Imperialism and Environmentalism: The Twin Pillars of American Suicide

If it seems like an otherwise intelligent person or group of people continue to advocate stupid positions--rest assured it was planned that way. First of all, it doesn't make sense that the US would extend its military power into other countries (in search of terrorists to destroy), running up trillions of dollars in debt, without providing sufficient protection of its own borders. Similarly, it doesn't stand to reason that American leaders would thwart our ability to maintain our standard of living on specious environmental grounds, especially when man-caused global warming has not been proven. Unless...

Chances are, if you are a part of the Establishment (or an Establishment wannabe), you support

(1) draconian environmental regulations to combat man-made global warming, and/or

(2) draconian injections of American military power into the affairs of other countries.


America will solve its problems when America actually faces its problems--the real ones. Not the unlikelihood that Iran will be able to lob a nuclear warhead 15,000 miles, and not the even greater unlikelihood that the United States congress can pass legislation to control cosmic fluctuations.

you're an Establishment Republican, you generally support American projections of firepower, but you pretend very convincingly that you're opposed to draconian environmental regulations, such as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. Likewise, as an establishment Democrat, you probably support oppressive environmental regulations, but you're quite good at giving people the impression that you oppose draconian excesses of American military power, such as the war in Iraq.

The fact that one party generally espouses one power grab while the other party espouses the other power grab is very confusing to those who haven't caught on to the game yet.

If we don't stop putting into power people who tout the egregious solutions of unproven environmental theories and who think it is America's manifest destiny to ride roughshod over the nations of the earth, then the United States as we know it will be history.

Based on the law that averages average about as many good results as bad ones, and that our averages seem to have been just about all bad lately, it just could be that a concerted effort is underway to destroy America and what we once stood for.

Imperialism. Democrats now claim that they are generally against the Iraq War, but most of them voted to give President Bush power to execute his lack of planning to his heart's content. You might remember that most Democrats supported Bill Clinton's attempt to bomb Bosnia back into the stone age just a few years ago, while Republicans generally opposed it. Hillary Clinton recently said that as president she

The purposes of raw imperialism and raw environmentalism are exactly the same. Perpetuation of power. The Establishment hacks want to hamstring you so bad economically that you won't have any time to realize what losers you keep voting into federal office.

would obliterate the people of Iran if its leaders decided to attack Israel with nuclear weapons. Barak Obama would attack Pakistan in an effort to root out al Qaeda. While they're piling it on, don't forget that McCain says that he would continue secretly spying on Americans.

If you haven't smelled it yet, step back and notice the pattern here. Don't let these Establishment cretins fool you. Establishment Democrats are every bit as intent on extending American military power around the globe. Ron Paul reminds us that
With the exceptions of Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, even the Democrats who postured as anti-war candidates for the 2008 primary elections are not especially opposed to needless wars.

The Revolution: A Manifesto, p. 2
The problems that such needless wars cause are becoming nearly insurmountable.
  • If the Soviet military occupied the United States, would you just take it in stride?
  • America's unfunded debt stands now at nearly 60 trillion dollars, a figure that is so staggeringly incomprehensible that our minds are almost compelled to dismiss it as trivial.
  • Our borders are a porous sieve, not only for the drugs that plague us, but for the dirty nuclear suitcase bombs that could soon shut out the daytime sky in parts of the country.
  • Imagine what a productive economic contribution tens of thousands of our military men and women could make if they were not assigned to missions of destruction in 130 different countries.
Environmentalism. Have you ever heard an environmentalist claim that man's activity is conclusively hurting the earth [a significant cause of global warming] right now? No, because it's not when compared to the forces of nature. Instead, all we ever hear is something like "If we don't do something now, in the next fifty years your children and their pets are going to fry!!" And so in Congress we debate such inanities as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which would not only not provide climate security, but would annihilate the American way of life.

Lieberman-Warner is in some ways a smoke screen for the fact that Congress voted down the ability of Americans to develop more of our own domestic oil resources so that we can be less dependent on our enemies. Meanwhile, China and India are drilling for oil 50 miles off the coast of Florida, and they are using the slant drilling technique, which makes it likely that they are sucking our oil out of the ground.

