Friday, September 11, 2009

Appreciating Van Jones

Charles Krauthammer excuses all of departed Obama adviser Van Jones' alleged political sins except his charge that President Bush was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. He even says Jones was right about the racial dynamics of the green movement:
[C]ritics are scandalized that Jones once accused "white environmentalists" of "essentially steering poison into the people of colored communities."

In fact, from a global perspective, Jones is right. Environmentalists -- overwhelmingly white and middle/upper class -- have blocked drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. From where do you think the world gets the missing oil? From the poor, exploited, poisoned people of the Niger Delta, the Amazon Basin and other infinitely less-regulated and infinitely dirtier regions of the Third World.

Affluent enviros are all for wind farms, until one is proposed that might mar the serenity of a sail from the crew-necked precincts near Nantucket Sound. Then it's clean energy for thee, not for me.

Jones' genius as an ideological entrepreneur was to mine white liberal anxiety -- they are quite aware of their own NIMBY hypocrisy -- by selling them the "green jobs" shtick to reconcile class/racial guilt with environmental enthusiasm, thus making them feel better about themselves.

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