Since our trip to Glacier National Park and our drive through Yellowstone this summer, we have been thinking more and more about how environmentalists have knowingly and reflexively been wrecking the environment. They have been doing so for years. It is time that it came back to haunt them. It ought to haunt them at election time.
Today, The Gazette wrote an editorial about recent attempts to exclude humans from Federal lands. Wedding parties, no less.
But now, along come a group of extremists to keep people out, spoil their fun and treat them as if they were intruders and despoilers who can’t be allowed to tread these sacred lands. It’s outrageous and elitist — but echoes the attitude of other groups that make a profession of trying to dictate how the rest of us use and enjoy these lands.
Also today, the Denver Post wrote an editorial proclaiming the wisdom of tax credits for bio fuels. It seems Ken Salazar has proposed that the amount be upped and the Senate Finance committee has bought into that. We mad a comment at the bottom of that editorial that bears repeating:
Making ethanol out of anything requires water, lots of water. You can't pop up an alcohol plant just anywhere.
Assume we do grow switchgrass. It has to be trucked to a place where it can be converted to alcohol. Think many, many trucks of hay bales traveling down back roads to highways and down highways to an ethanol plant. Those trucks will cause damage to our rural road infrastructure and will not help highway traffic.
Ethanol can't be shipped in our current pipelines because it absorbs water. It has to be shipped in stainless steel to prevent that. More highway damage getting it to market.
Don't assume from this that I oppose this tax credit. I just want people and politicians to start thinking the costs of their wild environmentalist ideas all the way through. It wasn't done on grain ethanol. It wasn't done on forest management. Why would anyone think it has been done here?
The point that we made in the last paragraph-that no one thinks their ideas through-isn't just a chink in the Democrat party's armor. It is a giant gap.
By this time next year tens of thousands of acres of Colorado forests will be brown, and they will stay brown and immature for decades. If Bob Schaffer or one of his allies doesn't run a TV ad against Mark Udall spelling out his part in creating this disaster, then Republicans deserve to lose.
If someone doesn't take a camera into the Hayman burn area and tell the story of the 700 years that it will take the area to recover, then Republicans deserve to lose.
If someone doesn't point out that Diana DeGette is in the process of locking up one percent of the total area of Colorado in a single Wilderness bill, then Republicans deserve to lose.
This author lives near Pulpit Rock in northern Colorado Springs, and within easy sight of the interstate. By all definitions it is city living with virgin territory no closer than five miles away. Even so, the wildlife has adapted easily to humans. In two of the last three years, this author took photographs of sow bears with their cubs on his quarter acre lot. We have an abundance of deer. They often sleep in the back yard. We used to have a lot of foxes until the coyotes killed them off.
The point that we make is that wildlife doesn't need tens of thousands of acres of pristine forest to survive. It will adapt.
Republicans in Colorado need to start beating the Democrats over the head over water. Almost all of their alternative energy schemes require water and a lot of it. Even wind power storage schemes can require water.
It is time for someone to do a careful audit of the cost of transporting green energy. Not just the cost of the diesel fuel, but also the cost to the infrastructure. Include the energy cost of building and maintaining the trucking fleet necessary for the transportation.
Even Democrats have become wise to the food price problems associated with the use of corn for ethanol. They love "for the children" gimmicks. Republicans can use them, too. When the price of hamburger doubles, it impacts the poor.
Most damaging of all is the Democrat party's aversion to nuclear power, the ultimate renewable energy. It does use water for cooling, but not to the degree other kinds of renewable energy does.
It's time for Republicans to go on offense on the environment. Take photographs of dead and dying forests. Illustrate the high cost of food. Make it plain that Federal Land should be available and accessible to all. Here in Colorado, where water is scarce, make plain the cost in water of the new technologies.
the environmental extremism that Democrats have been practicing isn't an asset to them unless Republicans remain silent about it. It is a liability, a big liability.