Environmentalists criticized over Steens Mt.

The Oregonian featured a critical article entitled How environmentalists have failed Steens Mountain. Below are some excerpts by a public land historian Alfred Runte that generated looks of attention.  Here are some excerpts.

If Oregon loses Steens Mountain to a wind farm, environmentalists should start by blaming themselves. To be sure, unless Earth’s defenders get back to basics, such losses will only mount.

Emerging in the 1960s, the environmental movement taught limits, especially the limits of technology. There is no such thing as a technological fix. And suddenly, environmentalists are the ones looking for the fix. Nationwide, most have embraced green energy as if limits on those technologies do not (as in, should not) apply.

This is to explain why Steens Mountain has already set a crippling precedent. Every American landscape is now in jeopardy. Development — the denial of limits — still poses the gravest threat to planet Earth. Led by population, the underlying cause of climate change, numbers matter, and they are piling up.

And so we deny the numbers exist. How? By finding another panacea, another Wizard of Oz, that will tell us what we want to hear. In the 1960s, environmentalists were the first to speak up when a technology failed to deliver without destroying natural beauty. Remember the Interior Department’s proposal to build dams in the Grand Canyon? Now everything called “renewable” gets a pass….Unfortunately, the moment environmentalists equated climate change with pending doom, they put every American landscape back in play. If admittedly climate change is so serious, why should wind farms not be placed anywhere there is wind? As for the Endangered Species Act (yes, wind turbines kill endangered birds), wildlife, like wilderness, may have to go.

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