When Environmentalism Endangers Lives

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand how environmentalism can really affect people until something happens close to home. That has recently happened to me.

An important roadway—in many cases, a life-saving roadway—in my area must be repaired. It could be closed to one-lane for a few months, but instead it may take up to two years to complete. Why? Because some birds live there.

This is absurdity at its finest.

The roadway I am referring to is the river bridge on Highway 163 that connects Parke and Vermillion Counties in Indiana. The birds I am referring to are cliff swallows, who have made the bridge their home.

Due to cliff swallows being a “protected species,” even though there are 40 million alive in the world, the bridge project may take up to two years to complete. According to The Daily Clintonian, “No demolition work can be performed if they are nesting, which means work could have to stop for several months at a time…which is part of the reason the one-lane method would take multiple years to complete.” This is evidence that environmentalists prioritize not even the life, but simply the lifestyle of birds over the potential life of humans.

The hospital in Vermillion County has the only emergency room within a half-hour of many residents of rural Parke County, and this bridge is easily the quickest route for emergency vehicles. A 10 minute delay for a one-lane bridge could lead to someone arriving at the hospital up to 20 minutes later than they normally would, which could literally be the difference between life and death. And when there are fires in the area, the fire departments from each county often cross the bridge to offer assistance. Again, a 10 minute delay could cost a life.

This entire mess, no matter what, will be necessary for some length of time. The bridge needs fixed; that is in the best interest of the people in the area. What is not necessary, however, is for the project to take 2 years. The Clintonian reports, “Work could only be performed between mid-September and early December each year.” That’s 2 ½ months per year, which is utterly insane given the circumstances.

If the cliff swallows are removed from the bridge, they will survive. They will either find a cliff in which to nest, as they did prior to bridges, and as their name implies, or they may even find another bridge in which to nest.

The bottom line is that these cliff swallows can find other places of residence other than the Parke-Vermillion river bridge. And even if they don’t, are their lives really more valuable than the potential lives of humans? The apparent message being sent to us by the government is that human lives are inferior to the lives of cliff swallows.

This represents an underlying problem in the liberal ideology. Liberals devalue human life. Just as they do not think the life of an unborn baby matters, they do not think the potential lives of humans matter as much as that of animals. This worldview of human inferiority, that humans have destroyed the world and now must tap into their collective Messiah Complex to try to save it, can be dangerous, as is being demonstrated with this bridge.

There is no other option but for the bridge to be restricted to one-lane (unless they choose to close it completely for a few months); that is unavoidable, as I have already said. It is absolutely asinine, however, for it take any longer than necessary because of the presence of birds that can find a home elsewhere. This project should be done in a matter of months, not a matter of years. In that extra time, the difference between months and years, there will surely be emergencies for which the bridge must be used.

If a life is lost during this extra time because of a delay at the bridge, those who seem to care more about birds than humans will be to blame.


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