World's Most Dangerous Lizard

It could kill thousands of jobs.

For years I have resisted the meme that environmentalists were anti-energy and anti-industrialists. However, the current strong and growing environmental opposition to natural gas production in the US, probably the cleanest, sanest source of energy that we have, is quickly changing my opinion.  Texas and New Mexico residents fear that the dune sagebrush lizard will get endangered species status specifically as a lever to reduce oil production.


  1. John David Galt:

    American business has become an endangered species. How do I get it put on the protected list?

  2. Old Soldier:

    I've been there a long time. They don't want industry or energy of any kind. If found oil on the moon or natural gas on Mars, environmentalists would try to stop us from drilling.

  3. Evil Red Scandi:

    Damn. I was kind of hoping somebody had founds some velociraptors. Now I'm all disappointed.

  4. Doug:

    How does one's uber-libertarian views leave him so blind to the obvious: today's leftists, which Warren derisively refers to as the Coke party, are FAR different than the Pepsi party. What's so hard about seeing that distinction? It is today's left/communists who need to be hunted into extinction if we are going to survive their new reign of eco-terror.

  5. Dr. T:

    I believe that most active environmentalists (not the people who give $100 to the Sierra Club) fall into two categories: technophobes and nihilists.

    The technophobes dislike our technological society. Its complexity and continual changes overwhelm them. They seize upon environmentalism as an excuse for stifling technology by blocking energy production, banning chemicals, preventing industries from building new factories, etc. The cleanest energy, the most toxicity-free chemicals, and the most eco-friendly factories are still opposed by technophobic pseudoenvironmentalists.

    The nihilists hate mankind: it is wicked and a scourge on the planet. They are worse than the ZPGers: nihilists want massive population loss. They want a world where humans, if they survive, are just another genus of primates who live simple, hunter-gather lives. (Earth can support less than half a billion hunter-gatherer humans, so around six billion of us need to die to satisfy nihilists.) The nihilists oppose everything that helps modern man survive, and they use environmentalism as their cover.

    There are some active environmentalists who believe that man can and should live in harmony with nature while still advancing scientifically and technologically. These good folks are rare, and their voices get drowned out by the technophobes and nihilists.

  6. Sam L.:

    I am surprised by your admission, Coyote, at only recently seeing what has been obvious to many of us for so long. However, the lizard scales have dropped from your eyes, and I say WELCOME.

  7. ICTDale:

    Welcome to the party Warren! Of course, a large portion of the eco's are anti-energy and anti-industry.

    Does anybody know what the percent of overall manuf cost structure in the US is cost of energy vs cost of labor? I suspect cost of energy is at least as high as labor. And... Why is that? Hard Left/Eco influences and political policies restricting coal/nat gas/crude/nuclear production has unnecessarily driven the cost of energy too high. Add it all up and jobs head overseas...

    Anybody know why Big Labor feels its best interests are aligned with Big Left?

  8. John Moore:

    And you still think Republicans and Democrats are the same?

    It has been glaringly obvious for at least 20 years that environmentalists will, for a variety of reasons, stop any and all progress - even "green" energy projects.

    Environmentalists are religious fundamentalists, but they don't know it. They are driven by primitive emotion and romantic attachment to what they imagine is nature. Anything other than living "in tune with nature" is automatically opposed by them. Since all technological progress and economic progress falls into that category, it makes them into the ultimate Luddites.

    Were you in AZ when they were busy trying to stop the telescopse on Mt. Graham? The "reason" was the "endangered" Mt Graham Red Squirrel, which, of course, is merely a subspecies of the common red squirrel with a bit of genetic drift due to being isolated on one mountain. That the squirrels would obviously benefit from having astronomers and visitors in their area, feeding them scraps like people do, was ignored. That the area already had a paved highway to the top and an active radio communications site was likewise ignored.

    They were so extreme that when their court challenges on enviro grounds failed, they dredged up some Indians who made the usual "sacred" claims to the mountains.

    Ultimately, they lost, but at quite a cost to all of us.

    Oh, and when someone wanted to put a radio telescope at the base of the mountain, a Tucson urban Indian set up a sweat lodge near the site and then told everyone he would sue to stop it. He succeeded.

    These people are, frankly, insane. And they are dangerous to all of us.

    That's been bloody obvious for a long time.

    So the next time you tell us that the Republicans and Democrats are the same, remember which party gets ALL the enviro votes and responds by passing crazy enviro regulation and using the regulatory agencies to further the radical enviro agenda.

    Hint: it ain't the Republicans.

  9. Slip:

    They are strange because they try to pull the legs of people who like to advance for developments. They are way more dangerous then lizards.

  10. bobby b:

    How quickly could the dune sagebrush lizard become extinct? With assistance, I mean?

    . . . . .

    No, I'm not advocating that at all. E.L.F. might do something similar if provoked. I wouldn't. But some would, and not just E.L.F.

