Environmental News and Commentary
Below, you'll find current news stories about environmentalism and the environmental movement. Following that section are additional links to essays by ecoNOT.com publisher Robert Bidinotto. Bookmark this page and revisit it frequently.
For older news items that previously appeared on this News Page, visit the Environmental News Archives. 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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Bidinotto at the University of Montana--On Friday, May 6, 2005 ecoNOT.com publisher Robert Bidinotto spoke at The University of Montana, Missoula, on the topic, "What's Wrong With Environmentalism?" The talk was sponsored by the UM Objectivist Club and the Associated Students of The University of Montana.
EcoNOT publisher rejoins The Objectivist Center--In July 2005, Robert Bidinotto, publisher of ecoNOT.com, left his position as editor of Organization Trends and Foundation Watch, two monthly publications of the Capital Research Center. He has rejoined The Objectivist Center, a philosophical research and advocacy organization, as editor of its monthly magazine, The New Individualist. [Posted 8/19/05]
"Death By Environmentalism" -- What have been the real-life consequences of environmentalism? How about millions of documented human deaths? Read ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto's cover report, "Death By Environmentalism," in the March 2004 Navigator magazine, posted online. (To view the magazine cover, click here. [Posted 4/1/04]
"Better dead than fed!" -- Or so say nutcase advocates of "animal welfare" about this adorable little polar bear cub, fed by Berlin zookeepers when its mother abandoned it.
In fact, according to one: "'Feeding by hand is not species-appropriate but a gross violation of animal protection laws,' animal rights activist Frank Albrecht was quoted as saying by the mass-circulation Bild daily, which has featured regular photo spreads tracking fuzzy Knut's frolicking. 'The zoo must kill the bear.'"
"The zoo must kill the bear" -- in the name of animal protection!
Don't you wish George Orwell was still around to serve as a translator for this sort of fanatical insanity?
Lest ye think this Albrecht character is a lone maniac, Der Spiegel tells us, "He's not alone. Wolfram Graf-Rudolf, director of the Aachen Zoo, told the newspaper, "I don't consider it appropriate for the species that the little polar bear is being raised on a bottle." The animal will be fixated on his keeper and not be a "real" polar bear, he says. However he feels it is now too late to put Knut out of his supposed misery. "The mistake has been made. One should have had the courage to put him to sleep much earlier."
I guess the only "real" polar bear is a dead polar bear.
Oh, and just a stray thought...I wonder how many of these same environmentalists simultaneously argue that allegedly human-caused "global warming" must be stopped because it threatens the lives of polar bears? (Posted 3/19/07)
"The Great Global Warming Swindle" -- THIS is the documentary about "global warming" that should have won the Oscar. This sensational program, produced and shown on British television, has been taking the internet by storm (no pun intended). It is perhaps the most thorough demolition of the junk science underpinning "global warming" hysteria -- and the junk ethics underpinning environmentalism -- that I've had the pleasure of encountering. Don't take my word for it; click here to watch online. If this link no longer works, try here. (posted 3/14/07).
The ad hominem assault on "global warming" critics [posted 2/7/07] -- I commented on this matter last month, but it seems that every day brings new assaults on scientists who depart from the orthodoxy pushed by government-employed-and-funded "scientists" repeating the "global warming" mantra.
Now, why do I say "government-employed-and funded 'scientists'"? Because turnabout is fair play -- that's why. This is exactly the ad hominem approach that these scientists -- who depend upon politicians for their funding -- have been employing against scientific skeptics. Rather than stick to questions of science and refute the specific criticisms put forth by their critics, the scientific orthodoxy has but one familiar response: personal smear campaigns against the critics themselves, questioning their motives and funding.
Let's take a couple of very recent examples.
University of Delaware professor David Legates was apparently a good enough scientist that he was named the Delaware State Climatologist, a title he still holds. But that was before he became an outspoken public critic of the manipulation of science conducted by environmentalists and the governmental "global warming" orthodoxy. So, how do the 'viros and political "scientists" now respond to his criticisms?
By evading his arguments, and instead claiming that he has "Ties to big oil, industry-funded lobbies." In other words, vicious ad hominem attacks.
Even on their own merits, what is the truth of the charges against Prof. Legates? Is he truly on industry payrolls? Is he just a hired flack for "big oil" companies? Buried in the article, beneath all the smear charges, we find that "He has confirmed serving in various unpaid roles with groups that question global warming science, including as an adjunct scholar for the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank." Get that? "Unpaid roles." Hmmm. So, on what grounds is Legates smeared as a hired gun for the oil companies? Try this:
ExxonMobil, which posted a record $39.5 billion profit last year, was accused by UCS of funneling $16 million to advocacy groups over a seven-year period in an effort to "confuse the public on global warming science," including some groups that have worked closely with Legates or other climate change critics.
Now, let's parse this closely. "UCS" -- the Union of Concerned Scientists -- is the most proximate source of the ad hominem attack on Prof. Legates. Consider the particulars of their attack: ExxonMobil funds "some groups that have worked closely [what does that mean?] with Legates or ["or"?] other climate change critics." Observe: There is no claim of direct ExxonMobil funding of Prof. Legates -- only of "some groups" that, in some unspecified way, "worked closely" with him...or maybe not: perhaps those groups only worked with other "climate change critics."
