In the lead-up to Earth Day, members of the right-wing media have ridiculed conservation efforts and downplayed the concerns of environmentalists. This is nothing new for conservative media figures who have, in the past, used the Earth Day to attack conservationists by urging audiences to cut down trees and increase their energy consumption.
Right-Wing Reactionaries Ridicule Earth Day
Wash. Times: “Humanity Haters Bemoan Life On Earth Day.” From a Washington Times editorial titled “The hippie holiday: Humanity haters bemoan life on Earth Day”:
Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. More important to many is that it's also Earth Day, the annual gala that's taken on the trappings of a pagan religious holiday. At some level, it's good to celebrate Earth, the source of life and home of humanity. After all, we have to live somewhere. Environmentalists, however, seem divided between those who venerate the planet as a deity and those who think it's so fragile that it must be saved from everyone but themselves.
Earth Day has become inextricably linked with global-warming mania. Al Gore - a man with one of the largest carbon footprints in the world - recently likened the struggle to reduce emissions to the civil-rights movement. This is in keeping with the sanctimonious tone that usually accompanies Earth Day proclamations. To the radical greens, it's a day for humanity to engage in self-abasement, bow before the altar of Gaia and apologize for the offense against nature of simply being alive. It's a day to conjure fears, preach limits and condemn the capitalist system that created a country wealthy enough to indulge these shiftless hippies in the first place. [Washington Times, 4/20/11]
Liddy Asks Followers If They Will Commemorate Earth Day By “Grill[ing] A Polar Bear” Or “Run[ning] Over Some Hippies In Your Hummer.” From a post on G. Gordon Liddy's Twitter page:
Wash. Examiner Op-Ed: “Earth Day Falls On The Birthday Of Vladimir Lenin.” From an Washington Examiner op-ed by conservative columnist Matt Patterson:
Environmentalism is often compared with a religion, and for good reason: Like those in the throes of religious zeal, environmentalists often cling to extreme beliefs even (or especially) in the face of damning contrary evidence.
Environmentalism also fosters a sense of moral superiority in its adherents sufficient to justify the demonization and marginalization of those holding heretical views. Never has the comparison been more apt than this year, however, when Earth Day falls on Good Friday.
But there is one area where the analogy breaks down: In our culture, religion and state are separate, a demarcation jealously guarded by liberals. Ironic, then, that those same liberals cherish and champion state involvement in their cult of Gaea.
The very idea of Earth Day encourages such madness, leading politicians to fall over themselves to outgreen one another. But from the beginning, the environmental movement was a much “red” as green.
April 22 was chosen as the date for the first Earth Day in 1970, and for every Earth Day thereafter.This year it falls on Good Friday, a coincidence befitting the status of environmentalism as a secular religion.
But every year Earth Day falls on the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the man who ushered communism from Marxist theory to Soviet tyranny, a noncoincidence befitting environmentalism's status as a frequent enemy of economic liberty. [Washington Examiner, 4/21/11]
- In fact, Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who organized the first Earth Day, has said that he was not aware of Lenin's birthday when he chose the date for Earth Day. [Beyond Earth Day, pg 8]
National Review Mocks Concerns About Air Pollution, Water Contamination. From a column by James Lileks in National Review:
In the high holy holidays of the ecology movement, Earth Hour is the precursor to Earth Day, the annual reminder that despite four decades of laws and regulations, the planet is still precariously imperiled. Grade-school students will spend the day writing letters to Congress so the Koch Brothers don't inject plutonium into the earth's core as part of their “Mwah hah hah! Die! Everyone die!” initiative. But just as Earth Hour has lost steam, Earth Day has challenges. The latest Gallup poll indicates that Americans are caring less about global warming than before. They care the most about “contamination of soil and water by toxic waste,” which will surely spur the moribund EPA to fight all those laws that permit American Cadmium and Lead to pour their industrial waste into ponds by the elementary school. Most people also worry “a great deal” about “air pollution” -- 28 percent don't give it much thought at all, but they're sitting in boardrooms lighting cigars with $100 bills to kick off National Belching Smokestack Week. A majority of people -- 57 percent -- are worried about “urban sprawl and loss of open spaces.” That is also the percentage of people who have never flown across the Midwest and looked out the window.
