This is a bit of a place-holder for a later (as yet unfinished) Part II concerning the potential for an aniticapitlist revolutionary movement; it’s Mr. wd’s birthday this weekend, and there are a few things I’d like to make for him.
Oh, my; how serendipitous this. My two-bit brain kept thinking ‘Ann Gorsuch’ when I’d read ‘Neil Gorsuch’, but was too lazy to even check out why. Now I know, thank the gods and goddesses. Now depending how many years you’ve been kickin’ around the planet, and if you’d been paying attention to the de facto murder attempts on the ecology movement under Reagan…this may not be new, but what a flash from the past! Now Mr. wd and I were Whole Earth Catalog hippies at the time, as well as mountain trekkers, so we paid as much attention as we able, all by…newspaper and magazine. Remember them things? Later when we moved to SW Colorado, we added canyon trekking to our lives, and we part of a large environmental movement in our county. Our wilderness-specific group had one main enemy: Gale Norton. But of course there were others… So some of these names and attendant hideous assaults on the planet are not only fascinating, but put our likely future under Republican eco-assault into perspective.
Let me say straightaway that some of the names were unfamiliar, as were some of their collective deeds.
From Jeffrey St. Clair’s ‘Roaming Charges: Toxic Mom: the Short, Terrible Career of Ann Gorsuch’ February 3, 2017
He’s pasted in a longish excerpt from Heatstroke: Earth on the Brink by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank, forthcoming this spring from CounterPunch Books. A couple bits and bobs that follow their narrative of the early eco-groups at the beginning is fascinating, then later their cynical cooptation by finance capital NGOs, and mega reversals of environmental policy under Reagan, then later.
“That bright afternoon on the Mall was the last light that shone on the DC-centered green movment. In a decade and a half of Reagan, Bush and Clinton, the environmental corps in DC ripened into a complacent putty. The corporate counter-attack on greens began in the West with the rise of the Sagebrush Rebels, an amalgam of ranchers, corporate executives, free-market economists and rightwing politicians who decried environmentalism as socialism-by-another-name and as a backdoor assault on property rights.
The Sagebrush Rebels were largely ignored until the election of Ronald Reagan, who bowed to the enthusiasms of Joseph Coors?the leading money dispenser of the far right and owner of substantial mineral claims on federal lands?and selected a suite of Sagebrush leaders to fill important posts in his administration. These Reagan rebels, headed by James Watt (who ran Coors’ Mountain States Legal Foundation) and Anne Gorsuch, called themselves “the Crazies on the Hill.”
Watt, a millennialist Christian and rabid anti-communist, was given the Department of the Interior, which oversees nearly 500 million acres of public land. He proclaimed he would make the “bureaucracy yield to my blows” and got off to a fast start. Within a matter of months, Watt proposed the sale of 30 million acres of public lands to private companies, gave away billions of dollars worth of publicly owned coal resources, fought to permit corporations to manage national parks, refused to enforce the nation’s strip mining laws, offered up the Outer Continental Shelf oil reserves to exploration and drilling, ignored the Endangered Species Act, and purged the Interior Department of any employee who objected to his agenda.
Watt defended his actions on religious grounds, arguing that conservation of resources for future generations amounted to a waste of “God’s gift to mankind.”
“I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns,” Watt warned. Use it or lose it.” [snip]
“Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, Watt’s counterpart was Anne Gorsuch, a rough-hewn and ignorant Colorado legislator. Gorsuch, who later married Robert Burford, the rancher and mining engineer Watt selected to run the Bureau of Land Management, surrounded herself with advisers from the pollution lobby, including lawyers from General Motors, Exxon and DuPont. Her objective was to cripple environmental laws passed in the 1970s which, she argued, had created an “overburden” of regulations that had “stifled economic growth.”
To lead the toxic waste division of the EPA Gorsuch chose Rita Levelle, a public relations executive with the Aerojet General Corporation, a defense contractor with potentially vast hazardous waste liabilities. At her appointment many of the EPA’s top scientists and administrators promptly quit.
Gorsuch and Levelle left a miasma of suspended regulations, secret meetings with industry lobbyists, waived fines and suppressed recommendations of angency scientists. In one piquant case, Levelle refused?at the request of Joseph Coors?to enforce new rules that prohibited dumping liquid hazardous waste into community landfills. Coors’s breweries disposed of millions of gallons of such waste near Denver.” (the rest is here)
One of his Roaming Charges concerned scotus nominee Neil, and he cites:
“+ A cursory review of Gorsuch’s opinions from the appellate bench suggest that he may circulate in a judicial orbit even farther out than his dead idol Antonin Scalia. One particular case, Porro vs. Barnes, tells the tale for me.”, explains the case, and at the end notes:
“But Gorsuch rejected Porro’s claim, saying the sheriff and the county could not be held accountable for the crimes committed by their employees. This will come as a welcome relief to the generals and CIA officers, like new Deputy Director Gina Haspel, slated to supervise the torturers at those black sites Trump is so eager to reopen.” (she’d supervised a black torture site under Bush; it may be an NYT link, and I don’t want to use up another free hit looking again.)
On edit; here’s her gruesome history at Telesur.
Now Herr Trump has noted he fancies himself a bit of Teddy Roosevelt as far as loving the great outdoors, and I hope there’s at least part of him that might cause him to protect at least the nation’s public lands by veto. Guess we’ll see soon enough.