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Environment
  • Meet Krayton Kerns, America's Greatest Defender of Liberty and Hater of Bambi

    Look to the person on your left. Now to the right. If those people are America-loving patriots, it's statistically plausible that you are the traitor. According to a Rasmussen survey, only 70% of American Adults agree with the statement that "governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed."

    Who are those 30% of Americans who disagree or are unsure about a fundamental statement in the Declaration of Independence? Certainly, they are not Krayton Kerns, a member of Montana's House of Representatives and self-described "conservative cow doctor."

    Every week, the veterinarian and most conservative member of the state house issues forth a Platonically-perfect rant for FREEDOM predicated on the premise that, "Liberalism is a disease from which you can be cured. Trust me, I'm a doctor!"

    On this July 4th, let's absorb some of his wisdom

    On Disney and environmentalism: "Whether Walt Disney was a cause or an effect is uncertain, but his personification of animals allowed activists to gift Bambi rights equal to those endowed us by our Creator. Simultaneously and incrementally, government schools began promoting the religion of environmentalism until eventually state sponsored worship of the earth and creation surpassed worship of our Creator."

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    Tags: 4th of July, Conservatives, Environment, Health Care, Montana, State Legislature
  • Rio Summit Cloud of Doom Features Lining of Despair

    In 1992, world leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit, in an air of enthusiasm, optimistic about ameliorating environmental degradation and creating a fairer, cleaner planet. Beginning tomorrow, more than 115 presidents, prime ministers and other officials are scheduled to attend Rio+20, a discussion of how badly we screwed things up.

    Barack Obama has no plans to attend the conference and Hillary Rodham Clinton will lead the American delegation, along with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Todd Stern, a special envoy for climate change. Though little progress is expected, due in part to the intransigence of developed nations like the U.S., some environmental activists tried to look on the bright, increasingly uncomfortably warm side

    "We are facing two likely scenarios — an agreement so weak it is meaningless, or complete collapse. Neither of these options would give the world what it needs. Country positions are still too entrenched and too far apart to provide a meaningful draft agreement for approval by an expected 120 heads of state", said WWF director general Jim Leape.

    Well, good. Thanks for the pep talk. Is there any good news out there?

    The struggle for the world's remaining natural resources is becoming more murderous, according to a new report that reveals that environmental activists were killed at the rate of one a week in 2011.

    The death toll of campaigners, community leaders and journalists involved in the protection of forests, rivers and land has risen dramatically in the past three years, said Global Witness.

    Finally, someone comes up with a solution to that satisfied both Western multinationals and developing states! Just solve the overpopulation problem by murdering all those clean air-breathing, freshwater-drinking, quinoa-eating environmental activists.

    Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Brazil, Environment, Hillary Clinton, United Nations
  • Congress Uncovers Green Pentagon Conspiracy

    Constantly looking for new ways to destroy all that is well and good with America, hippies have recently taken to disguising themselves as top ranking military brass. Out are Birkenstocks and hemp skirts, in are polished shoes and chestfuls of distinguished service medals.

    But have no fear, Republican members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, and a few Democratic allies, are wise to these tricks. The conservative magazine Human Events explains

    The Senate markup of the 2013 National Defense Appropriations Act late last month dealt a grave blow to the liberal green agenda that has taken hold of the Defense Department.

    Like the version of the bill that passed the Republican-controlled House, the Senate version censures military plans to invest heavily in costly biofuels to power ships and aircraft…The Democratic-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee voted 13-12 in late May to include two amendments sponsored by Inhofe and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would prohibit the military from purchasing alternative fuel in the next fiscal year if it cost more than traditional fuel sources.

    It's the military-green energy industrial complex Dwight Eisenhower didn't warn us about!

    I guess it's worth offering up the generals' and admirals' side of the story, since they're the "experts" on security policy, so here goes: The military isn't interested in renewable energy because they speak for the trees, they're invested in green technology because it helps them to blow shit up while reducing the risk of their own soldiers getting blown up.

    The Army's investment in energy efficient tents and trailers? It has something to do with the reality that oil tankers have a nasty habit of coming under enemy fire as they traverse the scenic byways of Central Asia on their way to  forward operating bases in Afghanistan. For those bad at math, fewer tanker trips = less American casualties.

    The Marines' interest in solar panels? Has to do with the fact that Marines operate in small units, away from resupply points, and carrying pounds of batteries reduces the amount rations, weapons and ammunition that can brought to bear on the bad guys.

    With this is mind, do we think that the Navy is invested in biofuels because a) diesel makes baby Al Gore cry, or b) because the ability to make algal biofuel while underway reduces the need for port visits where U.S. warships are especially vulnerable, a la the U.S.S. Cole?

    Though, perhaps I'm wrong and the Congressional oversight committees are doing the military a favor. If only they can harness the power of snake oil peddled by oil and gas industry lobbyists, our ships would never have to refuel again.

    Photo by Song Kyung-Seok — Pool/Getty Images/Getty Images


    Tags: Department of Defense, Energy & Oil, Environment, House of Representatives, Military, Senate
  • Don't Frack My Beer, Bro

    The policy and environmental blogosphere is deep into a discussion of an International Energy Agency report weighing the benefits and drawbacks of expanded natural gas production.

    On the plus side, natural gas is abundant, inexpensive and less carbon-intensive than coal. At the same time, the process of extracting gas from shale, known as fracking, is fraught with danger. Industry groups refuse to release the contents of fracking fluid, even though a "we could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you basis" response would be persuasive, considering the likely toxicity of fracking chemicals.

    But even as environmentalists whine about fracking-induced earthquakes and methane seeps, they're neglecting one key issue that could turn public opinion on this matter

    The brewmeister of Brooklyn Brewery says toxic fracking chemicals like methanol, benzene, and ethylene glycol (found in anti-freeze) could contaminate his beer by leaking into New York's water supply. Unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, New York state has promised to ban high-volume fracking from the city's watershed. But environmentalists say the draft fracking regulations are weak and leave the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States — not to mention the beer that is made from it — vulnerable.

    Perhaps not coincidentally (but probably totally coincidentally), the state with the highest number of breweries per capita, Vermont, recently enacted the first statewide ban on  fracking. Unfortunately, banning fracking in Vermont is like banning jungle deforestation in Alaska or deep sea fishing in Kansas. Still, it's nice that someone is trying to not frack with our beer.

    Photo by Irish Government – Pool /Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Alcohol, Energy & Oil, Environment, Vermont
  • Los Angeles Hippies Ban Plastic Bags

    Congratulations, Los Angeles, you've just become the largest city in America to ban plastic shopping bags from supermarkets. And congratulations, Los Angelenos, you finally have a use for all those movie premiere swag bags lying around your closets.

    According to the LA Times, this initiative was "egged on by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an array of environmental groups," which sounds like the Commie-est group of eggers-on ever assembled (love you on Veep, though, Julia!).

    I kid, I kid. I don't want the manatees or whatever to die. But what I want to know is this: If Los Angeles is so concerned about harmful plastic, why is Heidi Montag still on the loose?

    Photo by Shana Novak/Digital Vision/Getty Images


    Tags: California, Environment, Los Angeles