Bill was passed by House last week and now goes to Senate
By John Klar, American Thinker
A recent Vermont legislative initiative purports to save the planet…. by “conserving” fifty percent of all Vermont territory for wildlife by 2050!
In addition to the economic and constitutional problems this poses, this effort holds up for public display the foolish power-mongering implicit in all these highbrow, counterproductive “climate salvation” fantasies.
Vermont’s House has passed H.606, sponsored by Rep. Amy Sheldon and approved by virtually every House Democrat, cited as the “Community Resilience and Biodiversity Protection Act” or “CRBPA,” which defines “conserved” as “meeting the definition of ecological reserve area, biodiversity conservation area, or natural resource management area as defined in this section.” H.606 sets out the plan: “Thirty percent of Vermont’s total land area shall be conserved by 2030, and 50 percent of the State’s total land area shall be conserved by 2050.”
This effort is totally disconnected from helping the ecosystem, though it dramatically expands elitist ideological tyranny – this is the common theme when bureaucrats fantasize they can solve problems they don’t even understand, with more bureaucracy and power appropriated to themselves. The common theme in all of these efforts is that they 1) eliminate private property rights; 2) while transferring wealth from poor people to wealthy elites and 3) are environmentally counterproductive.
Environmental writer Wendell Berry opines wryly that “People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” A parallel is that people in Vermont are subjugated by an elitist bureaucrat industry, which pays no attention to either human health, food, or the ecosystem – all of these are mere pretenses to advance counterproductive ideological delusions. Much like overt government racism is touted as the “final solution” to subconscious racism, now total government/corporate domination of land is embraced to “save Vermonters from themselves.”
Vermont’s most effective and efficient contribution to conserving biological diversity and maintaining a landscape resilient to climate change is to conserve an intact and connected landscape. In order to conserve ecological functions in intact and connected ecosystems, the full range of conservation approaches is needed, including supporting private landowner education, technical assistance, and programs, conservation easements that promote sustainable forest management, and conservation easements and fee acquisitions focused on passive management.
Government programs will save humanity, yet nowhere in the “full range” of conservation is land stewardship by human hands. Nothing could be more alien from wildness – or proper land use – than government committees. Wendell Berry has spent his life explaining that land is not “conserved” by setting it aside as “wild” – it is conserved best when it is stewarded by those with land wisdom:
Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land’s inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery.
Vermont has good farmers, who have been for a century overrun by bad legislators and arrogant bureaucrats. The idiots’ moronic “plan” to make 50% of all Vermont lands “wild places” (while “sequestering carbon” to sell pollution indulgences to corporations worldwide) will be overseen by revolving technocrats ignorant of sustainable land use. The Vermont legislature does not distinguish between types of energy use any better than it does types of land management or types of government power – it uses tyranny to impose nonsense against the very people who could effect positive change.
The Vermont wild places management plan ignores farming completely. But it also ignores ski slopes packed with artificial snow manufactured burning fossil fuels to pump water from shrinking Vermont streams. Will the vast areas of wilderness used for elitist ski resorts be the first to be stewarded, or will it be farmland that is withdrawn for “public use”? Will the legislature that imposed horribly regressive financial burdens on low-income Vermonters to subsidize grossly inefficient solar panels now demand that vast fields of green be used to erect more Chinese-manufactured, environment-destroying panels, to enhance corporate profits and government power at the expense of land use, economic viability, and environmental degradation? Darn tootin’ they will – there are only a few years to go before Greta Thunberg arrives for End Times inspection!
The disastrous failure of this Kool-aid fantasy is guaranteed. Food inflation will skyrocket due to escalating fossil fuel costs – fertilizers and transportation prices will compound, especially in industrial meat production. Instead of shielding land from development under the delusion that this will help the ecosystem, perhaps wise voices will heed Wendell Berry’s legacy, and call for accountability from the Marie Antoinettes who presume that they can just let the environment eat cake.
Wendell Berry observed:
If you are concerned about air pollution, help push for government controls, but drive your car less, use less fuel in your home. … if you are fearful of the destruction of the environment, then learn to quit being an environmental parasite.
The Far Left has discovered a new form of environmental parasitism – seize the political forefront to self-empower, then drive fancy electric cars and install massive solar arrays that accelerate pollution. Poor people can’t afford the stuff, so they must be cowed, and their old pick-ups taxed heavily. But let’s not disturb the skiers and art gallery visitors driving $100,000 vehicles for vacation in the Green Mountains – those wild spaces must be preserved for coyotes, but also for the new Martha’s Vineyard crowd, flocking to resettle Vermont as their virtue-signaling Mecca. A clean and pristine “environment” free of deplorables.
The elites are in for a surprise when they must learn to eat food from the forested ground. The Greatest Depression looms, and Vermont will face a problem: “land, land everywhere, nor any morsel to eat.”
I have to say that a lot of people conflate conservation, and preservation. Conservation is the wise use of a renewable resource with the regeneration/replacement of the resource in mind. Preservation is a belief that “no use, is the best use.” Our wild places have been successfully managed with conservation in mind for generations. The idea of look, but do not utilize is a growing mind set of the Disney generation of liberals that reject proven management practices. Old growth forests, limits/bans on timber harvesting, bans on hunting, and trapping are ideas that the supporters of preservation believe should be implemented to save the natural world. B.S.
Wow just when I thought we couldn’t have any crazier ideas to solve our lack of affordable housing – this comes along! Wonderful way to ensure that only the wealthy few can afford Vermont. Where will the workers of the world live or won’t there be any?
If only I was still allowed to comment.
Mr. Klar’s editorial is one of the best examples of conservative common sense knocking hard at the 3D for a Delusional Witch’s Candy Land door opening to local liberalism’s obsession with idyllic virtue worship at the green god of green mountain groovy. This eccentric eco-ecstasy will be at the expense of us Vermonters who do not read Mother Jones, Marx or Bernie Sanders seventies party porn. Let 50% of Vermont land go feral?!
It’s cool to be liberal as they look down from their ivory and ebony towers at us.
This will probably leave us with little land to build out monstrous solar fields and erect ineffective wind turbines that are promised to be our salvation. That could be a good thing!
This effort will, no doubt, reduce land values significantly and also reduce taxable income to every town in Vermont. It is unusual that we have not heard any discussion on how the towns are going to reduce spending because of loss of taxable property. How will the State compensate landowners for this “taking” of property for State purposes? How much is the Legislature going to budget for this compensation? Let’s have some answers before this gets too far down the pike in the Senate.
Start with a meaningfull trial, of course.
Turn the heat down to 45 in the State House, and the Environmental offices, for the next years legislative session – a simple and true demonstration of the effectiveness of saving the world by this method.
They offer no other alternative ! ? ! ?