Bill is a long-haul truck driver, plying his trade on the highways of middle America. In my last post about him, I told how he called Earthjustice from his truck, attacking environmentalists for bringing him, and America, to the point of economic ruin.
He ranted in my ear for 5 minutes about me being stupid and un-American for not letting oil companies drill us back to the days of cheap gas. Our national backyard, from Alaska to the coastlines of lower-48, is full of oil, he said – utterly exasperated at my inability to comprehend such common sense.
One of the first things I ever had published in a book was a chapter in The Environmental Handbook, a Friends of the Earth/Ballantine Books number, published for the first Earth Day, in 1970. It was called, "Ecopornography, or How to Spot an Ecological Phony."
It's time to dust it off and send it around again.
Ecoporn, as defined by us, is image advertising run by large enterprises, often engaged in enriching themselves and their shareholders via the exploitation of public resources. Oil companies, in other words, and mining companies, and so forth.
The voice mail caller accused me of being a Communist, anti-American, out-of-touch, and stupid. Worst of all, he spat out, I was an environmentalist.
Bill was furious, like hundreds of callers to Earthjustice in the last two months. Driven to call us by rabid, right-wing radio hosts and bloggers, most folks just wanted to rant about how we were driving up gas prices by opposing the obvious solution: drilling the coasts, drilling the Arctic, drilling wherever in America we can to free us from high gas prices and foreign potentates.
This has been quite a week for proponents of offshore oil drilling. It's as if last week's Jim Cramer Today Show appearance lit a fuse. Or more likely, as if Jim Cramer is privy to major pols' backroom strategizing sessions.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the rising cost of shipping everything from industrial parts to living-room sofas is forcing some manufacturers to bring production back to North America and freeze plans to send even more work overseas.
This could stem the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs, if not result in a job increase at home.
Earthjustice's Florida team has saved the state's seagrasses and fishing grounds from a legislative poison pill. David Guest, managing attorney of the Florida office, tells this tale of midnight chicanery...
The bill in the Florida Legislature seemed like a good thing: For the first time, Florida would impose fines on boaters who carelessly trashed seagrass beds in the state's protected aquatic preserves. The underwater marine nursery grounds can get chewed up by boat propellers, and the damage can last for decades.
This is for people who are just in too good a mood and need to be brought down a little.
Or a lot.
We speak of a new report from the Heinz center, available here. John Heinz, for those who don't remember, was a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, who died rich and young, heir to a ketchup fortune and a thoroughly admirable fellow.
His widow, Theresa Heinz Kerry, nearly became first lady in 2004. The foundation does good works in the senator's memory.