Environmental News Archive
Below, you'll find an archive of news stories about environmentalism and the environmental movement that previously appeared on the "News Page" of this Web site.
For news about specific environmentalist organizations and animal rights groups, go to the Environmental Organization News Archive.
Want to better understand the philosophical perspective underlying these commentaries? Read the ecoNOT.com manifesto: "Environmentalism or Individualism?"
Finally, be sure to visit Robert Bidinotto's blog, where he comments on a range of current topics and news stories, including those related to environmentalism and animal rights.
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Girl Gone Wild--The March 1, 2004 issue of the Wall Street Journal's online "Opinion Journal" concludes: "Finally, there's Priscilla Feral, who heads a Darien, Conn.-based group called Friends of Animals. We almost noted her back in December, when the New York Times quoted her as an opponent of feeding venison to the 'homeless.' But it turns out, according to this article, that 'Feral was born Priscilla Brockway, but after her divorce in 1974, she took as her last name the word that describes a domestic animal gone wild. "I gave serious consideration to it," she said. "I did it with intent and to define myself."'" Gee, that must have been one real straitjacket of a marriage. [Posted 3/3/04]
Deadly threat to koala bears...from animal rights activists--We have in the past pointed out the absurd contradictions of environmentalists and animal rights activists doing things that threaten the very critters and habitats they claim they want to preserve. The latest example is from this Associated Press story, which begins: "Cute, cuddly and fast breeding, thousands of koalas are eating themselves out of a home on an Australian island. But authorities are refusing to heed conservationists' pleas to reduce the population, fearing a backlash from tourists and animal rights activists...The island's estimated 30,000 koalas have stripped many of the island's eucalyptus trees of leaves, the animal's sole food source, and they could face eventual starvation." Laments Matt Turner, a scientist with the state's Nature Conservation Society: "When you start talking about culling native wildlife, particularly cute and cuddly ones, there is a community backlash and that is what basically has forced the government into...a position where they cannot do any culling." Animal rights protesters similarly try to stop all efforts to cull populations of deer, rabbits, coyotes, cougars, bears, or any other critters that may be overrunning an area and its food supply. These self-appointed "voices for animals" proclaim their "love for all life" and damn "inhumane treatment of sentient beings." Yet they prefer that millions of wild animals suffer and starve, rather than concede the principle that humans can and should "manage nature"...even when it's for nature's benefit. [Posted 3/2/04]
Misanthropic quotation of the week--Here's the opening line from an editorial titled "Balancing Biodiversity," appearing in the February 22, 2004 New Straits Times (which describes itself as "Malaysia's Premier Newspaper Online"): "At the heart of the environmental debate is an inescapable truth of human existence: the more we seek to improve our lives, the more we take from nature and the more we degrade the planet." (This article appears to have been archived and may no longer be accessible through this link.) [Posted 3/1/04]
Some "corporate interests" are more equal than others--As frequent visitors here know, the environmentalist advocacy group, Oceana, has been running a publicity campaign against the Google search engine company. Google's Selfish Sin, you see, has been its refusal to carry Oceana's anti-cruise-industry advocacy ads on the Google Web site. Expressing "shock," Oceana declares on its anti-Google Web page that "Google should reinstate the Oceana AdWords immediately and show that it supports free expression of all viewpoints, not just those sponsored by corporate interests." In an Open Letter to Oceana of February 19, 2004, ecoNOT.com publisher Robert Bidinotto asked the green group's officials whether Oceana was itself a corporation. Alas, there has been no reply. But a quick check at Register.com reveals that Oceana's Web site URL, "www.Oceana.org," is, in fact, registered to "Oceana Inc." Thus Oceana, like Google, is a corporation. Presumably with its own "corporate interests." EcoNOT also asked Oceana's officials whether they might accept advertising (such as ours) on their Web site--even if it might express viewpoints contrary to Oceana's. Alas, we received no answer to that inquiry, either. We are shocked--shocked--to discover that a well-heeled environmentalist corporation does not support "free expression of all viewpoints, not just those sponsored by [its] corporate interests." [Posted 3/1/04]
Walter Cronkite, green propagandist--Walter Cronkite is evidently competing with fellow fossil Bill Moyers for the liberal media's coveted "Greener Than Thou" Lifetime Achievement Award. In his February 26, 2004 syndicated column, he imparts to us the shocking news that the sky is falling, due to the vile excesses of Man and (oh, yes) the Bush Administration. "Surely it has been brought to his [Bush's] attention that scientists [unnamed] are increasingly alarmed over the rapidity with which the environment worldwide is being poisoned by the refuse of human endeavor," he writes, in equal measures of sarcasm and misanthropy. "Climate change and the extinction of species are the focus of their deep concern, and they warn that there is no time to spare if we are to save planet Earth. Some [also unnamed] say that unless we begin a major effort by the end of this century, further efforts will be too late." And: "This slow death of our environment is a constant, ongoing threat. Every second of every minute of every day, our Earth is literally wearing out because of our mistreatment of it." Mr. Bush has indeed heard these [unnamed] scientists make such claims, but clearly doesn't buy their apocalyptic arguments. He appears equally unconvinced that he should sign onto their draconian proposals to address the countless "crises" they proclaim daily...coupled with their urgent and (of course) purely selfless requests for more governmental "research funding." However, Cronkite's election-year Bush-blasting is less significant than is his vision of the role of journalists in all this. "The media has [sic] a responsibility on its [sic] shoulders whose importance cannot be exaggerated: to give the story of our deteriorating environment the attention it needs in order to alert the population