I remember the bad old days.
Landing in a city enveloped in nasty, soupy smog swallowing up everything except some tall buildings and radio towers.
Crossing a bridge wondering what color the dye from a paper plant would make the river. Would it be red today? Green? Blue?
Seeing all the dead fish on a Lake Michigan beach.
The stench of the air of a couple of steel mill towns I lived in along the way.
I remember the bad old days.
But people had enough of it, attitudes changed, there was a growing consciousness about the environment. And over about a decade – the 70s basically – the air was cleaned, water pollution was reversed, a lot of the smog went away.
The Environmental Protection Agency did its job.
They won the war on pollution.
But has anybody notified them?
Like a crazed robot, they are doing their work to the extreme: construction companies are required to clean water runoff enough to make it drinkable, farmers apparently are violating EPA rules regarding storage of hay, dust is considered to be a pollutant, the few traces of lead paint dust released in old houses being remodeled must be dealt with to avoid harming children (even if there are no kids around), and there’s a movement to reduce the nation’s power generation capacity by 8 percent.
It’s hard to take seriously people who believe that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
What is driving them?
I see at least four possibilities.
One is that there are people who have really bought the propaganda that we are destroying the earth. They tend to be younger and have no recollection of how far we have come since the bad old days.
Another is that because the war on pollution has been won, we now have nearly 18,000 EPA employees looking for something to do.
And it may get worse.
I just read one figure indicating that the EPA may grow to 30,000 people. Another said they may in the next few years have 230,000 employees.
Imagine that. Nearly a quarter million federal busybodies descending like locusts to strip bare the land of its jobs, prosperity, property rights, and entire way of life.
Another possibility is that the contemporary environmental movement is based upon quasi-religious beliefs about the earth. The earth is a living entity, some believe, and any alteration of it by man represents violation of a religious principle.
A fourth explanation is that some have said that with the fall of the Soviet Union, the environmental movement was the only place besides college campuses where Marxists could thrive (that was before the Obama administration). What better way to destroy evil capitalism than to strangle it with impossibly contradictory rules and regulations? It’s the watermelon concept: Big Environmentalists are green on the outside, red on the inside.
The fact is that the EPA needs to go away. There’s no more use for it -- it won the battle on pollution.
States can enforce pollution laws and when there are interstate environmental issues, they can be settled in federal court.
Otherwise, the EPA will eventually leave us with no more technology than the Amish.
Ah, but the EPA would say the Amish are eco-criminals, too.
Their horses have gas.