Comments about ‘My view: Who controls the environmental debate?’

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Published: Friday, May 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

"The problem is that the far left has hijacked the environmentalist movement and made it practically impossible for clear thinking and reasonable people to join in. "

From my perspective the far left has not taken over the environmental movement at all. Leftists like me are more concerned with labor issues than the environment. I myself have not joined any of the environmental organizations because they don't understand the economic trade offs in environmental remediation. So though I'm a leftist, most of the environmental organizations are too extreme for me!

So I understand your inability to feel at home in these groups. Don't take a broad brush to the political left.

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . the environment is too important to be left in the care of radical environmentalists."

Hear, hear!

The "environmental movement" actually has very little to do with the environment. Rather, it has become both a refuge, and a front for radical, iconoclastic socialists, unwilling to admit that their true passion is the destruction of the American economy and way of life.

Had they been born in another place and time, they'd likely have embraced anarchism, national socialism, or bolshevism as their "cause."

Any of those would work for them, since their real passion self-validation, through control of others.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

While I agree that environmental issues are often seen as "liberal" and that conservatives and liberals should work together for their collective self-interest, I'm not sure "radicals" have hijacked the environmental movement.

What I see is that conservatives have adopted some key values that run counter to solving environmental issues -- namely, the need for COLLECTIVE ACTION, which runs against conservatives' beliefs in "freedom" and "hatred of more government." Whenever I read an anti-environmental opinion by a conservative, it typically shifts into an argument, not about the environmental issue, but that solving it requires socialism or loss of humanity's freedom.

Another conservative value that is challenged by solving environmental issues is BUSINESS AS USUAL.

That is, conservatives love setting carbon on fire, the freedom to pollute, and foisting business "externalities" onto society to manage (e.g., government bailout of clean up of Gulf oil spill, ObamaCare for sick people impacted by toxins released into the environment from businesses, etc.).

Solving environmental issues requires businesses to take responsibility for those externalities, and that costs money, hurting profits.

If environmentalism can be shown to advance FREEDOM and BOOST PROFITS for business, we'd see more conservatives onboard.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Republicans have changed over the years.

Today, they are radical and extreme,
and see anything "enviromental", "green", "good for the Earth", or "praiseworthy" as evil.

When we moved to Utah, my kids were bullied at school - and called and labeled "Tree Huggers" in a derogatory way, for years - simply for asking were the "recycling" bins were.

Democrats do not even need to do anything,
they just need to "show-up" and take credit.

Murray, UT

The real solution is at the end of the article. "Think globally and act locally"

The problem is that control freaks, including liberals/democrats/socialists, don't trust the next locality over to do exactly what they want them to. So they get the biggest club they can find, the federal government, to beat them into submission.

The individuals behaving this way are called control freaks and abusers. But when it is the government acting like a control freak, we call it fascism.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

"The problem is that the far left has hijacked the environmentalist movement and made it practically impossible for clear thinking and reasonable people to join in. "


hijacked NOTHING!

There is NO debate.
Conservatives [who "conserve" what?] simply walked away from all things enviroment, and castigate and stereotype anyone trying to something good or right as evil.

There is no global warming.
There is no pollution.
Get rid of the EPA.
If the EPA is for it, then I'm against it!
Let businesses put up billboards,
Let business build in wetlands,
let companies dump into rivers and streams.
Let people throw trash on the highways.
De-regulate emission controls.
Stop "forcing" emission inspections.
Put lead back into gasoline.
Stericycle, refineries or Kennecott should not be held responsible for the toxins they release.

This herz 'Merka, it's a free country 'taint it.
Stop letting Government tell me what to do!

Drill baby drill,
Burn baby burn.

It's beyond silly.
Like a 2 year throwing a tantrum,
just ignore them - and walk away.

Like I said --
my kids wanted to know where the recycle bins were at school,
and the bullying went on for years.

clearfield, UT

Open Minded Mormon

There is always the great run state of California to move to. Lots of recycling bins there.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

"It has become a false religion where the organization and obedience to dogma is supreme to the cause."

This is a spot-on description of the Republican Party. Unintentional but apt.

