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Earth Day’s dark side

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Sunday was Earth Day, the annual jamboree of the green movement held worldwide since 1970. Unfortunately, a review of the accomplishments of the advocates of environmentalism and population control since that spectacular debut shows very little reason to celebrate.

The seminal scriptures of modern-day environmentalism were Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” Paul R. Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” and the publications of the Club of Rome. While stylistically quite different, these books all served to rally the public around a core anti-human philosophy. As the Club of Rome put it, “The Earth has cancer, and the cancer is man.” Such misanthropic views could only have the most horrific consequences.

Some of the worst atrocities can be laid at the feet of Mr. Ehrlich and his co-thinkers who argued – in direct contradiction to historical fact – that human well-being is inversely proportional to human numbers. As a result of their agitation, U.S. foreign aid and World Bank loans to Third World countries were made contingent upon those nations implementing population-control programs. In consequence, over the past four decades, in scores of countries spanning the globe from India to Peru, tens of millions of women have been rounded up and subjected to involuntary sterilizations or abortions, often under very unsafe conditions, with innumerable victims suffering severe health effects or dying afterward.

Mr. Ehrlich also called for the United States to create a Bureau of Population and Environment, which would have the power to issue or deny permits to Americans to have children. While rejected here, this idea was adopted in China. Thus was born China’s infamous “one-child policy,” which has involved not only hundreds of millions of involuntary abortions and forced sterilizations, but infanticide and the killing of “illegal children” on a mass scale.

The pesticide DDT was first employed by Allied forces to save millions of typhus-ravaged victims of Axis tyranny, and after World War II, it was employed to wipe out malaria in the American South, Southern Europe and much of South Asia and Latin America. According to the National Academy of Sciences, by 1970, those campaigns had saved more than 500 million lives.

No matter. Using Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which falsely argued that DDT was endangering bird populations (in fact, it was protecting them from insect-born diseases) a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT. As a result, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did so in 1971. Subsequently, the U.S. Agency for International Development adopted regulations preventing it from funding international projects that used the vital pesticide. Together with similar enactments in Europe, this effectively banned the use of DDT in many Third World countries. By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from those restrictions has exceeded 100 million people.

The harm done by the EPA has not been limited to stopping DDT. It is no coincidence that U.S. oil production, which had been growing at a rate of 3 percent per year through the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, peaked at 9.6 million barrels per day in 1971, immediately after the EPA’s creation, and has been declining ever since. Today we are down to 5.6 million barrels per day. Had we continued without environmentalist interference with our previous 3 percent per year growth in the period since – as the rest of the non-OPEC world actually did – we would today be producing 35 million barrels per day, and the world economy would not be groaning under the extremely regressive tax represented by $100-per-barrel oil prices. The environmentalist campaign against nuclear power has made its promise for plentiful, cheap electricity impossible as well.

European “greens” also have much horror to account for, notably through their campaign against genetically modified crops. Hundreds of millions of people in the Third World suffer from nutritional deficiencies resulting from their cereal-dominated diets. This can be rectified readily by employing genetically enhanced plants, such as golden rice, which is rich in vitamin A. But as a result of political pressure from green parties, the European Union has banned the import of crops from countries that employ such strains, thereby blackmailing many governments into forbidding their use. In consequence, millions of children are being unnecessarily blinded, crippled or killed every year.

The Earth is not endangered by humanity. But humanity is being seriously harmed by those who portray us as a threat and seek to constrain humanity’s numbers, activities, creativity and liberty.

Instead of Earth Day, we should be celebrating Civilization Day.

Washington Times



9 Comments on "Earth Day’s dark side"

  1. armageddon51 on Sat, 21st Apr 2012 1:22 pm 

    Wow that seems a text written by Exxon CEO’s. I like the “environmentalist interference” sentence. We should shoot them up. The article pledge the return of the good old ’50 era of doing things to the pleasure of corporations. Uncontrolled human explosion is killing this planet. The return of DDT, really ? Why is the Washington Times post such a moronic article is beyond me. Republicans founding anywhere here ? Drill baby drill.

  2. DC on Sat, 21st Apr 2012 2:34 pm 

    Its that idiot Zubrin again, he seems to have come out of nowhere and for w/e reason, is being widely quoted as if his rants and lies actually mean anything. That the WT would publish this under there banner means they are either incredibly stupid or being paid to let this lunatic spew his bile. Cranks love basking in the glow of legitimacey, and this zubrin is a crank of the 1st order. Cleary hes being paid to put a new ‘spin’ on how infinite growth and capitalism is ‘good’ while anyone advocateing growth is a problem, he tars as a nazi, murderer etc. I really hope the WT got a lot of push back from his garbage piece.

  3. Deskpoet on Sat, 21st Apr 2012 2:38 pm 

    When you go to the article’s origin and review the comments, you’ll see this sad sack is preaching to the choir. It’s depressing, frankly, the LEVEL of acceptance of corporate propaganda. People here really want to believe that DDT and nuclear power are good for us; I guess it’s easier than confronting the horrors our civilization is visiting on our habitat.

  4. Kenz300 on Sat, 21st Apr 2012 2:42 pm 

    The world added a billion people in the last 12 years and continues to grow. Around the world there are a food crisis, a water crisis, an oil crisis, an energy crisis, a financial crisis, a jobs crisis and an over population crisis. Every problem is made harder to solve with an ever growing world population. It will only lead to more poverty, hunger and despair.

