Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
As Jerry Seinfeld might ask, "So, what's the deal with supporting terrorism?" Indeed, that is precisely what now needs to be asked of anyone perpetuating Seinfeld's wealth, or that of actor Christopher Lloyd, among others. Sure, the entertainment industry is renowned for its starboard tack and its support of feel-good causes like the "environmentalist" movement. (Inspect them all at www.Green-Watch.com .) And that enviro community — which sprang from the ashes of the failed "zero population growth" crusade, to pursue the same ends by different means — has certainly given us cause to suspect them of being anti-people.But the Earth Island Institute, undeniably "mainstream" since its founding by a former Sierra Club board member, now further exposes the darker side of "environmentalism." EII's most current report claims Seinfeld as the largest individual contributor to its hateful advocacy, in addition to past and present support from numerous corporate or affiliated entities. Theirs is a campaign that each and every one of its supporters must be called upon to explicitly affirm or condemn.Earth Island's commentary on the September 11 attacks has skipped the subtleties, instead choosing to flaunt its underlying philosophy: Violate the tenets of environmentalism, it says — or its sister-in-arms, anti-capitalism — and reap justified doom. EII took the "opportunity" to submit a statement via their website , "U.S. Responds to Terrorist Attacks with Self-Righteous Arrogance." [Editor's note: Earth Island Institute has taken the piece from their site. You can view it on CEI's site .] Steeped in, well, self-righteous arrogance — and belying the clear import of "likely suspect" Osama bin Laden's record — the report denies that the September 11 attacks represented any act of war. Instead, EII sheds a tear for those oppressed peoples who have communicated, in the only way they knew how, their anger at the capitalist, globalist society that led them to this. Theirs "was an act of anger, desperation and indignation." How could anyone subjected to the horrors of oil-assisted employment and prosperity take issue with this infliction of calculated murder upon thousands? Clearly, we were asking for it."This was not an 'attack on all American people,'" fumes EII. You see, not all kinds of Americans died — it was mostly Pentagon — and "multinational financial empire" types. Plus, "[t]his was not the sort of flat-out terrorism that targets random innocents at a disco or a beach." Not "flat-out" terrorism? How "innocent" must one be in order not to be a just target for mass murder? Clearly those Americans who were performing peaceful tasks — on their own shores, and for a branch of government that defends EII's right to be mind-bogglingly offensive — merit no such consideration.Our environmentalists draw no distinction between actors with malice aforethought, conducting or directing activities of which environmentalists disapprove (e.g., investments), and those performing ritual tasks of data entry, custodial and food service, or fire suppression and rescue. EII then curiously decries President Bush's assertion that no distinction should be drawn between terrorists and those who harbor them, "find[ing] this statement extreme cause for alarm." Think about this. The environmentalist (on his comfortable bed of donated wealth) finds degrees of evil among terrorists, but not among capitalists. Terrorists' accomplices are entirely different from actual terrorists. But in for a penny, in for a pound, when it comes to creating wealth for your (gasp) family.EII goes on, outrageously — disparaging the FBI infiltrator who betrayed previous Trade Center bombers for his apparent treachery, analogizing pursuit of responsible parties with child abuse, etc. Though Earth Island includes brief, boilerplate rant about oil, their statement is so visceral that they forget to even mention the environmental angle in all of this. Their site is pure evil rhetoric, with a dash of rabid leftist politics.Yet it has plenty to do with "environmentalism." People — so that teaching goes — are pollution. A human footprint on the planet is, by definition, destructive, for man's prosperity and/or proliferation can have no good result. All that perpetuates it is unacceptable, to be disposed of by whatever arguments — or, apparently, means — necessary. This philosophy is exactly why, for example, this same organization attempted to block the removal of the gray whale from the Endangered Species List several years ago, despite the fact that there were then, and indisputably, as many if not more gray whales than there had ever been in all of recorded history. EII's reasoning was that only so long as the whale stayed on the list was it possible for them to halt offshore oil drilling, seabed mining, U.S. naval maneuvers, development around coastal estuaries, and anything else facilitating the lives of what they hold to be the several billion too many of us.We've heard tales that every soft-drink purchase lines bin Laden's pocket, given his prominent position in the market of base-ingredient gum Arabic. If that thought repels you, should you continue to shop at May Department Stores? Should you back the government bailout of Southern California Edison? Should you, for that matter, go on contributing to groups that sell images of adorable creatures and perpetual catastrophic threats — but that offer restrictive policies designed, directly or indirectly, to reduce the world population of 6 billion by two-thirds? (Two billion, max, is the generally accepted "environmentalist" position.) Or, should you agree that there may in fact be too many people on earth, and that you're going to stop subsidizing the existence of a particularly noxious sort?