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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Environmental “Justice”!?

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The Wall Street Journal this morning carries an editorial about yet another blocked development in California:

Green activists have long sought to block new development—and California housing costs are the highest in the country due to the mismatch between supply and demand. The median house price in the Los Angeles metro area is $507,000 compared with $210,000 in Dallas, $290,000 in Miami, $388,000 in Washington, D.C., and $412,000 in New York.

Housing costs have helped to drive middle- and low-income residents out of the state.

This at the same time that the Los Angeles City Attorney is filing charges against companies in “underserved” communities because, “We’re intensifying our focus on environmental justice, deepening our partnerships with state and local agencies, and committing ourselves to rid underserved communities of pollution that no one should have to tolerate.”

How precisely is justice served by driving out jobs in poor communities while blocking the development of housing in the priciest housing market in the nation?

This is a fascinating juxtaposition of stories on a day when my devotional quotes Isaiah 58:

“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
    Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
    and oppress all your workers.


Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of injustice,
    to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?

The environmental movement in this nation has become something quite sick.  When Nixon formed the Environmental Protection Agency the nation faced serious environmental problems.  Respiratory disease was problematic in smog ridden cities, fish kills were commonplace and rivers literally caught on fire.  These trends have all been reversed.

Now we worry about things that might happen at some future date based on statistical projection from soft data.  Nowadays environmentalism is the cloak we wrap around our pet cause – whatever that cause may be.  There is no justice in that.  That turns environmental concerns into tools of oppression.  It is precisely what Isaiah is talking about.  It is self-service in the guise of humility.

There are days that one must weep.


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