Opinion

Eco-terrorists, Nazis have a lot in common

Sound Off is a public forum. Articles are selected from letters to the editor or may be written specifically for this feature. Today, Mark Musser, stormwater field representative for the Building Industry Association of Washington, compares Hitler’s Nazi party to modern environmental extremists.

As homebuilders in Washington state struggle to comply with the

state Department of Ecology’s (DOE) unreasonably restrictive stormwater regulations, I drew an interesting parallel last month to the cartoonish drawings illustrating the Best Management Practices (BMPs) DOE is demanding builders use to treat stormwater runoff to the farcical snow cave drawings Hitler sent his troops to prevent them from freezing to death in Stalingrad.

In both cases, what was/is needed was/is a solution that would work: In the case of Hitler’s army, a way to survive the stranglehold of an encircling Soviet Army; in the case of builders in Washington state, a realistic and doable way to treat stormwater runoff in compliance with DOE’s demands.

What both received are laughable sketches that offer neither a reasonable, nor effective, way to accomplish the task which they have been given. Knowing my parallel would illicit screams of protest — how politically incorrect of me to mention Hitler and Nazis in the same breath as DOE or the environmental lobby — I explored the actual connection between environmental extremism and Hitler’s Nazi party.

The German Nazi party expressed many of the ecological refrains we hear today. Nazis were the vanguard of conservationism — they sought to remedy the increasing alienation of people from the natural world, deforestation, urban sprawl, the destruction of ecosystem balance, the extinction of species and the indiscriminate slaughter of animals.

Hitler himself was a sometime vegetarian and an animal lover, and the Nazi government implemented some of the first laws protecting animal rights. The Nazis also blamed capitalism for destroying the European continent and believed environmental holism was the solution.

They investigated sustainable forestry and institutionalized organic farming to advance experimental homeopathic cures and medicines.

Nazi bioengineers were also very concerned about construction maintaining harmony with the natural landscape — the autobahn freeway in Germany was designed by Nazis with the utmost ecological care in mind and presented as a way to bring Germans closer to nature.

The Nazis also came up with far reaching land use restrictions and centralized environmental planning for the same purposes, and were very zealous about protecting wetlands and other ecological sensitive areas.

Thus green building and smart growth ideas are not something new.

Another familiar refrain —?the Nazis complained the degradation of German soil was due to the landless, capitalistic, greedy Jews who pillaged and raped the European landscape for money and power.

Today’s environmentalists still blame capitalism for the destruction of the natural world — greedy builders are routinely accused of pillaging and raping the landscape for money.

Of course, this Nazi environmental zealotry was insanely tied to German nationalism (racism), which relied heavily on the ideals of social Darwinism, a doctrine which some environmentalists have kept alive in spite of its evil reputation.

When radical environmentalists oppose famine relief, medical aid and sanctuary for refugees because of overpopulation concerns, the whiff of Nazism is unmistakable. Less vocally strident enviros are not quite sure what to do about overpopulation, aside from an insane obsession with anti-development, urban sprawl land use restrictions.

Hitler, of course, had his own solution—wipe out the Slavs so the Germans could enjoy greater ecological health.

Himmler had all kinds of grandiose ecological plans in mind for a depopulated Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus.

What environmentalists offer today, instead of the racist German National Socialism that defined the Nazi party, is an international environmental socialism, an amalgam of Nazism and communism — an international environmental socialism with a centralized planning scheme. But this amalgam is increasingly at odds with itself, causing a rift within the environmental lobby, with builders caught in the middle.

Case in point — builders in Washington state are being squeezed by an environmental movement that extols ecofascism on the one hand (where the most important thing on the construction jobsite is not a house but “Earth First”), while on the other hand they’re micromanaged to death by an ecological bureaucracy that would make any Soviet commissar green with envy.

So, much like Stalin and Hitler were divided on how to best go about their socialistic schemes, environmentalists are also divided over how to best go about their socialistic scheme of controlling human development —?either by burning houses down with Molotov cocktails or slowly squeezing the life out of it through extensive, Sovietesque micromanagement.

Homebuilders are thus caught between militant ecofascism (radical environmentalists like ELF) and communistic bureaucracy (DOE).

For the time being, it is the suffocating Soviet version which is winning this war, but the recent arsons claimed by ELF, and the mainstream environmentalists’ refusal to denounce them, demonstrate the other side’s “ecological blitzkrieg” approach could be gaining traction.

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