For over 30 years the leading pallet and sawmill magazine in America.
Time for Grand Finale; Teach Your Children Well
In the Arena
By Rich Jefferson
Date Posted: 9/1/2001
(Editor’s Note: Rich Jefferson’s column, ‘In the Arena,’ was published in one of our other publications, TimberLine magazine, starting in January 2000. In June, we also began publishing his column in Pallet Enterprise. Rich recently accepted a position as national director of media relations for the Alliance Defense Fund, a unique Christian legal organization that works to protect traditional family values, religious freedom, and the sanctity of human life. Much to our regret, his new duties will not allow him to continue to write ‘In the Arena.’ The following is his last column, written originally for publication in TimberLine.)
We have come to the moment I wanted to avoid. There are still many things to write about. Ed Brindley, publisher of TimberLine, gave me an opportunity, and I have enjoyed it immensely. So it is with mixed feelings that I share this: for personal reasons, this is my final column for TimberLine.
This will undoubtedly thrill some readers. But from some of the positive communications I have received, I am sure others will not be so happy. It is to the second group that I address this final column.
Not long ago I heard a scientist exhort a crowd to "do something for freedom, every day." He was talking to a group that says it values liberty. He told them to share the truth about key environmental issues with a neighbor, in a letter to the editor of a newspaper, in a phone call to a member of Congress, or else read sound material that will help answer arguments by the greens.
I try to follow that good advice. Just like the rest of you parents, my most important audience is my children. If parents don’t teach their children the facts about natural resources and — just as vital — the truth about economics, then who will?
This requires busy parents to take the time not only to talk to their children, but to make time to read — and understand — the right things. Greens and socialists repeat their propaganda messages seemingly at will in the major media outlets (not to mention the public schools), which are still trusted by too many Americans. It is our job to at least reach our children with the truth.
Do you want to strike a blow for freedom every day? Take time to help your own children, or nieces and nephews, think the right way about natural resources and the economics of natural resources. It is all but impossible most days to get ‘quality time’ with the little ones, but it is one way — maybe the best way — to fight back.
It may not happen often, but sometimes you can talk to large groups of young people, although I recommend you try smaller numbers than I had in June when I conducted a journalism camp for 95 youngsters, ages 14-18. On the last day of the camp we watched videos. It was the first time most of them had seen Forest Wars, and it made a good impression. Most of these students were predisposed to free market economics and the idea of wise use, but their response to Forest Wars was overwhelming. In the long run, it may have been the best 75 minutes they spent that week.
As I mentioned above, there are too many things to write about to stop doing this column. As long as there are establishment publications such as Time magazine, spinning its sticky propaganda webs across the road to reason, we will have — as the trendy locution has it — ‘issues’ with the media. I am referring to Time’s overheated global warming issue in early April. According to these sage observers, George Bush would like to cook us all by repudiating the Kyoto Protocol. Managing editor James Kelley wrote: "Every so often, my colleagues and I think a public-policy issue is so urgent that we should give it special treatment in the magazine."
President George W. Bush has been making good on his campaign promise to oppose the Kyoto Protocol, and that makes Time’s editors very nervous. If Bush does the right thing on Kyoto — abandons it utterly — not only will Time’s preferred candidate have lost in the 2000 presidential election, but (horrors!) Time might have to do without the loser’s policies, too.
This may explain why Time says that the science of global warming is settled, but it doesn’t excuse it. Maybe in the politics of big-time popular magazines run by Gore supporters in high-rise office buildings in midtown Manhattan it is. But to assert that the science is settled is either ignorantly arrogant or arrogantly ignorant. There are too many highly qualified scientists, such as Fred Singer, whom Time could have interviewed to balance the notion that the issue ‘settled.’
As I have written elsewhere:
In April 1991, Fred Singer, Roger Randall Revelle and another man published in a small circulation journal an article which said, ‘The scientific base for greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.’ But Revelle, as Arnold points out, ‘had been Al Gore’s teacher at Harvard University as well as his mentor after graduation.’ If you look on page five of Earth in the Balance, you find that Gore said ‘human civilization would be forcing a profound and disruptive change in the entire global climate’ if carbon dioxide emissions continued their current trend.
Revelle died soon after the jointly written article was published. But others picked up the discrepancies, including columnist George F. Will. This was bad for a vice presidential candidate. But it got worse. According to Arnold’s research, Gore called a man who planned to republish the Revelle-Singer article. The man succumbed to Gore’s pressure and publicly maligned Singer, who sued for libel.
Singer eventually received an out-of-court settlement, in part because of evidence in the form of a letter signed by Revelle that said, ‘My own personal belief is that we should wait for another 10 or 20 years to be really convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important to human beings, in both positive and negative ways.’ If global warming from carbon dioxide was a real problem, Revelle said, we should consider nuclear power instead of coal-generated electricity.
So much for the balance of Time. Or is that Time in the balance?
All environmental sins contribute to global warming, or so we’re told. Harvesting trees contributes to global warming. It’s interesting that the framers of the Constitution put one piece of technology into the hallowed document. It is in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: freedom of the press, the press being a machine for physically exerting pressure on a page of newsprint to leave ink marks of letters, words, and sentences. It would be the height of irony if the American ‘press’ eventually writes itself out of existence because we have to quit harvesting trees to make paper. Is it getting hot in here?
I would love to stay and finish our conversation. But one of my older children is reviewing a book for me — William Hazlitt’s wonderful Economics in One Lesson — while the rest are getting ready for the school year with another viewing of one of the best videos ever made — Forest Wars.