Erika Johnsen

I have often proclaimed that I am an avid anti-environmentalist, and ergo, many therefore accuse me of being a greedy, willfully ignorant, lazy environment-neglecter. But clearly, there is a major disconnect here, because you would be hardpressed to find another individual who loves and wants to conserve the quality of the great outdoors, our natural resources, and the planet in general, than myself.

The issue, I think, lies in the very term ‘environmentalist,’ which should not be confused with ‘a person who appreciates and wants to protect the environment.’ The term ‘environmentalism’ has been commandeered by a political movement that has given up on innovative solutions and instead unfailingly turns to government for their every whim.

The people running Solyndra? I’m sure they’d call themselves ‘environmentalists,’ and they were completely ineffective. They took taxpayer money to produce a product nobody wanted to buy, and then lied about their finances. Was it because they were so convinced of their noble ‘environmental’ goal that they’d gamble on terrible business decisions to see it bear fruit? …I’m skeptical, to say the least.

The Environmental Protection Agency? Definitely ‘environmentalists.’ In implementing the Clean Air Act, the EPA is conveniently disallowed from considering any of the costs of their regulations, ostensibly to better guard public health. They’re currently locked up in a court battle in an attempt to pass a new batch of greenhouse gas regulations that would cost $21 billion taxpayer dollars, require 230,000 new bureaucrats, increase the number of businesses under regulation from 14,000 to 6.1 million, and be administratively impossible to implement by the 2016 deadline anyway. Obviously not effective, but they forge ahead with these job-killing, economy-frustrating measures anyhow. Is it because these enlightened overlords are only concerned with the public welfare and must dutifully force people to tread the path of supposed righteousness, come hell or high water? Hmmm.

The U.S. Department of the Interior? Yep, they’d qualify as ‘environmentalists,’ too. But the Interior Department is single-handedly responsible for severe environmental degradation on a daily basis, as the federal government owns almost one-third of the surface area of the United States and has shown itself incapable of effective management. Mounting bureaucracy and red tape are not an ideal recipe for environmental quality.

Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.