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The Environmentalists’ War on the Poor

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Denver has recently announced a policy that plans to remove 500,000 cars from the road in an aggressive attempt to curb the effects of global warming. This follows on the heels of other plans nationwide to reduce emissions as well as commentary from elites who encourage the further increase in gas prices so fewer people will be able to drive, or at least, will moderate their driving habits.

There is on thing that immediately comes to mind about the Denver plan. To identify which 500,000 cars will be taken off the road, line up every resident with a car and have them organized from poorest to richest. Then count off the first 500,000 starting from the poor end.  Those are the people who won't have cars anymore. It's just that simple.

These attempts to curb global warming by "modifying behavior" are all designed to simply increase the cost of normal human activity. The result is that the people who are priced out of the game are the poor. An example is in order.

Take Al "the Goracle" Gore. With his mantourage and jetsetter lifestyle he uses carbon emissions comparable to many thousands of people. He has mcmansions here and there and despite being a prophet of global doom, he hasn't personally curbed his lifestyle one iota. The sacrifice to save the planet is never meant to restrict the elite's lifestyle; it’s the poor and middle class that need to sacrifice for the "greater good".

With the supposed concern from the Left about the gap between the rich and the poor, it is ironic at best that they support policies that have no other effect than to push the middle class into the poor and to push the poor down further. In its most radical forms, environmentalists believe the Earth is over populated and that the population should be reduced to about 2 billion. You can bet real money that it won't be them that numbers in the 4 billion or so that are unworthy of life. China's forced-abortion policy solicits nary a peep from "human rights activists". The Serra Club supports abortion for a reason.

Carbon offset programs have been exposed as a fraud and it has just been discovered that hybrid vehicles cause much more environmental damage to produce than a hummer. In the rush to "do something", or at least appear to be doing something, no one every actually examined to see if they were doing something that would have an effect. This mindlessness pervades the entire gamut of environmental thought.

These elites, despite not usually having any real contact with the middle class or the poor, deign to know what is best for us and are more than willing to use government to enforce their values on us from on high. These Henryites demonstrate this arrogant paternalism in their support for bans on smoking (not just in public, but even in private homes), trans-fat bans and their incessant parade of lifestyle legislation designed solely to indicate that the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness applies only to those who have won life's lottery. Call it the secular humanism version of the Prosperity Gospel.

With all the Hollywood and political elites that support environmentalism, you'd think they'd restrict their lifestyle that uses many more resources then dozens if not hundreds of middle-class or poor families. When they close down their large estates and live solely in one 3,000 square foot home (generous for almost any family I know), then they might have some basis with which to tell the rest of us what we need to cut out of our lives.

Until the time comes that they will share in the sacrifices which they demand everyone else to make, no serious consideration can be given to their interpretation of what the common good is.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    John, it all makes sense when you remember taht the largest obstacle to socialism is a powerful bourgeoisie. Drive the middle class into poverty and you are left with nothing but an angry under class and a vulnerable elite. Perfect ground for a socialist revolution.

    Dave

  • Alec

    John – What an odd string on non sequiturs as you strain, and fail, to make any coherent point. The main problem is that you fall back on the standard trope that whatever “liberals” believe must be wrong that you cannot deal honestly with the environmental issues.

    Your headline and the first sentence of your post is, of course, a lie. Denver has no plans whatsoever to ban 500,000 cars, but is trying to deal with the equivalent in carbon dioxide emissions from 500,000 cars. So, your entire argument falls apart from the jump, because the Denver officials’ aims, even if misguided, is not focused on a single industry, income group etc.

    I don’t buy all (heck, probably not any) of the prescriptions of Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” but your post lacks the slightest bit of fact as to whether or not Gore has done anything to make his “mcmansions” more energy efficient. You also may be alluding to the over-hyped stories about his supposedly high energy bills, all of which neglected to mention that his home is also his office and is used by a number of employees and is not simply a personal residence in which Al, Tipper and the gang act like energy hogs.

    Your links to stories about fraudulent carbon offset programs and over-hyped hybrid vehicles are good, but you strangely fail to mention that the idea of carbon offset programs first arose in conservative think tanks.

    There are good arguments to be made against the junk science of some environmentalism. The problem is that you are not capable of making them. This is not a personal slam, just frustration at your over-reliance on rhetoric over coherent argument.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Since you’re convinced that none of your critics actually read your articles (because how could you possibly be wrong?), I suppose I’m going to have to quote this one back at you as I comment on it.

    To identify which 500,000 cars will be taken off the road, line up every resident with a car and have them organized from poorest to richest. Then count off the first 500,000 starting from the poor end. Those are the people who won’t have cars anymore. It’s just that simple. It’s amusing to see conservatives expressing sudden concern for the plight of the poor when measures to combat global warming are proposed. It’s a red herring. This isn’t a rich vs. poor issue – it’s a preserving the planet as a habitable place issue. Curbing rampant consumption and pollution is going to hurt, unfortunately, because we’ve gotten used to living like that. The rich will always find a way to afford restrictively expensive things that the rest of us can’t – they’re rich.

