Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, June 11, 2007

Green Sacred Cows And Media Indifference

Turn on your imagination machine and consider this:
Back in the 70s, a private company had a bright idea and dumped a few thousand old tires into the ocean off the Florida coast. Years later, the tires are destroying coral reefs, befouling beaches, and generally making a major mess of things. The feds will have to spend millions of dollars to clean up the mess.

ABC News learns about it and does a big story on it ... and doesn't name the instigating company!

[Cue sound effect: Record needle screeching across vinyl.]
Unbelievable as it seems, that's exactly what happened ... well not exactly "exactly." I substituted "private company" for "environmentalists."

Here's the story:
Up to two million tires are at the bottom of the ocean floor off the coast of Florida. They damage reefs, wash up on the beach and create a hazard for beachgoers. How did they get there? Don’t ask ABC News.

With the power of government and the green movement of the 1970s, the process was set into motion to build artificial reefs from used tires. All ABC could say was that “someone” had gotten the idea going.

“This is one of those ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ stories,” said ABC Correspondent Jeffrey Kofman.

On the June 6 broadcast of “World News,” Kofman reported just how this concept was set into motion. “More than 30 years ago, someone had the good idea of solving two problems at once – get rid of a lot of used tires and at the same time, create an artificial reef to attract fish, coral and tourists.”

The fish never took to the artificial reefs, though, and the tires ended up causing more damage to the existing natural reefs. “What’s happening is the tires are bumping up against the coral, breaking pieces off, causing adverse impacts to the natural system,” Holly Bamford, an oceanographer for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, told ABC News.

“It will cost several million dollars. It will take several years (to fix the problem),” Kofman said. ...

However, the ABC story avoided pinning the blame on any specific cause or government agency. (Business & the Media Institute)
Kofman, ignoring every lesson he might have learned about investigative reporting because this is a story about environmentalists, never named the culprit behind this expensive scheme. But it's common knowledge, so this was a willful omission.
The truth is, Ray McAllister, a professor emeritus of ocean engineering at Florida Atlantic University, was instrumental in pushing the original idea forward. Then the idea got government support. According to an Associated Press story, the effort won approval of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and local county officials. McAllister helped found Broward Artificial Reef, Inc., the company that organized the effort to build what is called “Osborn Reef.”
Oh, wait! There was a private company involved. But it was an environmentalist company -- like the carbon credit scam companies that aren't getting investigated.

Were this a "green as in capitalist" effort, as opposed to a "green as in pinko" one, here's what would have happened:

An extensive public environmental review process would have been demanded, including lengthy tests that would be required to prove that no damage would occur from the tires.

At that point, the project would probably be scuttled, to the benefit of the environment and people. But if it did somehow move forward, once the project failed and the tires became a liability, the name "Broward Artificial Reef" would be as well known as "Scooter Libby," lawsuits would be filed and big fines and possibly even jail time would follow.

Don't count on Ray McAllister ever paying a dime or doing his time for his costly mistake. And don't count on the MSM to make him into a villain. This is, after all, the "objective" media we're dealing with here; no fear, no favor, fair all the way.

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