On Earth Day, environmentalists should celebrate the latest consequence of their ideas: skyrocketing gasoline prices.

This year’s OPEC cutbacks in the production and distribution of oil have led to higher prices for consumers in the United States — our nation depends on OPEC nations for a large percentage of the oil used in this country. However, it is not necessary for the United States to be so dependent. There is a vast amount of untapped oil in the Alaskan wilderness that could be used to meet America’s energy needs. Unfortunately, environmentalists have succeeded in keeping most of Alaska’s oil inaccessible, claiming that human needs for energy should not take precedence over preserving the pristine form of the Alaskan wilderness.

In every conflict between the needs of people and the preservation of nature, environmentalists call for the sacrifice of human interests. Whether it is the well-being of loggers against the spotted owl or the benefits derived from animal testing versus the harm to the tested animals, nature is always prioritized over human existence and progress.

The underlying premise behind environmentalism is that nature has intrinsic value apart from its value to human existence. David Foreman, founder of Earth First!, stated publicly that, “Wilderness has a right to exist for its own sake, and for the sake of the diversity of the life forms it shelters. We shouldn’t have to justify the existence of a wilderness area by saying,

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