Walking on campus recently, I was interrupted from an intense conversation with myself by a little man who asked, “Have you pledged for the environment yet?”
This normally wouldn’t have been so annoying if I hadn’t been anxiously trying to compensate for a previous argument with myself, in which I somehow failed to get the last word. Effectively pissed, I inquired as to what the guy meant by that dumb question. The response confirmed my smelliest suspicions, as did his odor.
It turns out he was a representative of CalPIRG, the state branch of the national U.S. PIRG, a rabid environmentalist group that raises its money by pimping lies in haste to ignorant students.
I first asked the rep what the nature of the group was.
“Oh, we’re not political,” he said. “The money goes to fund lobbyists in Washington who try to get legislation passed.”
He followed that gem by assuring me the group is “nonpartisan.” Actually, U.S. PIRG is run and headed by Ralph Nader, the highest symbol of the Green Party. Apparently, alliance to a party doesn’t qualify as partisanship only when that party is the most extreme.
The man then tried to convince me that the group is not “only political,” but that it also helps the poor, the elderly, aids shelters, etc. – all of this rather sounding like a failed vacuum cleaner salesman claiming his product can also tend your garden, fix your hair and automatically set your cell phone to vibrate whenever it slides to a sensitive spot, upon failing to sell the product as is. Of course, these are all lies.
He was right the first time. According to the UCLA chapter chair of CalPIRG, “about 80 percent of the money is used to hire advocates that … lobby on issues students are concerned about. The other 20 percent is used for operating costs.” And a closer look at those issues would reveal the basis of CalPIRG’s purpose to be the same as their fund-raising tactic.
The first issue CalPIRG boasts about in its pamphlet is helping prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which it describes as “protect[ing] one of the nation’s most important wilderness areas.” In fact, the tiny section plotted for drilling is a completely barren land only 0.01 percent the size of the reserve, hospitable to nothing but the caribou, who would be completely unaffected. And it may contain 30 years worth of Saudi Arabian oil imports.
On similarly spurious claims about the state of the environment – all of which are refuted by leftist Bj