The UCS report -- cited in this disgusting hatchet job by Jeff Montgomery of the Delmarva Daily Times -- offers zero evidence that Prof. Legates's positions were either funded or influenced by the oil industry. Instead, the UCS charges only that groups funded by ExxonMobil published some of Prof. Legates's work on global warming or invited him to speak. However, in context, it's clear that Prof. Legates reached his own conclusions about global warming independently and prior to these publications and speeches, and that afterwards various groups that liked what he had to say decided to provide him public platforms for his work.
So, what's wrong with that? And, consider the nature of these affiliations: Prof. Legates was an "adjunct scholar" at the National Center for Policy Analysis and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In case you don't know, "adjunct scholar" is not a paid staff position, but a purely nominal affiliation -- one that is usually sought by an organization that hopes to enhance its reputation and credibility by associating itself with the name of some prestigious expert.
At the end of the article, you'll note also the ad hominem slap at Prof. Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia, and Virginia State Climatologist. Prof. Michaels also has been outspoken against the climate change cabal. Rather than attack his arguments, though, the tactic is to attack his associations and their funding.
Folks, this UCS report, and the newspaper article, is a classic example of an unconscionable smear.
Note how the political left, which has vented rage for half a century against "McCarthyite tactics," such as "guilt by association," gleefully assaults the character and credibility of a leading, reputable scientist by a long, attenuated chain of alleged associations. It's like a sickening, politically motivated version of the game "Six Degrees of Separation," in which virtually anybody can be linked to anyone else through all sorts of passing and sometimes inadvertent associations.
Okay, let's play the same game, and see if these attack dogs like it.
At the head of this pack we find the Union of Concerned Scientists, a pseudo-scientific advocacy group with a long pedigree of radical leftist activism, and whose own funders include virtually the entire funding apparatus of the agenda-driven American left. Joining them is that bastion of sober scientific research and thought, Greenpeace. We find a political hack, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who, in the Joe McCarthy tradition, launches a political-legal witch hunt and campaign of intimidation, suing oil companies "to disclose their dealings with climate change skeptics" -- and First Amendment be damned.
All of this coercion and smearing is clearly meant to frighten into silence any legitimate scientists who challenge Gang Green.
Question: If the scientific evidence supporting the Gang's claims about climate change were so overwhelming, irrefutable, and convincing, why these goon-squad tactics to shut down dissent? What are these people afraid of?
Let's now consider Gang Green's assault on the Oregon State Climatologist.
The man holding that title is Prof. George Taylor of Oregon State University. Read the story: it's a case of "deja vu all over again." Leading the attack dogs this time is Oregon's governor and a gang of lefty political slugs in the state legislature, who clearly want to politicize the office of State Climatologist. "His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the state of Oregon's policies...The governor said Taylor's contradictions [!] interfere with the state's stated goals to reduce greenhouse gases, the accepted cause of global warming in the eyes of a vast majority of scientists... [Gov.] Kulongoski said the state needs a consistent message on reducing greenhouse gases to combat climate change. The Governor says, 'I just think there has to be somebody that says, "this is the state position on this".'"
In other words: the State Climatologist shouldn't be an independent scientist, but a spin doctor promoting the political party line.
Volumes could be written on this topic, and I do aim to discuss this in the future, here, in The New Individualist, and elsewhere. But let's be clear about what is happening: This is a concerted political assault upon scientific integrity and independence, and the First Amendment, conducted by a gang of neo-Nazis marching under the green banner. The seriousness of this issue simply can't be understated.
UPDATE -- It just occurs to me to note, in passing, the irony that prominent global warming cheerleaders on the government payroll -- such as Dr. James Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who is handsomely funded by the left -- have been long screeching "Censorship!" against the Bush administration for (allegedly) trying to mute their climate change hysteria or add scientific balance to their taxpayer-funded reports. However, in dealing with their scientific opponents, Gang Green loves to employ the same censorial and coercive tactics that they complain are being used against themselves.
"Hypocrites" is too kind a word.
UPDATE #2 -- More hypocrisy: check out the viro reaction to a new documentary that turns the tables on them and St. Al. Notice that once again their knee-jerk response is not refutation, but ad hominem attacks on the documentarians for their funding sources. It's always the same tactic: Don't argue about the message; instead, kill the messenger. Why? Because these thugs know that they can't win on the facts.
UPDATE #3 -- A perspective about this thuggery written last year by eminent climatologist Dr. Richard Lindzen of M.I.T., one of the most formidable critics of Gang Green -- and hence, one of its most frequent targets.
UPDATE #4 -- Oh yeah...I haven't written about that recent, much ballyhooed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, have I? You know, the one that just re-predicted the end of the known universe, due to our irresponsible binging on fossil fuels? Well, I regret to say that my lack of comment is due to an oversight.
No, not my oversight, mind you, but the IPCC's.
You see, they haven't yet supplied us any actual report.