Bottom of the list: global warming. Fifty-one percent “worry” about it “a great deal or a fair amount.” The poll didn't dig into specifics, alas; one would love to know how the people who worry a great deal go about their day. Sitting in a room, chin on fist, brow furrowed, worrying for a solid uninterrupted hour? Scattered flurries of worry throughout the day, spurred by a weather report that says tomorrow's temps will be above average, or the sight of a Hummer? Perhaps they say that because decent people say they're concerned. Not being Very Worried is like razoring the Free Tibet bumper-sticker off your car bumper. Admitting you don't care about global warming, in some circles, is like admitting you're worried about Iran getting the bomb. That's really all some people need to know. Back away. He may quote Glenn Beck without irony at any moment. [National Review, 4/18/11, via Nexis]
NRO: “If You're Protesting Global Warming Today, Don't Forget Your Gloves And Scarf!” From a post on National Review Online by Greg Pollowitz:
This is Earth Week, where I guess where supposed to think about global warming and such. Which is interesting because 3-6 inches of global warming is expected in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.And check out the temps! Remember, kids, if you're protesting global warming today, don't forget your gloves and scarf! [NRO, 4/19/11]
Fox News' Carlson: Earth Day Discussion “Signifies The Importance Or Lack Thereof Of The United Nations' Role In Our International Community.” From the April 19 edition of Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: Well, it turns out the United Nations is about to spend an entire day debating whether or not Mother Earth deserves human rights status. For a number of years, the president of Bolivia has been pushing this and, in fact, in his country, April 22nd is International Mother Earth Day and so now what he wants to extend to things like plants and animals and dirt, rights.
CARLSON: Is this what it's come to? All the gazillions of dollars that we as taxpayers, once again, give to the United Nations that now we're -- come on, we already have Earth Day. Do we need to have a meeting about it again? I mean, look, this --
DOOCY: But we don't have a Mother Earth Day.
CARLSON: No, I know. But this signifies the importance or lack thereof of the United Nations' role in our international community if in fact, they're going to spend an entire day doing this. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/19/11]
Wash. Times: “Earth Hour Is About Hating Automobiles And Electricity.” From a March 29 Washington Times editorial:
This time around, fewer people appeared to participate in Saturday's futile effort to showcase their awareness of global warming by turning off lights and electronic appliances for 60 minutes. According to the Montreal Gazette, power usage in Edmonton, Canada, actually increased by 1.01 percent during Earth Hour. Power usage did drop in Calgary, but as a power company spokesman explained, the drop “was so minuscule that it couldn't even be attributed to that particular event.”
As more of the cataclysmic predictions of the global-warming charlatans fail to pan out, these feel-good stunts will become more and more irrelevant. That's good news because Earth Hour is about hating automobiles and electricity, two of mankind's most important technological developments. Nothing has done a better job of cleaning up cities and extending human life than the availability of power and mobility. Instead of embracing the cold and darkness for an hour, it makes far more sense to turn on an extra incandescent bulb and read a book by its warm glow. Now that would really hasten progress. [Washington Times, 3/29/11]
RedState Urges Readers To Turn Their Lights On For Earth Hour. From a blog post on RedState.com:
Promoted from the diaries. Turn those lights on tonight, kids!
I've decided to celebrate earth hour this year in a slightly different way. I'm going to turn all my lights on. I'm celebrating man's emergence from darkness. Man's use of technology that has saved millions from poverty and starvation. Won't you join me this year in the ritual lighting of an endangered species; the incandescent light bulb?