    The HC enviros need to seriously ponder that, the more radically they act on their self-perception as the good, wise and powerful leaders-as-of-right - that the more outrageously they screw with entire employment categories and geographical regions - the more likely it will be that they'll be threatening to completely wreck the life of someone who WILL think in such terms.

    And once we've all seen the news reports about the poor guy whose homestead and farm and assets and life and family were all taken from him, directly or close to it, by someone using the Endangered Species Act for purely political-crap reasons, and how the poor guy eventually went out to the creek behind the barn with some bleach and made sure there weren't any Lesser Bluetoothed Snaillickers left to be called endangered - once we've seen the first one, I have to think it will take off as a response.

    And then, when the federal government starts to send out the FBI and the marshalls and the National Guard (for the bigger incidents), it'll be harder and harder for them to avoid getting into some tense situations with even the non-involved locals, and somewhere, something will happen.

    All supporting my guess that the next civil war in this country will be caused by the people who believe that their desires and preferences concerning my land are valuable enough to be worth my life.

  11. AWM:

    Sadly it's not a meme, if it ever was, it certainly isn't now. This is the same motivation that drives much of climate alarmism, it's just another tool in the war on mankind by radical environmentalism and nothing to do with the science, since as you imply here, practical solutions (if you accept there is a problem in the first place of course) are shunned in favour of forcing us to do with less, if not without entirely.

    Some good comments here also on the Coke/Pepsi party issue, which, while I can agree they both have their problems, has to be put to bed now. The activists within the Democratic party are truly frightening, certainly for the libertarian leaning. This goes way beyond the usual bad judgement, social policy hang-ups, or the pork barrel stuff both parties have issues with.

  12. Ian Random:

    Randall O'Toole, over at, was once a big greenie. He recalls showing them a growth curve, pointing out that at the beginning(primitive) and then at the end(developed), the environment is preserved. The greenies became fascinated with the primitive anti-technology end. You couple that with a video of environmental group funding in California, they feed off something called the fund with $400 million in it and you got one hell of an anti-growth machine.

  13. Quizikle:

    We need to save the lizards. It may be the only thing left to eat in that area after the environmentalists get their way and shut down all energy production and use in this country.

  14. Ted Rado:

    I continue to be amazed at the people who are against something without offering a viable alternative. This nonsense leads to all sorts of terrible results (see Ethanol as an example). How someone can do this and claim to be a constructive member of society is beyond me.

    As an engineer, I have seen many designs criticized. The critic better be right and/or have an alternative scheme or he will be in the unemployed line.

  15. Highway:

    Ted: or that critic gets a job in a gatekeeper review agency (such as the state department of natural resources), at which point they get full agency support for whatever objections they have to your design, and absolutely no responsibility to proffer an alternative that they would accept.

    In fact, in a lot of cases, those folks make comments on things that are fine, just so that they look like they are 'doing their job'.

  16. J:

    Quick! Everyone grab your shovels & air rifles. You know what to do.

  17. marco73:

    How can anyone suggest that they have an idea how many of these lizards exist? You can't tell me that there is a valid count. A 3 inch long lizard that lives in the desert? And has a range over several counties in New Mexico and Texas?
    Environmentalists have no perspective just how large the high desert is in the Southwest. Let me clue them in: you could take all of Manhattan island, and hide it in a box canyon that gets visited by humans about once a century.

    I kind of wonder if oil and gas development might be good for the lizard, by providing additional hiding places, access to human food supplies, etc.

    We have a very interesting situation here in Florida concerning the benefits to nature from industry. Seems that the Tampa Electric power plant at Big Bend discharges warm water into a large man made canal, and that water eventually cools and flows into Tampa Bay. There is a large mammal called a manatee, or sea cow, that lives in coastal waters along Florida, and also throughout the Caribbean. Manatees are large, slow moving, and vegetarian. When the Gulf of Mexico cools during the winter, manatees will flock in great numbers to that warm canal of discharged water. The power company has smartly set up viewing stations for the public, and school kids by the hundreds show up during the winter months to see dozens of manatees hanging out. Even if the power company modified their plant so that they no longer discharged warm water into the canal, there would be a public uproar that the power company was "hurting" the manatees. You just have to see the latest press release:

  18. Jeff:

    Warren, I'm surprised you didn't mention the broken incentive created by these policies.

    If you own rural land, and suspect it has a protected species on it, the best thing you can do is quietly exterminate.

  19. morganovich:

    you should have seen the garter snake that caused massive delays and 100% cost overruns for the SFO runway extensions.

    every vehicle had to drive at 5mph with a worker walking in front to make sure no snakes were run over.

    i realize that sounds like a monty python skit, but that really happened.

  20. Dan:

    Funny. I must be in the minority, because I consider myself an environmentalist but also pro-business/capitalism/growth/economy.

    It's a bit of a stretch to consider most environmentalists to be nihlists/technophobes, as someone said above. I'm sure some are. But many others want to see progress in business and the economy, but also feel uncomfortable with some of the practices of business that wreak havoc on nature.

