Lee Pitts: The Greenlash Has Begun
Ladies and gentlemen, the Greenlash has begun. All along the urban/rural interface the peasants are revolting. Those who used to cuss the farmer now flock to farmer’s markets. They cursed cows until the cow pastures were filled with grapes sucking up all the water, so now they want the cows back. They hated fossil fuels, so they bought into the hybrid and electric car craze only to discover that the electricity that powered their car came from coal, natural gas or oil. They wanted all the dams torn down until they realized they were what lit their homes and powered their Prius.
Those who destroyed the ranching, mining, fishing and timber industries now bemoan the shortage of affordable housing and the dearth of gold and silver that make their I-phones work. They complained about the high cost of beef and salmon steaks until they realized they were the ones who over-regulated the cowboys and fishermen to death.
The urbanites want the bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions protected until one eats their kitty cat. Then they want them all annihilated. They believe in man-made climate change until they realize “the cure” will raise their state taxes. Then they seek refuge in Florida, Texas, Nevada, Wyoming, Washington, South Dakota or Alaska where there is no state tax. They love trees until they are fined $100 because their kid got caught climbing one. They want to save water for fairy shrimp, suckers and salmon but not if it means tearing out their lawns or taking shorter showers. If they’re told they can’t cut firewood on public land oh, hear them rave!
The more intelligent urbanites got suspicious when “global warming” got changed to “climate change”. They got mad when they found out that The Inconvenient Truth was that their hero, Al Gore, was a capitalist getting filthy rich off carbon credit trading and solar energy. They didn’t want any forests logged or thinned until the raging fires burned their house down. They grudgingly admit that even those clear cuts acted as fire breaks and the cows and sheep did reduce the fire load. And when the nightly news showed the charred remains of endangered crispy critters killed by raging infernos it made them think that maybe, just maybe, they didn’t know as much as they thought they did.
What really got their goat was when they discovered that all those recyclables they’d been sorting for the past year got buried in the same dump as the rest of their garbage because China no longer wanted their melted water bottles. When they heard about the gigantic floating mass of plastic floating out in the ocean they realized that some of it was probably theirs.
When Edison and PG & E started turning off people’s electricity during wildfire season the urbanites got a real taste of “living off the grid” and they didn’t like it all that much. When they saw the sprawling mansions of New York Sierra Club eco-lawyers and Nature Conservancy lobbyists in Architectural Digest and on HGTV it seemed just a tad bit hypocritical.
They believed in globalism until they lost their manufacturing job to China or Mexico and now they have to work two jobs waiting tables to make ends meet. When China and India refused to rein in their contribution to “man made climate change” they realized that the big sucker in the room was the American staring back at them in the mirror.
They loved being able to rent out an extra room in their house through Airbnb until the city started making them pay hotel and motel fees. Some of the shine came off Uber when the drivers had to pay for a business license. Silicon Valley nerds bought bare ground for $500,000 per plot on which to build their dream homes someday only to learn they couldn’t build because there was an endangered snail on their land. But they still had to pay property taxes on their lots every year that were now rendered worthless. The snails could live there but they couldn’t! And, boy oh boy, did they love wolves… until they moved into THEIR neighborhood, that is.
They worshipped Hollywood eco-celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio until they read that his personal jet was spewing more greenhouse gas in one takeoff than they would in their entire life.