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If you’d wanted some really cheap shorefront property, Lake Karachay circa 1990 was the place and time to buy. Nestled in the beauteous southern Ural Mountains, there was no better locale for peace, quiet, and solitude. There was a catch, however: Lingering around the shore a few hours put you at risk of acute radiation poisoning. But, hey, if you’re a Child of Atom (from video game Fallout 4) or a moss piglet (a small, radiation-resistant aquatic creature) and have a hankering for deathly silence, the small USSR lake could have been your Shangri-La.
Welcome to environmental stewardship, socialism style.
Indonesia - Citarum - River - ? - World
As with Indonesia’s Citarum River — one of the world’s most polluted and a dumping ground for human and industrial waste — Lake Karachay is an extreme example of an old phenomenon: Contrary to greentopian myth, poorer, more-undeveloped, less-free lands have the worst environments. In contrast, the freest, richest nations enjoy by far the cleanest environments and have flourishing, well-preserved wilderness. This truth has never been more relevant, too. For our time’s socialist doomsayer demagogues claim that if we just give them enough power, they’ll serve up a sustainable, verdant tomorrow. But history shows that they’ll deliver a toxic wasteland with pollution distributed to, and more equally affecting, everyone — except themselves.
Environmental destruction is an old story. It happens naturally on various scales. In fact, the most devastating environmental “catastrophes” — if we’re to thus label what atheists would brand purposeless natural occurrences and theists may call God’s will — have been authored by forces more powerful than man. Scientists tell us that there have been five mass extinctions during the Earth’s history, with causes ranging from ice ages to volcanic activity to a possible asteroid strike to the emergence of competitor species to the unknown (alas, the Green New...
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