All kidding aside, no one will be hurt by this silly event designed to make liberals feel good about themselves but the same can't be said about other liberal policies [RedState, 3/26/11]
Conservatives Have Gratuitously Attacked Earth Day And Conservation Efforts In Previous Years
Limbaugh On Earth Day: “I Personally Am Going To See To It That We Lose Two Acres Of Rain Forest.” From the April 22, 2009, edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: By the way, this is Earth day, ladies and gentlemen. Well, what am I going to do for Earth Day? I'm going to have every one of my cars driven as much as possible today; I've got my airplane flying to Los Angeles and back; let's see, all the lights are going to be on, the air conditioning down to 68 degrees in all, well, four out of the five houses. The property manager likes it at 65. Let's see, we're going to have all kinds of beef. I'm fixing Allen Brothers all weekend long. I personally am going to see to it that we lose two acres of rainforest. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/22/09]
Beck “Wants To Hear From” People Who Plan To “Cut Some Trees Down Tomorrow To Celebrate Earth Day.” From the April 21, 2009 edition of The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: Did you know that Earth Day is tomorrow? I am so excited. Stu, right now, I want you to open up the phone lines or maybe even your email address to find people with chainsaws that on tomorrow's broadcast will cut trees down. I mean, they have to be your own trees. But I mean, if you want to cut some trees down tomorrow to celebrate Earth Day.
STU BURGUIERE (producer): Well, as we all know, Glenn, it's been proven over and over again, when people are cutting down trees, they plant more trees and it actually helps the Earth. So I assume that's the right thing to do.
BECK: So if you have a solar power chainsaw, you know. Or, you know, maybe they don't have those yet, but they will soon. Maybe we could make the point that they should make a solar powered chainsaw because you could see how much pollution is being put in the air. Tomorrow on Earth Day on The Glenn Beck Program, you don't want to miss it. If that's you if you've got a chainsaw and you've got some trees you'd like to cut down, gosh, we'd like to hear from you tomorrow. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/21/09]
Beck Giddy Over Caller Cutting Down Trees On Earth Day: “This Is Like Nirvana Here ... This Is Eroticism.” From The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: We have Tim in Cleveland is a forest manager. He's cutting down trees today in celebration of Earth Day. Do we have Tim on the phone? Tim, are you there?
TIM: Yeah, I'm here Glenn.
BECK: Hi, how are you?
TIM: Good. How you doing?
BECK: Well I'm very good. I'm very good. Where are you cutting down trees, sir?
TIM: I'm in Ashtabula County, Northeast Ohio. We're doing - it's a wildlife habitat move. We're - my landowner is a big hunter and we're going through his woods and making a couple half-acre clear cuts and that's where he will lay and wait for the deer to come. Deer are very curious creatures and they'll come investigate these clear cuts and he'll shoot them.
BECK: This is - this is like Nirvana here.
BECK: This is not only going to hack off all the environmentalists, but all the PETA people too.
TIM: That's exactly right.
BECK: So, Tim, how come I don't hear the chainsaws?
TIM: I can start it up right now, do you want to hear it?
BECK: Oh this is too good to be true. Tim hold on just a sec, because I want to savor this moment. Hang on just a second, let me give, let me give our commercial for this half hour and then you start them. Oh this is, Stu, isn't this almost - Dan, I need Barry White music - this is almost full-fledged lights and candles. This is eroticism.
BURGUIERE: I'm just glad it's so good for the Earth on Earth Day.
BECK: Now you say that and it sound sarcastic.
BURGUIERE: Sounds sarcastic?
BECK: Give me a little Barry White on the program, will ya?
BECK: That's right, it is time to go all green. We go back to Tim who is a forest manager. He is cutting down trees in honor of Earth - well, not really in honor - we can say in honor of Earth Day, can't we Tim?
TIM: Yeah, yeah absolutely.
BECK: Yeah, in honor of Earth Day. That's fantastic. Are you ready?
TIM: Yeah I'm ready.
BECK: Go ahead.
TIM: I have to yell timber first.
BECK: You've gotta what?
TIM: I have to yell timber first.
BECK: Oh, OK. Don't you do that right before the tree falls?
All done. I laid down an Aspen tree with Glenn's name on it and an Aspen tree with Stu's name on it, so you're both involved.
BECK: That is fantastic. Those are little teeny trees. Don't you have like a big, huge oak or something that is -
TIM: No, no we don't cut Oak, we cut Aspen and stuff like that. Poor quality trees, Aspen and Elm and stuff like that. And we leave behind the good stuff.
