Alaskans have had just about enough of the East Coast environmeddlists. Accordingly, their legislators have introduced a bill that would declare New York City's Central Park "to be a wilderness area and to prohibit any further improvement or development of Central Park unless authorized by an act of Congress."
Republican state Rep. Kyle Johansen told the New York Times that he is trying to point out the "hypocrisy" of "those East Coast folks who write a lot of checks to shut down Alaska, while in their own backyard, Manhattan has been turned from a pristine wild island supporting an amazing Muir web of life to having only Central Park left as a green belt."
They have a point: when explorers landed there some 400 years ago, Manhattan was home to at least a thousand species of plants and animals. And most of the folks interfering in Alaska's affairs have never been there. It's not as though the state's planning to turn their lands into Manhattan II. Heck, the east-coast environmeddlists fought for years against they Alyeska Pipeline, claiming that construction and operation would kill off the caribou.
They lost. The pipeline was built. And what of the all-important caribou?
They didn't buy into the environmeddlists' arguments either: apparently drawn by the added warmth (the line's heated so the oil can flow freely), the ingrates chose to use areas along the line as a nursery. They gave birth there, more calves survived, and caribou populations increased. Naturally, our old friends at the ever-litigious Sierra Club were dumbfounded.
Many people suddenly developed a passionate concern for the mating habits of Alaska caribou and campaign noisily against intrusion of Arctic pipelines into this essential activity, reported The Christian Science Monitor on Oct. 10, 1972. The New York Times on Oct. 14, 1973, said the question is whether the caribou will go the way of the buffalo.
Reality: Thirty years later we can see the effects of the pipeline on the caribou. Walter Hickel, a former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and governor of Alaska, said that the caribou herd has not only survived, but flourished. In 1977, as the Prudhoe region started delivering oil to America's southern 48 states, the Central Arctic caribou herd numbered 6,000; it has since grown to 27,128.
The portion of the environmental debate with the biggest symbolic impact took place when discussing the pipeline's impact on caribou herds. Environmentalists proposed that the pipeline would have an effect on caribou similar to the effect of the U.S. transcontinental railroad on the American Bison population of North America. Pipeline critics said the pipeline would block traditional migration routes, making caribou populations smaller and making them easier to hunt. This idea was exploited in anti-pipeline advertising, most notably when a picture of a forklift carrying several legally shot caribou was emblazoned with the slogan, "There is more than one way to get caribou across the Alaska Pipeline". The use of caribou as an example of the pipeline's environmental effects reached a peak in the spring of 1971, when the draft environmental statement was being debated.
This is why it's a waste of your resources to support professional environmeddlists like Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Wilderness Society, and most of those kinds of "societies". Essentially, they exist to enrich themselves, and to litigate. They rarely know what they're talking about, but they'll talk for years, stirring up as much hysteria as possible in the process.