Issue 124 * April 19, 1996
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Moritz, President
300 Eye Street N.E. Suite 3 * Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110 * Fax (202) 543-5975
Michael Schwartz of the Congressional Family Caucus made a presentation about the impact of the left-wing environmental agenda on a wide variety of issues that concern American families, and examined the environmental movement's philosophical and political objectives. Environmental issues, Schwartz said, are the vehicle upon which the left tacks many of its other pet issues. Schwartz noted that environmental issues give left-wing politicians the opportunity to impose totalitarianism, and contrasted that with the conservative perspective on the environment, which, he said, is based on an appreciation for freedom. Schwartz said that, philosophically, the "environmental movement is centered on a contempt for human beings and an opposition to progress," but noted that the logic of left-wing environmentalist is vulnerable to criticism because "they care for Bambi's mommy while having contempt for human beings." Schwartz called this a "fundamental theological difference between us and the left," adding that "conservative environmentalism can be rooted in the basis that people need fish and forests, not because fish and forests bear some divinity within themselves but because we have divinity within ourselves and we need these things." Contact the Congressional Family Caucus at 202/225-3031.
Kurt Christensen of the House Resources Committee discussed policy issues "green" groups are promoting that seem to have little to do with the environment, noting, for instance, the League of Conservative Voters' citing of an abortion vote in its Congressional scorecard as an environmental issue and President Clinton's work to promote population control in coordination with major environmental groups. Contact House Resources Committee at 202/225-2761.
Jonathan Tolman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute reviewed Our Stolen Future, a new environmental movement book that alleges that pesticides and other modern chemicals are synthetic estrogens, or "hormone disrupters," and as such are the world's latest environmental catastrophe. Vice President Al Gore, he said, has termed Our Stolen Future the "sequel to Silent Spring." Tolman called Our Stolen Future "a bunch of hooey," but said it is a "very, very easy read, which makes it much more dangerous." Tolman said the book glosses over key scientific points, which include the fact that the estrogens that so alarm the authors of Our Stolen Future exist naturally, and in greater strength, in fruits and vegetables, and are 10,000 times stronger in breast milk than they are in pesticides. Tolman said that if the authors of Our Stolen Future are correct in their thesis, then fruits and vegetables are among the greatest risks to people's health. Contact the Competitive Enterprise Institute at 202/331-1010.
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research reviewed the House Republicans' withdrawal of "a rather watered-down regulatory reform bill... because the White House issued a veto threat. It is difficult to run an offensive when you are in a full-scale retreat." Contact David Ridenour of The National Center at 202/543-4110 of E-mail him at email@example.com.
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research, Brian Seascholes and Jonathan Tolman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Bruce Grefrath of the American Land Rights Association, Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom, Bonner Cohen of EPA Watch, Wendy Gramm of the Center for Regulatory Studies and other participants discussed both the political potency of environmental issues and conservatives' failure, so far, to effectively communicate their views on environmental issues to the public. Tolman noted that poll data shows that only 3% of the electorate thinks that environmental issues are important, while Ridenour said that only 15% of all voters have ever cast a vote based on a candidate's position on environmental issues. Tolman explained that public disinterest is logical, because "when everything else in America is going to hell in a handbasket, why should we spend billions and billions and billions on something that's doing just fine -- the environment?" Brian Seascholes said that conservatives need to stress to the public that the issue is "not whether you're for clean air or clean water, it's who's going to pay for it?" Bruce Grefrath discussed the need for conservatives to develop talking points on environmental issues for candidates. Myron Ebell reviewed the immense sums being used by environmental groups on independent expenditure election campaigns, and questioned where the money is coming from to fund them. Wendy Gramm stressed the need for conservatives to communicate their positions on environmental issues to the American public through media events, and gave examples of activities groups might consider sponsoring.
The Environmental Policy Task Force will sponsor a protest outside the League of Conservation Voters' second day of "Earth Day" activities outside the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at 8:40 AM on April 19. At issue: The League's financial backing of Congressional candidates who oppose reforming the nation's environmental laws and regulations. One of the demonstrators at the Press Club will be dressed as "Mr. Greenbacks," a green-looking character covered in $1, $5, $10, $20 and $100 bills. Contact Bob Adams of The National Center at 202/543-4110 or E-mail him at EPTF@AOL.com.
On April 19 the Environmental Policy Task Force will release Greenbacks for Green Votes 2, the second edition of its report examining how Members of Congress who receive campaign contributions from the League of Conservation Voters subsequently vote on environmental issues. Greenbacks for Green Votes 2 shows that Members of Congress receiving campaign donations from the League of Conservation Voters in the 1994 election cycle voted for the League's agenda an average of 89% of the time during the first session of the 104th Congress. The report also reveals that 95% of the Congressmen receiving donations from the League's PAC voted for the group's agenda 60% of the time or more, while 46.5% voted for their position 100% of the time. The League of Conservative Voters contributed $777,717 to winning candidates in 1994, says the report. The Environmental Policy Task Force is also distributing copies of the League of Private Property Voters' vote index, which rates Members of Congress's support for the property rights of ordinary Americans. Contact Bob Adams of The National Center at 202/543-4110 or E-mail him at EPTF@AOL.com.
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©1996 The National Center for Public Policy Research.