Here is today's lament in the Arizona Republic:
Government plans to more than double the size of Petrified Forest
National Park appear to be in jeopardy because Congress has failed to
come up with the cash to buy surrounding properties.
The upshot: An irreplaceable treasure of dinosaur bones and Indian
ruins may be lost as ranchers sell off their properties for subdivision
And Petrified Forest is not alone. A study to be released April 8 by
the non-profit National Parks Conservation Association, says 56 federal
historic and recreation sites "could lose
land inside their borders to developers this year." Others on the list
range from Gettysburg National Military Park near Philadelphia to
Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.
Here is an idea: All you folks who are worried about these "treasures" can pool your money and buy the properties yourselves. That way you can either take charge of the preservations or donate the land to the government to do so. This is how many public parks came into being in the first place, from private donations.
Of course, this was back in the days when environmental groups actually spent their money on the environment. Today, they spend their money instead on lobbying. The more modern approach is not to spend your own money on the environment, but to lobby the government to force other people to spend their money on the environment. That is why people have apparently donated $300 million dollars (!) to Al Gore to create an advertising campaign dedicated to trying to spur government action on CO2. Rather than donating money to help solve the problem, people now donate money to push for government coercion.
Besides representing the modern approach to environmentalism (ie don't work the problem, just lobby the government to force other people to work the problem), Gore's campaign also represents a new frontier in rent-seeking. He has managed to get people to donate $300 million dollars to advocate government action that will likely have very little actual impact on the climate, but may have a huge impact on Al Gore's managed $5 billion investment fund. Congrats, Al. Even the kings of rent-seeking at ADM would not have had the cojones to ask folks to donate to a charitable advertising fund to support their subsidy requests.