Actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez says that environmentalism is about other issues beyond just warm and fuzzy images of saving Bambi from a hunter or protecting the forests.
An ongoing controversy has developed over fish versus farms and whether there is any middle ground.
Rodriquez, who steers clear of politics in his standup routine, became a water activist after he bought his mom a farm in Fresno, Calif., in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley.
Discussing the water restrictions on a recent podcast, Rodriguez explained that one day his mom called him to say the water had been turned off in the orchards. This development stunned the comedian because he knew he paid the bill. A paperwork error wasn't it, though. The comedian found out that environmentalists apparently passed a stringent law to protect a small fish during mating season even if it occurs during the farmers' harvest. The farmers in the area can go broke without water, he noted.
Government-induced water shortages can kill family farms and the jobs that go with it as well as the food supply, Rodriguez insisted. Agriculture is a billion dollar industry in California "and [environmentalists] want to cut the water off to the breadbasket of the world … the truth is that there is water enough for farmer and for fish … if you want to build a dam to save all the water that comes from the Nevadas, the environmentalist won't let you ….. they'll throw in a wrench, an injunction or whatever … Human life is more precious than these fish. You could have both, but they won't let you build a dam…"
Going up against the environmentalists and the federal and state government for six or seven years has exacted a personal price, Rodriguez claimed. The comedian asserted that he put his career on hold, and during that time Hollywood forgot about him. He also noted that Hollywood is very liberal, and everyone there sees themselves as environmentalists.
A Mexican immigrant and U.S. Air Force veteran, the comedian apparently stopped being a Democrat in 2009 over the water rights issue and environmental extremism.
"We're willing to meet [the environmental activists] half way, but they're not. Some of them are so radical they'll threaten your life... They're not living in the real world... this species is not going to be extinct … we're simply saying there's mom and pop [farmers] who bought 100 acres... they want to continue to farm. It's an honorable thing to do. You need water. Why cut the water off?"The purportedly endangered Delta smelt is evidently the tiny fish in question, which is at risk for being chewed up by large water pumps. "It's about the biggest water grab in history and running people out of water to protect this little fish," Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) declared.
An Obama voter in 2008 (but not 2012), Rodriguez said that the president has jumped on board the environmental bandwagon because of the big bucks that environmentalists have pumped into, as it were, Obama's political organization. Deeming the Obama administration a "disaster," the comedian noted, "Mr. Obama is difficult to criticize without being accused of being some kind of a bigot... Just on the facts, he was just not prepared for this job." Rodriguez also wondered why some of the Wall Street crooks who ripped off America found jobs in the Obama administration.
Do you agree or disagree with Paul Rodriguez that the environmentalists have gone too far?