  If you are in a bad situation, don’t continue practices that will make it worse!  If you are a poor nation, pay some heed to the Heckler-Ohlin trade model:  make use of the production means you have available, not that of which you barely have.  Make lemonade with lemons, don’t try to make the lemons into mugs or something.  It will be so much more beneficial in the long run.

All of this is fact.  I know burning leaves or mounds of dried grass is “easier”, but it is lazy and frankly stupid, not to mention careless to the generations that will follow you.  Besides, all that dried biomass could easily be turned into fertile mulch, why burn it and turn it into useless heat energy, dissipating through space?  This isn’t liberal, this is genuine concern for the welfare of humanity.  If trees or fuzzy red pandas did not matter towards our own welfare, I really would not give a damn about them.  Honestly, I still don’t give a damn about the Chinese panda.  Laziest, pickiest creature in the world, I swear…anywho…

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It’s time for the liberals to stop trying to proudly spout how they champion environmental concerns (and therefore bash conservatives as stupid hicks) and its time for conservatives to start considering why environmental responsibility is prudent for one’s own success.  Trust me, it is.

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2 responses to “Environmentalist =/= Tree Hugging Hippy

  1. What do you have to say about burning the farm fields. I have seen farmers and ranchers burning their fields and pastures to rid it of unwanted weeds, grass and scrub. It also put nutrients back into the soil while making room for the new growth. Just drive down I-70 in September and the smoke will cover the road.

    • Controlled burns can be a good thing and a bad thing, it really depends on location. A rainforest in South America being slashed and burned is detrimental; the soil is actually very nutrient poor and only lasts a couple crop cycles. Once the forest is burned down to make room for crops and return a very inefficient amount of nutrients to the soil, that section of rainforest is essentially impossible to replace. Up here in the prairie grasslands, however, controlled burns can, as you said, return nutrients and even in some cases revitalize grass species that require periodic fires to grow. As far as weeds go, that’s really just a nice side-bonus, and I wouldn’t use burning solely to remove weeds. If its done carefully and at the right time, controlled burns can be a good thing (save the carbon going into the atmosphere, but its a miniscule amount compared to industrial emissions).

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