to action. That action would demand that governments--city, state and national--generate and enforce the laws that can at least begin the immense job of cleaning up our lands, our seas and our air so that living things, including humans, shall not perish from the Earth." In short, the Green Dean of American Journalism is exhorting his colleagues to obliterate the boundary line between news reports and environmentalist propaganda. But this suggests he's been in cryogenic suspension for the past thirty years. Hasn't he been reading Reuters, Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, et al., or watching the "news" on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, BBC, ad nauseum? The mainstream media have been polluting the cultural atmosphere with unfiltered 'viro propaganda for more than a generation. (Notably, it was his own CBS that launched the "Alar on apples" hoax.) It's sobering that their unrelenting efforts at ideological propaganda are deemed insufficient by the newsman once dubbed "the most trusted man in America." [Posted 3/1/04]
"Bye, Bye, Bill Moyers" (and good riddance!)--Last year we noted an interview on environmentalism that Grist, the 'viro e-magazine, conducted with taxpayer-supported lefty media propagandist Bill Moyers. Now, we are thrilled to report, the aging Moyers will finally get off the public dole, leaving his PBS perch to write books that will instead have to attract voluntary purchasers in the private marketplace. Moyers' PBS departure will occur after the November elections (he of course wouldn't want to lose his publicly-funded platform for weekly Bush-bashing until then). The ever-feisty Center for Consumer Freedom has just published a scathing two-part summary of Moyers' shameless career, here and here. Read all about the last "journalist" in America who actually still defends the "Alar on the apples" hoax. [Posted 2/28/04]
Oceana admits Royal Caribbean is not breaking pollution laws--With all the high-profile hyperventilating that the green group Oceana has been doing against Royal Caribbean Cruises, you'd think that Oceana is accusing the cruise line of being a flagrant violator of laws against pollution. Indeed, that's the impression you're meant to get from all its publicity, whether in the media, on its own Web site, or on a special Web site specifically set up to attack Royal Caribbean. But look very, very closely, and you'll see that this impression is being conveyed by deliberately deceptive weasel-wording. In fact, buried on one of the Web pages of their "Stop Cruise Pollution" Web site, Oceana admits that they are not accusing Royal Caribbean of breaking pollution laws. The only law-breaking that Oceana cites allegedly occurred some years ago. Here is their reply to a statement by Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of the cruise line: "Mr. Fain stated that Royal Caribbean 'properly, responsibly, and legally disposes of all its shipboard waste.' In fact, Oceana has not asserted that Royal Caribbean or any other cruise company is regularly breaking sewage pollution laws. [Emphasis added] Rather, our position has been that the laws regulating pollution--particularly sewage pollution--are grossly inadequate. Affordable technology is available to address needless pollution from cruise ships. As a company that is marketing clean oceans, Royal Caribbean has an obligation to deploy and use such technology." If so, Oceana's real beef ought to be with the government, right? So why are they targeting their publicity campaigns against the cruise industry, rather than against Congress and the legislatures of coastal states? Well, whipping up public outrage against Big Bad Corporations (even if they are guilty of nothing illegal) is much easier than changing laws...especially if your real goal is to attract new contributing members. A tour of the Oceana Web sites will show just how ambitiously they are using this devious and manipulative scare campaign to get site visitors to reveal their personal contact information in online forms--personal information that they'll later use to solicit paying memberships and contributions. Meanwhile, obscured amid all this green sewage are the actual steps that Royal Caribbean has taken to minimize pollution--measures which are, in fact, well above and beyond any legal requirements. [Posted 2/25/04]
Mass transit = death by environmentalism--Environmentalists hate the automobile, deeming it one of the greatest of Man's assaults upon Mother Earth. And qua socialists, 'viros also hate the automobile because it is a symbol and means of Man's individuality and independence, allowing each of us to travel wherever he wants to, whenever he wants to. Small wonder, then, that the greens yearn to pack all of us into crowded, government-run cattle cars, hauling us en masse to destinations chosen by central planners. To advance their collectivist vision of people-moving, environmentalists make glowing claims about the relative eco-friendliness and safety of public transportation--buses and light rail trains--compared to the alleged "energy inefficiency" and "danger" of private automobiles. The only problem with these claims is that they are totally false. The Independence Institute has just released a study of the matter titled "Great Rail Disasters," based on the federal government's own safety and energy efficiency statistics. "Turns out overall that buses are much, much safer than light rail, and cars even safer than buses," concludes Institute president Jon Caldara. "Here are the boring stats for fatalities nationally, per billion passenger miles, from the National Transit Data Base: 3.9 for urban interstate highways, 4.3 for transit buses, 11.3 for commuter rail and 14.8 for light rail." As for energy efficiency: "Energy consumption is measured by BTUs (British Thermal Units) per passenger mile. Here are those boring stats nationally: 3,500 for passenger cars, 4,800 for buses and 4,100 for light rail." So, a word to environmentalists: If you want to waste more energy and kill more commuters, then by all means continue to force people out of their private cars and into public transportation. But while doing so, please don't pretend that noble motives and rational considerations underlie your deadly efforts. [Posted 2/25/04]
Misanthropic quotation of the week: Oceana's Dana DuBose--This charming perspective from Dana DuBose, a campaign director for the environmentalist advocacy group Oceana: "I was probably the only person who watched Jaws and felt sympathetic towards the shark." [Posted 2/22/04]
