F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines
Week of:
June 18, 2000
Random Thoughts on the Environment

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

We may not be able to control climate change, but we can respond to ridiculous rhetoric.

Heads They Win, Tails We Lose
Shouldn't all the parties to a treaty -- or any contract, for that matter -- derive, or expect to derive, some benefit from it? Isn't it the expectation of a boon that motivates the signatories to commit themselves in the first place? What kind of a nincompoop knowingly enters into a disadvantageous agreement? Every country on the face of the earth negotiates in its own self- interest, except the United States. The appeal that the Climate Change Treaty has for Third World nations is clear enough, but what does it offer America? Why would any U.S. Senator of sound mind and true heart support a treaty that offers no benefits whatsoever to our country, but many dire impositions?

Warm Mongering
Remember when we were supposed to be frightened because the world was getting colder? When that fraud was exposed, we then were told to beware of global warming. Now, more and more people are beginning to recognize that this too is nonsense. So, what dread prospect will the conjurors of calamity con us with next? Will they try to stampede us into global governance by warning that the temperature will remain constant?

Crass Consciousness
Environmentalists like to remind us that we're all in the same boat -- or spaceship, as some of them say -- and that the impact that any one person has on the environment will be felt by all. This observation, trite though it may be, is more or less accurate, but the call for increased government regulation that typically follows is a classic non sequitur. The vehicular metaphor for a common fate applies equally well to the economy, however, for anyone who creates wealth inevitably bestows a bounty on his shipmates. It is, and always has been, in the best interests of rich and poor -- and black and white, and young and old, and male and female -- to work together. Anyone who says otherwise betrays ignorance, or malice.

Recycle This!
Kids love to propagandize their parents about the alleged virtues of recycling. It makes them feel morally superior. The only problem is, they've got their facts all wrong. Recycling is frequently more trouble than it's worth, and quite often downright counterproductive. Perhaps parents should confront their patronizing progeny and discuss exactly what it means to think globally, act locally. It's clear from recent test scores that American kids don't much about geography, among other things. Under the circumstances, thinking globally may be something they want to postpone for a while, at least until they've figured out why North America is invariably to be found on a map (if, indeed, it can be found) above South America (assuming, of course, that the map is rightside up). Acting locally is something children can do, however, and the more local the better. Here's an idea: If kids really want to improve the environment and set a good example for their parents, they can start by cleaning up their own bedrooms. It doesn't get any more local than that!

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