California has been both the genesis and vehicle for progressive environmental activism and government regulations for a half century. And now, environmentalism is a cultural identity for many, as well as a path to political power for others, i.e., “ecopolitics.”
California green progressives are both renowned and reviled for supporting controls on every product, service, energy and human activity in the cause of saving the planet. Often without scientific or economic rationale, green initiatives sail through legislative bodies on sentimentality or partisan political patronage alone. Here are two recent examples.
1. For 62 years California’s premiere government natural resource agency was called the California Department of Fish and Game. The agency’s mission is to “manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.” On January 1, 2013, the agency’s name was changed to the “California Department of Fish and Wildlife” – “game” replaced with “wildlife.” The name change, hunters say, reflects a move away from traditional hunting and fishing values as part of a bigger push by the Humane Society of the United States to eliminate hunting across the nation. Environmentalists and animal activists say it reflects a move to manage all wildlife in the state, not just “game” for hunters. In 1870 the agency was named the California Board of Fish Commissioners; in 1909 named the California Fish and Game Commission; in 1951 the California Department of Fish and Game. The January 2013 change was made “to accurately reflect the state agency’s broader mission,” according to bill sponsor Sen. Jared Huffman, a Democrat who previously was an attorney for the militant eco-group the Natural Resources Defense Council. (U.S. News, October 3, 2012)
2. California is attempting to be the first state in the nation to end wild game hunting. By prohibiting the use of lead ammunition for hunting in California, coupled with the federal government’s attempt to ban lead bullets, hunters could be left out in the woods with an empty weapon. Hunting is being attacked as part of a campaign to ban the use of traditional ammunition, which contains a small toxic lead core. California Assembly Bill 711, by freshman Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Southgate, would effectively ban hunting under the guise of “protecting the environment” from lead poisoning. However, no wildlife agencies can confirm elevated lead toxicity in game hunting areas. Moreover, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) cannot confirm any human lead toxicity from consuming wild game taken with conventional lead shot. (Cal Watchdog, July 26, 2013)
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