Surviving Sustainability: Deconstructing the Myth
Report by Betty Sakai
Introducing her researched book, Eco-Fascists, How Radical Conservationists Are Destroying Our National Heritage (Harper Collins, 2012), professionally accomplished reporter and Canadian Elizabeth Nickson presented her findings on the environmental movement to the Forum. Trained in classic journalism at Time Magazine, Nickson in 1989 responded to personal threats and hate mail received while attempting to subdivide a 30 acre parcel in Canada by deciding to research the effects of the environmental movement on the human community. Like her forefathers who settled in the United States in the 1600s and then moved to Canada, feeling the spirit of the Tea Party, the more hate she received, the more she focused on asking questions. After suffering a protracted, financially costly attempt to subdivide her 30-acre parcel on Salt Spring Island which fell under the jurisdiction of the Island Trust (a typical Agenda 21 organization),Nickson focused on research. In the United States, she traveled 12,000 miles over a two (2) year period through rural America, stopping in towns, talking to mayors, asking questions.
Originally in favor of the environmental movement, she requested and her editor provided a support team of fact-checkers as she inquired and challenged authority. She uncovered the effects of U.N. Agenda 21 on rural communities. She found many areas blighted by lies and loss of jobs. She asked, “What is happening to the rural, resource and exurban economy? What is happening to the forests and ranges? What is happening with water?” Expanding her research, she discovered that twenty (20) million indigenous and traditional peoples had been cleared from their lands by the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, and the Nature Conservancy. Clearance --directly and indirectly-- included 9,464,000 people from forest lands, 4,500,000 from farming, 25,200,000 from ranching and livestock, 252,000 from mining, and 22,500 from fishing and hunting.
In the U.S., in Northern California, pristine Del Norte County once renowned for its fishing and forestry products, lay devastated. Nickson’s research uncovered a 22.9% poverty rate with 31% of children living below the poverty line. Thousands of wage earners had lost their jobs. In the town of Orick close to the Redwood National Park, 72% of school age children were living in poverty under government subsidy.
The lies and manipulations continued. Tourist money was promised to replace jobs lost by the Sierra Club’s Arthur D. Little study and the Park Service. The promised 1.6 million visitor days to the Redwood National Park by 1983 turned out to be 39,000. Tourists were projected to stay 12 hours but stayed on average 50 minutes with 50% going to the Park and the rest to the beach or campground. In Lady Bird Grove -- the only park facility -- Nickson counted 3 tables, 2 garbage cans, and one (1) trail. Ninety percent (90%) of the Park was closed to visitors. Park creators told Congress the Park would cost $92 million but it cost $1 billion. Payment in Lieu of Taxes had not been paid for ten (10) years.
Federal agencies controlling the economy in Del Norte County she found to be the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Emergency Management Administration, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Land Management. And all the regulators in these agencies were receiving six-figure salaries.
Land considered saved by the environmental movement in 2005: 20% of the U.S. or 473 million acres under the no-use / limited-use restrictions, jumped up in 2010 to 700 million acres. Adding the spotted owl forest, more than 800 million acres fell under conservation. Currently she said another 213 million acres are being locked down by the Bureau of Land Management, and when this succeeds, there will be over half of the U.S. under strict conservation – a total of 1.1 billion acres. Remaining are the urban areas that take up 2.6% of the landmass, rural development raising this figure to 5.6%. Open space in the U.S. has increased from 46% to 50% since 1950 with more than 1 billion acres in the U.S. lying fallow, bearing no human footprint.
Removing so much land from cultivation and production has resulted in rising prices. Commodity prices have risen an average of 11.8% a year creating a hardship on retirees and those on fixed incomes. Nickson referenced a total increase between the years of 2000 and 2010 of 600%. Included are: unleaded gas up 45%, coffee 38%, heating oil 46%, sugar 46%, corn 71%, cotton 13%, soybeans 26%, gold 42%, rice 13%, silver115%, pork 31%, and beef 25%.