An open letter to Oceana--On February 16, 2004, I posted here and on my blog a commentary on the campaign by the well-financed green group, Oceana, to intimidate the Google search engine company, by pressuring it to carry Oceana's attack ads against the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. This campaign is an outrageous assault on Google's constitutional rights, including its First Amendment rights of free expression, and its right to govern the use of its own private property as it sees fit. After I published my piece and notified Oceana of its existence, I received a reply from one of the group's staff. In it, he attempted to rationalize Oceana's flagrant thuggery--which includes publishing on its Web site the private contact information of Google and Royal Caribbean officers, and encouraging its members to subject those individuals to further harassment and intimidation. I have now published a new response to Oceana, in the form of an "open letter" on my blog. You can read it by clicking here. And since turnabout is fair play, I have included in that letter the e-mail addresses of Oceana's relevant officers and staff members. Those who are as angry as I am over the environmentalists' unrelenting violations of individual rights--including rights to privacy, free expression, and private property--are encouraged to read the relevant documents you'll find linked in my open letter, and then to respond accordingly. [Posted 2/21/04] P. S. Oceana's attacks on Royal Caribbean Cruises are, predictably, loaded with lies and distortions. If you wish to learn the truth about Royal Caribbean's environmental record, I urge you to read a letter from company chairman and CEO Richard Fain, posted in "pdf" format on the Royal Caribbean web site. [Posted 2/23/04]
Food cop Suzuki denies personal responsibility for food choices--Does--or should--an individual bear responsibility for his own diet? Not according to Canadian geneticist and green propagandist David Suzuki. In his weekly column of February 20, 2004, Suzuki--who runs an environmentalist foundation and is a fixture on taxpayer-financed public television--once again bewailed obesity, "a health time bomb that could prove extremely costly to society in the near future if not addressed." "So whose responsibility is it?" he asks rhetorically. "According to a Heart and Stroke poll of Canadians, more than 50 percent believe that it is the responsibility of individuals to eat sensibly. But is that realistic?" Not according to Suzuki: "Food companies, like tobacco companies, know that if they can hook young children, they will have customers for life. Many advertisements are targeted specifically at the youth demographic for that purpose, using cartoon characters, fantasy themes, and efforts to make products appear cool." [emphasis added] Only a 'viro would compare food with an addictive, carcinogenic product like nicotine-laden tobacco. But Suzuki is only getting wound up: "These tactics work, as studies have found that food advertising does influence what children eat." What a surprise! Yet the well-known fact that advertising encourages people to use products is, to Suzuki, something diabolically sneaky...and irresistible: "In fact, one in three North American children now eat at a fast food restaurant every single day!" Suzuki the Scientist doesn't bother to cite sources for this claim, to define what they included under the label "fast food restaurant," to mention exactly which foods were eaten and in what quantities, or to acknowledge that a different "one in three" children are visiting such restaurants each day--meaning that while some children may visit frequently, many go rarely, or not at all. Saying any of that, of course, would have undermined his objective, which was to instill panic in his readers. The bottom line for Suzuki and his fellow food cops is to deny parental or personal responsibility...and thus pave the way for governmental coercion in policing our private food choices, eating habits, and lifestyles. "Considering the time bomb that many nutritionists say we face," he continues, "surely governments and the food industry must become more involved." How much "more"? He reveals that his prescribed use of government coercion would extend far, far beyond mere policing of restaurant menus: "By allowing our cities to sprawl outward, we've increased the amount of time we spend in our cars and reduced our ability to walk to destinations. A whole drive-through culture has been created to feed this sprawl, adding to the problem and increasing accessibility to junk food." The solution: "the need for more government involvement, including better urban planning. Like it or not, the way our cities are designed influences what we eat. Toronto took an important step forward by banning drive-throughs, a bylaw that was recently upheld in court. Government action is clearly needed to help reduce obesity, because it's a societal issue, and we aren't managing it on our own." [emphasis added] You see the 'viro method, don't you? They start with one thin issue--in this case, a seemingly plausible concern about healthy eating. But before you know it, they've force-fed and fattened it into a full-blown "crisis," one that entails a complete denial of individual responsibility and freedom. And addressing that "crisis" demands totalitarian planning of our personal diets, of restaurant menus and designs--even of how and where we choose to live, work, and travel. If we allow them to succeed, we will face the real "obesity crisis": the crisis of losing our most personal freedoms to an obese, bloated, nanny government. [Posted 2/21/04]
Greens sue feds to protect habitat for insects--The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has become the most potent legal weapon for environmentalists seeking de facto nationalization of private property. The assumption underlying the ESA is that every species of every life form has intrinsic or inherent value in itself, and therefore must be sustained and protected--whatever the cost to human beings (who are apparently the only life forms not protected under the law). By their specious premise of species protection--and by arbitrarily adding an ever-growing number of "sub-species" to the ESA's purvue (often defined on the basis of their geography, rather than their biology)--the 'viros have been able to discover "endangered" or "threatened" beasts, birds, bugs, trees, plants, and fungi on virtually every piece of real estate in the United States. And under the ESA, all such land can then become subject to draconian development and use restrictions--in effect, annihilating private property rights. However, the infinite expansion of federal power over species and habitat designations is having unintended consequences--consequences that, ironically, are threatening the very species that