Chicago environmentalists hypocritically cheer Obama library site while opposing George Lucas museum

Environmentalists routinely cite their moral superiority in opposing projects they say could damage the environment. But more often than not, the protection of Mother Earth is secondary to political considerations.

Such was the case in Chicago recently, as the Greens vigorously opposed a museum proposed by filmmaker George Lucas while applauding the site selection of President Obama's library just seven miles away.

Washington Times:

Juanita Irizarry, executive director of Friends of the Parks, said Friday that her group is “thrilled” to see Obama Presidential Center being built in a park on Chicago’s South Side.

Just five weeks ago, the group forced Mr. Lucas to abandon his plans for a similar lakefront project about seven miles north of the proposed Obama site after a two-year legal battle.

The environmental group’s decision comes despite misgivings over the Obama center, which will require bulldozing trees and grass at Jackson Park, while the proposed Lucas museum would have been built on a parking lot used by Chicago Bears fans for tailgating.

“There is plenty of vacant land in the area that could accommodate the library,” Ms. Irizarry told Crain’s Chicago. “However, Friends of the Parks will not sue over the issue.”

The Obama Foundation, which announced Friday that the center will be built in Jackson Park near the lakefront on Chicago’s South Side, is scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday with elected officials and community leaders.

There's just one problem; the site for the library is protected lakefront and meant for the public use of all citizens:

In a Friday analysis of the two sites, Crain’s said that Jackson Park is “part of a protected lakefront, meant to be free and open for the use of all citizens. The presence of the Obama library violates that notion.”

“Actual grass—the kind people normally associate with parks—will be torn up to build the Obama library and museum, which is expected to encompass 20 acres,” said the Crain’s report. “The Lucas museum’s proposed site was an asphalt parking lot next to Soldier Field with a killer lake view.”

Several comments posted Friday on the Crain’s analysis accused Friends of the Parks of being “frauds” for fighting one project but not the other.

“The Frauds of the Parks are your typical liberal organization that has no qualms with hypocritical behavior,” said David Pasquinelli in a post.

Another commenter said, “Sorry. FotP can’t have it both ways.”

“If they are going to sue over the building of a private institution on public lands, then they should do the same here. They show themselves to be the political hypocrites that they are and have no credibility,” said the post.

Others argued that the South Side area is more in need of economic development than the neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed Lucas site.

“The area around Jackson Park has been depressed for many decades. The building of the Presidential Library is a huge shot in the arm for that area. The Obamas are doing something that Jesse Jackson never has: investing in his own community,” said another post.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Obama White House chief of staff, applauded the selection of the Jackson Park property and said he would create a “forum” for economic development that would “maximize the positive impact on area communities and residents.”

Typically, these "development projects" do little to improve the economy of the local community, although the few businesses in the area may see a benefit. But jobs and investment in the community is lacking - especially in  Chicago where most of the financial benefits end up in the pockets of machine cronies.

It looks like the Greens care less about the environment than they do supporting a political agenda.

 

Environmentalists routinely cite their moral superiority in opposing projects they say could damage the environment. But more often than not, the protection of Mother Earth is secondary to political considerations.

Such was the case in Chicago recently, as the Greens vigorously opposed a museum proposed by filmmaker George Lucas while applauding the site selection of President Obama's library just seven miles away.

Washington Times:

Juanita Irizarry, executive director of Friends of the Parks, said Friday that her group is “thrilled” to see Obama Presidential Center being built in a park on Chicago’s South Side.

Just five weeks ago, the group forced Mr. Lucas to abandon his plans for a similar lakefront project about seven miles north of the proposed Obama site after a two-year legal battle.

The environmental group’s decision comes despite misgivings over the Obama center, which will require bulldozing trees and grass at Jackson Park, while the proposed Lucas museum would have been built on a parking lot used by Chicago Bears fans for tailgating.

“There is plenty of vacant land in the area that could accommodate the library,” Ms. Irizarry told Crain’s Chicago. “However, Friends of the Parks will not sue over the issue.”

The Obama Foundation, which announced Friday that the center will be built in Jackson Park near the lakefront on Chicago’s South Side, is scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday with elected officials and community leaders.

There's just one problem; the site for the library is protected lakefront and meant for the public use of all citizens:

In a Friday analysis of the two sites, Crain’s said that Jackson Park is “part of a protected lakefront, meant to be free and open for the use of all citizens. The presence of the Obama library violates that notion.”

“Actual grass—the kind people normally associate with parks—will be torn up to build the Obama library and museum, which is expected to encompass 20 acres,” said the Crain’s report. “The Lucas museum’s proposed site was an asphalt parking lot next to Soldier Field with a killer lake view.”

Several comments posted Friday on the Crain’s analysis accused Friends of the Parks of being “frauds” for fighting one project but not the other.

“The Frauds of the Parks are your typical liberal organization that has no qualms with hypocritical behavior,” said David Pasquinelli in a post.

Another commenter said, “Sorry. FotP can’t have it both ways.”

“If they are going to sue over the building of a private institution on public lands, then they should do the same here. They show themselves to be the political hypocrites that they are and have no credibility,” said the post.

Others argued that the South Side area is more in need of economic development than the neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed Lucas site.

“The area around Jackson Park has been depressed for many decades. The building of the Presidential Library is a huge shot in the arm for that area. The Obamas are doing something that Jesse Jackson never has: investing in his own community,” said another post.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Obama White House chief of staff, applauded the selection of the Jackson Park property and said he would create a “forum” for economic development that would “maximize the positive impact on area communities and residents.”

Typically, these "development projects" do little to improve the economy of the local community, although the few businesses in the area may see a benefit. But jobs and investment in the community is lacking - especially in  Chicago where most of the financial benefits end up in the pockets of machine cronies.

It looks like the Greens care less about the environment than they do supporting a political agenda.