Writing in the latest High Country News Jeff Welsch of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition thanks James Watt for energising environmentalists into oposition of the destructive pro business plans for the public lands of the US begun in the early 80s.
I see things differently. I see the Watt years as the beginning of the big do nothing period of conservation. I'd trade a couple James Watts for one Kyoto Protocol. I'd even toss in a Kieran Suckling or two just to sweeten the deal.
Welsch lists his multi million annual budget and the large charismatic but biologically unendangered carnivores as accomplishments. Dear Jack, look out the window of your mansion. See Mt. Moran? The iconic Skillet Glacier is shrinking as fast as the polar ice cap dude!
Thirty three years ago we were on a path to energy self sufficiency and a reduction in the use of use of carbon based fuels. We really didn't need a three decade vacation from conservation. I don't measure success in dollars or members, I measure it in legislation passed. I would really like to have seen a Climate Change Act..... of 1999.
Tar sands and an XL pipeline should never have even been an issue because by now we should have had more oil from existing fields than we needed for an ever shrinking demand. Our oil consumption should have been a fraction of 1983 levels.
How many people now worry about the big railroad monopolies dominating our country's economy, we should have by now been seeing big oil in the same light.
No I don't celebrate the polarization of what should be a nonpartisan issue. Cleaning up our air and water was a no brainer, climate and over consumption should be just as easy. What American in their right mind wishes to foul the nest?
Nope. James Watt is no hero of mine.