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The Dead Hand Journal

Journal

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Entries for October 2006

31
In 1982 while I was in Boulder, Colorado, being debriefed following a year at the South Pole, I attended a meeting of Denver Scuba divers. The guest speaker was the then area coordinator for Greenpeace. Between one and two hundred sport divers and other interested individuals attended the weeknight meeting, dressed in business and casual business attire. For the most part these were people who were moderately well off, with a higher than average interest in maintaining the environment.

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30
The Greens are a loosely knit group of people that is being led by a smaller cadre of ideologues who learned social science from Marx and physical science from popular science writers. On this shaky foundation they have built an anti-freedom, anti-democratic, anti-science worldview.

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29
“It’s not easy being green,” crooned Kermit the Muppet to an entire generation of tykes. Columnist Alston Chase quoted a German Green politician who had been recently elected to the Bundestag—the German parliament: “Grass-roots democracy sounded wonderful before we were elected to Parliament. But now we are in power, centralized solutions seem far more effective.”

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28
Exxon, of course, was on the scene. The men running this corporation sensed how the wind was blowing and made practical decisions. They spent more on the initial cleanup than the annual budget of several nations. Exxon deserves praise and respect for its actions following the spill. As it turned out, this was finally recognized by the court when it excused $125 million of Exxon's fine because of these actions. Nevertheless, the civil penalties levied against Hazelwood and Exxon are outrageous examples of how justice can be miscarried when emotion overcomes logic and opinion replaces fact.

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27
Shortly after the spill in Prince William Sound, one news report described it as the worst manmade disaster since the bombing of Hiroshima. The Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and other groups pounced on the apparent villains, focusing their anger on Exxon and Captain Hazelwood. It became the media event of the decade. More than ten years later the Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia joined the fray, reporting that "in March 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck a reef in Prince William Sound and caused one of the largest oil spills in history." While these things make terrific news copy, and the headline boys love it, does this reflect reality?

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26
It is Tuesday, June 23, 1999. Capt. Joseph Hazelwood dons apron and gloves at the Bean’s Cafe soup kitchen in Anchorage, Alaska. He works silently emptying lettuce into a container as part of his 1,000-hour community service sentence. Monday he loaded a truck with aban­doned auto parts and assorted junk thrown along Anchorage roadways. He has a month to go, working off 200 hours of his sentence, one month a year for five years. By the end of his sentence he will be fifty-eight.

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The Chicken Little Agenda: Debunking "Experts’" Lies

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