I went to the Barge today looking forward to enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee while I got some work done. I settled into one of the seats in the back when I was visually assaulted by one of the ugliest and crudest pieces of decoration I have ever seen in a respectable business. A large, red board with a sloppy yellow sun in the center hung on the wall with the words “No More Sprawl” written in angry black letters reminiscent of inner-city graffiti. Written on the eyesore was the phrase “Yuppies go home” as well as “In wilderness is the preservation of the world” (Thoreau). Scattered articles were pasted on the board that denounced the demand for more housing in Hamilton.
Although I hate nothing more than shoddy work that tries to pass as art, my real problem with the painting worthy of a sixth grade art project was with the message it was trying to convey. The message had the irrational ranting quality that we have come to know and love in our fellow environmentalists. It seemed to be saying to us-yelling at us is more like it-that the human desire to build a new home on a formerly unoccupied patch of land is a sin worthy of the most greedy industrialists. Apparently, we “yuppies” are very keen on destroying poor, harmless trees and endangering the livelihoods of all sorts of precious, furry, cute animals in the greedy rampage that is industrialism. What devils we are for wanting to live in a house and build stores where people can shop for the things they need to live.
The environmentalist movement is anti-industy, anti-development, and anti-technology. In its quest to be pro-open spaces, pro-clean air, and pro-cute furry animals, environmentalism has denounced one of the essentials of capitalism (private property) and thus of this great country. They are bigots because they want to take away from others what they are too guilty to admit they have. I wonder if the so-called artist of the travesty in the Barge was fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of a car, a heated home, or, ahem, a college education in a beautiful, sprawling campus in Upstate New York. Probably not, the poor soul.
Environmentalists would put a stranglehold on industry and would submit this world to an unyeilding and barren hell of poverty and starvation in an attempt to save trees and animals in a country where, thanks to industrialization, the average life-span is almost double what it is in third world countries. Industrialization has brought us healthier, longer, and more comfortable lives. I challenge Colgate’s Green Bigots to go to Kenya where beautiful plains unfold in the rising of the sun and children die in the millions for lack of food and water. Tell them that it’s a sin to want to build a house for your family at the expense of a tree. Until then, go to the woods and stay there and let us “yuppies” live in peace.