  5. Schuss on Sat, 21st Apr 2012 3:01 pm 

    A crisis every minute. It comes with the territory. You think human existence was planned? It evolved from the swamp.

    Humans are great whiners and howlers and focus on the blood and tears strewn over the roads and battlefields.

    If it bleeds it ledes.

    The joke is on you if you think your monkey howlers are well evolved sapients.

    This is the choir, and we are all singing to it.

  6. Alan Cecil on Sat, 21st Apr 2012 3:42 pm 

    Civilization Day? Doesn’t this nut-case mean we need a CORPORATION DAY? And he should have pointed out how Monsanto has done its share to wipe out the honeybee population…

  7. BillT on Sun, 22nd Apr 2012 2:14 am 

    Monsanto and Dow has killed far more of the world’s ecology than anyone else on the planet. Trow in the IMF and World Bank and you have a very efficient destruction machine.

  8. Ed Darrell on Sun, 22nd Apr 2012 6:43 pm 

    The pesticide DDT was first employed by Allied forces to save millions of typhus-ravaged victims of Axis tyranny, and after World War II, it was employed to wipe out malaria in the American South, Southern Europe and much of South Asia and Latin America.

    According to CDC, the first agency in the world set up to fight malaria, the U.S. had effectively beaten malaria by 1939, seven years before DDT became available for use in the U.S. DDT was used in mop-up operations, but what beat malaria in the U.S. was greatly improved housing including screened bedrooms, and much better public health delivery to diagnose and treat malaria quickly. DDT is one tool in an effective campaign, but not magic, and useless or destructive on its own, or if misused in any way.

    According to the National Academy of Sciences, by 1970, those campaigns had saved more than 500 million lives.

    That’s a mistaken line from an NAS book. 500 million malaria infections annually, but there were thought to be no more than 6 million deaths from malaria annually, and usually fewer than 4 million, from 1939 through 1970. Do the math: 6 million times 41 equals 246 million. But those were the actual deaths, not the lives saved.

    More importantly, in that NAS publication, (“Committee on Research in the Life Sciences of the Committee on Science and Public Policy. 1970. The Life Sciences; Recent Progress and Application to Human Affairs; The World of Biological Research; Requirements for the Future”), NAS said that despite its great value, DDT was more dangerous than its value, and consequently should be phased out as quickly as possible. (See explanation and links to the book, here: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/encore-post-rebutting-junk-science-100-things-to-know-about-ddt-point-6/ )

    No matter. Using Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which falsely argued that DDT was endangering bird populations (in fact, it was protecting them from insect-born diseases) a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT.

    Carson was dead right on the science. President Kennedy appointed a panel of the best biologists and entomologists in the U.S. to check her accuracy. Their report, on May 15, 1963, found her book to be error free — they went farther than Carson, and recommended immediate action against DDT (Carson did not ask for a ban, ever).

    Moreover, the massive public relations campaign was financed by Dow and Monsanto, against Rachel Carson and for DDT.

    In 2007, Discover Magazine noted that after publication of Carson’s book, more than 1,000 peer-reviewed science studies confirmed each and every aspect of the harms of DDT to birds. There is no contrary study on record.

    As a result, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did so in 1971.

    EPA dragged its feet until two federal courts ordered DDT to be completely banned for all uses, unless EPA conducted the analysis of the stuff that it should. EPA studied the issue for about a year, and found that all the evidence for harms of birds and other animals were valid — in fact, the Army asked that DDT not be banned so they could continue to spray it to rid Army barracks of vermin mammals!

    EPA’s ban was only on agricultural use in the U.S. EPA allowed export of DDT to any nation who wished to use, it effectively doubling the amount of DDT available to fight malaria, had any nation wished to use it.

    Subsequently, the U.S. Agency for International Development adopted regulations preventing it from funding international projects that used the vital pesticide.

    Complete balderdash. I dare you find such a regulation. No one has been able to cite it for us in the ten years I’ve been asking. It never existed.

    Together with similar enactments in Europe, this effectively banned the use of DDT in many Third World countries. By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from those restrictions has exceeded 100 million people.

    But here are the real facts. At peak DDT use, there were about 4 million deaths from malaria worldwide, and 500 million infections (1959 and 1960).

    Today, infections are 250 million — cut in half — and deaths are under 900,000, a reduction of more than 75%.

    If these changes in deaths and infections have any relation to DDT, it must be because DDT was banned, according to your source.

    If that is true, Rachel Carson is the greatest savior of life in history, saving from 1 million to 3 million lives per year since 1972.

    If you’ve got a gripe about protecting the environment, or about Rachel Carson, or about DDT’s toxicity, why not state it? Quit making stuff up.

  9. Ed Darrell on Sun, 22nd Apr 2012 9:56 pm 

    By the way, you’ve been suckered.

    Anyone who thinks greens were stupid enough to honor Lenin’s creation, one of the greatest polluters in history, on Earth Day, doesn’t know conservation,doesn’t know America, doesn’t know Gaylord Nelson, and is almost as ignorant about communism.

    You made the Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub Earth Day Wall of Shame for 2012!

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