greens claim they wish to spare. For example, the ever-litigious Center for Biological Diversity and a Gang Green coalition recently sued the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Michigan, to compel the agency to define "protected habitat zones" for the Hine's emerald dragonfly, a bug found in "only" four states. But this and other lawsuits over "habitat designation" are preventing the agency from focusing on actual "species protection." Under the ESA, an "endangered" or "threatened" species designation provides far more legal protection than does designation of a "critical habitat." A habitat designation "does not create a refuge, although that's what a lot of people think," according to Georgia Parham, a USFWS spokeswoman. It requires nothing of state and local governments, or of private landowners who encroach on a protected species' habitat; it merely requires federal agencies to consult with the USFWS if a federal project might impinge upon the habitat. But perversely, the wave of lawsuits over habitat designations, such as the one over the dragonfly, is now swamping the USFWS and other agencies, tying up resources supposedly earmarked for actual species protection. Currently, the USFWS is struggling to comply with 38 court orders, while fighting 34 additional lawsuits on habitat designations--and it has been notified that 34 more suits will be filed soon. About 80 percent of USFWS's money budgeted for endangered species protection next year is being diverted to establishing "critical habitat" designations. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, "The flood of recent litigation 'is preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting new species and reducing its ability to recover plants and animals already listed as threatened or endangered,' Craig Manson, assistant U.S. interior secretary for fish and wildlife, said during congressional testimony last year. 'Imagine an emergency room where lawsuits force the doctors to treat sprained ankles while patients with heart attacks expire in the waiting room.'" So we ask again: Does the environmentalist movement really care about "preserving nature"? Or has that simply become a "feel good" slogan, masking other motives...such as the quest for political power, and millions of dollars in contributions and litigation settlements? [Posted 2/17/04]
'Viros demand political ad space on Google--An Associated Press reporter recently served as a press flack for an environmentalist gang trying to exploit the popular search engine, Google, for political purposes. In a Friday the 13th 2004 piece, A. P.'s Michael Liedtke, with "contributing" help from Tony Carroll of the Juneau Empire, published a one-sided attack against Google and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, on behalf of the green group Oceana. Oceana had purchased and posted an innocuous-looking Google ad that said simply, "Help us protect the world's oceans." The ad appeared whenever Google visitors searched on keywords such as "cruise vacation" and "cruise ship." But when visitors clicked on the ad, they were bounced to a Web page that attacked the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, accusing it of polluting the oceans. Google has a standing policy against carrying ads criticizing groups or companies, and this was a clear example of political advocacy advertising against a private company. So when it discovered this abuse after a couple of days, Google pulled the ad, which sent Oceana spokesmen foaming at the mouth. Yet in their weasel-worded story, writers Liedtke and Carroll did their best to disguise Oceana's attempt to manipulate Google's policy. The ad ban by Google, they wrote, is "casting a spotlight on the editorial policies that control the popular Web site's lucrative marketing program. Jim Ayers, Pacific Region director for Oceana, said from his Juneau home that he was shocked [Yes--shocked! Shocked!!] that Google would censor his group's ads based on corporate bias... 'I am shocked that they will post information about pornography and yet they will censor information about cruise ship pollution,' Ayers said. Pollution from cruise ships is an ongoing concern in Southeast Alaska... The decision reeks of censorship and favoritism, said Andrew Sharpless, Oceana's chief executive officer. 'The answer they gave certainly raises the question whether they got a phone call from Royal Caribbean,' Sharpless said Thursday. 'We can't prove that, but it certainly smells that way.' Both Google and Royal Caribbean denied there was any pressure applied to remove the Oceana ad." [Italics added for emphasis] Note the flagrantly biased choice of wording, the outrageous, unsupported innuendos about corporate pressure and/or collusion, and the blatant one-sidedness. Not a single quotation in this hit piece is attributed either to Google or Royal Caribbean spokesmen for balance. So let us speak on their behalf, addressing greens and their mouthpieces in the Fourth Estate: In case you haven't heard, guys, this is America you're living in--not some Marxist rathole. And here in America, it is perfectly within the rights of Google--or any private business--to refuse to carry any ads it doesn't like. To argue otherwise is to declare that private parties should be forced to provide platforms for viewpoints they find mistaken, offensive, libelous, or hostile to their own interests--a practice that Thomas Jefferson denounced as "sinful and tyrannical." In effect, your demand would mean the annihilation of our Constitutional rights to free association, freedom of speech, and private property. And by the way: "censorship" is something that only a government can impose--not a private individual, group, or company. Since you have no "right" to force a private party to provide a platform for your views, it isn't "censorship" for that party to deny you use of their own platform. So if Reuters, A. P., and other corporate megaphones for environmentalist and left-wing zealots wish to retain their own right to spread their propaganda without interference, then they should instruct their employees to respect the rights of all other private individuals and companies to promote their own views, too. [Posted 2/16/04] (Correction to preceding: The failure to quote Google or Royal Caribbean representatives apparently was not the fault of A. P. reporter Liedtke, but the Juneau Empire. Such quotations did appear in the A. P. story as it was carried at greater length in other news outlets--for example, here, here, and here. But even these fuller versions were heavily weighted against Google and Royal Caribbean.) [Posted 2/19/04]