The EPA has projected a reduction of almost $3 trillion in US Gross Domestic Product if Lieberman-Warner is enacted. By that point the high cost of driving to work will be the least of our concerns. It's almost as if the establishment is attempting to come to the rescue of Paul Erlich, who claimed that by the

The fact that one party generally espouses one power grab while the other party espouses the other power grab is very confusing to those who haven't caught on to the game yet.

1980's hundreds of millions of people would die because they couldn't get enough to eat.

We have enough oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to serve 5% of our consumption needs, but somehow that's off limits. Shale oil in the Colorado plateau is easily recoverable to the tune of perhaps trillions of barrels, but power mongers like Chuck Schumer in the Senate can only see far enough past their noses to ask President Bush to beg the Saudis to open the oil spigot a little wider.

For me, the blame-America-first, bring-America-down charade is getting a little ripe.
. . .

The purposes of raw imperialism and raw environmentalism are exactly the same. Perpetuation of power. The Establishment hacks want to hamstring you so bad economically--keeping you in bankruptcy or just barely able to eke out a living--that you won't have any time to realize what losers you keep voting into federal office.

We have had 35 years since the Middle East oil embargo to develop a coherent domestic energy policy--yet we still haven't. Ironically, it's been almost 35 years as well since the environmentalists claimed that the earth would freeze to death under a bout of man-made global cooling.

How much longer can you stand the torment? Til America is a figment of history?

Ron Paul paints an accurate picture of the American election shell game:
Every election season America is presented with a series of false choices. [But] anyone who wants to ask different excluded from the mainstream discussion.

And so every four years we are treated to the same tired, predictable routine: two candidates with few disagreements...pretend that the represent dramatically different philosophies of government.

The Revolution: A Manifesto, p. 1-2
America will solve its problems when America actually faces it problems--the real ones. Not the unlikelihood that Iran will be able to lob a nuclear warhead 15,000 miles, and not the even greater unlikelihood that the United States congress can pass legislation to control the environment-affecting acts of the cosmos.

The real problems confronting America are liberty and economy. The Establishmentarians who pack both sides of the aisle in Congress promise us very little of either.

That is a prescription for national suicide.


  1. You are right that “establishment Democrats” don’t really take a stand against militarism. Many of the U.S. wars in the previous century were aggressively pursued by Democrats, and true liberals like Kucinich, Zinn, Chomsky, et al, are never part of the establishment.

    But do you really think you can claim man’s activity is not hurting the earth right now? That brown haze along the Wasatch Front we’re supposed to stay indoors for a couple of weeks every summer isn’t evidence that we’re hurting the earth right now? The rapid dwindling of the Amazon rainforest is all the result of natural causes, nothing to do with the chainsaws and bulldozers man is applying to it? The marshland which used to absorb the brunt of huge tropical storms in Louisiana disappeared by the hand of God?

    Come on, Frank. You can’t seriously tell me that mankind is incapable of doing any wrong to natural world around us, that the activity of humans is inherently benevolent. This is absurd.

    Yes, we could drill in the Arctic--if we want to harm the local ecology there for our own selfishness. Yes, we could eagerly suck the oil shale of the Colorado Plateau dry--if we want to turn the region into a lunarscape wasteland simply to perpetuate our materialistic lifestyle.

    Draconian or not, regulation is the only way to get corporations to stop destroying the public commons, whether at a local or global scale. You can’t appeal to the goodwill of corporations, try to encourage them to reduce their profit to protect the world we all rely on out of benevolence. Without restriction, they will happily ignore ecological concerns in order to follow Friedman’s dictum: The only responsibility of a corporation is to maximize profit for its shareholders. Since their actions often have wide-ranging social and ecological consequences, you bet we better limit their actions to protect the public and the planet--at local and probably global levels--from their single-minded pursuit of avarice.

  2. I'm trying to figure out your claim that "The EPA has projected a reduction of almost $3 trillion in US Gross Domestic Product if Lieberman-Warner (S.2191) is enacted." I'm guessing it comes from the table on page 63 of the report you linked to where GDP in 2050 is projected to be only $38.5 trillion rather than $41.4 trillion.