"What's that?" you say. "Bidinotto, are you nuts? There was a big news conference and everything! Why, that report is all over the news!"
Er...no, not really. Actually, what's been all over the news are reports about The Report. In fact, no mere schmucks like us have been allowed to see The Report. It hasn't been released...and won't be, not anytime soon.
What has been released is a
12- 21-page "executive summary for policymakers." That's right -- a piece of slick P.R. by the politicos at the IPCC, the executive summary spins out the usual apocalyptic scenarios in purple prose.
Now friends, do you want the real story about that invisible Report? Read this. It'll make you absolutely sick...though it certainly won't turn you Green.
UPDATE #5, 2/8/07 -- As I sit shivering on the shore of the Chesapeake, I contemplate, with envy, the global warming being enjoyed by the lucky residents of Northern Michigan.
UPDATE #6 -- Incidentally, concerning that recent, much-hyped survey in which a huge percentage of government-employed scientists working on climate issues claimed that they had been coerced, or their work censored or manipulated, by the Bush administration: here's the real story. Dr. Robert Lichter did a statistical analysis of the survey, which was conducted by (surprise!) the Union of Concerned Scientists, and deconstructs it completely in an article titled "Cooking the Books on Global Warming--or Overheating a Bad Survey?" Here's a damning indictment of the reliability and credibility of those "concerned scientists."
UPDATE #7, 2/9/07 -- Now climate skeptics are compared, by inference, to Nazi sympathizers. Writes the Boston Globe's insufferable Ellen Goodman: "I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future" [emphasis added].
You know someone doesn't have much of a case when they must sink to comparing their opponents to the Nazis.
But proving that the American people are much smarter than Gang Green and its lefty cheerleaders in the media, she also grouses: "The folks at the Pew Research Center clocking public attitudes show that global warming remains 20th on the annual list of 23 policy priorities. Below terrorism, of course, but also below tax cuts, crime, morality, and illegal immigration."
So, what's gone awry with the green message? There's this interesting admission of the failure of traditional environmentalist fear-mongering: "It may be, paradoxically, that framing this issue in catastrophic terms ends up paralyzing instead of motivating us. Remember the Time magazine cover story: 'Be Worried. Be Very Worried.' The essential environmental narrative is a hair-raising consciousness-raising..." [emphasis added]
So, what else can Gang Green do to galvanize all of us idiots out here in Middle America to sign on to their jihad?
"American University's Matthew Nisbet is among those who see the importance of expanding the story beyond scientists. He is charting the reframing of climate change into a moral and religious issue -- see the greening of the evangelicals -- and into a corruption-of-science issue -- see big oil -- and an economic issue -- see the newer, greener technologies."
But Nisbet is way behind the curve. Al Gore has been shilling for global warming as a new religious Crusade as far back as his book Earth in the Balance. Left-green attacks on Big Oil are as hoary as Santa's beard. And the manufacturers of the Prius and those fluorescent bulbs that Goodman sanctimoniously uses have been trying to turn eco-consciousness into a money-making proposition for decades. Didn't Nisbet get the memo?
The real problem for Ms. Goodman and her fellow alarmists is that none of these tactics are working. Americans are an individualistic lot, and they just aren't going to be stampeded into "noble" acts of self-sacrifice simply because gangs of self-righteous, self-defined Experts and Leaders damn them as greedy, selfish bastards unless they jump on the green bandwagon.
UPDATE #8 -- To yesterday's weather report on the "global warming" being experienced in the upper Midwest (see Update #5, above), you can add today's weather news from upstate New York. Then there's this from Accuweather:
Cold Is Going Nowhere
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2007 7:54 AM
After several days of well-below-average temperatures, one may hope that a warming trend would be coming. Unfortunately, the cold air in place across the Northeast is here to stay through next week. On Friday, temperatures will do no better than the teens and 20s in New England, with 20s and lower 30s across much of the mid-Atlantic states as well. These temperatures continue to be a solid 10-15 degrees below normal. Meanwhile, gusty west-northwest winds will add to the chill in the air, as gusts to 30 mph will make it feel like it is much colder. While temperatures may improve slightly over the weekend and early next week, it'll continue to stay below normal. By the middle of the next week, another round of harsh cold may be around once again because yet another arctic blast is headed down the pipeline.
UPDATE #9 -- About those "deniers" -- the scientists who have bravely resisted the "global warming" campaign of hysteria, and who dare criticize the Gospel according to St. Al -- here is the beginning of an outstanding series in the Canadian National Post that, for once, supplies a more balanced presentation of the controversy among scientists on this issue.
Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Frugis.
Well worth reading. No, make that ESSENTIAL READING. And for those of you who are "deniers" of the notion that politics is trumping science at the IPCC, check out Part III, about the manipulation of hurricane data by the IPCC.
UPDATE #10 -- Just spotted Jeff Jacoby's fine column in the February 7 Boston Globe on all these matters, including the IPCC report (Update #4) and the National Post series. I mention this not only because Jeff's article is so good, but to clarify that I only just read it; it did not serve as a basis for any of my previous comments, despite how similar our language is in spots (especially Update #4). It's just a case of Great Minds Thinking Alike.
