Environmentalists Want To Force People To Drive Less


By John J. Duncan Jr.


My Dad told me many years ago – probably in the 1980s – that there were more cars in most high school parking lots than there were at UT when he started there in 1939.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of households with two or more vehicles has increased from 22% in 1960 to 60% today.

Only about eight percent of U.S. households have no vehicles, and these families or individuals probably live in big cities and travel by some form of mass transit.

Those on the left have always seemed to love the word masses and have pushed hard for more funding for mass transit. Conservatives think more in terms of the individual.

Extreme environmentalists who control most of the Democratic Party today want fewer people driving and less personal freedom and ownership of vehicles.

They want gas prices to go much higher so people will be forced to drive less. You can rest assured that if the Democrats maintain control of the White House and retake control of Congress after the 2024 elections, gas prices will slowly go to five or six dollars a gallon or even higher.

Radical environmentalists almost always come from wealthy or very high-income families, so they are not hurt by the high prices that really hurt poor and lower-income people.

They have for years supported something called the Wildlands Project, or now the Wildlands Network. They want so much more land kept wild – free of people – it would be the death blow for many already struggling small towns and rural areas.

These environmentalists almost always live in big cities and seemingly are anti-development and want to force people off the land. They seem to think it would be good to force everyone to live in big apartment buildings or townhouses.

Jamming large numbers of people together, however, creates even more crime, more mental and physical health problems, and even more traffic problems until they get more people out of personal vehicles.

It has been said that Americans have a love affair with their cars, and now their pickup trucks and SUVs. Leftists do not like that. They think the U.S. should be more like the socialist countries of Europe where gas has always been double or triple what it is here.

Dr. Michael Coffman, Ph. D., writing about the Wildlands Project, said: “Rural landowners who desire to use their own property are shocked when they learn new regulations increasingly restrict them from doing almost anything.”

He added: “These regulations are usually developed by planners or other professionals who have no real-life experience in rural living. Because they have no real understanding of what is required to develop natural resources, they establish idealistic, arbitrary rules that make farming, ranching and timber growing increasingly difficult and less profitable…and owners are forced to sell their property at a greatly reduced value…”

There are now 423 units in the National Park System, 63 of which that are traditional National Parks. Unlike the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is by far the most heavily visited, most of the 423 units receive very little visitation. Even the most famous parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and Glacier have only about one-third of the visitors the Smokies have.

There are 2,474 state parks, and in addition, there are federal and state forests, wildlife refuges, historic sites, and recreation areas. Another estimate on Google was 6,600 state parks, and then there are so many thousands of city and county parks, it is very difficult to get an accurate estimate.

Most of these parks are very lightly used, with very few exceptions such as Lakeshore. We have created so many parks that they will not be adequately used unless our entire population figures out how to go on permanent vacations.

Taking more and more land off the tax rolls makes it difficult to give teachers and other public employees all the raises they want and causes tax hikes on the land that remains in private ownership.

Karl Marx, the founder of Communism, called for the abolition of private property. This slow but huge decrease in private property has made it very difficult for young people to be able to afford homes. It has also forced homebuilders to build homes on very small lots, unlike the homes with big yards built in the 50s and 60s.

Private property is key to our prosperity and freedom. If we allow environmentalists to get even more power than they now have, our children and grandchildren will not have a standard of living even close to what most in the U.S. have now.