Photo by: Steve Horne

Maine Under Siege

R.O. Voight

March 6, 1999

The Maine way of life and culture is under siege!

The Maine Forests are under attack by the federal government, the Northern Forest Alliance, state legislators, and others. They all want to "save" the Maine forest from private property owners. That by itself would be a huge, tremendous burden to face by the landowners and private property activists. But there is more, much more!

The Clinton Administration's Heritage River Scheme is active in Maine. The Clean Water Act is evolving into water and watershed control mechanisms and dedicated organizations to enforce them. Legal action is being initiated against the State to place the Atlantic salmon, native to Maine, in the Endangered Species category, with all the attendant land and water control mechanisms. The Sustainable America schema is coming alive in Maine communities via the "Smart Growth" nom de plume, via the State Planning Office, the ECO/ECO group, and associated activists. Dedicated enviros are driving legislation to remove the so-called "pollutants", DDT, PCB, dioxin and mercury from Maine waters. And then there are the "Global Warming" folks working hard to convince Mainers that they must take the theory seriously.

The Global Warming theory, postulated into the Kyoto Protocol, has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate. Therefore it has no legal basis to exist as a federally funded program anywhere in the U.S. The theory has been scientifically questioned, not only as a theory, but by scientific data collected across the world. A Petition signed by 17,000 scientists, two thirds of whom have advanced degrees, has been signed and circulated to protest the acceptance of the theory. Yet the Clinton Administration is actively pursuing and funding actions that will prepare plans, reduce energy use, reduce CO2 emissions, and generally act as if the theory was proven and here in reality.

One of the Administration's agents, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has funded between 20 and 30 states to study the phenomena and develop plans just as if the condition existed. In Maine the State Planning office received three grants from EPA; one for $20,000, a second for $30,000, and a third for $50,000. These funds must be matched by the State. The third was specifically to include public participation (in other words, educate the public).

The Maine Climate Change Task Force was formed, and chaired by the SPO. The basic charge of the Task Force requires that they assume that the Theory is correct. The Chairman has stated, "The Task Force was put together to be a group of knowledgeable, informed representatives of key areas of interest, that could advise the Planning Team in the preparation of a Climate Change Action Plan for Maine. The task force is expected to participate through the entire process - including the identification of potential actions, the public discussion process, and preparation of a final report. The role is advisory, not decision making, which means we need your best advice and judgement. In the end the final report will contain recommendations from the State Planning office for actions that would, if implementet, meet the goals for emissions reduction, mitigation of impacts, and adaptive changes”.

And, "As to the point about preparing an advocacy report, we are expecting to prepare a plan for Maine based on the recognition that there is a problem that needs to be addressed”.

Sovereignty International Inc. is an international corporation dedicated to national sovereignty, property rights and free trade. Their mission is to research and educate the public on U.N. issues. They have attended the U.N. sponsored Climate Change conventions in Bonn, Geneva, Kyoto and Buenos Aries with three to 12 representatives, as a fully accredited NGO. Sovereignty International also has a base in Maine.

One of the members of the SPO Task Force took on the job of preparing a Global Warming Conference in April to educate and inform the public. This conference is partially funded by the SPO, but is a separate action from that of the Task Force. The chair of that conference was asked to permit participation by Sovereignty International to present their view with national speakers and literature. The answer was received verbally and in writing, "The conference will NOT debate the science of global climate change”.

Citizen activists who question the Global Warming theory were not permitted to be members of the Task Force. The first draft report by the Task Force created a storm of objection when released to the public, due to its drastic proposals to heavily tax, and to heavily burden rural citizens.

As a result of the policy of the Task Force and the Conference Chair, Sovereignty International has scheduled its own Global Warming Conference in March, open to the public, with nationally respected speakers and a full day of debate on the Global Warming theory.

A study by the highly respected and non-partisan Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates (WEFA, Inc) predicts drastic job and income losses for Maine, together with major cost increases for Maine's energy, food and health care sectors, should the controversial Kyoto Global Warming Treaty be ratified.

The Treaty, negotiated in December 1997, by Vice President Al Gore in Kyoto, would force the U.S. to reduce so-called "greenhouse gas" emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and three synthetic gases) by 7% below 1990 levels between the years 2008 and 2012. This would cost Maine 6,600 jobs, lower wages, and raise energy costs, per the Wharton study.

The effects on Maine of the other government Initiatives, on the forests, on the rivers, on the air quality, on the pollutants, on the salmon, on the sustainable communities, has yet to be professionally studied and analyzed. But there is no question that the impact of these Initiatives will be significant and change the way of life of every citizen in Maine.

These environmental Initiatives permeate every State in the union, in one form or another. And remember the old political saw, which has been proven many times, "As Maine goes, so goes the Nation”!

R.O. "Bob" Voight is a founding member of the Maine Conservation Rights Institute.

"Courtesy of Scott Fish, AsMaineGoes.com."