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Monday, February 14, 2005

Guess the hoax

I first heard the (untrue) story from a Christian friend who studied in the US. The short version: "it's all going to burn anyway" (referring to the apocalypse). Anyway, it seems that this anecdote about James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first secretary of the interior, has been circulating for a while:
James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, "after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back." Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious.
But this was what he actually said in February 1981 to the House Interior Committee:
That is the delicate balance the Secretary of the Interior must have, to be steward for the natural resources for this generation as well as future generations. I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations.
(From the Weekly Standard, Feb 14)


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