Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sell our national parks, says this 'representative' of the people

What's wrong with this guy?
Seriously. Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, wants to sell our national parks.

What a great idea. Turn the Grand Canyon into a toxic waste dump. Remove the tops of the White Mountains. Fill the Everglades with sludge. Those are the kinds of things that make us all proud to be Americans.

Or maybe he wants to go in another direction: Turn the parks into the private preserves of the wealthy. Maybe some Russian billionaire can buy Acadia for pennies on the dollar and shoot the peasants who dare to trespass.

ThinkProgress explains why Stearns' idea is dumbass impractical:
...parks, monuments, and other protected places generate a steady stream of wealth for both the treasury and local businesses. In 2010, Florida’s Everglades National Park generated 2,364 jobs and over $140 million in visitor spending, and Florida’s 11 national parks in total provided $582 million in economic benefits. The National Park Service also reports that America’s parks overall created $31 billion and 258,000 jobs in 2010. In addition to their economic impacts, national parks have important value in that they are available to all of us for recreation, not just the wealthy few.
Will this madness ever end?