by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
My friend Howard Propst is an inspiring speaker, who has made frequent presentations about American exceptionalism, pointing out how we fail to credit the astonishing achievements of a free society. We are introspective, always seeking to improve, but generally looking critically at our own shortcomings. Sometimes it’s all we see.
Howard had great graphics to illustrate his points; one particular picture was a sketch of Uncle Sam, looking in a mirror and seeing the devil sneering back. Unfortunately, that’s how Americans sometimes see themselves. Physician Lewis Thomas wrote, “We are, perhaps, uniquely among the Earth’s creatures, the worrying animal.”
So when we worry about the other animals, Americans instinctively blame themselves for nature’s ills. From extreme weather to endangered species, we’re pretty sure it’s our fault. Sometimes it isn’t. The theory that man causes most environmental problems may be useful, because we can control that. Or so we think.