BECK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well I'm looking for somebody else that would be willing to cut down the good stuff, you know. [Premiere Radio Network, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/22/09]
Beck: “I'm Going To Burn Garbage In My Backyard With Styrofoam” To Celebrate Earth Day. From the April 22, 2010 edition of Beck's radio show:
CALLER: Before we move on here, I just wanted to thank you along with many others for the job that you guys are doing. It's awesome and we appreciate it.
BECK: Thank you very much. And happy Earth Day.
CALLER: Yeah. I'm excited.
BECK: Yes I am too. I'm going to burn garbage in my backyard with Styrofoam. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/22/10]
Beck Said He Decorated His “Earth Day Tree” With Heat Lamps, Turned On Every Light In His Studio. From the April 22, 2010 edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: It's Earth Day! Have you cut down your Earth Day tree yet and put it in your living room? It's great. I decorate mine with heat lamps, but that's a different story.
You know, in our Earth Day, what we've decided to do is turn on every light in the studio because we have some cockroaches to expose tonight in the bright light. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/22/10, via Nexis]
Beck Turned On Extra Studio Lights To Celebrate Earth Hour. From the March 30, 2009, edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: I am so tired because -- it was Earth Hour over the weekend and I spent so much time turning on -- I mean, off all of my lights. Oh, the city lights were supposed to be shut off, which -- I am sure that happened, and then all of us were -- and what I'm doing is just to show that I am such a supporter of Earth Hour and that I don't think that it's ridiculous, and that I'm -- oh, I so believe in that whole global warming thing. I decided to put -- hang on just a sec, I'm being told that the idea is to use less energy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BECK: Oh. Well, we're going to roll with this.
Anyway, we have the pictures by the way of all of the people that were just celebrating Earth Hour. In my free e-mail newsletter at GlennBeck.com, you can sign up for that right now and you really -- you really don't want to miss those pictures. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/30/09, via Nexis]
Below is a picture of Beck's studio as he was discussing Earth Hour:
Fox Marked Earth Day In 2010 By Rehashing “Climategate” Falsehoods. Co-host Gretchen Carlson opened the segment by saying, “Happy Earth Day, America. Today, we're taking a look back at how the mainstream media covered and didn't cover 'Climategate.' That was the release of all those emails exposing that scientists held back data that discredits theories on global warming.” Despite falsely claiming the emails showed that climate scientists “manipulated data,” Fox & Friends did not report that several official inquiries into the scientists' conduct found that they did not manipulate data. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/22/10]
Wash. Times: Earth Day “Seeks To Instill A Sense Of Guilt Into People For The Act Of Living.” From a May 5, 2009, editorial comparing Arbor Day to Earth Day:
Arbor Day is a celebration of human productivity and hope for the future; Earth Day is a global guilt-fest that views the future with a sense of dread. Where Arbor Day celebrates humanity's productive capabilities, Earth Day condemns them. Rather than increasing their productivity, people are told to decrease their carbon footprints. On Arbor Day we plant trees for their beauty, their shade, their fruit and their timber - in sum, their usefulness. Environmentalists see trees as ends in themselves - sacred poles demanding worship, not exploitation. Arbor Day celebrates the positive impact people can make through creatively changing the landscape. Earth Day is reactive and zero-sum; it seeks to instill a sense of guilt into people for the act of living. It doesn't want to plant trees, but mindsets. [Washington Times, 5/5/09]
Fox Nation: “Celebrate Earth Day” By Honoring The Inventors Of The Gas-Powered Car. From an April 22, 2010, post on Fox Nation titled “Celebrate Earth Day: Thank Thomas Edison and the Duryea Bros”:
"... Thomas Edison was more responsible than any one else for creating the modern world .... No one did more to shape the physical/cultural makeup of present day civilization.... Accordingly, he was the most influential figure of the millennium...."
America's first gasoline powered commercial car manufacturers were two brothers, Charles Duryea and Frank Duryea. The brothers were bicycle makers who became interested in the new gasoline engines and automobiles.
Charles Duryea and Frank Duryea were the first Americans to build a successful commercial automobile, and the first to incorporate an American business for the expressed purpose of building automobiles for sale to the public.