"New plan for the Great Plains: Bring back the Pleistocene" -- Folks, I've said it before: I just couldn't make this stuff up. Federal governmental bureaucrats are actually involved in this atavistic scheme to revert the entire middle of the U. S. A. back to primitivism.
So, a question for you doubting holdouts: Am I really exaggerating my contentions about the motives of environmentalists?[Posted 8/19/05]
PETA slaughters thousands of pets -- Uh huh. You read that correctly. This is "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" we're talking about...the "animal rights" group that demands that the rest of us stop killing animals for food, science, clothing or any reason whatsoever. To paraphrase PETA chief executioner Ingrid Newkirk's infamous quotation: "A rat is a pig is a dog is a corpse."
For all the gory details, click here. [Posted 5/23/05]
The Rainforest Action Network exposed -- Major corporations are in the crosshairs of the Rainforest Action Network. This radical environmentalist group regularly resorts to illegal "direct action" tactics and even exploits school kids in order to intimidate and shake down its business adversaries. So why does the IRS still grant RAN tax-exempt status? David Hogberg of the Capital Research Center profiles RAN in this excellent report. [Posted 5/10/05]
If your reporter is a green, you don't need to do any fact-checking -- There it was, in horrifying detail in the venerable Boston Globe. The story was datelined Halifax, Nova Scotia, and described the gory scene about how the water turned red with blood as rapacious seal hunters, plying the seas on some 300 boats, shot helpless harp seal cubs "by the hundreds."
Oh, the horror! Once again, evil Man slaughters innocent, big-eyed baby animals! Have we no shame?
Well, apparently the Globe doesn't. Because, as Reuters reported on April 15, 2005, the whole colorful story of the ghastly seal hunt was completely "fabricated."
Seems that the "journalist," a freelancer named Barbara Stewart, wasn't there to see any of those grim details. Nor could she have, even if she had shown up. That's because the seal hunt that she vividly described as taking place on Tuesday, April 12th never took place. According to Reuters, "it was delayed by bad weather and was scheduled to start on Friday, weather permitting, the Globe said in an editor's note." The Globe added: "Details included the number of hunters, a description of the scene, and the approximate age of the cubs. The author's failure to accurately report the status of the hunt and her fabrication of details at the scene are clear violations of the Globe's journalistic standards."
But not the paper's political standards, which are somewhere to the left of the Commonwealth's two Senators, Kerry and Kennedy. It's painfully obvious that the story meshed so well with the Globe's environmentalist bias that nobody even bothered to fact-check the story.
What of this Barbara Stewart? In another example of delicious irony, it turns out that Stewart had worked about a decade for the New York Times -- whose two top editors, you may recall, had resigned in 2003 following the discovery that reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated and plagiarized material for a host of stories. Hmmm...one wonders what a little ex post facto fact-checking on her old stories there will uncover?
This episode demonstrates that the same pro-environmentalist bias that has kept the truth about phony environmentalist scares out of news reports, is allowing completely bogus claims in. [Posted 4/16/05] [UPDATE, 8/7/05 -- This post has been reprinted on page 36 of the Fall 2005 issue of Range magazine, which is subtitled "The Cowboy Spirit on America's Outback."]
You can't even trust The Weather Channel --
And I'm not talking about the accuracy of its weather reports. I'm talking about its blatant environmentalist propaganda, disguised as objective scientific reporting.
Kudos to CNS reporter Marc Morano for another excellent backgrounder on how the mainstream media filter the news through a green lens. [Posted 4/14/05]
The death of the environmentalist movement? -- A self-admitted former "environmental groupie" within the mainstream media now contends that the environmentalist movement has lost credibility because of its scare-mongering.
In his latest column, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof echoes the veteran environmentalist authors of a widely-circulated essay, "The Death of Environmentalism," a fundamental criticism of the movement and its modus operandi. Says Kristof:
When environmentalists are writing tracts like "The Death of Environmentalism," you know the movement is in deep trouble.
That essay by two young environmentalists has been whirling around the Internet since last fall, provoking a civil war among tree-huggers [link added] for its assertion that "modern environmentalism, with all of its unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts and exhausted strategies, must die so that something new can live." Sadly, the authors, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, are right...
The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that environmental groups are too often alarmists. They have an awful track record, so they’ve lost credibility with the public... [A list of false apocalyptic predictions follows.]
"The Death of Environmentalism" notes that a poll in 2000 found that 41 percent of Americans considered environmental activists to be "extremists." There are many sensible environmentalists, of course, but overzealous ones have tarred the entire field.
The loss of credibility is tragic because reasonable environmentalists -- without alarmism or exaggerations -- are urgently needed.
For Kristof, then, the only problem with environmentalists is "extremism" and a corresponding loss of credibility.
But he's wrong.
The underlying problem for environmentalists is not that they typically engage in factual distortions and scaremongering for a good cause. The problem is that their cause isn't good.
Among the "unexamined assumptions" and "outdated concepts" of environmentalism that ought to be challenged are its core philosophic premises -- chief among them, the idea that "pristine nature" has inherent or "intrinsic value" in itself, independent of any usefulness to humans.