    Take Al “the Goracle” Gore. With his mantourage and jetsetter lifestyle he uses carbon emissions comparable to many thousands of people. He has mcmansions here and there and despite being a prophet of global doom, he hasn’t personally curbed his lifestyle one iota. You make it sound as though he’s an international playboy instead of a politician. Gore has been at pains to document the many measures he takes to offset his own energy consumption. What would you have the guy do, live in a mud hut? Spread his environmental message using jungle drums?

    In its most radical forms, environmentalists believe the Earth is over populated and that the population should be reduced to about 2 billion. You can bet real money that it won’t be them that numbers in the 4 billion or so that are unworthy of life. Don’t be obtuse. Nobody’s suggesting the arbitrary slaughter of two-thirds of the world’s population. Of course it’s not going to happen overnight, but there are ways the population can be reduced over time to a level that the planet can sustain without screaming.

    China’s forced-abortion policy solicits nary a peep from “human rights activists”. You are very, very wrong.

    Carbon offset programs have been exposed as a fraud. The article you link to cites one economist who has doubts about the efficacy of such programs. It’s fine to debate carbon offsets sensibly, but you sound like the creationist who thinks he’s spotted an inconsistency in the science and trumpets that therefore evolution is a “fraud”.

    Hybrid vehicles cause more environmental damage to produce than a Hummer. Now who’s not reading articles before commenting on them? If you had read through to the end of the SFGate piece, you would have discovered that this conclusion is bullshit because unfair comparisons were used.

    With all the Hollywood and political elites that support environmentalism, you’d think they’d restrict their lifestyle that uses many more resources then dozens if not hundreds of middle-class or poor families. Ah, the poor again. Well, “political elites” we’ve already discussed, example Al Gore. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t really give a shit about how Hollywood celebrities live their lives – although I’m sure there are many who do try to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. They’re not the policymakers. As long as they do their jobs and entertain me, that’s pretty much all I’m looking for from these people. However, they are entitled to their opinions and to express them, and I fail to see that being rich should somehow disqualify you from having liberal politics.

  • zingzing

    damn! alec, #2–putting the smack down on john boy! very nice. bambenek is one of our worst offenders in the empty rhetoric dept. we keep him under strict supervision. currently, i am testing his stool for stool of bull.

  • sr

    He sent you a stool sample zing? Send me your address so I can send some shit to you.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    I would rank this post as one of the top 5 most fundamentally stupid posts I’ve ever read on this site.

    I thank God Doc Dread smacked it down in such an efficient manner. Well done Doc.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I would rank this post as one of the top 5 most fundamentally stupid posts I’ve ever read on this site.

    Oh come now, that’s not fair. I’m sure Selwyn Duke has posted more than five articles…

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    And yet not one of you champions are putting up your own articles… just sitting here bitching behind aliases.

    I know I’m impressed.

  • Dr Dreadful

    #9:

    [personal attack will be deleted if I put one here, even though I want to]

    If you don’t like it, John, then don’t post articles on a site where they’re open for public critiquing.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    DR. D. says:

    “What would you have the guy do, live in a mud hut? Spread his environmental message using jungle drums?”

    C’mon, Doc. That was beneath you.

    A nice 5000 to 7000 sq. ft house would be more in keeping with what he professes.

    He DOES ask the rest of us to cut down our carbon footprints while his principal residence consumes as much power as twelve average middle class (2500 sq. ft.) houses.

    He speaks of the “carbon offsets” which he purchases. Apart from the validity of the whole carbon offset idea, which smacks of a shell game or Ponzi scheme, I’ve read he’s buying his offsets from a company HE owns.

    At the very least, that house is incredibly stupid PR (even for a pol).

  • Dr Dreadful

    Clav, as Alec pointed out above, it’s not just his residence, it’s also a business office. As for being beneath me, it’s exactly what Mr Bambenek deserves if he’s going to use ad hominem attacks instead of explaining what’s wrong with Gore’s ideas.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    You missed my point, Doc. The illogical hyperbole in that statement is what I considered beneath you.

    As far as gore’s house being also his office, it’s still STUPID PR on his part to ask the rest of us to take the bus and walk more, etc. when he leads the lifestyle he does.

    This is a good time for me to reiterate that I have nothing against either rich people or conspicuous consumption (even that which has a large carbon footprint). As many of you know, I make a good living off both.

    Larry Ellison and John Allen both own several 300+ ft. yachts each – boats that at cruising speed consume in the neighborhood of 200 – 300 gallons of diesel fuel per hour, BUT NEITHER OF THEM IS PREACHING THAT WE SHOULD CUT BACK ON ENERGY CONSUMPTION. I say, if they can afford it, more power to ’em.

    I DO detest hypocrisy like gore’s, however.

  • Alec

    John – RE: And yet not one of you champions are putting up your own articles… just sitting here bitching behind aliases.

    Actually, I read and post here because I find the site, including views I disagree with, to be very interesting. I do not post articles simply because I do not have time to do so consistently or often.

    I have always used the same alias, so I am obviously “hiding” in plain sight and there would not be much point in posting my full name, since you and I are not going to be making an appointment for a duel at 20 paces any time soon.

    None of this, of course, changes the fact that your post is largely wrong from beginning to end.

