Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Drove James Lee?

By Alan Burkhart

James Jay Lee On Wednesday, September 1 James Jay Lee stormed into the Discovery Channel’s office and took several hostages. He had a long list of grievances, most related to the human population and the environment. His rhetoric made him sound more like a real-life Kodos the Executioner than an environmental activist. To put it mildly, Lee was a man with an ax to grind. People will argue for months as to whether the guy was a leftist or a rightey, and it's a good bet that neither side will be willing to say, "Yeah, he was one of us." Who'd want to?

Lee's principal complaints center around the positive population growth of the human race.  Some of those complaints seem left-leaning while others resemble arguments made from the right. Here are a couple of excerpts from his Internet manifesto:
5. Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it. Call for people in the world to develop solutions to stop it completely and permanently. Find solutions FOR these countries so they stop sending their breeding populations to the US and the world to seek jobs and therefore breed more unwanted pollution babies. FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH! (The first world is feeding the population growth of the Third World and those human families are going to where the food is! They must stop procreating new humans looking for nonexistant jobs!)
Never mind the spelling errors and bigotry. In his own words, he regarded humanity as a form of "filth" and "pollution." While firm immigration control is generally the province of the Right, population control is normally an idea that floats in from the Left.
6. Find solutions for Global Warming, Automotive pollution, International Trade, factory pollution, and the whole blasted human economy. Find ways so that people don't build more housing pollution which destroys the environment to make way for more human filth! Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet!
In item #6 he demanded "solutions" for human-caused global warming. While most of his extremist views are somewhat aligned with fringe-left environmental fear mongering, I don't see Mr. Lee as a leftist in the purest sense. I believe he was instead a man consumed with hatred for humanity. Mainstream  liberal environmentalists seek ways to make the Earth safer for all life, including humans. I often disagree with their ideas and tactics, but for the most part they are  well-intentioned.
Lee's feelings toward humanity are best summed up from this final excerpt:
The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans.
Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.

The humans? The planet does not need humans.
James Lee was  a man who saw humanity as a blight upon the world. He believed that the Earth would not survive humanity's presence and saw our extinction as the only solution to the perceived problem. The fact that his views often reflected those of the extreme (not the mainstream) Left was a coincidence. Had the Right espoused such views, Lee would have still been in agreement. It was his hate, not his concerns, that drove him. Whether he realized this or not will likely never be known and at this juncture it doesn't really matter. Frankly, I'm rather grateful that he served humanity by dying.

But – Lee did in fact have a point...

Follow positive human population growth to its logical conclusion and there could indeed be an unhappy ending. The more people expand our habitat, the less space that is left for other creatures. This is why some folks out west find mountain lions in their back yards. Destroying the natural habitats of other animals ultimately has a negative effect on the food chain. I can remember Limbaugh a few years ago stating that the spotted owl could live just as well  in a hole in a K-Mart sign. While I generally agree with Rush, this represents myopic thinking. We damage the food chain when we wreck the habitats of other creatures.
Look back at species-specific population explosions in the animal kingdom to see the sort of mass die-offs that can occur. When the numbers of a particular animal in a given region begin to overwhelm the local ecosystem, nature takes its course and thins the population. It's a sad and ugly thing when it happens, but necessary to protect animals from extinction.

Kodos the ExecutionerWhen we continually shrink the limits of a specie's habitat via our own growth and expansion, we increase the population density of that species in the affected area. And it is that density that triggers the adrenal stress in many animals that leads to mass die-offs. That which is normally caused by over-breeding in animals can occur by our own expansion. As of July 2010, the global human population was 6,768,181,146. That's a lot of people.

We have an advantage over the animal kingdom. Unlike jack rabbits and armadillos we have the ability to reason. We can look ahead and reasonably predict what may be coming around the bend. The time will come for us to manage our numbers, and it's coming within the next couple of centuries, I think. But when it does we'll do so in a way that reflects our desire to survive as a race, not like James Lee or Kodos the Executioner.