Burning the Fuel in Order to Save It

Chris Burger of The National Center’s John P. McGovern MD Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs has some questions about the Sierra Club in this note:

Last summer, the Sierra Club — typically a group that is vehemently opposed to logging in America’s national forests — not only refused to condemn, but actually supported a logging project proposed by then-Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest (see a piece) I wrote about this last year). This summer, to promote alternative sources of energy, the Sierra Club is teaming up with rock music groups that are consuming thousands of gallons of gasoline on transportation.

Lollapalooza is a nationwide rock festival touring the nation between July 5 and August 24. The Sierra Club is working in conjunction with Lollapalooza in the hope of “promoting alternative energy solutions” and to help educate concertgoers about “the destructive Bush energy bill.”

The musicians — more than 20 bands are performing at each show — will transport themselves, their stage workers and their equipment more than 11,000 miles (mileage found by using Yahoo! driving directions to calculate the distance from venue to venue) while performing this summer. Whether traveling by bus or airplane, it seems odd that exhausting that much fuel is considered a wise allocation when they are trying to promote the prudent use of energy.

Here in Washington, D.C., numerous arenas could likely accommodate the crowd for the August 1 show, including RFK Stadium, located 4.8 miles from the While House and within a stone’s throw of public transportation. Lollapalooza officials instead chose to hold the concert at Nissan Pavilion, located 35.1 miles from the White House and nowhere near public transportation. In addition to having the bands use copious amounts of fuel while crisscrossing the country, the Sierra Club’s friends at Lollapalooza are hoping to be “promoting” alternative energy in the D.C. area by forcing attendees to drive their cars to the concert.

This is not the only time so-called environmentalists have spent excessive amounts of fuel in the name of the environment. As the National Center’s Vice President David Ridenour pointed out, in November 1998, over 9,000 diplomats, journalists, environmentalists and other observers burned millions of gallons of jet fuel while flying to a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The purpose of the meeting was to reduce world greenhouse gases and the “threat” of global warming. The left did not take notice to the fact that so much fuel was consumed so environmentalists could attend the conference.

In my opinion, this is another example of Sierra Club officials working to clean up the environment only when convenient to them.

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