Saturday, March 9, 2013

SCLOC Thanks Jeff Heller for the Excellent Letter to The Leader

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:50 PM Subject: letter to the editor To the Editor: It's safe to say that an overwhelming majority of us are "environmentalists" - if we define that as people who are concerned about protecting our environment. However, there is an extreme division in how some of us define that concern. For now, let's call those of us who have a sincere concern for the environment, but still want to see our country and our economy progress, " conservationists." Somewhere beyond that group is the modern day "environmentalist". Further, within that classification we need to recognize that there are many variations of philosophy, and that no matter how extreme some of those may be - they are all, in fact, "sincere". Having conceded that, it is still very hard for those of us trying to get New York to join every single other state on a shale play that is taking advantage of that "gift" of geology, to really understand how they can be "sincere". In addition to our problems here in New York with environmental extremism we need to recognize that these beliefs have huge negative effects nationwide. All of us have "causes" that we take seriously, and we will do whatever we can to help our "cause". When these causes are "rational" - protecting our families, improving our homes or our properties, wanting a newer truck, catching bigger fish - we can take realistic, or common sense, steps to help those causes. However, when our causes become more ideological we start to venture out on thinner ice. Two of the most obvious examples of this would be pacifism and environmentalism. Pacifism has a much longer history but the same almost purely emotional appeal that present day environmentalism has. Who can argue with the premise that peace is better than war, or that environmentalism is better than the destruction of our planet! As a student of the 1930's, WWII, and the Cold War, I have a major problem with pacifism. The appeasement policy of the 1930's saved a few thousand lives at the time, but led to the death of fifty million people in the 1940's! To make a very long story very short, history proves beyond any doubt that the best way to prepare for peace is to prepare for war. We learn from history what we don't learn from history. (Hegel) Environmentalism is, or should be, grounded much more on science. But in the hands of most of our present day "environmentalists" it is much more ideological then scientific. This enables a crusader like Josh Fox, when confronted about all the exaggerations in his movie "Gasland", to say, " the truth is irrelevant." So for example, when one of our NY crusaders refers to "the devastation" in Pa., it doesn't matter that it is an absurd statement because the cause is more important than the truth. To argue realism against the idealism of Pacifism or environmentalism is, in too many cases, a hopeless task. "Make love not war" is pretty hard to argue with- except that it is an absurd concept under the lens of history. How can you argue with "Green energy should replace fossil fuels" - except that it is an absurd concept under the lens of science. So, if the truth doesn't agree with our cause, why don't we just make the truth irrelevant? Jeff Heller

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