This anti-human premise in fact lies at the root of most environmentalist scaremongering and "extremism." And ironically, Kristof himself is a major public purveyor of that premise.
Consider the recommendations in his latest article. He insists that "priority should go to avoiding environmental damage that is irreversible, like extinctions, climate change and loss of wilderness. And irreversible changes are precisely what are at stake with the Bush administration’s plans to drill in the Arctic wildlife refuge, to allow roads in virgin wilderness and to do essentially nothing on global warming. That’s an agenda that will disgrace us before our grandchildren."
But note what is tacitly implied in this passage. Why does he equate "environmental damage" with "extinctions" and "loss of wilderness"? Why is it a "disgrace" for the Bush administration "to allow roads in virgin wilderness" or "to drill in the Arctic wildlife refuge"?
These are not concerns and criticisms based upon scientific or economic facts; they are based on certain philosophical values. In fact, I dissected Kristof's value premises in some of my earliest blog entries, "A conflict of values in the Arctic" and "Krisfof's Choice -- and ours." I noted that, in a series of articles, Kristof had opposed any oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve, even though he readily conceded all the following scientific and economic facts:
* that the 3,000 acres under consideration for drilling represent only a miniscule fraction of the refuge's vast area;
* that the area targeted for exploration is a frozen patch of barren tundra with zero aesthetic appeal, and isn't "environmentally sensitive" even by green standards;
* that the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska, the bustling center of existing oil drilling, hasn't caused a biological holocaust, but on the contrary is teeming with wildlife -- that herds of carabou, for instance, have even quintupled in the area;
* and that modern drilling techniques are far less environmentally intrusive than even those then used at Prudhoe Bay.
In addition to all this, Kristof also acknowledged that "It's also only fair to give special weight to the views of the only people who live in the coastal plain: the Inupiat Eskimos, who overwhelmingly favor drilling (they are poor now, and oil could make them millionaires). One of the Eskimos, Bert Akootchook, angrily told me that if environmentalists were so anxious about the Arctic, they should come here and clean up the petroleum that naturally seeps to the surface of the tundra."
Finally, he admitted that "we need to get our oil from somewhere, and Americans are dying now in Iraq because of our dependence on foreign oil." Surely that's a fact which ought to trump all other considerations.
But no. In his series conclusion, Kristof simply tossed out the window all of these compelling factual scientific, economic and geopolitical considerations...when balanced against a single premise -- the alleged inherent value of untouched wilderness:
The argument that I find most compelling is that this primordial wilderness, a part of our national inheritance that is roughly the same as it was a thousand years ago, would be irretrievably lost if we drilled. The Bush administration's proposal to drill is therefore not just bad policy but also shameful, for it would casually rob our descendants forever of the chance to savor this magical coastal plain -- and to be slapped in the butt by a frisky polar bear." [emphasis added]
"So there it is. Balanced against human lives, it's far more important to Mr. Kristof (and those of his spiritual brethren who can afford private excursions to remote Arctic wastelands) that he can be awakened by being slapped on the butt by a bear.
"On behalf of our kids in Iraq, would that some bear had slapped him in the face."
The problem, you see, isn't environmentalist "extremism" or "moderation." As I note in my extended essay on environmentalism, even self-styled "moderate" environmentalists like Kristof all share the notion that "pristine nature" represents a kind of moral-metaphysical ideal, and that the presence and activity of people "degrades," "mars," "blights," "ruins," etc., the purity and perfection of an "unsullied" natural environment. Pick up any environmentalist book, listen to any environmentalist spokesman, and you'll find such language tossed about with abandon. And all of them tacitly assume a value system in which humans and their activities are, by nature, immoral.
Those are the real "unexamined assumptions" and "outdated concepts" at the heart of environmentalism -- whether the proponents are violent "extremists" like PETA and ELF, scientific "alarmists" like the NRDC and climatologist Stephen Schneider or self-declared "moderates" like writers Schellenberger, Nordhaus and Kristof.
What does it mean, in practice, to hold a philosophy that pristine nature has intrinsic value in itself, and that Man and his activities are intrusive threats to the so-called ecological balance? Ideas have consequences, and the policies and laws arising from this philosophical outlook have been devastating to human life and well-being -- as I show in my own article, "Death By Environmentalism."
In the closing comment of his recent column, Nicholas Kristof says, "So it’s critical to have a credible, nuanced, highly respected environmental movement. And right now, I’m afraid we don’t have one." He's right, at least in his last conclusion. But he doesn't grasp the reason.
If environmentalists truly care to confront their own waning credibility and influence, what they need to confront -- and reject -- is their anti-human philosophy. The environmentalist movement will never earn credibility and respect unless it jettisons the morally bankrupt assumption at its very foundation. [Posted 3/13/05]
The environmentalist attack on Teflon just won't stick -- My boss at the Capital Research Center, Terrence Scanlon, has just published an op-ed in the March 4, 2005 issue of the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, titled The Attack On Teflon Won't Stick. Some excerpts:
Last September -- after being hounded for years by environmentalists, trial lawyers, panicked residents and the EPA -- DuPont Corp. agreed to pay $340 million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming it "contaminated" water supplies in Ohio and West Virginia with the chemical PFOA. PFOA is used to make Dupont's popular non-stick product, Teflon...
