Beck: Environmentalists "took the wolves out of Yellowstone Park," "absolutely hate people"

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Glenn Beck guest host Joe Pagliarulo described an Australian professor's proposal as "a baby tax to help save the planet," about which Beck said: "[A] lot of these environmentalists absolutely hate people." Beck also claimed that "it's these same kind of environmentalists that took the wolves out of Yellowstone Park." In fact, the gray wolf population in Yellowstone National Park was eradicated in the late 1800s and early 1900s by federally funded predator-elimination programs.

On the December 14 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Beck appeared as a guest on his own show to discuss an Australian professor's proposal that guest host Joe Pagliarulo described as "a baby tax to help save the planet," about which Beck said: "[A] lot of these environmentalists absolutely hate people." Pagliarulo later asked: "I do understand why they think that more people would hurt the planet. Why not off themselves? And I'm not suggesting suicide to anybody, but I mean, come on." Beck also claimed that "it's these same kind of environmentalists that took the wolves out of Yellowstone Park and said, 'Oh, it would be so much better without the wolves.' Well, they shipped them up to Canada. Now they had to put them back into the wildlife." In fact, the gray wolf population in Yellowstone National Park was eradicated in the late 1800s and early 1900s by federally funded predator-elimination programs. The National Park Service (NPS) says that "predator control was practiced" in the park and that by the 1970s, "scientists found no evidence of a wolf population in Yellowstone." Moreover, environmentalists advocated for the reintroduction of the wolf for decades before the government approved the reintroduction of wolves in 1994.

Contrary to Beck's assertion that "environmentalists ... took the wolves out of Yellowstone Park," the Yellowstone wolf eradication campaign began in 1914 after Congress appropriated funds for "experiments and demonstrations in destroying wolves, prairie dogs, and other animals injurious to agriculture and animal husbandry." According Douglas Smith and Gary Ferguson, authors of Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone by (Lyons Press, 2005), it was Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, whose "land ethic" became a seminal treatise of environmental philosophy, who "first recommended wolf reintroduction for Yellowstone back in 1944" (Page 9). It was not until nearly 50 years later, after decades of advocacy by conservationists, environmentalists, and some scientists -- including a lawsuit by the Defenders of Wildlife that attempted to force the government to reintroduce the wolf --that the government agreed to study the possibility. The NPS notes:

In October 1991, Congress provided funds to the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to prepare, in consultation with the NPS and the U.S. Forest Service, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on restoring wolves to Yellowstone and central Idaho. After several years and a near-record number of public comments, the Secretary of Interior signed the Record of Decision on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for reintroduction of gray wolves to both areas. Staff from Yellowstone, the USFWS, and participating states prepared to implement wolf restoration. The USFWS prepared special regulations outlining how wolves would be managed as a nonessential experimental population under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act. These regulations took effect in November 1994.

Since the launch of the reintroduction program in 1995 with a small number of wolves from Canada, the gray wolf population in Yellowstone National Park has thrived and numbered 136 by the end of 2006.

From the December 14 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

PAGLIARULO: Well, just when you thought Al Gore and his posse couldn't push the envelope on global warming any further, along comes Barry Walters, a professor in Australia who is proposing -- get this -- a baby tax to help save the planet.

The professor wants to charge parents 5,000 Australian dollars -- that's a little over 4,000 U.S. -- for every child after their second and about $700 U.S. every year for life. Better yet, under his plan, couples who get sterilized would be eligible for carbon credits. Yay.

Joining me now from Pittsburgh is the host of this very show and the author of An Inconvenient Book, Glenn Beck.

Glenn, I have three kids. You have four. You know, we've got a little something extra now. If our kids are acting up, we can say, "We had you even though we knew we were killing the planet."

BECK: Yes.

PAGLIARULO: This guy is out of his mind, no?

BECK: Yeah. Oh, this is insane. You know, a lot of these environmentalists absolutely hate people.

There is a story that I gave on the radio show a couple of weeks ago about a woman who was sterilized, had an abortion because she was hurting the planet. And her, I believe he's now her husband, gives her a card every year on the anniversary of the abortion, saying, "Congratulations, you helped the planet."

A lot of these people just hate people. And I've got to tell you, wouldn't this place be perfect if just all the people were dead?

PAGLIARULO: It would be so much better. The birds could sing.

BECK: Yeah.

PAGLIARULO: The trees could flourish; the cows could fart all they wanted. I mean, it would be fine.

BECK: You know, people don't understand. Humans are part of the circle of life. You know, it's these same kind of environmentalists that took the wolves out of Yellowstone Park and said, "Oh, it would be so much better without the wolves." Well, they shipped them up to Canada. Now they had to put them back into the wildlife --

PAGLIARULO: Right.

BECK: -- because it's part of the circle of life. We are animals ourselves.

PAGLIARULO: Well, it's all a pretty good design, right, Glenn? I mean, I'm not sure why these people -- honestly, I do understand why they think that more people would hurt the planet. Why not off themselves? And I'm not suggesting suicide to anybody, but I mean, come on.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Endangered Species
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