Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: Watermelons—Green on the outside; red on the inside
First, a little mood music:
According to some so-called ethicists you have the same rights as a rock.
“However, according to Hong Kong–based bioethicist and law professor Eric C. Ip, such rights do not go nearly far enough. He wants rights granted to nature, which would thereby reject human exceptionalism. From the piece, ‘From the Right to a Healthy Planet to the Planetary Right to Health,’ …
“‘Some interpretations of the right to a healthy planet could still be problematic. The planet’s ecosystems consist of communities of life forms, of which humanity is but one member, that interact with each other and their landscapes.
“‘The Rio Declaration’s reference to the positioning of humans ‘at the centre of concerns for sustainable development’ could no longer be defended. It is impossible to protect the well-being of the planet if humans persist in pursuing endless, albeit narrowly defined, growth with an aura of species superiority.’
I”n other words, we, flora, fauna, and, indeed, geological features such as rivers and granite outcroppings are equal. Lest you think I jest, at least six rivers and two glaciers have already been granted ‘rights’ as this antihuman movement spreads.”
Diesel trucks are used as vital means of transporting goods. You like stuff? Then for the foreseeable future, you’ll need diesel trucks. The Biden administration doesn’t care if you get stuff or not.
“The Environmental Protection Agency intends to grant California ‘waivers’ to enforce environmental rules that are significantly tougher than federal requirements and that state regulators have already approved, said these individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet public.”
Pleading the truth will fall on deaf ears.
“The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, which represents a coalition of more than 30 truck and bus manufacturers, has argued that the new rules would force manufacturers to delay the purchase of new vehicles due to increased costs for electronic heavy-duty vehicles, according to the Post. In turn, this would incentivize truckers to leave less efficient cars on the road for longer, hindering the environmental benefits, the group argues.
“‘Our industry hopes these reports aren’t true,” President and CEO Chris Spear of the American Trucking Association told the DCNF [Daily Caller News Foundation] in a statement. Spear stressed that the industry had reduced emissions by 98% since 1998, and that it had worked closely with the EPA to develop “aggressive, achievable” emissions reductions timelines for decades.
“‘If the reports are in fact accurate, let us remind you that this isn’t the United States of California,’ said Spear. ‘The state and federal regulators collaborating on this unrealistic patchwork of regulations have no grasp on the real costs of designing, building, manufacturing and operating the trucks that deliver their groceries, clothes and goods, but they will certainly feel the pain when these fanciful projections lead to catastrophic disruptions well beyond California’s borders.’”
A proposed amendment to the Nevada Constitution would require protecting nature… bit dangerously vague:
“Unfortunately, policy outcomes don’t care about our intentions. It’s not enough to mean well, even if you’re a subject matter expert.
“Being a subject matter expert, in fact, sometimes makes it considerably more difficult to draft effective policy. When you’re a subject matter expert, the “natural, cultural, scenic and healthful qualities of the environment” — which AJR3 would presumably protect once ratified — all likely refer to something technically specific.
“When it comes to nature, for example, I suspect Assemblywoman Peters means something closer to a carefully guarded desert oasis than, say, a golf course. When it comes to culture, I suspect Assemblywoman Peters means something closer to Avi Kwa Ame or the various petroglyph sites scattered near the edges of the Truckee Meadows than the various artifacts and pollutants 19th century miners left behind near Virginia City. When it comes to scenery, I suspect she’s thinking more along the lines of the stunningly beautiful stretch of the Sierra Nevadas near Kingsbury Grade than the alfalfa fields they overlook in the Carson Valley. As for the healthful qualities of the environment, I suspect she’s thinking more about the crisp, cool air gently blowing through a seemingly empty desert spring than the century-old hot spring resort on the northern edge of Carson City.
“I’m not an environmental engineer by any stretch, but if my suspicions are correct, that’s wonderful — like many people who routinely share their opinions in public, I greatly prefer being correct and agreed with over the alternative. Unfortunately, whether I might personally share a common understanding of how Assemblywoman Peters uses those terms or not is rather beside the point. If the Green Amendment is successfully ratified into our state’s Constitution, the real question will be whether Nevadans in general — including the lawyers we hire and the judges we elect — share her understanding.
“If not, the consequences will likely be catastrophic.
“With the benefit of five decades of hindsight, we now know that the American legal system is far better at saying no to changes to the status quo than it is to saying yes to alterations of our built environment which might improve the health and ecology of our neighborhoods. Furthermore, we also know legal experts, when push comes to shove, will interpret environmental statutes legalistically, not environmentally. Consequently, it’s far too easy for those who benefit from the status quo — like well-heeled incumbent homeowners — to twist the language of environmentalism to advance their interests.
“ARJ3’s comparative brevity does not make those deficiencies disappear.
“As our legislators consider the text of AJR3 — and as we perhaps consider the text ourselves in a few years — we must ask ourselves some important questions:
“Will AJR3 be used to limit the development of lithium mines on sensitive environmental or cultural sites in distant rural locations? Or will it be used to let incumbent homeowners better fight the construction of new schools on the site of county-owned golf courses because the golf course is, you see, ‘public land’?
“Will AJR3 be used to limit urban sprawl? Or will it be used to protect the ‘scenic quality’ of incumbent homeowners who object to seeing multifamily housing constructed in their neighborhood?
“Will AJR3 be used to allocate state resources at protecting sensitive indigenous cultural sites from vandalism? Or will it be used to justify throwing state resources at long-disused mining infrastructure because the ‘cultural quality’ of a local party spot suddenly merits constitutional protection?
“Who do you think can afford the lawyers and court fees?
“Nevada has some serious environmental issues. None of them, however, will be addressed by a vaguely worded constitutional amendment which will take years to pass, is likely to get abused by the worst actors upon ratification, and would take years to overturn after the damage was done. That’s why, if the Legislature doesn’t vote against AJR3 this year or in 2025, we better vote against it ourselves in 2026.”