Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Why environmentalists should support drilling in ANWR

Because of my work, I have to travel alot. to pass the time in the airplane, I sometimes buy books at the airport. Since the first of the year, I have read two books by the same author about archeology and ancient civilizations. The first was Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. This book answered the question of why it was the Spanish who sailed across the Atlantic to inslave the Incas and not the other way around. The second book was Collapse:How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. This book talked about how different societies collapsed due to various factors, many of which are environmental in nature.

When I saw the book for sale, I quickly glanced thru it and then decided to not buy it because I was certain that I would not agree with some or all of the author's ideas about the environment. But, after thinking some more about it, I decided to buy it and read it because I'm not a liberal. I'm a conservative who is not afraid to challenge my beliefs, unlike liberals who are all for free speech, thought and ideas but only when it is something they agree with. I find it ironic that at the smallest opportunity, liberals will scream about censorship at the drop of a hat, but the same time they will go out of their way to suppress any ideas that go against their liberal dogma thru "hate speech" laws and college speech codes. But I digress.

One of the ideas that I found interesting in the book was the idea that environmentalists should be all for oil exploration in the United States and not some third world country. The reasoning is such that oil companies in the United States are heavily regulated by the state thru a myriad of state and federal regulations designed to protect the environment. There are also legions of environmental organizations with their lawyers just waiting to file lawsuits on behave of speckled snail darter or some other small animal whose habitat was destroyed by any oil company. As a result, it would be very, very difficult for an oil company to do anything remotely non-environmentally friendly without the LSM, the Sierra Club, the Congress and lots and lots of lawyers finding out and suing the pants off any offending oil companies.

However, if an oil company is operating in a third-world country, you can be sure that their idea of environmental regulation takes a back seat to other concerns like money, money, money, money, etc. It is much harder to enforce even basic environmental regulations in a third-world country and there are no legions of lawyers to make oil companies pay for destroying natural habitat.

Because of this, it is a wonder that environmentalists still prevent drilling in ANWR and off the California and Florida coasts. As the author of Collapse puts forth, by not drilling for oil in the US, we are exporting our oil exploitation to other countries which are ill-equiped to deal with it. They do not have the laws and governmental organizations in place to properly regulate oil exploration which results in much more environmental destruction than if we drilled for oil in the US. Because of this, it seems that true environmentalists are those calling for drilling in ANWR and other places in the US because drilling for oil in a third-world country is much worse for the environment (and Mother Gaia) than drilling for oil in the US.

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