Hot air? Tea Party opposes sustainability agenda
Carole Thorpe wants the Charlottesville community to know the difference between sustainability and Sustainability. The former, argues the Jefferson Area Tea Party chairwoman, is the common goal of achieving reasonable environmental standards, while the latter, she says, is the deceptive name for a radical agenda intending to strengthen the central government under “the guise of well-intentioned environmentalism.” At a June 2 press conference, Thorpe assured the audience that it was Sustainability, with the sly capital S, that the JATP hopes to eradicate from local policy.
Eleven people– interested civilians, members of the press, and one official from the Board of Supervisors— showed up at the Albemarle County Office Building to hear Thorpe and several other panelists speak against the county’s environmental agenda.
Thorpe denounced Albemarle’s sustainability measures, including its membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, as well as its participation in a ”Cool Counties” initiative, and the federally-funded “Livable Communities." She argued that these policies wrongly justify federal and international encroachment in local matters.
“Our local problems and objectives should be identified, planned, and implemented by local elected officials and local personnel with the input of local citizens, and funded with local taxpayer money,” declared Thorpe, who rejects "alarmist warnings crafted to whip up the irrational fear that our planet is on the brink of destruction" and called the popular conception of climate change an “elaborate fraud.”
John Munchmeyer, president of the Jefferson Area Libertarians, added that the Earth’s climate is largely unaffected by man’s actions and that costly remedies are thus ineffectual.
“The Earth has been going through massive temperature swings for millions of years on a scale that dwarfs any of the anthropogenic theories,” Munchmeyer said. “Mankind’s contribution can only be so tiny as to not be detected.”
Having already won the support of Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd, the JATP hopes to garner enough support to overturn the “Orwellian" measures at the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting on June 8.
On the other side, such a move would represent “a triumph of paranoia over common sense" to Jack Marshall, president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population. "Only someone whose world view is entirely distorted by ideology," says Marshall, "would find objectionable the effort to build a sustainable community.”
Both Thorpe and Marshall were set to speak at the June 8 Supervisors meeting.