The Sierra Club accelerated its plunge to environmental irrelevancy, firmly cementing its role as Democratic Party lapdog by awarding its highest award, the John Muir Award, to Carbon Off-set magnate, Al Gore, Jr.
The club announced this year’s award with a fawning press release stating;
“Former Vice President Al Gore, who has spent 30 years making the world aware of the dangers of global warming, will receive the Sierra Club’s top award, the John Muir Award.
Between his earliest political career in 1976 as a representative of Tennessee’s Fourth District, and his two-term vice presidency beginning in 1993, Gore helped set the political and popular stages for prime-time environmentalism. He was one of the first politicians to grasp the seriousness of climate change and to call for a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. He held the first congressional hearings on the subject in the late 1970s.
“Al Gore is the embodiment of the principles for which John Muir passionately devoted his life: to protect a place for its own sake, for our sake, and even in spite of us; a place we call Earth,” said Sierra Club President Dr. Robbie Cox.”
Wow. As Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story; well-documented in Cockburn and St. Clair’s book, “Al Gore: A User’s Manual” and elsewhere:
After assuming his father’s Senate Seat (he WAS a Senator’s son), Gore, Jr., became the Senator from the TVA. He was the biggest supporter of the now-thankfully-defunct Clinch River Breeder Reactor. Also for the TVA’s benefit he presided over an after-midnight voice-vote passage first ever override of the Endangered Species Act allowing the construction of the Tellico Dam at the expense of the ESA and the snail darter.
Of course! Nukes and dams always were John Muir’s favorites.
But the Gore record of environmental devastation hardly ends there. And, a lot of it directly led to increases in the Sierra Club’s global warming culprit – CO2. As Senator, Gore constantly pushed Utility Deregulation, something he achieved as vice-president — leading to untold tons of CO2 emissions as efficiency dropped off substantially and resulting mountaintop removal coal extraction led to huge increases in coal-to-electricity power schemes.
As vice-president, Gore also carried water for NAFTA, the WTO, drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the 1998 highway expansion law and notoriously, the increase in toxic waste burning plants such as the East Liverpool, Ohio WTI burner – the first of many Clinton/Gore broken green campaign promises.
Another major area of broken promise that continues to drive species under and contribute to CO2 increases is Federal Forest Policy. Under Clinton/Gore in 1993, Ancient Forest clear-cutting was resumed in the Pacific Northwest – blessed at the time by the Sierra Club and other Big Greens as “our greatest victory.”
As if that was not enough, in 1995, Clinton signed the “Salvage” Rider – an act that led to the leveling of over 13,000 acres of Ancient Tree/Endangered Species’ habitat with all relevant environmental laws suspended.
Were he alive at the time, John Muir would undoubtedly have joined his successor, whom the Sierra Club calls the”Twentieth-Century John Muir” — David Brower, who cast his deathbed ballot for Ralph Nader in the 2000 election. Were Muir alive today, he’d resign as Sierra Cub founder.
MICHAEL DONNELLY is a citizen activist who has spent years trying to contain and counteract the damages from the Big Green/Democrat/Foundation serial sell-outs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org