In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 26, 2008 / 23 Sivan 5768

Tracing the Roots of Environmentalism

By Bob Tyrrell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | SARLAT, France — I have journeyed to the south of France to continue my research into the earliest ancestors of America's present-day political exotics. The American scene abounds with bizarre creatures: feminists, militant advocates of identity politics, environmentalist wackos (as Rush Limbaugh's millions call them). I came here to investigate the life of the 12th-century troubadour Bertran de Born, as early an intellectual precursor to the environmentalist wackos as I have discovered yet.

First, however, you will want me to declare where exactly I am. Well, I am in the valley of the Dordogne River in south central France, an area where huge medieval castles sprout out of mountaintops and give the lovely verdant valley a feel of genuine medieval fantasy, somewhat like Disneyland. The locals seem friendly, betraying none of the odious anti-Americanism that I had been led to anticipate. But then possibly, they perceive me as a serious professorial type. My queries are always very learned, about the folkways and mores of the 12th century and the life of de Born and his knightly pals.

They lived in these very castles and spent most of their time singing romantic songs (after all, that is what troubadours were supposed to do) and killing each other. They also killed as many farmers and merchants as they could spot — at least, de Born did. Today's wackos are equally argumentative, though in place of romantic song, they compose bumper stickers about rain forests and whales and so forth. Old Bertran, if he were alive today, would be on their side. From what I can tell, he would be particularly irritated by one of the wackos' most intense concerns: the automobile. Bertran favored horses, usually war horses.

Back in the 12th century, when there was very little pollution and no hygiene to speak of, Bertran spent most of his time composing songs and engaged in violent altercations. Things were changing in the valley, and he doubted that any of the change was for the good.

The specific sources of his concern were farmlands and the spread of farmlands, villages and the spread of villages, and commerce in all its primitive forms. If you have listened to the rants of today's wackos with care, you will recognize that this 12th-century troubadour's initial concerns remain their concerns, though our wackos have acquired many more.

From his castle high atop a mountain, he looked down into the valley, saw the hated farmers chopping down his beloved forests, and sent out his warriors to suppress them — the bloodier the better. (One cannot but be impressed by the instruments of torture preserved in the museums in these parts.) I have yet to estimate the number of villages that spread throughout this valley during the 12th century, but from the historical accounts I have read, whenever a handful of merchants, artisans and perhaps a priest or palm reader got together to set up a village and engage in the transport and marketing of local goods, Bertran would react as furiously against them as he did against the farmers.

Bertran de Born, like his fellow nobles, had a romantic sense of the forest and the hunt. They would ride their horses into these darkened cathedrals of trees and hunt or make love or compose their idiotic songs. Their knowledge of the environment was defective, possibly even more defective than our wackos' environmental knowledge is. Certainly, I would like to think that our wackos have a better grasp of today's environment and its needs, for they have a lot of power in our society, and if they are as ignorant as Bertran, we are in trouble.

Given Bertran's love of hunting, his brutal efforts to preserve the forests were actually counterproductive. The boars and deer and lesser creatures that attracted his venatic enthusiasm were much reduced in numbers because of his early efforts against farmlands. The simple fact is that wildlife does not thrive in the darkness of the forest, but on the edges of the forest where there is more to eat. The small animals eat the vegetation; larger animals eat the smaller animals; and the largest eat just about everything. If Bertran had left the farmers and the villagers alone, he would have had an abundance of targets for his primitive weapons. Moreover, the farmers would have provided him with a more balanced diet and would have provided the villagers with warm socks.

I urge you to think of Bertran de Born's energetic initiatives against farmlands and villages the next time you hear an environmentalist wacko harangue about carbon initiatives and global warming. The fact is that we have not had much global warming for a decade, and what we had before that, during the last quarter of the 20th century, was often good for the crops — certainly in these parts.

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JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.


© 2008, Creators Syndicate