Residents of New York Metro are generally aware that the state of our several bridges, on which so much of the commerce and employment in the region depends, is best described as "scandalous." Possibly the worst of the bunch is the Tappan Zee Bridge, a critical connection between Westchester on the eastern side of the Hudson River and the New York State Thruway on the western side.
After altogether too long, the state is nearing the inception of construction of a new bridge to replace the old, inadequately large and badly worn one. So what step absolutely, positively must come next, fellow observers of the political scene?
That's right: objections and obstruction by enviro-Nazis.
A group that calls itself the River Keepers claims that a new bridge would be "bad for the Hudson River." Why? Apart from "it won't support mass transit," no details are forthcoming. Given that any expansion of capacity, over and above the existing facility, would at the very least support bus traffic better than the existing bridge, it seems they simply don't want a new bridge.
They suggest digging a tunnel instead.
Mind you, driving a high-capacity tunnel under the Hudson River would be far more expensive than constructing a new bridge, whether the bridge was pontoon-based or piling-mounted. It would also demand special provisions for the health and safety of travelers, as river transit underground isn't exactly protected from seepage, subsidence, or corruption of the air. But perhaps that hasn't occurred to the River Keepers. Or perhaps, as it wouldn't be their money being spent on the project, it doesn't matter to them.
Or perhaps, were the state to propose a tunnel instead of a bridge, some other group would step forward to claim that a tunnel would be bad for the environment, too. In fact, I'd bet on it -- and I'd bet that the River Keepers have already consulted with some such group and have told them to make themselves ready.
Environmentalists are Mankind-haters, one and all. The distinguishing characteristic of a Mankind-hater is that he can always come up with a reason you mustn't, mustn't, MUSTN'T do whatever you've proposed to do. Sometimes he'll be able to argue his case semi-rationally; at other times he'll just scream about "our sacred environment" until your eardrums are about to burst. Under no circumstances will he ever concede that you have the slightest justification for your preferences, to say nothing of a right to act on them. That would be wrong.
Beware these people. They might not explicitly worship privation, but in any decision between Mother Gaia and human well-being, by their lights the latter will always come off second-best.