Man's clearest threat to birds: windows--Daniel Klem, Jr., is outraged about Man's "senseless slaughter of wildlife." But what bothers him most is not our cell phone towers, oil spills, power lines, Atkins diets, or pesticides. The Muhlenberg College ornithologist is mainly incensed that humans--exhibiting their typically callous insensitivity toward Mother Nature--have arrogantly covered the walls of their homes, offices, and other structures with a hazard deadly to birds: windows. "Glass is ubiquitous and it's indiscriminate, killing the fit and the unfit," rages Klem. He claims that collisions with glass kill up to 1 billion birds a year in the United States alone. "Buildings that we have created to be aesthetically pleasing are slaughtering birds." Indeed! How dare we enter mere human aesthetic pleasure into such a moral calculus? But there's hope for our fine feathered friends. According to an A. P. story, other greens are now soaring in to roost behind Klem. "This is a largely unseen but seriously unappreciated phenomenon and we're starting to take a serious look at it," declares Frank Gill, chief scientist for the National Audubon Society. Swarthmore College engineer Carr Everbach, who leads the "green team" designing the school's new science center, "likens plate glass to other scientific advancements later found to harm the environment, such as ozone-depleting CFCs and leaded gasoline." The green assault on windows confirms that environmentalist scaremongering is clearly for the birds. We'll therefore continue to throw stones at such critics of Man's works...because we proudly live in glass houses. [Posted 2/12/04]
The greens sink their fangs into the Atkins Diet--Obesity is a (pardon the pun) big and growing concern in America, with millions attempting to improve their health and longevity by adopting low-carbohydrate eating habits, such as the Atkins Diet. But mainstream greens are now joining PETA and other animal rights fringe groups in trying to curb our appetites for animal protein...and human well-being be damned. After all, they demand, how dare we humans try to live long, healthy lives when that quest may harm the environment? "The debate over the long-term health effects of Atkins and similar weight-loss plans might grind on for years with no satisfactory conclusion," write two environmentalists in the February 9, 2004 issue of Grist Magazine. "But whenever we're faced with a fast-growing trend on this shrinking planet, scientists should look beyond human health to weigh ecological consequences as well. That's what we decided to do for Atkins-style diets." [emphasis added] Their article, subtitled "Low-carb diets have a high impact on the planet," warns that if a billion dieters worldwide adopted the Atkins plan, "by our calculations, the meat, dairy, poultry, and seafood industries would have to increase output by 25 percent." And to the environmentalists, that would be an ecological catastrophe: "The diets now in vogue may be a breakthrough in addressing obesity, but their success entails even greater consumption of global resources." In the same day's edition of their promotional e-letter, Daily Grist, the editors of Grist write: "So the huge popularity of low-carb diets like Atkins can only be a good thing, right? Not so fast: Since most low-carbers turn primarily to meat to fill their shrinking bellies, the more this dietary fad catches on, the more meat must be produced. Producing more meat, all good enviros know, means more overgrazing, more pollution from feedlots and slaughterhouses, more forestland cleared for pasture and the growing of grains, more pesticides and fertilizers used on those grain fields, and so on and so forth." So you see, the fight against the Atkins Diet is simply the latest skirmish in the environmentalists' broader war on food production itself. As I wrote in a previous essay: "Since greens believe our planet already has far too many people, they aim to put every kind of obstacle--taxes, regulations, land use restrictions, lawsuits, bans on pesticides and new technologies--in the path of all efforts to feed and sustain larger populations. They claim that expanding human populations are 'unsustainable'--while simultaneously they try to stop every conceivable effort to sustain them. The ultimate goal of the environmentalists, then, isn't to reduce harm to the environment, any more than it is to reduce our waistlines. Their ultimate goal is to reduce the presence of humans on the planet. They've said so, explicitly, countless times, in countless ways, in countless books, articles, and speeches. Why, then, don't more people start to believe that they mean exactly what they say?" [Posted 2/10/04]
The impending threat of global cooling--That's right. Global cooling was the looming environmental catastrophe du jour not even thirty years ago--just a micro-blip in planetary terms. "A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968," Newsweek warned ominously in 1975. "According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972." And where would this global cooling lead us? "Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend," Newsweek reported. "But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. 'A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,' warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, 'because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.'" Er...in case anyone didn't notice, agricultural productivity didn't decline; it increased dramatically, sustaining a growing world population with an ever-greater abundance and variety of foods. Meanwhile, barely a decade after this scare story appeared, the new "climate crisis" du jour had become global warming. However, hysteria about "climate change," whether warming or cooling, has certainly given atmospheric scientists a vast, ever-expanding trough of taxpayer money from which to draw comfortable salaries and research funding. Are we therefore cynical in suggesting that the motives of these climate fear-mongers may not be as entirely "disinterested" as they claim? [Posted 2/10/04]
Misanthropic quotation of the week--"Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are... the cure." Now who said this? Ingrid Newkirk of PETA? Earth First! founder David Foreman? An anonymous spokesperson for the ecoterrorist group ELF? No--it was the cyber-villain from the film "The Matrix": the scary, relentlessly murderous, man-hating "Agent Smith." But what should really frighten us is the fact that the vile, misanthropic dialogue of a fictional film villain is now impossible to distinguish from the actual statements of real-life "Deep Ecologists" and "animal rights" activists. [Posted 2/9/04]
