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Put That Shirt Back On

Earthjustice has been accused of being many things, including preferring birds over people (which reminds me of a fine old quote. Charles Callison, a stalwart of the Audubon Society, was once asked whether he liked people or birds better. He said, "I like the people who like birds.").

We've been called elitist. We've been accused of having little sympathy for working people. And we're not the only ones. The entire environmental movement is regularly derided by its opponents as secretly planning to destroy the economy and to lock up the great outdoors for its own private pleasure.

Just last week, we were attacked by name in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, accused of filing scores of lawsuits in a simple and effective effort to block offshore drilling and make people miserable. In case you missed it, I commend Trip's commentary on this subject. The article itself is here.

Meanwhile, however, this being the silliest of seasons, I bring you the news that, as an adherent of Earthjustice, you've been found out for your nudist leanings. Herewith an extract from a rant by Emmet Tyrell of the virulently right-wing American Spectator, which appeared in The Washington Times and several other publications:

"Further oil drilling will be delayed in the courts for years to come. That has been ensured by the fact that such organizations as the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and something called Earthjustice (I am told it is basically a nudist outfit with a few butterfly collectors thrown in, possibly nude butterfly collectors) have already filed hundreds of lawsuits to block further drilling."

Now we here at Tom's Turn are First Amendment absolutists—freedom of speech trumps almost everything—but one wonders if there are no limits to this kind of slander. Did you know that Mr. Tyrell has been found. . . ?

Never mind. If you must go butterfly collecting in the altogether, please don't wear your Earthjustice membership card in your hat.

Tags:  Oil