Fact-checking the theory of “Island Biogeography”, Nickson discredited the assumption of species-area relationships. Alleged was the number of species doomed to extinction each year to be 27,000, each day 74, each hour 3. The facts she discovered are that the peak extinction rate from the year 1500 to 1990 was 1.6 birds and mammals per year. The most recent rate of extinctions per year are .2 (2/10). Of the 4,428 known mammal species (Red List 2004) living in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and Antarctica, only three mammals have gone extinct in the last 500 years. They are (1) the Bluebuck antelope from South Africa, (2) the Algerian gazelle from Algeria, and (3) the Omilteme cottontail rabbit from Mexico.
Nickson noted that after sixty (60) years, scholars cannot agree on what constitutes the core characteristic of ecosystems, where they begin or end in space or time, where one system replaces another on a landscape. She further noted there are no generally accepted definitions or measures of health, integrity, or sustainability.
As concerns forest lands – forest fires being widespread today draining the resources of states and municipalities -- because firebreaks, thinning, salvage harvesting, cleaning up deadfall, etc. are forbidden by the environmental movement. Ninety (90) to two hundred (200) million acres of Western Forest are considered by the Forest Service to be in immediate danger of igniting in fire. Canopy fires are particularly devastating, destroying all life and killing the soil’s ability to regenerate and sustain life for many years thereafter. Preventing canopy fires is possible, she said, just as preventing the spread of the pine beetle and bud worm are possible, but not without management.
Overgrown forests reduce water flow to communities, farms, and ranches below the forest as much as fifty percent (50%). Thick piles of deadfall create barriers that force large predators down into human communities to look for food. Because no logging is permitted, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management loses about 80 cents for each dollar in subsidy. The Forest Service doesn’t have enough money to maintain federal lands for more than a decade. The forest maintenance backlog is five billion dollars per forest. Nickson commented that elk and antelope no longer exist in the forests of Idaho. She said, despite the propaganda, nothing thrives in an old growth forest -- even the indigenous owl and bird populations.
Following the money, Nickson searched for the groups and/or agencies behind the design and implementation of the environmental movement. Money comes from land trusts, government taxes and fees, and international corporations. Those designing, in dollars sent each year: (1) the U.N. Environmental Program ($260 M), (2) the International Union for Conservation of Nature ($153.5M), (3) the European Union (260M), (4) ENGO’s in U.S. and Canada ($9.7 billion), (5) E.U. ENGO’s ($13.58 B). Those prosecuting, in dollars spent each year: (6) Agenda 21 – Western contribution to developing countries for sustainable development ($68 billion), (7) U.S. environmental spending by state ($12,653,977,830), (8) U.S. sustainable business spending ($60,000,000,000), (9) Canadian businesses ($9,100,000,000), (10) Canadian Environmental spending by province ($4,769,000,000), (11) E.U. sustainable business spending ($97,980,000,000), (12) E.U. state environmental spending ($70,000,000,000), (13) U.S. government spending ($31,900,000,000), (14) Cfn federal spending ($872,114,000), and (15) Obama stimulus environmental spending $78,610,000,000 over four years, per year ($19,652,500,000). Summarizing her research, Nickson found that funding for design and implementation of environmental conservation totals $374,927,591,000 per year. She said that a small percentage comes from tax dollars and fees, but most of the money comes from donations to foundations, a type of soft extortion. The projection is that due to the environmental movement, the United States’ GNP will be reduced by one third (1/3) within twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) years.
Nickson listed a few of the organizations fighting for property rights: PERC, Hoover Institute at Stanford University, and KAFIR. Fighting the environmental agenda are the Pacific Legal Foundation, Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, Liberty Scene, The High Sheriff, and American Stewards. The Citizen’s Tool Box she said should include the questions, “How is this a charity? How is this representative? Who is paying the bills? How is this your business?”
Her presentation ended and the Forum audience warmly thanked Reporter Elizabeth Nickson for a very informative presentation. There was a brief question and answer session followed by a book signing. Asked how to stop all of this, Nickson answered that like our forefathers who were hard-wired to get directly involved, each of us must get involved. Fact check. Challenge presumptions. Challenge authority. She concluded that the current generation has given up its decision-making to bureaucrats. It must be taken back.
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