Free-market advocates have a hard time explaining that being anti-environmentalist is not the same as being anti-environment. Big Green has done such a thorough job of casting itself as nature’s selfless, altruistic guardian that supporters don’t even notice that their rants against “money-grubbing polluters” always end with “Send Money.”
Craig Rucker, executive director of the Washington-based Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT, knows all about that. He is forever defending his nonprofit group’s motto — “Prospering Lives. Promoting Progress. Protecting the Earth.” — as being more than a clever application of alliteration.
I spoke to Rucker this week about his organization’s latest project, which is to save the bald eagle and the golden eagle from the federal government. He’s warning the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a “rule” that would allow wind turbine operators to “take” (bureaucratspeak for “kill”) bald eagles and golden eagles. And Rucker urged concerned citizens to vociferously oppose the pro-wind industry, bird-killing rule during the FWS’ public comment period.
This is the same Rucker whom I described in a column last month as flogging the environmentalists who arranged the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janiero. I asked him how he could thrash the Rio+20 U.N. environmentalists for paralyzing industry with their “sustainable development” plans, then turn around and wallop the clean energy industry for killing birds that environmentalists claim as their wards.
Rucker came back at me with that distinction between environmentalists and the environment. “Just because some self-appointed savior claims to have full custody of nature while the rest of us only have supervised visitation doesn’t mean it’s true,” he said.
“But consider the consequences of the FWS rule if it goes into effect,” Rucker continued. “It would make these magnificent birds vanish from many parts of the country — especially if wind turbines get permits to proliferate near eagle habitats without even knowing where they are.”