What is it with leftists and the horrible damage they do to nature?

For all that leftists identify themselves as the saviors of the natural world, it seems that they are just as likely to wreak incredible havoc, whether it’s the EPA polluting rivers, Anthony Fauci authorizing beagle torture or, most recently, UC Davis’s research facility killing 21,000 fish. When one considers the manmade drought in California’s Central Valley, where a natural drought is also affecting the region, all to save the Delta smelt, you begin to suspect that leftists, rather than protecting nature, are just toying with both it and us.

Let’s start with the EPA, which ostensibly exists to protect the environment. When individuals or businesses run afoul of the EPA’s stringent protection requirements, the costs are high. Here are the baseline daily penalties the EPA began imposing in 2022 for violating anti-pollution laws:

You can see the full list of penalties here. Running afoul of the EPA is expensive.

However, as best as I can tell, no one at the EPA was fined or fired in 2015 (or after) when the EPA caused one million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned mine to spill into the Animas River turning it orange with toxic metals.

The EPA is fighting the claims against it for damages from the spill but, if they lose those claims, you can bet that the only people who will pay a price will be the taxpayers.

Then there’s Anthony Fauci, who funded experiments that gruesomely tortured beagles, who were essentially eaten alive by parasites. In addition, Fauci authorized federal monies for torturing monkeys and addicting mice to cocaine. Seemingly none of these experiments had a benefit for humans.

Image: Chinook salmon. Public domain.

Now, we can add to the roster of leftists torturing nature the story of a “catastrophic die-off” at the UC Davis Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture. (I’m painting with a broad brush here but, so far as I know, there are no “conservative” University of California campuses. They all lean left.)

A “catastrophic failure” killed 21,000 fish at a UC Davis research facility, the university announced Thursday.

In a statement titled “UC Davis Grieves the Loss of Fish,” the university said the fish likely died of chlorine exposure at the UC Davis Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture, which conducts research into species like green and white sturgeon and endangered Chinook salmon.

As a result of the mass die-off, the university is conducting an investigation into “where our process failed” and “initiating an independent external review.”

The fish die-off is emblematic of California’s disastrous water management policies. As noted above, long before California was hit by the natural drought it’s now experiencing (something that occurs cyclically in that semi-arid state), the state, with help from the EPA, was choking off water to the Central Valley—one of the largest food-producing regions in America—all in the name of preserving the Delta smelt. In 2013 alone, the state flushed 800,000 acre-feet of water into the San Francisco Bay.

As best as I can tell, as drought ravages California, the state is still trying to save the smelt, the population of which has dropped from about 1,700 in 1970 to 6 in 2015. I hate to sound callous, but at a certain point, it seems to me you put human welfare above smelt welfare, especially in a state experiencing such a bad drought. It’s worth noting in this regard that droughts in California are cyclical and that the state has made no effort to invest in its water infrastructure in the last forty-odd years, despite its massive population growth over the same period.

With these narratives in mind, it’s easy to start believing that the leftist obsession with nature has less to do with being a steward for nature and more to do with controlling people with nature as the cudgel. The left’s obsessions, callousness, and human errors too often have disastrous consequences for both humans and nature.

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