Sunday, January 09, 2005

Rush's venom

During the closing seconds of Friday's program, Rush Limbaugh stated in so many words that environmental wacks are happy the tsunami destroyed civilian property. The level of hate in his voice to this either makes me believe he truly does have such venom for greens, or he is continuing to push an agenda of making out environmentalists to be the cancer to the general public. Maybe both.

The oddness of this is Rush used this during the closing seconds of his program and had followed a completely different topic before the commercial break. From this, I've decided to fight back. I see no alternative since given the frequency of this and what appears to be a fabrication of truth (he did not cite a source). I encourage anyone reading this to pass the last two columns of mine on to people who have a interest in this subject.

One of the areas I've come to realize on why the general public doesn't recognize the importance of the environment is in Dennis Prager's comment on war: "Those who do not acknowledge evil do so because it would mean they would have to do something about it." This is denial. Relating to the environment, those who do not acknowledge the environments attention do so because of urban geograph. The downplaying comes from a resistance to change, and ignoring the problem is easier.

Dennis Prager once stated on air that the environment "isn't all that important to me." I do not want to take this out of context since he was answering a call-in on Bush's logging policies. Like most, Dennis takes issues on terrorism more seriously. I agree. What I disagree with is the right's denial. The right merely need to downplay the environment in order to focus attention away from Bush's undercutting of existing laws with fuzzy math and a general disregard for scientific evidence.

Rush Limbaugh's false accusations follow similar patterns the right is using to attack the greens. Grist Magazine has two columns with examples on what appears to be the right's methodical attempt to snub environmentalists: (1) and (2).

Robert Devine's Bush Versus the Environment has two paragraphs describing the Bush administration. My own personal thoughts are much better represented in his writings:

"To the extent that Administration officials are ignorant rather than uncaring, they can be forgiven for their damaging behavior--and many do seem profoundly ignorant about the environment and the natural world. Most Bush officials have at least one foot in the Wise Use culture, a culture that knows so little of nature that, for example, its adherents mock efforts to save plants and insects and fungi rather than just game animals and maybe some eagles. The Wise Users don't seem to realize that the web of life that supports them and the rest of creation would fall apart with out those "little things that run the world," as E. O. Wilson famously said of ants. Allan Fitzsimmons, shosen to head the Interior Department's wildfire program--a job that requires an appreciation of the complexity of ecosystems--has stated that he doesn't believe there is any such thing as an ecosystem and that "pulic recreational benefit is the principal reason for conserving natural features." The President's budgets have cut funding for all sorts of environmental research, which will only deepen the Administration's ignorance. The Bush Administration, like the Wise Use crowd, seems to take nature for granted. It acts as if it doesn't realize that excessive development is impairing nature's ability to provide flood control, water purification, a decent climate, pest control, new soil, and all those other essential ecosystem services. Not to mention the intangible but nonetheless very real spiritual need we humans have to sometimes get away from malls, television, traffic, computers, machinary, and walls and spend some time in the natural world.

In the end, balance is the key. You may recall from the early part of the chapter that "balance" is one of those feel-good words that the Luntz memo advises the President and others in his party to use to make their efforts seem more environmentally friendly. But don't let the marketing gurus' cynical deployment of the word spoil the idea. Environmental policy really is all about balance. We do need raw materials. We do need industry. We do need places upon which to build homes and human communities. We do need to live with some pollution. And, as noted, we need nature. So the trick is to find ways to meet the needs on both sides of the equation in a manner that can be sustained indefinitely. No one would advocate clear-cutting every forest in America and no one would advocate never cutting another tree in America. Assuming there is no technological answer (such as a cheap and environmentally benign substitute for wood), the debate is about the balance, about how many trees, what age of trees, how often to cut, how to log less destructively, and so on. I contend that President George W. Bush and his Administration are pushing the fulcrum too far to one side so that the interests of industry far outweigh the interests of the environment and, by extension, the public. Once you've read this book you'll be better able to decide if you agree that this President's view is unbalanced."


And from the cover of the book:

"It is unfortunate that a book like this needed to be written, but it truly did; I wish it were not so. I recommend it to all those who believe, as I do, that protecting this beautiful planet we call home should not be a partisan affair."

--Marth Marks, President, REP America (Republicans for Environmental Protection


8 comments:

Jack Mercer said...

Keep in mind, Bouncie, that Rush is basically an entertainer. An entertainer with clout mind you, but nothing more than we hear from the Hollywierds--except maybe he has a brain...

In regards to the environment, I always take a more balanced approach. I drive a car which requires oil, and live in a house which requires wood. The environment is there to use (but not abuse). The problem with EITHER side, is that NEITHER of them take the balanced approach and live in a world of extremes. Will comment more later.

Nice blog!

Lo said...