The current scare campaign against Teflon and PFOA is led by the lawsuit-happy Environmental Working Group. EWG specializes in fostering chemophobia by grossly exaggerating the health effects of tiny trace amounts of man-made chemicals...
...The group is a client of Fenton Communications, a public relations firm whose founder, David Fenton, is on EWG's board of directors. Fenton orchestrated the 1989 Alar scare campaign, targeting moms.
Fenton's clients include dozens of other extreme environmental groups and high-powered plaintiffs' law firms, while the Environmental Working Group's funding comes from a host of left-wing foundations and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Trial lawyers, of course, have their own vested interests in generating lucrative class-action lawsuits against corporate "poisoners."
EWG's campaign against Teflon is as bogus as its predecessors. That's because the amounts of Teflon-related PFOA in the water of West Virginia and Ohio are far below the levels at which they could harm humans...
The full article is a damning indictment of the typical sleazy methods used by environmentalists to orchestrate a scare campaign. I urge you to read the whole thing here. [Posted 3/4/05]
The health risks of all-natural, "organic" food--My thanks to Hugo Schmidt for adding the following comment to my early blog entry, "The environmentalists' deadly war against 'Frankenfood'":
"This seems a good place to insert the following piece of info, vis-a-vis the "Organic food" nonsense. I'm a third-year Biologist at Edinburgh University, and I thought the following was quite noteworthy:
"Mycotoxins -- fungal toxins -- are among the most unpleasant toxins known. There are aflatoxins, the most potent carcinogens on the planet, the ergot alcoloids, which are neurotoxic, Fumosins, Ochratoxin A, Patulin, and Sterigmatocystin, which cause a large number of assorted cancers, and the Tricothecenes, which variously cause abortion, blistering, and mimic female sex-hormone activity. These are just some of these all-natural toxins.
"What's the point? The point is the following: Big food corporations have a vested interest in their customers not dying horribly, so they use fungicides and a battery of sophisticated tests to make sure that the level of contamination is in the nanomolar range, i. e., one billionth of a gram per decalitre. However, the food that self-proclaimed "organic" stores sell is often straight in from the field and has often undergone no testing whatsoever.
So much for the "natural = healthy" idea..."
Thanks very much for this, Mr. Schmidt. I learned much the same information during my research in the early 1990s about the Alar scare.
As you point out, many plants produce "all-natural" toxins and carcinogens, often present in quantities that would cause public outrage and legal action if an agrichemical firm were responsible. However, the opponents of "unnatural" pesticides, who would force all of us to eat "organic food" instead, would actually subject us to the greater hazards that Mother Nature throws at us.
This is just another example of how the infantile Rousseauian romanticism of environmentalists is a menace to human health and well-being. For more on that issue see my article "Death by Environmentalism." And for extended commentary on environmentalism and other matters, visit The Bidinotto Blog. [Posted 1/26/05]
Death of an American Original
Charles E. Tomlinson -- forester, philosopher, friend, and one of the more remarkable people ever to grace this planet with his footprints -- died on December 28, 2004, at the age of 72. No written biography could begin to do Charles justice, and I won't even try. The bare, cold outlines may be found in this brief obituary, but that doesn't remotely capture the depth, breadth and sheer...life of this incredible human being. Fantasize a male Ayn Rand channeling Mark Twain, and you can only get a vague idea.
For a tiny taste of what the world has lost, Charles left us this fascinating essay presenting his thoughts about his own impending death. He also gave us a delightful book. And, I am honored to say, just a few months before his death, he asked me to publish here the last work from his keyboard, "How Private Ownership Saved the Southern Forest" -- an article which effectively demolishes the environmentalist myth that government management is the best way to care for natural resources.
But nothing he wrote could capture the twinkle in his eyes, his hilariously dry sense of humor, his fierce loyalties and values and passions and the brilliant, probing mind that never heeded an "off limits" sign.
Charles Tomlinson was an American original, and a dear friend at a time when I needed one. He was also a personal mentor and loyal ally in the fight against environmentalist nonsense. Early on, Charles arranged speaking engagements for me before a host of state and national forestry organizations, helping me to establish my credentials in this field.
I loved him dearly, and shall miss him terribly.
But his legacy of goodness continues in the persons of his incomparably charming wife, Susanna, and in his three wonderful children, Vanessa, Stephan and Allen. They remain as living salutes to this irreplaceable human being.
News story quotes ecoNOT's Bidinotto blasting the Rainforest Action Network -- A December 22, 2004 news story by Marc Morano of the Cybercast News Service extensively quotes ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto, who blasts the Rainforest Action Network for "shamelessly manipulating children" in its recent anti-corporate propaganda campaigns. Read the whole thing here. [Posted 12/22/04]
Aha! Just as we suspected!
