Monday, June 12, 2006

Anti-War and Enviro 

Upon reading this item by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) got to thinking about how the arguments of the anti-war types like Sen. Feingold resemble those of the environmental movement. To wit: the solution to our problem is whatever isn't being tried.

Sen. Feingold and many others claim that the war in Iraq is not helping to solve the global terrorism problem but is instead exacerbating it. Sen. Feingold proposes that, instead of fighting terrorists in Iraq, we should develop "strong partnerships with countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Mali, focused not only on security assistance, but on the development of a strong rule of law, respect for human rights, and fighting corruption." Even if one agrees with Sen. Feingold, the devil, as always, is in the details--details that Sen. Feingold does not discuss.

Similarly, when the environmentalists condemn US energy policy, they find fault with oil, coal, hydro and nuclear power options, touting "renewable resources" such as wind, solar and biomass. But now that (for example) wind power is coming into relatively widespread use, we begin to hear how bad it is for the environment: it kills birds and flying bats; it destroys the esthetics of the area where it's installed; it interferes with television and radar signals; it creates noise pollution. I'm sure a similar transformation of attitude would occur if other alternative energy technologies were to come online in industrial-scale proportions. (This theme is explored in Peter Huber's Hard Green.)

So, forgive me if I'm skeptical about the sincerity of the antiwar and environmental crowds when they criticize current policy, and inevitably tout policies that they know are unavailable due to either technological or political infeasibility, or both. They are obviously much more interested in bashing those who are making the hard decisions than finding real solutions to the problems that face us.

Credit Best of the Web Today for the pointer to Sen. Feingold's piece.

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