Biotech industry seeks Fed protection from animal rights terrorists--In a recent letter to President Bush, Biotechnology Industry Organization President Carl Feldbaum has called for more federal government action to stop animal rights terrorists. Last summer, Chiron Corp. and Shaklee Inc. were bombed. Chiron, and Shaklee's corporate parent, Japan-headquartered Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., have contracted for animal testing with Huntingdon Life Sciences, target of an ongoing campaign of terror by animal rights activists hoping to drive it out of business. Even businesses having nothing directly to do with animal testing have come under assault, merely for remote business relationships. In 2001, for example, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for vandalizing a Salt Lake City area Bed, Bath & Beyond store because of its links to Stephens Inc., which provided financing to Huntingdon Life Sciences. According to an MSNBC report, "In some instances, animal rights activists have posted on the Internet personal information about executives at companies, including home phone numbers and addresses, credit card numbers and checking account numbers. They have pamphleted neighbors of researchers and executives telling them of their involvement in alleged animal cruelty, held early morning protests outside of executives' homes, damaged cars and other property and taunted children on their way to school. During the holiday season, some Chiron employees and their families received at their homes, through the mail, a box with coal, dog feces and a card that read 'May your violence against the animals come back to haunt you in the new year! If you think that gift is bad just wait to see what Elves all across the USA have in store for you in the days to come!'" A harbinger of just what's to come in the U. S. may be found in England, where animal rights terrorists are torching cars, attacking and vandalizing private homes, forcing the shutdowns of labs doing vital medical research, and even committing violent personal assaults on people involved in research. The moral priorities of the animal rights terrorists were made abundantly clear in their successful campaign against a proposed Cambridge, England, research facility. By using animal experimentation, its scientists had hoped to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. [Posted 2/9/04]
Environmentalism is Big Busine$$--So says Canadian author Mike Milke in this brief, scathing column on the environmental movement, which "rakes in more than $8.5 billion US annually." The February 1, 2004 piece will appear for a limited time on the Web site of the Vancouver Province. [Posted 2/9/04]
Greenpeace co-founder issues call to arms in the "battle for biotech progress"--In another life, Dr. Patrick Moore was a committed environmentalist who co-founded Greenpeace. But he became disillusioned and fed up with the group's emphasis on "continued confrontation, ever-increasing extremism, and left-wing politics." These days, he is a vocal champion of sound science, and a valiant opponent of green hysteria. In this article, he presents a compelling defense of biotechnology, and a harsh indictment of the "intellectual and moral bankruptcy" of its opponents, who are willing to let millions starve in the Third World. In particular, Dr. Moore issues a rousing call for biotech scientists and businesses to stiffen their spines and fight back against environmentalists using a moral emphasis. "The activists are playing hardball while the biotech side soft-pedals the health and environmental benefits of this new technology," he writes. "Biotech companies and their associations use soft images and calm language, apparently to lull the public into making pleasant associations with G.M. [genetically modified] products. How can that strategy possibly hope to counter the Frankenfood fears and superweed scares drummed up by Greenpeace and so many others?" Amen. In saying this, Dr. Moore echoes what we've said here many times--as recently as in our January 28, 2004 comment, "Sound advice for businessmen: Fight the 'viros on moral grounds." Environmentalists are masquerading a idealistic crusaders. Once their mask of morality is ripped aside, they will be revealed for what they are: fanatics, whose ideology renders them indifferent to the devastation that their policies are imposing upon millions of helpless victims worldwide. [Posted 2/3/04]
Coercive anti-smoking campaigns: models for global warming activists?--Impressed by the success of anti-smoking campaigns, eco-totalitarians now wish to adapt the same coercive tactics to force people to accept their "climate change" agendas. The February 3, 2004 Grist Magazine carries an article by green novelist Audrey Schulman arguing that global warming activists should use explicitly non-intellectual, emotion-driven p. r. techniques, along with legal compulsion, to "literally change people's minds." "Clearly, there's been a dramatic shift in the public's attitude toward smoking--but it hasn't been an intellectual shift," Schulman writes. "What's changed are the emotional images associated with smoking, the ones anti-tobacco activists worked so hard to publicize." Schulman advises that image-based, emotionalistic scaremongering now be used against those businesses that environmentalists blame for alleged global warming. "We now need to sear that [public] consciousness with vivid images of the consequences of wasting energy." "One of the strongest weapons in the tobacco war has been anti-smoking commercials," she continues. "The war against fossil fuels could employ the same technique." But voluntary persuasion isn't enough for Schulman, who also advocates using naked coercion to foist Gang Green's views on the public: "Such an ad campaign could be funded by a carbon tax, like the cigarette tax that funded anti-smoking commercials," she suggests helpfully. [emphasis added] "The CDC has demonstrated that the anti-smoking war is best fought concurrently on many fronts, through school education, cessation programs, and advertisements. Likewise, a carbon tax could fund public transportation, sustainable energy, ads, and educational programs." Besides forcing taxpayers to fund environmentalist propaganda, 'viros should also sic hordes of lawyers on insufficiently green companies. "Following the example of anti-tobacco activists and attorneys, several lawyers are currently preparing class-action suits against companies that have recklessly toyed with the climate," she notes. "Perhaps a group of children will one day sue ExxonMobil for spoiling the planet and compromising their futures. I can imagine TVs around the country tuned in to see a small girl testifying in court, perched on a phonebook...I can imagine state officials--already addicted to cigarette taxes and settlements--leaning closer, smelling big money." (Or perhaps we might say: "circling like vicious sharks, smelling blood in the water." We should all thank Ms. Schulman for a revealing glimpse inside the skull of a green activist. Rarely are environmentalists so explicit in admitting that their successes depend not on thoughtful persuasion, but upon emotionalistic scaremongering...backed by naked force and compulsion against anyone who disagrees. [Posted 2/3/04]