AP: "Women more at risk from climate change: Canadian at UN conference"--Just when we thought that global warming...oops, "climate change," had already given us enough to worry about, comes this dire December 14, 2004 Associated Press story from the UN conference on climate change in Buenos Aires:
Women more at risk from climate change: Canadian at UN conference
07:39 PM EST Dec 14
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Severe weather caused by global warming can pose greater physical danger to women than men, a Canadian attending a UN conference on climate change said Friday.
"For instance, often women don't know how to swim, so in a flood situation that can lead to a higher instance of death or injury," Angie Daze, a program manager with a Canadian group called Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change, said.
So, even WORSE than the fact that "climate change" is a dire threat to our very existence as a species, it's sexist, too! Clearly, folks, this just confirms our LOWEST MORAL ASSESSMENT of the vile, anti-environmental Bush administration... [Posted 12/14/04]
New Crichton novel bashes global warming alarmists--Best-selling novelist Michael Crichton was interviewed by John Stossel on the Friday, December 10, 2004 edition of ABC's "20/20" TV newsmagazine. Subject: his new novel, State of Fear, in which the bad guys are (you'd better sit down for this) environmentalists and global warming fearmongers. Really.
Read this review...then click the graphic link above and read the novel! [Posted 12/10/04]
Election makes the greens turn blue, and drop ballots for...
Nah. Not really.
The 'viros over at Grist, the online environmental e-magazine, decided to conduct a post-election poll of their readers, who were wailing about the re-election of President Bush. "Where should environmentalists put their energy for the next four years?" was the question. Of 3,543 votes cast as of 8 p.m. on December 7, 2004, here is the voting breakdown, with the percentages given for each of the answers:
Moving to Canada: 12%
Adopting a whistleblower: 17%
Obama 2008! 26%
And the winning suggestion is...
Armed resistance: 36%
Don't believe it? Go to this page, and click on the "view the results" link.
Over a third of 3,543 voters translates to well over a thousand people in this survey who are prepared to resort to violence against humans on behalf of non-human Mother Nature. Maybe they were just joking, right? Well, the Grist editors aren't laughing. In fact, one Grist editor was so concerned that he felt compelled to write a column trying to cool down his troops. However, his arguments were purely pragmatic. Violence, he insists, "won't work." Well, yeah...but not a word about the fact that it's evil to initiate violence. And small wonder. Given environmentalist moral premises, which place humans on the bottom rung of the moral hierarchy, that argument would no doubt have been a non-starter with the nihilists among his readers. (Posted 12/7/04)
"Global Warming Bombshell": computer program supporting the theory is fatally flawed--Alert! Alert! Buckle your seat belts, Greenies! This will be a bumpy flight for you.
For years, you've been touting that now-famous mathematical chart which purports to show that global temperatures have shot up since the Industrial Revolution. The graph, by geoscientist Michael Mann and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, has served as your "smoking gun," THE major piece of evidence supposedly confirming the reality of human-generated global warming. And it certainly impressed Mann's fellow scientists, as well as politicians and the media.
Mann's computer plot of temperature trends is supposed to graphically illustrate the central contention of you global warming proponents: that we are now experiencing the hottest climate in a thousand years--that after remaining cool during medieval times, the planet suddenly started warming up a century ago, just when we began to burn fossil fuels and generate growing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere. The computer-generated temperature graph shows a relatively flat line until that point, then a sharp angle upward, making it look roughly like a "hockey stick" (which is what the famous graph is now called).
A number of scientists have criticized aspects of the "hockey stick" in the past. Few paid attention. But now two Canadian scientists, Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, have uncovered a big, basic, glaring mathematical error in the computer program that Mann used to generate his "hockey stick." Put simply, his computer program has a built-in flaw--a bias that tends to exaggerate any data that produce the hockey-stick shape, but to suppress any data that don't.
To prove their point, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that show no trends. But when they fed these random data into Mann's program, out popped a hockey-stick shaped graph!
"That discovery hit me like a bombshell, and I suspect it is having the same effect on many others," writes prominent University of California physicist Richard A. Muller in the October 15 issue of Technology Review. "Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics."
But it gets even worse. It appears that the Global Warming Industry, which has invested everything, personally and professionally, in the validity of its pet theory, is now trying its damnedest to suppress this blockbuster news.
"McIntyre and McKitrick sent their detailed analysis to Nature magazine for publication," Muller reports, "and it was extensively refereed. But their paper was finally rejected [for publication]. In frustration, McIntyre and McKitrick put the entire record of their submission and the referee reports on a Web page for all to see. If you look, you’ll see that McIntyre and McKitrick have found numerous other problems with the Mann analysis. I emphasize the bug in their PCA program simply because it is so blatant and so easy to understand. Apparently, Mann and his colleagues never tested their program [with a standard test], or they would have discovered the error themselves. Other and different criticisms of the hockey stick are emerging (see, for example, the paper by Hans von Storch and colleagues in the September 30 issue of Science).
"Some people may complain that McIntyre and McKitrick did not publish their results in a refereed journal," Muller continues. "That is true--but not for lack of trying. Moreover, the paper was refereed--and even better, the referee reports are there for us to read. McIntyre and McKitrick’s only failure was in not convincing Nature that the paper was important enough to publish."
