Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi hits a home run today with this piece about another Obama administration radical-in-residence, Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- who thinks Americans need to be treated like unruly and irresponsible teens, lest our carbon-chugging binges destroy the planet. Chu's positions and statements may not be on par with those of former green jobs czar Van Jones. And he won a Nobel, which carries weight with the easily-wowed crowd. But they're nearly as outlandish. And they're not out of place in this green-leaning administration.
High Country News senior editor Ray Ring has been keeping count of recognizable "greens" who have taken senior positions in the Obama administration, or have strong ties on the inside. Last I checked, the count stood at 37. Whether this is a cause for alarm, or a reason to rejoice, depends on where one stands. I find it alarming; Ring doesn't, since he works for a publication squarely in the green camp. Ring tries to draw lines between reasonable and truly radical greens, in another interesting exercise. From where I stand, even those he puts in the centrist camp are way out of step with mainstream thinking. But at least he's paying attention.
It's only right that someone keeps tally, given the close watch environmental groups keep on "industry" people appointed to Republican administrations. Environmentalism is an industry, too, after all, with money, influence and lobbying clout that rivals many real "industries." If hard "industry" occasionally goes too hard on the environment, in pursuit of economic ends, the Environmental Anxiety Industry frequently goes too hard on the economy, in the name of "saving the planet."
A sensible balance is needed, since it's economic prosperity that makes environmental protection affordable. It's doubtful President Obama can strike that balance with so many radicals on board.
If we're concerned as Americans about the undue influence hard "industries" can have on an administration (any administration), given the corruption, abuses of power and self-dealing this can invite, isn't it time that Environmentalism Inc. received equal treatment -- and equal skepticism? I think so.