Environmental Working Group: Peddlers of Fear--In its latest in-depth report, the Capital Legal Foundation unmasks the Environmental Working Group (EWG)--the environmental movement's specialists in using junk science to purvey panic about food safety, pesticides, and just about everything else they can think of. [Posted 1/30/04]
Green Power, Black Death--We have commented previously on the human carnage and environmental devastation wrought by environmentalist policies inflicted on Third World nations. Paul Driessen, author of the powerful new book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, provides an eye-opening summary in this online interview. [Posted 1/30/04]
Misanthropic quotation of the week: Sierra Club's Paul Watson--This recent remark to the Los Angeles Times comes from ecoterrorist Paul Watson--the co-founder of Greenpeace, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (which rams and sinks whaling ships), and now an officially elected Board member of the Sierra Club, America's oldest national environmentalist group: "Human beings are literally stealing resources from all the other species on this planet." [Posted 1/29/04]
Is an environmentalist crack-up looming?--Yesterday we noted the ongoing attempt of animal rights activists to take over the Sierra Club. But this is just one manifestation of what appears to be an uncivil war breaking out across the breadth of the environmentalist movement. The fight is between hard-core factions of "Deep Ecologists" and animal rights militants, and the entrenched establishment of "mainstream" greens who head the most visible and politically influential organizations. Cleveland Plain-Dealer reporter D'Arcy Egan reports that "Ingrid Newkirk and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have taken aim at the larger, well-heeled Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The Fund for Animals wants a piece of the Audubon Society's hide. Paul Watson of the lightly financed but virulently anti-hunting Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is on the Sierra Club's board of directors and plans a takeover attempt." These skirmishes represent the inexorable domination of the environmentalist movement by its fringe elements. And this radicalization shouldn't come as a surprise. Years ago, philosopher Ayn Rand observed that "In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins." As I showed in my manifesto, the principle underlying the entire environmentalist philosophy and movement is hostility to all human efforts to use and develop Earth's natural resources. And the most consistent proponents of that viewpoint are the "Deep Ecologists" and animal rights militants. Thus what began as a woozy movement extolling the virtues embodied by "pristine nature" has evolved--by logical necessity--into a misanthropic crusade damning the alleged vices embodied by human nature itself. And that's why the so-called "moderates" within the environmentalist movement (and most other movements, for that matter) find themselves increasingly on the defensive, losing arguments and recruits to their more militantly "idealistic" challengers. [Posted 1/29/04]
Court defines "animal cruelty" as inflicting "mental uneasiness"--Have you ever teased your cat while playing with her? Shouted "no!" at your dog when it chewed your furniture? Dug your heels lightly into a horse's sides to urge it to move faster? Well, if you live in Washington state, you may be hauled into court for "animal cruelty." Reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "...Now, in a victory for animal rights advocates in Washington, the state Court of Appeals in Tacoma has established for the first time just how much pain is needed for a cruelty conviction. The answer is: not much. The court said 'mild discomfort' was enough to convict the keepers of [two] bony horses, and it defined pain as everything from 'mental uneasiness' and 'dull distress' to 'unbearable agony.' 'This is landmark,' said Adam Karp, founder and board member of the Washington State Bar Association's animal-law section and an adjunct law professor at Seattle University. 'It will guard against psychic pain as well as physical discomfort.'" Consider, now, the precedent that this sets for humans under Washington law. Have you ever raised your voice at your mate, causing him "mental uneasiness"? Projected an attitude that caused your kids "mild discomfort"? Rejected someone on a date, causing her "psychic pain"? Then look out! [Posted 1/28/04]
Sound advice for businessmen: Fight the 'viros on moral grounds--Those familiar with this site know that it offers a moral case for the human development of natural resources, and--as a consequence--moral opposition to environmentalism. We are delighted to discover that we're not entirely alone in our approach. Ross S. Irvine, a public relations consultant in Canada, tells businessmen who are under fire from environmentalists and animal rights activists that they must fight back, using not just scientific and factual arguments, but--even more importantly--by employing the language of moral values. In a recent article, "Global Moral War," he writes: "When one understands the scope of ideas that activists bring to bear on a single issue, such at biotechnology, one sees that activists are fighting a larger battle. They are fighting for a social order, a world vision--a sense of right and wrong. They are fighting a war for moral leadership and superiority. In a battle for moral leadership, discussion of just the technology is a weak weapon. Industry must address the larger moral context. It must view biotechnology, not as a technology but as a moral issue. It must explain and demonstrate the moral necessity for the technology. And, it must expose the immorality of activists who oppose the technology. Recent activist efforts to keep readily available genetically modified food from starving people in famine-ridden Africa are clear examples of activist immorality." Businessmen and corporate spokesmen, take heed: After you've read this short essay, go to Mr. Irvine's Web site and read his other pieces. This p. r. expert confirms what we've argued here all along: that compromising with the environmentalist movement is an utterly futile tactic, as is corporate self-defense that relies solely on "techie" arguments, and/or "corporate image-building" (e. g., trying to convince the world that you're "greener than thou"). This is war--a war over clashing values. And the moral case against business and science can only be answered with a moral alternative. [Posted 1/28/04]
