What are the economic effects of the green environmentalist agenda?

From Investors Business Daily.


Some day, environmental radicals will be held accountable for crimes against the ecosystem — the human ecosystem.

Back in 2007, they convinced federal Judge Oliver Wanger to rule that the Endangered Species Act gave the federal government the right to cut water to thousands of farmers in California’s Central Valley to protect a 3-inch baitfish called the delta smelt.

That ruling turned many of the Valley’s prized vineyards and almond groves into wastelands. Jobs were lost, family farms were shut, fields went fallow and food prices rose.

But there’s been just one problem with this overreaching of the law: Cutting off water didn’t save the smelt.

A draft of a new study from the Delta Stewardship Council shows the water cutoffs had no effect on the smelt. The smelt remains endangered even as farmers have been punished with a policy that cut off as much as 90% of their water.

“Environmentalists claimed the sky was falling in Delta, and the only way to save smelt was to flush more fresh water to the ocean,” said Andrew House, spokesman for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. “So they embarked upon a narrow path of diverting water from (San Joaquin Valley) farmers by using science to confirm their predetermined assessment of what was going on.”

But it didn’t work. Similar evidence is now coming out from the Pacific Northwest stating that shutting down the logging industry never did save the spotted owl.

In both cases, the science was highly speculative and new predatory species seem to be more likely causes. But that never stopped cocky environmentalists from saying they had all the answers — and all the power.

“Our farmers went through two years of supply cuts to have . .. better information and science, ” said Steve Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, commenting on the report.

Wade noted that the water shut-off has been particularly hard on family farms, many of which have gone under as a result of the policies. He said their farms have been bought out by big agribusinesses, ironic given environmentalists’ hatred of that.

Unemployment reached 40% in some areas as a result of the cutoff, and even cities like Fresno (with an unemployment rate above 16%) ended up losing 25% of their water, too.

Food lines appeared in the world’s most fertile agricultural valley, with farmworkers accepting bags of carrots grown in China, a sorry emblem of man-made famine.

House notes that not only did the water shut-off wreak havoc on Central Valley farms, its smelt-saving basis — which Judge Wanger later called “sloppy science” — managed to endanger the smelt even more by not addressing the real reason for the creature’s demise.

“They wasted so much time focusing on a phantom problem, they haven’t examined what the real problems are. Now you have the Delta Stewardship Council saying” the species may not be saved, House said.

This was never about science anyway. “It was … about re-engineering the development of California, particularly the San Joaquin Valley,” said House. “They don’t think the west side should be farmed at all, they want it removed from production, gone to a natural state, re-engineered as a socialist Utopia.”

Real people’s lives were ruined by this green alarmism. And it’s happening everywhere. People losing their jobs, paying more for electricity, food riots and even people dying from malaria in the third world because of DDT bans.

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