Notice that Rush did not say "conservationists" or "environmentalists."

He used the words he did for a reason. ("Words mean things," as he's wont to say.) While he certainly is an entertainer, as the previous commenter said, that does not mean he is insincere or lazy.

"Environmentalist wackos" do exist, they are in charge of the environmentalist movement, and they do deserve to be hated. Which is exactly what Rush meant.

Rush certainly doesn't think this particular subset of environmentalist -truly- represents the movement as a whole, as it claims to do; no one is foolish to believe that (except, perhaps, the vast majority of those actually in the movement).

Lo said...

And there's an error in Marks's statements -- caused, perhaps, because the author is "ignorant rather than uncaring":

"No one would advocate clear-cutting every forest in America and no one would advocate never cutting another tree in America."

The second half of this sentence is false. Denying the radicalism of the left's views on the environment won't help prove the flaws in the right's views on the environment.

Bouncie said...

Lo, the problem with your position is you defend a man whose constant position is to tag everything "wackos." (If I were to ask you how often Rush acknowledges not all greens are extremists versus the use of his "wackos" tag, which do you think would win?) It is common sense to assume the right is so weak on environmental matters because their focus is not the subject itself, but to deny every possible claim the left make on the Bush Administrations green practices. According to Robert Devine's sheer volume of corruption, I have a feeling conservative radio will not be doing a whole lot of addressing on any number of green issues he purports. This is the monotone repetition both party's play when it comes to their "good vs. bad" attack.

Bouncie said...

"Denying the radicalism of the left's views on the environment won't help prove the flaws in the right's views on the environment."

Denying the radicalism of the Administration's views on the environment won't help prove the flaws in the left's views on the environment.

As I have to acknowledge the history of the extremist greens damage on getting the message out to the general public in a positive light, don't you think that maybe at some point you're going to have to acknowledge the Administration's weakness on the environment? That maybe the general public should just be thankful Bush is stronger on some of the key issues like terrorism and taxation while letting this lower end issue go for the sake of pleasing his special interest contributors.

Lo said...

>>>Lo, the problem with your position is you defend a man whose constant position is to tag everything "wackos."<<<
Employing absolutes is one sign that one holds a weak position. I count two of them in that sentence. ;) ("Constant," "everything.")... Anyway: Rush need not comment on sensible conservationists because they have no significant power in activist or political circles. Personally, I think you'd be glad he's calling attention to people who hijack your cause for an ulterior agenda (i.e., Marxism).

Bouncie said...

"Employing absolutes is one sign that one holds a weak position. I count two of them in that sentence."

When was the last time Rush didn't hold an absolute position on the environment (that being reporting either the bad green practices of his own party or the good conservation efforts)?

"Rush need not comment on sensible conservationists because they have no significant power in activist or political circles."

Because his position is to never comment on the good environmental efforts. It is obvious to me anyhow that Rush, and a handful of the Patriot hosts, generally get invited to Republican functions because of the pro-cheerleading they do for the Administration, and not because of the bad environmental press, or any other negative press for that matter.

"Personally, I think you'd be glad he's calling attention to people who hijack your cause for an ulterior agenda (i.e., Marxism)."

When has Rush ever said "Marxist leaders of the green movement"? Those sounds like your words. He isn't drawing attention away from his own party's mispractices?

One reason I gave up my wholehearted belief in Dennis Prager is because I feel listening to any one source altogether is a slanted view. Maybe I've said this before? I don't know. But what I do know is some of the members at DP website didn't like me stepping on their Saviour. And I get the sense this is the same with listeners of Rush.

The other area that is a misconception is the belief that conservative radio hosts are challenged all the time. This isn't accurate because phone-ins are screened. To say I believe the hosts are usually correct is accurate. To say I believe the hosts are selective about who they speak with is also correct. As well as it is to say I believe some have been disconnected abruptly because of their challenges.

No, the most open challenges are at websites with a comments section. Are perceptions are so far off because my belief is still that if the hosts is never wrong and can never acknowledge being such, than I have to assume they are hiding something. Both party's do this wonderfully and have this ideology of never giving in. I prefer to view the good points of both and work from there.

Bouncie said...

"your cause"

It's interesting the environment is viewed as any one persons "cause" as it is a part of all of us whether wanting to acknowledge this or not. I don't believe you were intentionally trying to strike at anything. But I do believe extremist greens and conservatives have done a fantastic job of alienating this cause in to something of a tug-of-war match. To hear people dismiss the topic as "not all that important" is bewildering to me, and I find this quite saddening given the loser in the end will continue to be Nature itself. After all, Yellowstone is in the process of being taken off the watch list, which is hard enough to comprehend. Meaning; we don't need to watch out for one of our natural keystones. Give humanity enough time and we will find a way to degrade even this.