RUSH: Well, here it is, the official threatening notice from the town about sea turtle lights. They have to go off starting tonight, through October 31st. (counting) March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October — eight months! I was irritated before the program began. Now I’m double irritated. I’ve gotta read this to you. This is from the TownofPalmBeach.com to the people that live on the ocean. ?To protect endangered sea turtles which nest on local beaches and the hatchlings which come from those nests, the Town Council adopted an ordinance requiring all oceanfront property owners to ensure that their lights are not visible from the beach at anytime from March 1 through October 31. Artificial lighting confuses the sea turtle hatchlings causing them to veer off course from their intended destination, directly to the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that the resulting disorientation of sea turtle hatchlings from artificial lighting sources is a major cause in the decline of sea turtle populations worldwide.?
Artificial lighting? Artificial lighting!
?To comply with the ‘lights out’ policy, oceanfront property owners are requested to shield or redirect any lights illuminating any area of the beach or water that may be used by nesting sea turtles, or simply turn off the lights during the period of March 1 through October 31. Some limited use of low pressure sodium lights or yellow ‘bug lights’ may not be a threat to turtles. Mr. Rob Walton, Code Compliance Officer, should be contacted at 838-5454 before allowing such lights to be illuminated. The rule of thumb is ‘When in doubt, turn it out.’ The cooperation and compliance of the public will be appreciated.? Then they note that they will mail a threatening notice to accompany the e-mail.
Notice that it is believed: ?It is believed that the resulting disorientation of sea turtle…” Let me tell you a couple stories. Sometimes it’s an indulgence on my part to bleed on you people with the personal little irritants that I have, but there is a construction project happening on the beach right now, on-the-beach, and it is going to go on until April 30th. You can read about it every day in the local Squire, the little paper here, and you can read that they have to be through with the project by April 30th because that’s when the turtles arrive. Yet we have to turn out the lights in the back starting on March 1st. I don’t have any lights that illuminate the beach. I don’t have any lights that illuminate the ocean. So it’s a little confusing because it says anything that they could see from the beach. You know, I’ve gone down to the beach. I’ve laid down on the beach. I’ve put myself in the same position as a turtle or a hatchling, and from where you lay down on the beach, you can’t see the lights at my house. It still has to go out. I have lights. They?re decorative. I like the way the landscaping is lit, and it’s also security. Eight months out of the year! The turtles don’t show up until May.
This is how the environmentalist wackos have succeeded in intimidating the town. They go down there and bellyache and moan at town council meetings and so forth, and just to get rid of them the town comes up with these regulations. By the way, I have nothing against sea turtles. Let me tell you a quick little story. When my house was being constructed, there were no lights anywhere at all at night. Zip, zero, nada. We showed up one day and the contractor says, ?You got a problem here.?
“There were some dead sea turtle hatchlings, some babies on the construction site.”
I said, ?Well, what’s the problem??
?Well, they showed up here.?
I said, ?Well, we didn’t have any lights on last night. How does this happen??
So the next night we studied things and the moon was at 12 o’clock high. The moon ain’t artificial light. Plus, if you get a cloudy day the lights of West Palm Beach will illuminate the overcast. Anyway, there’s no hope. This is a losing cause, but these bureaucracies and these rules particularly when it comes to the environment! I’ve been down there by the way. I have watched. I have seen it happen. I’ve seen these giant sea turtles arrive. The earliest I’ve seen one arrive where I live is Memorial Day weekend. It showed up, and it was a big mama, and it labored all the way up the beach. A big beach at our house, about 75 yards from the water line to the dune. It’s all beach.
It’s that way because they dredge the inlet nearby and they put the sand on our beach, and it’s a good beach. The sea turtle — the back fins dug a perfectly circular hole in the sand — lays the eggs, covered them up, and you could just see the fatigue in this poor turtle, just making its way back to the water. We went up and we touched it. It didn’t care. It was not intimidated or any of that sort of thing. This was at one o’clock in the morning when this happened. We had a scout out there watching. We gave the scout a bottle of wine and said, “Shout if you see a turtle.” Bam! It happened.
So, I’ve seen it two or three times. The hatchlings, they show up in June, July, sometimes in August. I know it’s a minor problem. (interruption) Yeah, touched the big thing. We all did. There’s about ten of us down there. We put our hands on the shell of the sea turtle. Oh, it was huge. I didn’t even have to bend over. It was huge. Well, they haven’t passed an ordinance saying we can’t do it. (interruption) No, they didn’t get Max Mayfield. Max Mayfield was nabbed because he caught one of these big ugly groupers that’s protected. He dragged it into the boat to take a picture of it. That’s what you’re not allowed to do. You can’t take the grouper out of the water. They released it.
No, we didn’t interfere with the turtle at all. We didn’t get in the turtle’s way. We were on the side. We were following the turtle as it was making its way back to the Atlantic. We were not stalking the turtle. Turtle didn’t care. The turtle was so tired just wanted to get out of there. Nobody was harming the turtle. We were watching nature. We were all amazed by it. You know, the fact of the matter is that this is just nature. Ninety percent of the hatchlings don’t survive. The minute they get to the ocean here comes a shark or something (eating sound) or some other sea creature that eats them, but some of them do obviously.
RUSH: David in Laguna Beach, California. I appreciate your patience in waiting. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. How are you today?
RUSH: Oh, I?m fine. I just know I?m going to be the target of the town of Palm Beach for a month here over my lights and so forth. Here?s what I’m thinking of doing. I’m thinking of hiring a guy to go out in the ocean every night on a boat from sundown to sun up with nothing but a bright light out there so I can say, ?Look, there’s light out there, and it’s artificial light, and you guys say artificial light attracts turtles,? and I’m going to have the guy out there so the brightest light the turtles are going to see will be the light from the ocean where they’re supposed to go.
CALLER: That sounds like a great idea.
RUSH: Yeah, it’s going to cost me a lot of money, but that’s what I’m thinking of doing. Then they’ll pass an ordinance saying you can’t have lights on in the ocean, or some other reason. Anyway, other than that I’m fine.
CALLER: Fantastic. Hey, I was watching the HBO documentary on the horrors of Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib. As I was watching the show, I knew what they were trying to do. They were trying to make me feel bad for everything that was going on there. But I have to tell you that that never happened.
RUSH: Why? Do you like torture?
CALLER: Of course I don’t like torture, but I like results. When we are in a situation where we are interrogating people and we need to get results, torture.
RUSH: Well, that’s interesting. I don’t mean to cut you short but I’ve got to because of time. So you watched it. They tried to make you feel guilty and you didn’t feel guilty. The program backfired on you. That’s probably the case with most people on your side of the aisle.
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