Where is the Environmental Lobby? By Gregory Hilton–
A strange silence has descended over the nation’s environmental lobby. Their conduct is similar to what has already happened to the anti-war lobby. Two years ago “peace activists” were livid when a 21,000 troop surge for Iraq was announced, and massive demonstrations were held in all major cities. They said the surge would lead to the death of innocent civilians.
Two months ago President Obama initiated a 21,000 troop surge in Afghanistan, and a week ago today over 120 innocent civilians were killed in a U.S. drone attack. Hardly anyone has made a comment.
The environmental lobby is also silent. They had a major role in the 2008 campaign, and they have an effective grassroots network. These activists were out in force last year and they were expressing outrage about the plight of the polar bear.
There favorite target was Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) who did not want polar bears listed under the Endangered Species Act. Greenpeace said Palin’s position was “putting the polar bear at risk of extinction.” MSNBC said the GOP candidate was “covering up evidence that polar bears are endangered.” The Defenders of Wildlife spent $300,000 on TV commercials denouncing Palin’s attitude toward the bears.
On September 26, 2008, 61 Nobel laureates announced their endorsement of Barack Obama, and many of the questions they received concerned Palin and polar bears. They said the Governor’s position would “lead to more polar bears dying of starvation and drowning, and more being killed by wealthy trophy hunters. As governor, she has been a disaster for polar bears and other wildlife.” It was interesting that many of the people leading the campaign for the polar bears had never visited Alaska.
Now the Obama Administration agrees with Palin. Last week Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the former Democratic Senator from Colorado, said “the Endangered Species Act is not the proper mechanism for controlling our nation’s carbon emissions.” That is the exact same position as the Bush administration and Governor Palin.
Palin responded to the announcement by saying “This is a clear victory for Alaska. We all want to preserve and protect the polar bear using the best possible tools, but there is absolutely no need to change the rule to accomplish this purpose. I want to thank Secretary Salazar for his careful review of the science and the administrative record that led to this decision.”
Former White House press secretary Dana Perino also noted the absence of the environmental lobby. She noted the Obama administration has:
“decided to keep President Bush’s policy on polar bears. Well now. I remember what happened when we made our announcement after all of the thoughtful consideration that was given to the decision. But if you read the clips today, you’d think we had announced two completely different things.
“For example, where is the outrage and the letters from Senator Boxer and Congressman Waxman decrying the Friday afternoon release, calling for investigations and alleging manipulation of the science and the law? Where are the press releases and lawsuits from the environmental groups? Where are the two people who dressed up as polar bears and crashed Sen. Kempthorne’s press conference?
“Where are the breathless and indignant above-the-fold, page one newspaper stories? And the cute photos of the polar bears standing on floating ice floes? Where are the pointed allegations of “rollback” on the cable news scrolls? Where is the bluster and the cynical barbs from the talking heads?
“And where is former Vice President Al Gore unleashing his caricature of righteous indignation and moral condemnation of this offense against nature? Barring all that, where is the explicit acknowledgment that President Bush must have gotten the policy right?”