The much-publicized environmental campaigns of the past few decades against global warming, chemicals, urban sprawl, and a hundred other celebrated causes have brought tremendous financial rewards to the leaders of those movements. Each reproach drives expiatory donations and membership from an anxious public. More handsomely, however, the ratcheting of environmental anxiety makes each cause a political issue, driving massive tax-funded subsidies to give environmentalists jobs as professional lobbyists, researchers and lawyers. And because the profitable manufacture of anxiety depends on the natural but rudimentary distrust of change, environmentalists are by and large ideologically forced by the dynamism of the free market into adopting irrational socialist rhetoric about "essential needs," "public trusts" and "commodification," and placing their trust instead in rigid government regulation.
Then there's the case of Waukesha County, Wis., where much of the local water supply is contaminated with radium. Waukesha is just short drive from Lake Michigan, but because the sub-continental divide runs through the county, many municipalities within it are prevented from piping in safe water from the lake. The City of Waukesha is contemplating a petition under the Great Lakes Charter for an exemption to divert Lake Michigan water for human safety reasons. But its success is unclear and opponents have been lining up for years. The American Civil Liberties Union has declared it will challenge the application on the basis of "environmental justice." The Wisconsin director of the ACLU has said that "water diversions will almost certainly increase suburban sprawl." Hydrologic destiny thus becomes a new way to make life miserable for humans. Save the water, kill the cities.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Posted by MapMaster on Wednesday, September 20, 2006