(It's money, not morals, that fuels the green movement.)
As I pointed out in my previous post, California's "green giant" is not only well organized, it's well funded by a diverse group of corporate supporters and extremely wealthy individuals, all purporting to have our best interests in mind when it comes to all things green. Obviously, the greenies and their bankrollers don't look very kindly upon people like you and I...small-scale gold prospectors and miners that is.
The thing that strikes me the most about radical environmentalists, their financial backers, and your plain-Jane "progressives" in general is their utter blindness to their own hypocrisy. Remember Tom Steyer? The filthy rich Californian who spent over five million dollars to defeat Proposition 23 and who also pledged to spend another 100 million dollars getting environmentally friendly politicos into the U.S. Congress and Senate so they could help "shape" Federal environmental policy? Well good ol' Tom made the bulk of his millions as a hedge fund honcho investing in...guess what? Fossil fuels! Yep, oil and gas. What an utter hypocrite this dude is. But aren't they all? I'm reminded of the furor back in the mid-to-late 1970s when court-ordered busing was mandated in the working class neighborhoods of South Boston, Massachusetts. Black students from the poorest sections of the city were bused into Southie while white students of primarily Irish or Italian heritage were bused into the ghetto to "achieve ethnic and racial balance" in Boston's public schools. Needless to say this didn't go over well in Southie (home of the infamous "Whitey" Bulger). Much of the impetus behind Boston's busing issues was triggered and sponsored by white liberals from Boston's wealthier neighborhoods and elsewhere seeking "social justice" for the downtrodden masses. While street battles reigned in Southie, the sons and daughters of the wealthy or influential weren't bused anywhere. They continued as before attending private schools or Boston's creme-de-la-creme public institutions. No hypocrisy there, right? (Just another example of what I'm talking about here...)
Poor Hippie-Dippie Babies
Hypocrites or not, the specific issue that doesn't bode well for those of us who prospect, pan, sluice, dry wash, and dredge for gold here in the West and Southwest is simply the fact that these neo-Stalinists have the folding green...and lots of it. Oh, we'll go down swinging of course. But in the end I fear the valiant struggle carried on by Public Lands for the People (PLP), the New 49'ers, the Western Mining Alliance (WMA), and others will be for naught. This may sound defeatist on my part but we all know that politicians are too easily "influenced" by people like Tom Steyer who are willing to throw obscene amounts of money at anyone who can get their agenda across. And politicians love money even more than themselves. In truth, it really doesn't matter what the source of green money is. They have it, they have lots of it, and they use it effectively. However, green organizations in general have received a lot of criticism lately over the fact they seem to be composed primarily of aging, liberal white Americans who have the time and money to play do-gooder. Once again, this elitist profile fits my generation to a tee. Back in the day (late 1960s, early 1970s) they were living in communes, smoking dope, dropping acid, and generally acting like a bunch of spoiled, imminently selfish, self-serving know-it-alls while the rest of their Baby Boomer contemporaries (myself included) were fighting and dying in the nightmare known as Vietnam. Poor hippie-dippie babies. When the much-vaunted revolution DIDN'T happen after all, many of these anti-establishment hippie types went on to make substantial money in various capacities "working for the man," something they swore they'd never do back in the day sitting around the campfire singing "Kumbaya" and passing along a joint to the glassy eyed, drooling stoner sitting next to them. Sadly for these trust-fund babies and rich hippie types the only "good" thing remaining of their '60s-'70s hey days was their "progressive" thinking. Since tuning in, turning on, and dropping out was an abject failure in terms of instituting real social change in the United States and the world at large, these "visionaries" and ever-so-earnest keepers of the high moral ground needed something else to focus their attention on. What better agenda to sink your teeth into than reshaping the world from a radical environmentalist point of view?
(And I thought it was all about peace and love...silly me.)
I don't want to play Chicken Little here and run around screaming "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" But like it or not, I've tried to get this message across for years now. What we're witnessing in California is the eventual death of small-scale gold mining there. You can cluck your tongue, shake your head, and say it's all too bad or I'm dead wrong but remember this. When the greenies get finished in California they'll come looking for you too in Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Don't think you're safe back there in the South or Southeastern U.S. either. With the money they have to spend attacking logging, commercial fishing, ranching, small-scale gold mining, and virtually every other honest pursuit of hard labor you can bet your ass your turn will come. It's just a matter of time. After all, these are fanatics on a mission and they have the money to fuel that mission. It's a scary thing, truth be told.
Welcome to future...
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2015