    I have expounded a number of times here on the need for more U.S. energy production, and just today noted that those opposed to further drilling in Alaska are ignoring the safe history of drilling there. But I do see a need for a government department like the EPA to make sure business doesn't go overboard, because we see what happens when rules get ignored (BP oil spill).

    I appreciate that over the years, environmental regulations have contributed to cleaner air, for example. Check out photos (if you can find them) of Chicago in 1940 vs. Chicago today. Soot-covered buildings and smog in the air back then, clean buildings and clear skies now (despite the fact that we now use far more energy per capita).

  21. the other coyote:

    I took the domesticated canine out for a potty break about 6:30 a.m. and imagine my surprise to see a wild canine laying under the live oak tree not 50 feet from my front door. He (I think it was a he, because it was a big danged coyote) eating something it snatched out of my front yard (thankfully not my barn cat ...).

    Moral? Some species survive and prosper. Ex A: Coyote that has no issues with living right in the middle of exurbia, a community of modest homes on 5-10 acres. Some species don't. Ex B: some lizard that is (1) likely nothing more than a mutation of a similar, tougher lizard, (2) that nobody really knows how many actually exist. If this lizard disappears, another one will take its place. Why do enviros think "the way it is at this precise moment in time" is the way the world must work, until the end of time? If they had their way, there would be no domesticated anything (including husbands :)

    That being said, Warren, you are on to something. I would propose a third class of enviros. I'm not sure they are all true believers; I think they were losers, growing up, and found a community of losers to belong to. Through their lobbying and agitating, they get to exercise power over the prom kings and queens who made fun of them growing up, and the great unwashed whom they feel vastly superior to (and always have felt vastly superior to). What I don't understand about these geeks is why in their mind the aboriginal type people in the rest of the world are allowed to do what they want with their countries, but Americans have to suffer. Perhaps it's a subset, known as "power hungry loser with a dash of luddite."

  22. Sam L.:

    Dan said "It’s a bit of a stretch to consider most environmentalists to be nihlists/technophobes, as someone said above. I’m sure some are." And most Muslims aren't jihadists, but enough are to get our attention, and the enviroweenies yell and scream and stamp their feet and go to court.

  23. Seerak:

    And you still think Republicans and Democrats are the same?

    Picture a checkerboard, with black and white squares. This checkerboard represents the Republicans.

    Now imagine a second checkerboard, sitting to the left of the first, just like the first except that *every square has been inverted*. Every black square is now white, every white square has become black. This represents the Democrats. On every particular point, the two boards are "opposites"... but they still look pretty much the same by any wider measure, don't they?

    Now imagine an all-white or all-black board. By concrete-bound measures, these two boards agree with each of the first two boards 50% of the time, and disagree with them 50% of the time. By the concrete-bound measure, these two new boards are inconsistent wafflers, agreeing with one side half the time and the other side the other half of the time. Never mind that when measured in terms of fundamentals -- i.e. the colors black and white -- that it's the first two boards which are inconsistent wafflers, and very much alike in their 50% greyness, while it's the all-white and all-black boards which are logically (chromatically) consistent.

    It's just a visual analogy, of course; in reality, the two "sides" aren't strictly inverted in *every* issue. On many, they are ominously unified. But until I come up with a better, simple way of exploding this stupid insistence that there are *fundamental* differences between Republicans and Democrats -- or Leftists and conservatives, for that matter -- it will have to do.

  24. Seerak:

    Dan said “It’s a bit of a stretch to consider most environmentalists to be nihlists/technophobes, as someone said above. I’m sure some are.” And most Muslims aren’t jihadists, but enough are to get our attention, and the enviroweenies yell and scream and stamp their feet and go to court.

    The key difference to be made, is to ask yourself. Of the "jihadists" versus the "moderates", which are logically consistent with the movement's core principles?

    The end of road of any given ideology is a given, not subject to the intentions of any particular adherent. We are free to change roads at any time, but not to change the road itself. Some of us travel slowly, tentatively down that road, not wanting to "go to extremes" out of fear of what may lie at the end (as if the problem was arrival itself, not bad destinations). Those of us who properly detect the logical contradictions/hypocrisy involved in that approach are able to work out the end-of-road ahead of time. These people fall into two mutually exclusive groups: those who see Hell and scream out a warning, and those who see Hell and sing out its praises.

    For good or ill, it is these people -- people who think in terms of principles -- who really know what's going on. The wafflers -- that means you, Dan -- imagine that their ignorance of the end of the road will morally excuse them of moral responsibility for their role (however small it may have been) in helping us to get there once we arrive.

    It won't.

    Coyote: here's hoping that the end of the enviro-road (which has always been the same as that of the larger Left to which it belongs) becomes clearer to you soon.

  25. caseyboy:

    Seerak, don't bogart that joint my friend.

  26. Ted Rado:

    Let's face it. The goal of the leftist politicians and the enviroloonies is the destruction of all US business and industry. Back to the cave!!!

    Any effort to have a calm discussion of energy and environmental issues is a waste of time. It's like trying to get the Pope to convert to Islam.