Are you an environmentalist?

I proudly served 27 years in the environmental division of the local government in Lafayette. I say proudly because I was able to initiate some good, basic, common-sense environmental programs for many citizens in Lafayette Parish. And I took pride in effectively serving the citizens who paid my salary.

I served as environmental manager for 11 of my 27 years. By virtue of my title, I commonly encountered the question, “so you’re an environmentalist?” To which I respectfully and tactfully replied (and with a full explanation), “No, I’m not an environmentalist, I’m an environmental advocate.” There is a substantial difference in the two terms. Environmentalists believe in some truly extremist positions. For example, they believe humans are destroying the planet and draconian government regulations are the only option to eliminate the environmental degradation. Environmentalists also believe in man-made “climate change,” which is pure propaganda based on specious science.

Did you hear that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released information detailing the fact that sea levels throughout the world are not rising; that’s right, sea levels are actually diminishing. That sure flies in the face of the dire predictions we’ve heard over the years from Al Gore, the biggest demagogue of them all. We’ve also heard the propaganda that polar ice sheets are shrinking (melting) due to the Earth’s rising temperature. Such nonsense. The Earth’s temperature may be rising, but it is rising – if at all – by only a fraction of a degree. Moreover, in Antarctica, the survival rate of baby seals is threatened because “moma seal” must venture farther from her nest to seek food for her young. The reason? Sea ice and permafrost is currently so much thicker, so mother seals are challenged to forage food for their young and must venture farther from the nest for food. Baby seals are starving and dying due to expanding ice and the scarcity of food it creates.

So don’t believe the gloom & doom environmental stories the dishonest – and ignorant – media peddles like cotton candy at a baseball game. Join the ranks of the “Environmental Advocates” club. Properly dispose of all household trash and debris; recycle when you can; don’t dump any waste, especially chemicals, on the ground or in waterways. Chemicals should also not be disposed of in the regular garbage, which is a threat to the environment. If your city or parish government does not have a household chemical collection day, such as Lafayette or Scott, call your government representative and ask him or her to establish a citizens’ chemical disposal event. Now that’s Environmental Advocacy.

-Mark Pope