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When it Comes to the Environment, Don’t Let the Tea Party Fool You


Cross posted from Article XI

We’ve all seen the scene in a movie, and some of us have even seen it in action.  At a little league baseball game the first baseman walks up to the pitcher to give him advice. When he returns to first he acts completely normal, the runner takes a lead and it turns out the first baseman had the ball all along and tags the runner out.

What do the Tea Party and the future of the planet have to do with baseball?

I wish it was a simple answer, but it’s not. The Tea Party has decided that the concept of sustainable communities and developments is a Trojan Horse created by the environmental community to rob you of your property. It’s an interesting theory.

Tea Partiers are convinced that environmentalists are working to advance a United Nations plot to turn our cities into communist collectives. The UN plot they reference is Agenda 21, which was developed in the early 1970s when the Cold War was still raging.  

They’ve decided that in Virginia this plot has taken hold in the form of urban development areas and comprehensive planning. It’s a novel idea even if Republicans were the ones who helped lead the charge on urban development areas. Urban development areas were created in the Commonwealth in 2007 as part of the transportation legislation from that year.  

The reason behind these development zones is simple. Sprawling communities cost more money to maintain, connect to water and sewer sources, etc. than do planned communities where development is centered on a core.

That’s right, urban development areas were created to save taxpayers money.

Now, to return to our little league game.  The Tea Party is the clever kid on first base, and they want you to take your lead so they can tag you out. I’ve been to their meetings and public presentations, and their priorities are clear. These folks believe in a world without rules.  They want landowners to be able to do whatever they want no matter the cost to their neighbors.  

If you’re a coal company you can go ahead and blow the top off the mountain because you own the resources below.

Did you just buy new tires? Go ahead and burn the old ones in your back yard.  Don’t worry about the toxic pollution that enters the air.  

Do you live next to a river?  Go ahead and run a sewage line from your bathroom to your property line. If the raw sewage gets in the water downstream neighbors will just have to deal with it.

I don’t very often go to church, but I have heard of the golden rule: “Do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you.”

For our earth, it’s the bottom of the ninth and there are already two outs. We can’t afford to let the kid on first trick us this time.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    The Tea Party, in addition to many so-called “conservative think tanks,” are funded by the likes of Big Coal, Big Oil, the Koch brothers and their ilk.  

  • Teddy Goodson

    The Tea Party and the ultra-pseudo-conservatives financing them and the Republican Party appear to have a death wish. There is no other explanation for how they invariably imagine every event is personally designed to bring doom, that an angry God is punishing the human race, that everybody is out to get them. Like selfish and over-indulged children who are natural tyrants, they believe that only their desires count, and they reject any rules which might restrain them: each person is “sovereign.” It is a psychological disability.  

    We used to send these people off to the frontier, away from civilized society, where their angry paranoia could be put to use settling new territory, but we no longer have a frontier. These prophets of doom have a religious fervour, and indulge in magical thinking. They are sociopaths, or enthralled by sociopaths—- and, unfortunately, far too many of them are in positions of power. Like most crazy people, they become enraged when told they are crazy, or even when it is merely implied that they are nuts, as when when real life facts are pointed out; reality is rejected and the bearer of facts is punished.

    It is as if a virus of insanity is loose in the world. Is this the lowest common denominator of the human race? Ugh.

  • normanva

    Hearing more and more about Ayn Rand, I decided to read up on her.  Both these ideas, 1) the extreme rights of the individual and 2) unregulated free markets are right out of her main philosophy. Rand also didn’t believe in God or the Church. The fact that you have far right religious folks following a party run on the ideas of an athesist seems like some type of sick joke.


  • kindler

    …when paranoid insanity gets repurposed as ideology and party doctrine.