Friday, April 07, 2006

De-prioritizing Myron

As usual, the presence of Myron Ebell as a source in an article is a reliable guarantor of total all-time shiteness. So it is with Jennifer "Liberals dominate televised media" Biddison's printed output as "Right-wing Conspiracy Manager" of the Heritage Foundation's spinoff, This is exactly the sort of place where Myron Ebell belongs with the crazies.

Today's oxymoronic Conservative campaign is the attempted routing of the Endangered Species Act. No one is sure why it is important to them to accelerate the mass extinctions that have been taking place since the emergence of Homo Sapiens, but perhaps it is a logical extension of their natural racism. Only animals and plants (and different pigmented humans for that matter) that are slaves to them deserve to live. You see, some species, such Sus scrofa domesticus have gone out and found a job and a purpose in life (and death), so they will never be extinct. The rest are just freeloaders standing in the way of economic progress and the eventual attainment of the perfect economic life where we all live in capsules with a TV at one end and suck yeast through our noses.

According to these nutters, everything the ESA has done has always been bad. Jennifer Biddison claimed in her article that the northern spotted owl caused the closing of 288 sawmills in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and California losing 31,438 jobs directly and 63,000 indirectly in 1989. Unusually for her, she's exaggerated some questionable government statistics by only a factor of two (p15):
Implementation... is estimated to reduce employment in the Pacific Northwest timber industry by about 18900 jobs, compared to employment that would have been expected in 1995 [three years later] with no protection of the spotted owl. Jobs in related sectors will be reduced by 13200. Lost or reduced wages are estimated to be about $1.4 billion [3 days of Iraq war spending] during the coming 2 decades.
Know when to simplify. When manufacturing relocates to Mexico to take advantage of lower wages, workers who lose out have to retrain and get jobs as corporate executives -- or as nannies and housemaids for corporate executives. But when the corporations are forced to halt work a few years before an irreplaceable resource runs out, that's a different matter. Employment is pretty complicated:
Comparing the years 1980 and 1989, the volume of logs cut on the national forests in Oregon increased by 908 million board feet, and the overall volume of logs cut (all ownerships) in the entire state increased by 1.718 billion board feet. Overall, that is a 25 percent increase, and 38 percent on the national forests.

But during that same period, jobs in lumber and wood products dropped by 2600. With 25 percent more trees cut down, we got 2600 fewer jobs. For a 38 percent increase in national forest tree cutting, we got 3.7 percent fewer jobs.
You see, corporations don't want there to be any jobs. Jobs are worse than pollution to them, because at least pollution doesn't cost them any money. We should discount any positive statement they make about jobs, and check whether they are in fact making a veiled threat.

In contrast, clear-cutting it really simple. The permanent consequences are known, inexcusable, and unpopular. The only positive benefit would have been a few bucks in some rich guy's pocket back in 1992, which by now he would have spent on fast cars, expensive women, elite schooling for his kids so they become psychopaths worth bribing the Republican party for their jobs in government where they could wraught the greatest social and environmental damage possible.

The system is self-sustaining like a house fire. And so we come to Myron, with his angle on the case. He lamented:
"The American people would prefer to see the cost of public good fall on the backs of a few landowners rather than on their own backs."
Nearly right, but so very wrong in a dangerous way. Logging companies do not make first growth forests, they were there already. Not being permitted to strip them costs nothing at all. That's why it is so damn profitable to log them: there was no investment.

But Myron wants to confuse you. He wants you to believe that if you saw a thousand dollars hanging from a tree on your way through the park, and no matter how hard you tried you couldn't jump high enough to reach it, then you have just lost a thousand dollars. Indeed, in this situation you might feel like you had lost a thousand dollars, but where was the money yesterday? You didn't have it. So how could you lose it? But he thinks you should get compensated for this loss by the government. And we know where that leads: the government issuing chainsaws to thugs to chop down every tree in the viscinity in case there's another pile of money hanging from the upper branches. That's fine. He wants the world to be a wasteland. Then it will reflect the picture of his heart.

We should all be very, very clear where these policies lead. If you like these policies, then you must like the outcome. And if you know no one else approves of the outcome, and your name is Myron Ebell you will lie about the outcome in order to cheat in the political game.


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