    If this is the case, then what you are talking about is not really a "reduction" in GDP. The way you phrased it makes it sound like a reduction from current GDP of $3 trillion. In reality, your "reduction" is nothing more than a slightly slower growth rate over time. The EPA estimates that instead of GDP growing at a 2.61% rate it will grow at a still healthy clip of 2.45%. And this is the EPA's pessimistic estimate. Using their alternate benchmark and differing model (ADAGE v. IGEM) the growth rate is only .04% lower than without S.2191.

    Furthermore, we don't know if there are any economic benefits from S.2191 because, in the EPA's own words, "The economic benefits of reducing emissions were not determined for this analysis."

    Either way, this doesn't seem like such a big deal, especially when you consider the Social Security Trustees' intermediate assumptions for long-term yearly GDP growth are only about 2%. If 2.45% growth is the doomsday scenario under S.2191 then I think we'll be fine.

    Also, I agree with Derek's assessment of the evidence of man's effect on the earth and the need for regulating corporate activity that is detrimental to our environment. I think we're a long way from being "draconian" in our regulations and S.2191 isn't even close to being so.

  3. Frank, another interesting post but once again you offer a mishmash of half-baked ideas.

    Let me point out that 147 of the 258 Democrats in Congress voted against the 2002 Iraq Resolution. They tried to stop Bush even though he was popular at the time, and lots of Americans wanted revenge for the 9/11 attacks.

    The Climate Security Act is bipartisan legislation. Among other things, it supports conservation of natural resources and investments in alternative energy. It also provides for assistance to low-income Americans who might otherwise not be early adopters of energy-efficient technology.

    According to the Department of Energy, the Climate Security Act would save Americans at least $180 billion through 2030 on foreign oil imports.

    The a market-based, cap-and trade approach is a proven method of reducing industrial pollution.

    Lots of things we are doing right now are causing environmental degradation right now. The environmentalists I know say that every day. Where do you get the idea that they don't?

    If you could exploit all the petroleum resources on public lands, including the National Park System and everything else, you might get three years worth of consumption. The idea that domestic oil can replace imports is a myth.

  4. I think you are spot on that it is a power grab for either party. It has been very disappointing to become an adult and choose a political party only to find that the people at the top aren't always interested in my best interest - they are interested in finding ways to keep themselves in power. And to look across the aisle - it's just worse and more obvious over there. (I'm a Republican, will never be a Democrat, but am hoping either the Republican establishment comes to its senses or is replaced with true conservatives).

  5. Derek,

    I contemplated the unclarity of the statement whether "man's activity is conclusively hurting the earth right now." I thought it would ride with the thesis that I was talking about global warming in particular. You're not the only one to whom it was unclear, so I've changed the wording to more specifically refer to global warming.

    I agree with you that the Amazon rainforest disappearance and other issues you refer to are egregious violations of the environment by man and must be stopped. There has been some evidence that government has been the incentive for the clear-cutting of vast swaths of the rainforest, though.


    The Liberman Warner act is very draconian in that it would cause changes in our lives that would be very severe--and those changes are based only on hearsay. If something like LW became law worldwide, vast areas of the globe mired in poverty would have any chance for getting out of poverty shut off forever.


    Thank you for helping me fully bake my ideas.

    I think the fact that so many Democrats voted against the 2002 Iraq resolution merely shows that fewer Democrats than Republicans are beholden to/part of the establishment. The fact that 111 Democrats voted for it doesn't speak very highly of them or their understanding of Middle Eastern history.

    Apparently the SL Trib article you linked to didn't discuss the potential 1.3 trillion barrels of oil that we can get from shale in the Colorado plateau.


    I'm not too optimistic that anyone beholden to the establishment will reform themselves anytime soon. That's why I wish people would not sit on the voting sidelines, but would instead cast their vote for someone with integrity.

  6. Frank, those changes are more fair. I appreciate the effort.

    But lets be clear: The incentive for clear cutting of the Amazonian rainforest--a resource the entire globe depends upon for its respirative function--is profit, pure and simple. Governments, both ours and theirs, have indeed failed to protect the global commons aiding and abetting the commercial interests seeking that profit. But the motive is still profit.

    Can you explain how the removal of environmental regulations (draconian or not) will reduce the actions which you agreed are violations of the environment? How setting economic entities free to pursue their own interest without regard to communal obligations will make them more responsible?

