May 3, 2010

Paul Krugman and the straw man

In his New York Times column today (click the title of this post), Paul Krugman explains that disasters like the BP oil well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico are necessary to keep environmentalism alive. Which is exactly what Rush Limbaugh said in his paranoid speculation that environmentalists themselves blew up the drilling platform.

Krugman further allies himself with Limbaugh:
But there was also an attempt to construct a narrative in which advocates of strong environmental protection were either extremists — “eco-Nazis,” according to Rush Limbaugh — or effete liberal snobs trying to impose their aesthetic preferences on ordinary Americans. (I’m sorry to say that the long effort to block construction of a wind farm off Cape Cod — which may finally be over thanks to the Obama administration — played right into that [latter] caricature.)
Krugman is the one playing right into that caricature. He has joined Limbaugh in deflecting any debate about Cape Wind by mocking its opponents. This is a sure sign of weakness in any case, but the fact is that a very broad coalition of Cape Codders and others are fighting Cape Wind, and their arguments are about preserving a treasured natural resource and noting the minuscule potential benefit of even such a huge facility. If rich beachfront property owners spearheaded the fight against offshore oil drilling, would Krugman join Limbaugh in supporting it?

Or would he look at the facts and agree with their findings that the environmental harm, immediate and potential, could not be justified by the insignificant benefits? That offshore drilling is merely a symbolic bone thrown to the so-called right? Then he would also have to agree with the clear evidence that large-scale wind power is merely a symbolic bone thrown to to the so-called left and false environmentalists ("invertomentalists"?).

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, human rights, animal rights, ecoanarchism