What is green on the outside and red on the inside? Two things immediately spring to mind — watermelons and environmentalists. I have nothing against watermelons. In fact, there are few things that taste better on a hot summer day than a cold watermelon. As for the environmentalists, I want to clarify who I am talking about. I am not talking about the tens of millions of Americans who want clean water, clean air and less polluted land. Almost all Americans want this whether or not they consider themselves environmentalists or not. I am talking about those people who are always using the perfect as the enemy of changing things for the better. A big example is how environmentalists tried to fight replacing coal with natural gas because waiting for renewables will theoretically be better for the earth’s ecology.
This type of environmental extremist certainly could be called a watermelon since they are green on the outside and red (Marxist-Leninist or communist) on the inside. These people are environmentalists not because of their concern about the land, air and water but because they see environmentalism as a tool to fundamentally alter the nature of life on this planet. Their primary target for the last 15 or so years has been the oil and natural gas industry. However, as we will discuss later, the rural economy has other facets the watermelon-enviros have also been trying to destroy. The oil and gas industry was targeted for many different reasons. The primary one being the size and importance of the industry to our economy. Secondary reasons, in my opinion, include the oil industry being a large funding source for conservative and nationalist causes opposed to the globalist leftist and a large contributor to the rural economy. These watermelon environmentalists hate those gun-toting, Christian, Republican folks that make up the majority of rural America. They would prefer people to live in the major metropolitan areas where it is easier for the establishment to keep tabs on and control what they are doing. Of course, these watermelon-enviros are intent on keeping their rural retreats to enjoy while us plebs are stuck in cities.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest during the late 60s to mid-’70s before heading off to college. During that time, I had a front-row seat to watch the environmentalist’s destruction of the timber industry — particularly in the foothills of the Cascades where I lived. This economic devastation forced upon the rural communities in Oregon and Washington is a major reason I never seriously considered moving back and looking for a job after college graduation.
Now I see this jihad of environmentalist extremism aimed towards another industry, the farm and ranch community, specifically the cattle ranching industry. Cattle are causing global warming; we all must become vegetarian if not vegan to save the planet. Where is this push for plant-based meats coming from, or why don’t they just call them artificial meat? It is coming from the same place that wants to see oil and natural gas replaced by renewable energy. It’s coming from the enviros’ lust for control over the common man, not from any real concern for the environment. There are millions and millions of acres in the western United States as well as other semi-arid environs where cattle and other animal grazing is the highest and best use of the land. Sustainable grazing can and will provide animal protein as well as take care of the land. If these environmentalists were really concerned about the land and the overuse of water and fertilizer, why aren’t they doing something about all the land that has been converted to growing corn for ethanol rather than food for people. Ethanol is one of the biggest environmental problems in this country, yet many people consider it green. Oilmen and ranchers have not always been the best of friends but going forward they must find ways to become allies. They have a common enemy who is targeting them for extinction. In fact, it seems to me that any industry that provides a primarily rural/small town economic base is under attack from the so-called environmental movement.
I certainly wish I had more space in this column to develop this subject, but I wish to leave you with this one overwhelming thought. Any time you hear someone talking about environmental causes and saving the planet, look hard and examine their motives. Are they really trying to clean up the land, air and water or is it all a smokescreen to extend their control (typically using government power, but more and more commonly by using corporate or other societal pressure) over all of society?
About the author: David Porter has served as a Railroad Commissioner (2011–17) and Chairman (2015–16), as well as Vice Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (2016). Prior to service on the Commission, Porter spent 30 years in Midland, Texas, as a CPA working with oil and gas producers, service companies and royalty owners. Since leaving the Commission, Porter works as a consultant for oil and gas companies. He also serves as Chairman of the 98th Meridian Foundation, a nonprofit concerned with water, energy and land issues.