Enviro Elites vs. Rural America

There recently was a segment on the Fox & Friends morning show about winter hiking gear. It featured a fashionable outdoor jacket that looked like a simple nylon shell with some insulation inside. The price: $299.


The jacket came from Eddie Bauer, the recreational equipment retailer. And this is the type of stuff that Bauer sells – high-end jackets, shirts, pants, sleeping bags, hiking gear, boots, canoes, bicycles etc. aimed largely at the affluent market in America.


And you can rest assured that most of the people who work for Eddie Bauer and many who buy this stuff are environmentalists whose policies are shutting down larger and larger segments of our economy and advocating inefficient ‘green’ energy which is killing jobs all over America, particularly in rural areas.


This is a new type of economy which works like this: Al Gore leaves the White House as vice president in 2001 worth about $2 million. After 5 years of giving speeches about ‘global warming’ he was reported to have been worth $100 million.


How did that happen?


In the new Environmentalist Economy, Al Gore builds political power and wealth through his eco-advocacy while people in rural and small-town America are thrown out of work and impoverished by increasingly rabid eco-regulations promoted by people like Gore. Meanwhile Democrats get richer and richer in suburban and urban economies through the media, through ‘paper wealth’ on Wall Street and in hedge funds, in baking, insurance, law, advertising, fashion, publishing, public relations, the arts etc., and they donate heavily to the enviro movement. They also purchase expensive outdoor gear from Eddie Bauer.


Just go into rural or small-town America anywhere in the country and you will find the people under economic assault. Virtually any new economic development project these days is opposed, starting with one person or a few people and spreading to other like-minded eco-activists and no-growthers.


These obstructionists are generally the “new people” in rural and small-town America, more educated and more wealthy people who are not from the traditional rural or small-town background but who come originally from cities and suburbs. Often they are economically tied to those cities.


They join forces with powerful urban environmental groups like the Sierra Club and they all object to myriad economic development projects ranging from power plants to timber harvesting to mining to quarrying to ranching. Obstructionists work to halt factories, housing subdivisions and resort expansion. Wealthy second-home or retirement-home owners join in.


They thwart small local business by putting it through expensive permitting processes requiring layers of expensive enviro approval. They force simple projects like cell phone towers to have extensive enviro reviews. Their ‘green’ energy policies push up the price of energy and run business out. Local conservation commissions put every homeowner project under micro-management.


Then the local people in these areas, who have lived there for generations, have little power and they are often left without jobs.


Case in point, one of thousands: In upstate New York, 125 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River, environmentalists prevented St. Lawrence Cement, a Canadian company, from building a brand new, state-of-the-art production facility. Yet it would have been much cleaner that St. Lawrence’s older plants in the region, so obviously the enviro opposition was not even about pollution but about attacking business. And now these enviros monitor every emission from the older plants and are constantly filing violations against St. Lawrence.


The working-class people of the region very much wanted the new plant because unemployment is high, but the enviros still fought it. There were  yard signs against the plant on ritzy properties 40 miles away in tony Northwestern Connecticut, a second-home haven for New Yorkers.


After killing the project, enviros then said they would provide the jobs elsewhere. But the local folks are still waiting years later because environmentalists never, ever provide jobs. They destroy jobs.


So as Al Gore and his enviro friends and backers get richer and richer in urban/suburban economies and in high-tech, people in rural and small-town America get poorer and poorer. This is intentional. Because there is a movement afoot among environmentalists to literally push people out of rural America and return it to pristine nature. There are three reasons for this:


*Many environmentalists are mean-spirited people who love trees and hate the people who want to cut them down. They have ridiculed rural people for decades, from shows like The Beverly Hillbillies up to the present.


*Environmentalists are obsessed with the idea of pristine nature. Yet environmentalism and its financial support is strongest in cities and suburbs, two man-made environments where people live to enjoy the wealth that is concentrated there.


*Environmentalist elitists often despise the political beliefs of traditionally conservative rural people who have lived off the land.


Even hunting is under assault in many rural areas as wealthy urbanites and suburbanites acquire land and then shut off that land to hunting or to any type of development, often giving the land to a nature conservancy, thus taking it out of any future economic production (farming, ranching, hunting, logging etc.). Go anywhere within 200 miles of a major city and you will see this phenomenon at its strongest.


Ted Turner, founder of CNN, owns 2 million acres in Montana and other Western states that are off limits to development. All over the nation, urban and suburban millionaires and billionaires are buying up land and shutting it off. Come up to Massachusetts, Vermont, upstate New York etc. where Bostonians and New Yorkers are acquiring more and more land and keeping it away from any productive activity, even taking tax breaks to conserve it. So in other words they are using the public’s tax money to push an agenda that is hurting millions of taxpaying people in rural America.


And allied with the government takeover of large plots of land, people in rural America find their prospects more and more limited.


While Eddie Bauer sells those same wealthy people $300 jackets and $2,000 bicycles.


It is a travesty.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.