I also agree with Open Minded Mormon: its highly ironic that the conservative movement is so against conserving anything.

Salt Lake City, UT

Only in the imagination of a right wing radical are today's timid efforts to regulate the amount of poison that industry pumps into our air and water considered "radical." Been to West Virginia lately?

Today's incarnation of conservatives are on the back of a train speeding out of a station and thinking to themselves, "Wow, that train station is really moving fast!"

salt lake city, UT

Reading about Teddy Roosevelt one would have to come to the conclusion that he would not be Republican in today's GOP party. Republicans turned their back on the environment in support of a few quick dollars. While I can't always agree with the national conservation groups, their intentions are honarble which is more than we can say about conservative spokesman like Cliven Bundy, San Juan county commisioners or Ken Ivory.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

clearfield, UT
Open Minded Mormon

There is always the great run state of California to move to. Lots of recycling bins there.

8:12 a.m. May 16, 2014


Wow - that must be some sort of new record happy2bhere --

1 minute for the canned "If you don't like, leave" stand answer by "conservatives".

How about something like:
ya, Utah is a beautiful.
We love it here, and want to keep it looking pretty, and CLEAN.

But - nah -- if you don't it, leave.
Good answer.

And you guys wonder WHY you loose the environmental "debate" by default....

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

This editorial sites AL Gore as the only example of "radical environmentalists" and is so so general and non specific in its vilification of environmentalists that I have absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

Is he talking about global warming, or air pollution, or exploding rail cars, or what?

Maybe he doesn't remember rivers catching on fire, or having to turn on our windshield wipers on while driving through Utah County because of Geneva air pollution, maybe he wants to put lead back in gasoline.

If he wants to make a valid point we need less sweeping accusations, and more specific examples of these extreme tree huggers!

Salt Lake City, UT

"unwilling to admit that their true passion is the destruction of the American economy and way of life."

Or maybe they just don't have that as a passion and that's why they won't "admit" it... can't think of anything at the Global Change and Sustainability Center Symposium that had to do with "destroying the American economy and way of life", it was just research related to climate. But there are people who look at the word sustainability and immediately run towards Agenda 21 conspiracy nonsense.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Republicans must be very very careful to never get the least amount of mud on bottom of the their skirts...

or their "Puritan" friends and neighbors will drown them for witchcraft.

Las Vegas, NV

A tip for the author: Arguments are more persuasive when they avoid employing the very attributes they condemn. So next time, don't demonize liberals over the conservation debate if your point is that the debate must rise above demonization.

Salt Lake City, UT

I would still like to hear a believable explanation from a "Global Warming Expert" why when Leif Erickson settled Southern Greenland in about 1100 it was warm, green and inviting. His biggest problem was his sheep where getting sick from all the grass. Could what they believe to be warming can be the earth returning to it's condition then? Computer models are worthless old expression from the begining of computers, Garbage in, Garbage out! Properly programed a computer can come up with any results desired!

Chandler, AZ

I'm a fiscal and social conservative but I no longer consider myself a Republican because of issues like this.

Chandler, AZ

@oldfatguy "I would still like to hear a believable explanation..."

If you're serious about your desire to educate yourself on the subject, Google "Greenland used to be green". The first hit will answer your question.

Bountiful, UT

Let's be real, just for a moment: Teddy Roosevelt would be run out of today's GOP.

Creating the national parks would today be viewed as a "total federal takeover", much like the creation of the Grand Canyon National Park was vigorously resisted by the locals at that time, along with just about all the National monuments and National Parks in Utah.

park city, UT

Mr.Bouchelle is looking in the wrong place for the answer to "Who controls the environmental debate". All he has to do is look to the ones doing the most harm to the environment, the ones who control the direction of congressional legislation on things environmental, the ones whose bottom line is affected negatively by laws passed to protect the environment, the same ones who have done the most damage to the environment over the past century. He complains about radicals taking over the Sierra Club while remaining silent about environmental damagers taking over the Congressional Club. I think that the answer to his question is clear, MONEY controls the environmental debate. He should continue his writing with this in mind.

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