Of Earth Day And “Eco-Tyranny”

Newspapers across the United States weighed in this weekend with all sorts of environmental reports and opinions marking the anniversary of Earth Day.

In the New York Times, U.S. Senator and GOP presidential candidate John McCain called for a cap on emissions of greenhouse gases to fight global warming. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to plant a million new trees by 2017. Even the conservative Washington Times devoted an op/ed celebrating “the many environmental successes across America . . . grizzly bears of Yellowstone, the American crocodile and the bald eagle are all coming off the Endangered Species List.” 

In Colorado both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post devoted stories and/or op/eds designed to highlight the state of the planet. But, in Colorado Springs, the daily Gazette – one of the few publications still hanging on as a global warming denier – opted to weigh in with a warning about “eco-tyranny” – and likened saving the planet to “a goal even more grandiose than creating a classless society or establishing a radical Islamic caliphate across the Middle East.”

Keep reading for the Gazette‘s op/ed:

Have a wary Earth Day

Many editorial pages mark Earth Day by genuflecting before the earth goddess, Gaia, lamenting the imperiled state of the planet and lecturing about the need to alter our ecologically-incorrect lifestyles. Not this one. In keeping with our contrarian bent, we’ll simply remind readers about the serious threat extreme environmentalists, and the regulatory superstate they champion, pose to personal liberties, free markets, consumer choice, private property and the limited government ideals of the nation’s founders.

Environmentalism deserves credit for making Americans more ecology-conscious. But any ideology that sets “saving the planet” as its mission – a goal even more grandiose than creating a classless society or establishing a radical Islamic caliphate across the Middle East – can justify anything in pursuing that end, trampling rights and doing untold economic damage along the way. And the specter of eco-tyranny is even greater this Earth Day, given the regulatory overreactions that might result from climate change alarmism.

By all means celebrate the planet. Just beware the political and economic agendas lurking behind the warm and fuzzy green facade.

Cara DeGette, a longtime journalist, is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at cdegette@coloradoconfidential.com