Environmental advocates subject to fact-checking, too

This letter is in response to Jerry Taylor’s Feb. 24 letter, “Check Your Facts.”

Complaining about the “incendiary manner” in which some folks address “environmental extremism,” he suggests those types are destined to the “rubbish bin of history” while the extremist environmental lefties he represents “look, listen and educate” themselves and will be the “survivors on this planet,”

Taylor goes on to scold those who “spout off in their editorials about Obama, the Democrats and EPA” for not checking their facts before sounding “off in a huff.” He even offers a place to check their facts, FactCheck.org.

He offers several environmental issues to demonstrate his point about “checking your facts”:

Keystone Pipeline — Taylor’s facts: “Obama hasn’t blocked it.” The pipeline sponsor “expects the White House to approve the Northern leg after it submits an application for a new route around Nebraska’s environmentally sensitive sand hills region.” The latest “facts” that I have read about the Keystone Pipeline issue is that the new pipeline route has been designed and submitted; the governor of Nebraska has signed off on it and sent a letter to the White House requesting the president to approve it. But wait, Obama cannot do that until the State Department (John Kerry) signs off on it. We will have to wait to see how long the environmental lobby can browbeat these two servants to delay signing off on this project. Meanwhile, several thousand workers will continue to stand in the jobless lines waiting for the work opportunities this project will open up.

Lake Baikal, Russia — To further demonstrate his propensity to dispense only facts, Taylor talks about the apocalyptic condition of Lake Baikal as being driven “almost to the point of extinction of its unique species” after suffering decades of degradation by the Russians. In actuality, the facts more closely representing Lake Baikal, which contains an estimated 20 percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, suggests Taylor’s FactCheck.org has been taken over by environmental extremists. Googling Lake Baikal reveals that is was listed as a World Heritage site in 1996. In spite of indifferences to impacts on the environment from pulp mill operations in the early 20th century, the lake is considered almost entirely unspoiled as it was in the 1800s. The UNESCO World Heritage citation refers to the lake as the Galapagos of Russia.

Puget Sound — Observing an oil sheen on the water at the Olympia boat basin, Mr. Taylor prophesizes that Puget Sound is headed toward the same toxic demise as Lake Baikal unless “corrective action” is taken soon. We can only hope that Puget Sound can one day match the pristine status of Lake Baikal. However, it should be noted that annually over the past four decades, millions of dollars of taxpayer and property owner monies have been dedicated to prevent and correct degradation of the Sound. It is far from the condition being promoted by Mr. Taylor and is headed in the right direction.

The commentary by George Will and Doonesbury cartoon adjacent to Mr. Taylor’s letter illuminates Taylor’s apparent attempt to incite hysteria among the gullible by skewing the facts to facilitate the left’s agenda. I am not sure that he doesn’t have FactCheck.org mixed up with the myFACTS site featured in the Doonesbury cartoon.

Taylor closes out his hysteria-mongering by pointing out the health hazards we can expect in Seattle and worldwide by shipping coal to China via Seattle, thankful that “science is watching the hen house from the likes of the wolves among us” that are uneducated. I wonder if his “science” source is from DOONESBURY also?

Harold B. Brunstad is a resident of Montesan0