MORRISON: The "iron triangle" of politics, grant money, and environmentalists

Thursday, May 05, 2005

By Joyce Morrison (admin@illinoisleader.com)
Illinois Leader

The "Bermuda Triangle" is one famous triangle of doom. Joyce Morrison writes about another "triangle" of politics, money, and environmentalist groups wreaking havoc on taxpayers and property owners.
OPINION - In Ron Arnold’s book Undue Influence he explains “how the environmental movement is not just the green groups we are accustomed to thinking of, but is instead an extraordinarily incestuous “iron triangle” of:

  • Wealthy foundations;
  • Grant-driven environmental groups; and
  • Zealous bureaucrats

    ...that control your future - without your knowledge or permission,” Quoting the back cover, “Big foundations and big government give billions in grants to elitist green groups whose very effort hurts your economic future. People who care nothing for your well being, your family, or your work are:

  • Cutting off the flow of natural resources from America’s federal lands, ending the supply of timber, minerals, food and fiber you use every day.

  • Tightening their regulatory grip on private property so you can’t use what you own - and you can’t get compensation for what you lose.

  • Increasing the size of government by taking more and more private land for nature preserves, greenways, “heritage” sites, and “growth management” areas - even though government already owns nearly half the nation.

  • Widening the rural-urban prosperity gap. While cities enjoy a booming economy, rural communities suffer severe economic pain brought on by the “iron triangle” through bans on logging, mining, ranching, farming, and all forms of natural resource production.

  • Controlling the media you rely on, making sure you believe what they want you to believe about natural resource people - true or not.

  • Dismantling industrial civilization piece by piece.

    Last week I reported on the huge grants that are given to environmental groups through the Environmental Protection Agency with virtually no competition or accounting for how they are spent. EPA is only one source of funding used by the environmentalists to pad their big dollar budgets.

    I was told recently about an employee of the Sierra Club who was using a brand new lap top computer he admitted was purchased from a “grant.” (our tax dollars) He was proud of his accomplishments of costing the government millions of dollars (our tax dollars) through lawsuits and project holdups.

    He is responsible for many of you not being permitted on public lands. The person telling me about this Sierra Club employee is a volunteer with a group who helps protect the property rights of individuals. I asked her if her group had ever gotten a grant so that her computer could be provided and she would not have to dig into her own pocket or if they had any paid employees. Of course her answer was a flat “no.”

    To understand how a lot of the grant money is used, you will find employees of environmental groups “partnering” with the government on many projects. They participate on stakeholder councils, they draw up planning for your community. Their areas of involvement are endless but it will all be to their benefit and not yours in the end. All paid for by your tax dollars.

    Instead of reading novels and watching the latest movies, it might be wise to start reading government manuals. One such manual published by the EPA is entitled the Community Culture and the Environment, a Guide of Understanding and a Sense of Place.

    In the “Observation” section, it stated “observation is the purposeful and selective watching and tracking of human behavior or other phenomena.” It continued to say that “the assessor documents everyday events and occurrences such as interactions between people (e.g. language and body language), the use of lack of humor, the structure of an event.”

    These assessors apparently watch everyone’s behavior at a public meeting (any kind of meeting) and then zero in on the biggest ego or most gullible to be their ticket to the board or committee. They even chart the interactions between the attendees and identify the most influential.

    The information compiled in this book does not sound like it should be EPA’s business. But then how could it be? It was prepared by “EPA’s ‘former’ Office of Policy and the Office of Water with support from EPA contracts and numerous social scientists and environmental professionals.”

    When they start meddlin’ in our community churches, we better put the novel down and find out why. In the Community Culture book they said: (Italics are theirs)

    Religious and spiritual practices often play a central role in the lives of community members. Relating environmental protection efforts to a community’s strongly held religious and spiritual practices can tap an existing network of active and devoted volunteers and advocates. Understanding a community’s religious and spiritual practices can help determine which religious leaders in the community could be contacted for public outreach and involvement concerning environmentally related issues.

    Information on community members’ spiritual relationship to their environment can also lead to the integration of environmental education into formal religious/spiritual teachings, ultimately increasing the community’s environmental awareness. Nature often plays a central role in spiritual practices, including meditation, lessons on the interdependence of humanity and nature, and the giving of thanks for a successful harvest. Identifying and involving religious organizations can also legitimize community based environmental protection efforts in the eyes of the community.

    “Legitimize” community based environmental protection efforts? Why would their program need to be legitimized? It isn’t difficult to see dirty water or air. If you see it in your community, clean it up. If that doesn’t work, call the EPA and tell them there is a problem. Their job is to enforce regulations that have been legislated. They don’t need to send some paid “assessor” to come into your church services to legitimize their program.

    If you are in a church that teaches the worship of the creation more than the worship of the Creator, you better pull your Bible out again. In Romans 1:25 it says: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.” God expects us to be good stewards of His creation but He warns us about “worshipping” what He has created.

    Living in the country 24/7 on an acreage of 100 acres or more could be considered “living in the environment." If these are responsible individuals, they would be considered environmentalists. Environmental ‘wannabes’ who live in the city and then determine policy for rural areas through their environmental groups will eventually destroy the environment as Ron Arnold‘s book explains. Rarely are the true environmentalists asked to participate on any regulatory programs.

    The Nature Conservancy has become one of the most deceiving of the environmental groups. Arnold’s book reports that “Nature Conservancy was found to have sold one property to the Forest Service for over $1 million. This property had been received as a donation. The profit on this parcel, after expenses, was calculated at $877.00.”

    This is only one small instance. TNC has become known as the government’s real estate agency. It uses government grants to purchase property. It then uses government conservation dollars to change the property to later be sold back to the government at a profit.

    One of many abuses by TNC is a huge number of acres of rich farmland in Illinois they purchased to turn into a wetlands using conservation dollars from the government. They have already sold a portion of the land to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    While open space, parks and hunting areas seem to be ideal for the government and environmental groups to protect, these are acres that will never be available for your children to own. As Arnold said, the government already owns about half the nation. Should they continue to buy or control more? These are acres that are not available for local communities to receive property taxes on creating an added burden on those who own homes or property.

    These are steps to Socialism not to freedom. Be aware and watchful as there are those being sent to your communities to "observe" you and to lure you into their web.

    © 2005 IllinoisLeader.com -- all rights reserved


    What are your thoughts concerning the issues raised in this commentary? Write a letter to the editor at letters@illinoisleader.com, and include your name and town.

    Joyce Morrison
    Joyce Morrison lives in southern Illinois. She is a chapter leader for Concerned Women for America and she and her husband, Gary, represent the local Citizens for Private Property Rights. Joyce is Secretary to the Board of Directors of Rural Restoration/ADOPT Mission, a national farm ministry located in Sikeston.

    She has become a nationally-recognized advocate for property rights.



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