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It Takes a Village to Destroy One Thousand Years of Culture

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If you were looking for that last-minute pre-poll pitch to that favorite undecided voter in your life, you are done shopping. If any fence sitters needed convincing that the liberal agenda is costly, and hypocritical, let them feast their eyes on the following.


David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has uncovered a history of abuse of your tax dollars to fund “environmentally responsible” projects across the globe that have done little but fatten wallets and in at lest one case has resulted in the destruction of a village. The TPA is calling it “The Environmental Shakedown of American Taxpayers” which is about as accurate description as one could ask for.

The report highlights the startling amount of your money that has gone to environmental non-governmental agencies or NGOs, and the uses to which that money is put. In some the funding and expenditures will boggle the mind of even the most hardened of news junkies.

Of note, the report talks about the World Wildlife Federation which forced more than a million people in India and thousands in Indonesia, to leave their homes to make room for the local tiger populations. Never mind that these people have lived alongside the tigers for thousands of years, they needed to be uprooted and sent to the cities so the WWF could create tiger preserves.

It’s a nice thought, acre upon acre of pristine land left for the tigers in Indonesia to eat, sleep play and make little tigers. But according to the report, while the natives have had to seek their fortune elsewhere, the WWF’s travel company charges tourists 10 grand a head to drive through the preserve on eco-adventures. While this certainly helps to bolster the coffers of the WWF, local environmentalists are more than somewhat put off, claiming that the WWF is exploiting the area for profit and in the process destroying the ecosystem.


Earlier this year, the WWF employees were discovered embezzling hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, but not before an event in 2011 in which thousands of villagers were evicted from the Tanzanian forest, their homes and rice paddies burned in preparation for a visit from Prince Charles who was coming to present the “Living Planet” award to local leaders for preserving the world’s largest mangrove forest. This was done by local authorities who were working closely with the WWF.

According to the report, since 2000, the World Wildlife Fund has received 497 million in federal funding, including $7.3 in taxpayer money this fiscal year. In 2009, the president of the WWF made $425,000 in salary and $30,147 in benefits. Of note: in 2006 members of the Foundation board of directors paid $347,891 in campaign money to the Democratic Party. And the report states that in 2011, the Foundation paid for a 10 day trip to Botswana and South Africa for four members of Congress and their wives at a cost of around $30,000 per legislator.

Wetlands International was also the recipient of your largesse-by-proxy. According to the report, some of the handouts that came to the organization via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service include $15,000 for a neotropical waterbird monitoring program; $6,000 for a coastal wetlands conservation and agriculture program and $5,000 for professional services in India.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, Wetlands International is stopping the natives from draining peat swamps, as they have for centuries to use the peat for fuel and the land for farming. Wetlands International has determined that the natives using the peat bogs for these purposes releases dangerous CO2 into the air, causing havoc in the atmosphere. But then, somehow it always comes down the ozone layer doesn’t it? Whether it is oil, gas, coal, asthma inhalers, or swamps in Asia, it always manages to come down to that old devil Greenhouse Gas.


I have seen in my travels some great NGOs that have done some fantastic work in the Third World. And having sacrificed a knee in my short stint as a wildland firefighter, I appreciate the beauty and importance of the natural world. I walk with a limp because of that appreciation; believe me, the money wasn’t the motivation. And with that in mind, it seems to me that you are the best steward of your finances, and that you are the best judge of which charities deserve your donations. 

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