In this modern era, there is an irritant that often accompanies a visit to a public site. For me, it often overshadows the initial purpose of the visit. 

That irritant is this: The management’s proclivity to push some environmental issue in my face, one that is totally unrelated to the visit.

It happened to me this past Sunday at “Falling Water,” the famous Frank Lloyd Wright designed home about 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pa. In their little snack shop there, they had a pompous sign that read, in effect, that to preserve the environment, they did not offer any takeout containers for any of their products.

Give me a break. I would have been perfectly happy with a sign that said, “Our budget is tight; to avoid having trash cans and trash pickup all over the place, we only use washable dishes and utensils.”

Instead, they chose to irritate me with their silly environmental message.

The truth be known, if Frank Lloyd Wright tried to build “Falling Water” today in the same location, Greenpeace, 27 Indian tribes and Lord knows what would show up to protest the “sacred” site upon which it sits.

We have been brainwashed and bushwhacked by organizations that front for wanting to control our entire lives. What makes them the experts and controllers of all things in nature?

There are many human constructed structures existing today that would be impossible to build now, given the brainwashing the general public has received from NGOs ( non-governmental organizations) that think it is their right to tell us what to do. A great example is the interstate highway system. It would not be possible to build it in the United States from scratch today. The lawsuits and court battles would make it prohibitively expensive.

Look at the Keystone XL Pipeline, as a contemporary example of what I mean.

There are already 190,000 miles of petroleum and natural gas pipelines in the United States according to the American Petroleum Institute (should we believe them?). The Keystone XL Pipeline is 1,179 miles in length, starting in Alberta, Canada. Thus, it adds 6/10ths of one percent to the total pipeline infrastructure in the United States, even counting the Canadian piece. This is a big deal?

Greenpeace just carried on a successful campaign against Best Buy to stop them from buying “100 million pounds” of paper from Resolute Forest Products. Allegedly, Resolute has been messing up the boreal forests in Canada.

The acolytes that followed the Greenpeace piper down this path probably don’t even know what a boreal forest is, but they know it is bad to mess with it because Greenpeace says so.

Greenpeace’s statement of their case is interesting – “100 million pounds” sounds a lot bigger than 50,000 tons, even though they are the same number. It sounds even bigger still than “a month’s production” on a single modern paper machine – which is exactly what it is.

When you consider there are still around 600 paper mills in the North America, many with multiple machines, you start to see what a tiny number they are talking about.

After decades of silence, at least the paper industry is starting to fight back on the misinformation that is out there. There is an organization called “Two Sides” (www.twosides.us) that will provide the straight facts on paper industry issues. You might even want to check them out before you buy that artificial Christmas tree.

Independent polling agencies have shown for years that people will react enthusiastically and with great purpose to any declaration that relates to the environment, good or bad. There are many bad actors out there taking advantage of this phenomenon to push their agendas.

We would all be better off if we took time to become informed on these matters before leaping to conclusions.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga., following decades of wandering the world, and is a columnist for The Highland County Press.