Killing us gently
By Henry Lamb
web posted February 10, 2003
While some of us try to focus attention on how our national
sovereignty is being usurped by the United Nations, the strength
of our sovereignty is being sapped at home, by an army that
claims to be protecting the environment.
National sovereignty is meaningless unless we have the power to
exercise it. Our power comes from our ability to produce the
goods and services required to do what we believe has to be
done. Day by day, decision by decision, policy by policy, we are
losing the ability to produce what we need.
Our strength as a nation requires food, and fuel. Our ability to
produce these essentials has become less important than
protecting a red-legged frog, or a sucker fish.
Food producers are being forced out of business. Klamath
farmers may yet not survive the lawsuits filed by environmental
organizations to protect the sucker fish, long considered to be
worthless. Ranchers are systematically being moved off the range
in order to preserve more wilderness, and protect weeds,
wolves, and prairie dogs. And, it gets worse.
Consider the hamburger you buy at the supermarket. Typically,
the red meat is imported, because producers can buy frozen,
boneless, red beef from other countries for about 30-cents per
pound. Red beef from American producers is much more
expensive, because American ranchers must pay for the
environmental, labor, and safety requirements imposed over the
years. Foreign producers are rarely bothered by such
American beef processors buy red beef at the lowest possible
price. Then by adding the white fat trimmings from expensive
American beef, and grinding it all together, the hamburger can be
sold as "American" beef. The consumer never knows that the
hamburger on the grill is really quite multi-cultural in origin.
Meat producers in America are vanishing. Farmers are vanishing
for the same reasons. Food producers in America are vanishing.
A vital component of our sovereignty is being transferred to
foreign countries. We are becoming dependent upon other
nations for our food supply, where we have no control over the
quality, nor security against possible contamination by terrorists.
Increasingly, our energy comes from outside our borders.
ANWR (Alaska National Wildlife Refuge) represents the
battleground between environmental protection and domestic
energy self-sufficiency. ANWR cannot supply all our energy
needs, but had we tapped its reserves years ago, when the
proposal was defeated by the environmental lobby, today's
dependence on foreign oil would be significantly reduced.
We have domestic energy resources, including nuclear power,
which could free us from dependence on other nations. Instead
of using our own resources, environmental organizations, through
their incessant propaganda, lobbying, and support for like-
minded politicians, are sapping the strength out of our national
Even our military is not immune. Training has been curtailed to
avoid disturbing turtles. Whales may be inconvenienced by
further development of sonar equipment. A locoweed may be
trampled by troops training to defend our nation from terrorists,
so environmental organizations file lawsuit after lawsuit, to further
sap the strength of our sovereignty.
Environmentalists' pressure to ban asbestos may have
contributed to the Challenger disaster, and to
the collapse of the
World Trade Center. The environmentalist-inspired ban on
Freon may have also contributed to the Columbia disaster.
Environmental organizations have become a legion of leeches,
attached to every part of the body politic which is our national
Congress has the power to pluck these leeches from our national
body, if they are forced to do so by the people whose vote put
them into office. ANWR will surely come to another vote.
Environmental organizations will again sing their tired old song
about "pristine wilderness," which in reality is frozen tundra.
When Congress votes, it will not be about wildlife and
wilderness; it will be about the strength of our sovereignty.
Congress must also confront the issue of food production: either
reduce the expensive regulations required of American
producers, or prohibit the import of food that is not produced in
compliance with those same requirements.
Congress must also exempt military operations from interference
from environmental organizations.
Failure to recognize and forcefully address these internal issues
of national sovereignty, has already reduced our strength and
increased our vulnerability in a world that grows more dangerous
The "save the planet at all costs" mentality of the environmental
movement is much like the wrongheaded mentality of Lincoln's
physicians: while the leeches suck, they are killing us gently.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental
Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty
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