  7. I thought you already understood that I don't advocate that. I agree that government should protect the global commons--to include our air.

    I just don't think that government can control natural occurrences--such as sun spots. Leiberman Warner would create impositions on our way of life far out of balance with anything that it would solve.

  8. Frank, I think you're right that the number of Democrats who so eagerly supported the administration's militarism does indeed show a lack of conviction among the Democratic establishment regarding liberal foreign policy.

    I get the sense that you agree that government should protect public commons'. But then you condemn "raw environmentalism," which seems to attack not merely Lieberman-Warner, but any environmental legislation with teeth.

  9. "The Liberman Warner act is very draconian in that it would cause changes in our lives that would be very severe ..."

    Such as?

    Frank, you've made a pretty severe claim in saying that "the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act . . . would annihilate the American way of life." So far, I haven't seen anything telling us why that would happen. I fail to see how reducing the yearly GDP growth rate from 2.61% to 2.45% is going to entail any severe lifestyle changes.

    I have to agree with Richard that making such a claim without any real evidence to back it up comes off as a bit "half-baked". Where did you get the idea that S.2191 was such a bad deal for the US economy and "American" way of life? Is there any evidence that it is, other than a tortured claim of a $3 trillion "reduction" in GDP?

    In my opinion, it sounds like a pretty good trade-off if all it takes to stabilize US GHG emissions is a measly .16% reduction in the growth rate of GDP, especially considering the potential side benefits of decreasing pollution and its health-related side-effects as well as reducing our dependence on carbon based energy sources.

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  11. Frank, oil shale? Really? First, there is no practical, efficient method of getting oil from oil shale. Second, if oil shale extraction ever becomes economical, it would violate the legal prohibition against unnecessary and undue degradation of public lands.

    We're talking about literally destroying large swaths of Utah, for example, ruining vast natural areas to the point they would be unrecognizable and ecologically defunct.

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  13. The EPA estimates that the bill would cost $2.8 Trillion in GDP and an additional $1.40 per gallon in gasoline cost by 2050. Electricity costs will increase 44% by 2030.

    Those cost projections are attainable "if enabling technologies are widely available."

    According to the EPA, one major enabling technology is nuclear power.

    So I guess we're all jumping on the nuclear bandwagon now.

  14. Don,

    I agree with Cameron. It's not just the 3 trillion. And even if it were, tell me--how's your personal economy? Mine sucks. I'm getting piddly cost of living raises that don't make up for inflation, so a 2.anything decrease in my living conditions is not something that I would appreciate, especially when it would be taken out as a solution to a non-problem (man-made global warming).


    I've written here in the past that I'm totally in favor of nuclear power. That's about the only non-dumb thing that France has ever done. ;-)


    Tar sands don't yield near as much oil as shale, which we have here in the Colorado plateau. Shale can be mined underground, so it won't look like the earth was raped as in your One Utah picture about Canada's tar sands mining. It is profitable to mine oil shale at $60 per barrel. The "in situ conversion process" which heats the shale until the oil liquifies, shows even greater promise.

    Just from the perspective of extricating ourselves from the little shop of horrors that has become the Middle East, we should develop oil shale.

    By the way, I should mention that I am looking into personally purchasing a CNG vehicle--so I can save 6 bucks a day driving to and from work.

  15. I think if income and wealth gap were not so wide in the U.S, the financial cost would be more easily bearable. In fact, were incomes not so unevenly distributed, I think long term higher energy prices might have done a lot to encourage more sustainable consumption choices (living closer to work, public or human powered transportation, for example).

    I’m not completely opposed to nuclear power. But I think the issue of the waste must be more fairly addressed before we can really embrace it. I don’t like the fact that those who benefit from the power want to externalize much of the costs. The waste should stay in the region of those who benefit from the power, not shipped off to put poor people in rural Nevada, Utah, or other locations in potential danger without adequate compensation.

    Furthermore, the full costs of uranium extraction must be paid by the companies which extract and sell the uranium. No more leaving local communities to deal with the effects of tailings and other debris or the potential cancer epidemics.

    We get some agreement on that, and nuclear power should definitely be under consideration.


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