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A few weeks ago, I was walking the streets of Washington, D.C. when I happened to look up and catch the eye of a red-faced young man wearing the two things which cause me dread -- the naive optimism of youth and a shirt that read "Go Green!"
He had a clipboard, too. Never a good sign. Nor was he alone -- his green-shirted cohorts swarmed the sidewalk, accosting every passersby whose attention they could capture with: "Do you have a moment for the environment?"
Fortunately, I speak fluent liberalese, so I understood this request to really mean, "Can I try and convince you the Earth is warming even as we stand here and shiver, and that you could do something to stop it by handing over money to a complete stranger on the street?"
Frankly, I was appalled by the obliviousness of these seemingly well-meaning do-gooders. Do they know how many trees died to produce the pamphlets and flyers they were distributing will-nilly?
I'm sure they communicated with each other via email and text as they planned their eco-harassment campaign .... don't they know that computers use electricity, and that electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, which puts dangerous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere?
And I'm quite sure that these environmentalists came from homes heated by, you guessed it, fossil fuels!
So you see, by their own measure these apparent green warriors are actually the worst sort of climate criminals -- why, the very breath puffing from their mouths, visible and vaporous, was bursting with poisonous CO2, even as it carried honeyed words of environmental concern. Imagine!
It just goes to prove what I have said all along -- environmentalists are terrible for the environment. For another example just look at the green movement's desperate effort to kill TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The 1,700-mile pipeline, which would run from Hardisty, Alberta, to Port Arthur, Texas, would help liberate untold millions of barrels of dangerous fossil fuels from Canada's tar sands -- yet enviros are bound and determined to keep this poison in the bosom of Mother Earth. Terrible, really.
I will give the environmental movement credit for one thing that did actually help the Earth: In 1972, thanks to the tireless activism of the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a ban on all domestic uses of the chemical pesticide DDT.
The result, as noted by the American Council on Science and Health:
"The banning of its domestic use led to its diminished production in the United States -- and less availability of DDT for the developing world. The results were disastrous: at least 1-2 million people continue to die from malaria each year, 30-60 million or more lives needlessly lost since the ban took effect. This is especially tragic since there was hope of eradicating the disease altogether when DDT was first introduced and its potential was recognized."
So thanks to the environmentalists who pushed for the DDT ban, there are millions of fewer people on the planet, and we all know how bad for the environment people are. Way to go green!
But as for the pretender who shoved a flyer in my face that cold December morning, I passed him right by. I can't imagine whatever he was hawking could be as effective as the DDT ban.
Besides, if I'm going to give my money to a complete stranger, I'd just as soon give it to the very nice homeless man I see most days in DuPont Circle. At least I knew where his Christmas bounty was going; the same place as mine: Booze.