    Clavos – RE: As far as gore’s house being also his office, it’s still STUPID PR on his part to ask the rest of us to take the bus and walk more, etc. when he leads the lifestyle he does.

    Not at all. Even if Gore took a vow of poverty, his detractors would look for some other lame excuse to dismiss him. The fallacy that both you and John B commit here is sniping at the messenger in order to deflect attention from the message. So if you substitute one of them Hollywood liberal actor types, Ed Begley, Jr, for Gore, you get a person who tries to live a frugal, environment-friendly life (solar powered home, use of a bicycle, etc) and who tirelessly offers suggestions on how others can painlessly adapt elements of his message to their own lives. But even though he is obviously no hypocrite, he still gets derided and mocked by the mindless anti-environmentalism crowd.

    RE: This is a good time for me to reiterate that I have nothing against either rich people or conspicuous consumption (even that which has a large carbon footprint). As many of you know, I make a good living off both.

    Sam Walton, founder of Wal Mart, was extremely modest and frugal in his personal life, despite being fabulously wealthy. Despite the foaming at the mouth by Limbaugh types, there is no inherent connection between being wealthy and conspicuous consumption.

    And obviously, the issue is not just about consumption, but also about mitigating the negative impact of some types of energy use. Years ago, people bitched and moaned about catalytic converters becoming mandatory automobile equipment. Widely used since 1975, they no longer significantly add anything to the price of an automobile, and no one rational objects to their use since they have have proved effective in reducing certain types of internal combustion engine emissions.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Flaming isn’t public critique.

  • http://mondoproject.com Mark Saleski

    swiss cheese logic isn’t journalism.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Wikipedia definition of flaming: “The act of sending or posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting.”

    Not what I or others were doing. At least until you started reacting badly to criticism.

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    “Despite the foaming at the mouth by Limbaugh types, there is no inherent connection between being wealthy and conspicuous consumption.”

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear in my statement. I didn’t mean to imply that there was a connection, I merely meant that I personally have no objection to conspicuous consumption; even conspicuous carbon consumption.

    If I did, I’d have to stop selling these boats with big honking engines; something I’m not prepared to do.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Morning Clav.

    That was Alec’s comment, not mine. Although I agree with him, I don’t want to take credit. Frankly, I think he broadsided John’s article a lot more succinctly and effectively than I did.

    I’ve no objection to toys with big honking engines as long as they’re played with responsibly.

  • Clavos

    Oops! Sorry, Doc!

  • zingzing

    john, you really should respond to your critics, rather than posting highly debatable b.s. and then bitching when someone points out where you are wrong. tell us why you are right. cause right now, you just look like a coward.

    sometimes, you write fine articles. i may not agree with them, but at least they back up a certain point of view… this one, however, is a bunch of malarkey. it’s factually incorrect and nothing but the worst kind of propoganda… and for what? what are you protecting? you know it’s not the middle class (nor the poor).

    so, instead of being a little bitch about getting some justly deserved criticism, how about you actually respond to that criticism or stop writing such easily destroyed articles?

  • MCH

    “Despite the foaming at the mouth by Limbaugh types…”

    I heard oxycontin cravings create a similar oral reaction…

  • sr

    John you are just confusing the liberal’s with the facts. My solution for this global warming bullshit is to asphalt the entire earth. That way MCH, Zing, Rush and the rest of you can take your bike’s, load up with water and Oxycontin and ride around the world. Just take the good Doc with you should you need hemroid treatment.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    good plan, sr. Be sure to let us know how that works out for you.

  • Arch Conservative

    “I heard oxycontin cravings create a similar oral reaction…”

    That’s still not quite the exhibition of absurdity that a certain socialist shrew and her flannel clad pillow biting supporters who believe that she was ordained by Lesbos herself to eventually become the leader of our once great nation.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    She was ordained by an island?

    dave

  • Tax Analyst

    First time checking out the site…I would have liked to post some trenchant or witty response because John’s piece has a somewhat lighter than air logical and factual core to it. But it seems “Alec” was onto and all over it rather quickly and I just don’t see much to be gained from restating his points…I doubt I could improve on them – and it also appears that this thread is dead at this point…last previous post was yesterday afternoon.

  • Dr Dreadful

    it also appears that this thread is dead at this point…

    Never underestimate a BC thread. Some have slumbered for years and then suddenly and for no apparent reason sprung back to life as vigorously as before.

  • Tax Analyst

    it also appears that this thread is dead at this point…

    Never underestimate a BC thread. Some have slumbered for years and then suddenly and for no apparent reason sprung back to life as vigorously as before.

    Hmmm…I see…well, that’s something to keep in mind, isn’t it…Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Clavos

    I saw one a couple of weeks ago that got its first comment almost a year to the day after the original article was written.

  • Dr Dreadful

    There’s a Led Zeppelin thread in the Music section that’s been going for five years. It gets revived every year on the anniversary of the article’s first publication on BC – kind of a tradition among those music afficionados.

  • Billybob

    So Doc, your a liberal. Should have known after that prescription you gave me. Im sending you some suppositories the size of pumpkin’s. Thank me later funny man.

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