Gang Green lines up behind the John Kerry candidacy--Environmentalists appear to be globally warm for Democratic presidential contender John Kerry. The League of Conservation Voters, which has never endorsed a candidate during a primary, decided to publicly back the Massachusetts liberal just prior to the New Hampshire primary vote. The group, which rates politicians by their environmental votes, gives Kerry a 96% lifetime "green" ranking, the highest of all the Democratic contenders. League president Deb Callahan declared that the replacement of President George W. Bush is her groupís top priority, and that therefore this was the right time to support the Democratic candidate best able to beat him. Kerry was, of course, delighted. "I intend to put the environment front and center in this race because it is squarely in the center of our lives," he told a League rally announcing the endorsement a few days before the primary. Another early Kerry backer is Earth Day founder Denis Hayes. In an article published a week before the primary, Hayes wrote that "no constituency has more cause to rally to Kerry than environmentalists. With a remarkable 96 percent career environmental voting record (John Muir couldn't have topped that!), Kerry will be--by far--the strongest environmental president America has ever had." Okay folks, don't say I didn't warn you. [Posted 1/28/04]
Toxic environmentalist waste dribbles from Kerry's mouth--Here are a few excerpts from Grist Magazine's interview with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry concerning his environmentalist credentials.
Grist: "How do you consider yourself different from other candidates on the environment?"
Kerry: "This fight is such a part of who I am; it's not just an issue on my resume. I think I have the longest, strongest, clearest, most accomplished record on the environment of any of the candidates running. I began in 1970 when I spoke at Earth Day. I was chairman of Earth Day New England in 1990. I chaired a governor's task force on acid rain when I was a lieutenant governor and we developed a national platform for acid rain. I've been chairman of the Oceans and Environment Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee. I've rewritten our fisheries laws, our marine mammal protection laws, our plastic pollution laws, our flood insurance protection laws, our coastal-zone management laws. I've lead on tuna/dolphin safety issues, on banning driftnet fishing. I've been to all the major conferences--Rio, Buenos Aires, Kyoto, The Hague -- on global warming. I led the fight to stop Newt Gingrich from attacking the Clean Air and Clean Water acts in 1996, and I've led the effort in the Senate to stop the drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge. I put together the first-ever sustainable development conference in Asia. I am proud of my record of accomplishment on the environment."
Grist: "You are thought of as an avid environmentalist and you've built a reputation as an outdoorsman. Can you talk about your personal relationship to the environment? What made you care about these issues and how do you practice environmentalism in your own life?"
Kerry: "My mother was a strong environmentalist. She passed to all of us a great appreciation for the world around us. She started nature walks at our schools. She took us out in the early morning and taught us about birds. She read us Thoreau and Emerson and later Rachel Carson..."
Once again, folks: don't say I didn't warn you. [Posted 1/28/04]
Anti-human "misanthropes" trying to take over the Sierra Club--Years ago, the late environmentalist guru and "arch-Druid" David Brower boasted: "The Sierra Club made the Nature Conservancy look reasonable. I founded Friends of the Earth to make the Sierra Club look reasonable. Then I founded the Earth Island Institute to make Friends of the Earth look reasonable. Earth First! now makes us look reasonable. We're still waiting for someone to come along and make Earth First! look reasonable." Wait no longer. Things have come full circle, and soon the Sierra Club may make Earth First! look reasonable. According to a Los Angeles Times story, a cabal of anti-immigration and animal rights activists is trying to take over the organization's 15-member board of directors, and push the "mainstream" green group to take positions even more anti-human than it does now. "[C]lub officials contend that members of the two insurgent groups share fundamentally anti-human views in their opposition to immigration and in their belief that people should take a backseat to other species," the article reports. "The Sierra Clubís 'dominant perspective has been to protect nature for people,' said Executive Director Carl Pope. 'But by pulling up the gangplank on immigration, they are tapping into a strand of misanthropy that says human beings are a problem.' Pope noted that 18 percent of Sierra Club members like to fish or hunt, and he worried they could be driven out by the new agenda from animal-rights advocates." The insurgent candidates include well-known advocates of population and former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, Cornell University entomology professor David Pimentel, and former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation director Frank Morris. Their candidacies come on the heels of the recent elections to the Sierra Club board of University of California astronomy professor Benjamin Zuckerman, a longtime champion of immigration constraints, and eco-terrorist Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Watson, who flies the skull-and-crossbones on his ship, is known for ramming and sinking whaling ships. He said at the 2003 Animal Rights Conference that activists "should never feel like we're going too far in breaking the law." Despite this sterling reputation, Watson was elected to the "mainstream" Sierra Club board in April 2003. He now claims to be within three board members of having a voting majority. Nearly a dozen former Club presidents have written a letter expressing what they call "extreme concern for the continuing viability of the club," and worry that the interlopers are trying to hijack the Club and its $95 million budget. The election is scheduled for March 2004. We can hardly wait... [Posted 1/28/04]
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