For those who don't know, Nature's editors have shamelessly shilled the global warming theory for years, giving the back of their hands to critics. (Why? Go rent and watch a video of "Planet of the Apes.")
With this news, many of the basic scientific "facts" about the historic climate record, on which the whole Global Warming Industry has fed and thrived, have to be tossed into the trash can. Muller, himself a global warming proponent, admits, "We now know less about the history of climate, and its natural fluctuations over century-scale time frames, than we thought we knew." But at least he is honest enough to admit it.
"A phony hockey stick is more dangerous than a broken one--if we know it is broken," he insists. "It is our responsibility as scientists to look at the data in an unbiased way, and draw whatever conclusions follow. When we discover a mistake, we admit it, learn from it, and perhaps discover once again the value of caution."
Great advice from a true scientist. But will environmentalists pay heed? Yeah. Sure. Uh huh. It will be amusing and instructive to watch them squirm now, trying desperately to "spin" this stunning news in order to somehow sustain their apocalyptic theory--a theory now revealed as nothing more than an article of green religious faith. [Posted 10/15/04]
"How Private Ownership Saved the Southern Forest"--In this outstanding ecoNOT.com guest article, veteran forest manager Charles E. Tomlinson shows how private property--not government ownership and management--salvaged the southern forests of the United States, bringing about "one of the greatest natural resource management triumphs in the history of man." [Posted 10/10/04]
MoveOn.org blames George Bush for bad weather--Ah yes, it had to happen. The logic is inescapable. "Extreme climate events" are caused by man-made pollution. George Bush's policies are failing to stop man-made pollution. Now we're experiencing a year with lots of hurricanes. Ergo, George Bush is responsible for the proliferation of hurricanes in Florida. Q. E. D.
Or at least it is demonstrable truth for the morons at MoveOn.org, in an appeal to its members to launch a letters campaign to newspapers and magazines. President Bush has "helped the oil companies drill more, and the big polluters pollute more, at every opportunity" while he "has done nothing to stop global warming pollution, which is making extreme weather stronger." MoveOn.org urges immediate action in response to this crisis! "By writing to our local papers, we can reach out to neighbors who are concerned about the extreme weather but don't yet know the connection to President Bush protecting the polluters."
Never mind that this is nonsense on stilts--that (1) it has not been established as fact that "climate change" is occurring on a global scale, (2) no link has been established between "climate change" and human activity, and (3) there's no basis to believe that this year's hurricane season represents a departure from the historic record. The contrary claims by environmentalists have been refuted, again and again. But of course, this is a matter not of reason, but of faith...and also leftist politics, which aims to blame everything bad--even the weather--on President Bush.
Next, these folks will be saying that this is all a deliberate, diabolically clever conspiracy between Dick Cheney's energy pals and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to (a) suppress media coverage of John Kerry's campaign speeches, and (b) suppress voter turnout in the Sunshine State, in order to "steal the election" for Mr. Bush. The surpassingly cunning Mr. Rove, by the conspiratorialists logic, may have the power to create, even precisely aim, hurricanes...perhaps at polling places in Democrat areas.
Somebody please, please tell these poor souls to come in out of the hot sun. [Posted 9/24/04]
NRDC: biting the taxpayers who feed them--The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)--the folks who brought us the infamous, phony scare over Alar on our apples--is probably the most successful litigation group among all members of Gang Green. It raises millions of dollars from its scare campaigns, and millions more from its lawsuits. Many of these suits are against government agencies, and taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab for court costs. Why, then, should NRDC get millions more from taxpayers in the form of federal grants? Read about the litigious habits of these environmental ambulance-chasers--and how they stiff the taxpayers--in this report.[Posted 8/30/04]
Bidinotto in the news: Bush administration funds its 'viro enemies with taxpayer dollars--The August 11, 2004 lead story on CNS, an online news service, quotes ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto about a little-known, yet ironic, fact:
Federal government grants to anti-Bush environmentalist organizations have been increasing dramatically during the Bush administration.
The CNS story is drawn from an op-ed written by David Healy, a summer research fellow at the Capital Research Center (CRC), a watchdog group for the nonprofit and foundation world. Bidinotto is quoted in his capacity as the new editor of two monthly CRC publications, Organization Trends and Foundation Watch, which detail the finances, personnel, and activities of advocacy groups and their funders.
The revelations have acquired "legs" in the media. For example, the story also was the August 11th lead article on NewsMax.com, a major Web-based news service.
Two remarkable facts emerge in this story. First, that taxpayers are unknowingly shelling out millions of dollars to green advocacy organizations. Second, that these politically partisan groups--which are leading organized efforts to unseat President Bush and replace him with John Kerry--have been getting vastly increased funding during the Bush administration.
In short, the Bush administration is funding its own political enemies...with taxpayer dollars!
What a country. [Posted 8/11/04]
EcoNOT's "manifesto" part of college course readings--Professor Edward "Terry" Wimberley, Ph. D., of the Department Social & Ecological Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, in Fort Myers, Florida, has just informed ecoNOT that he is using Robert Bidinotto's manifesto, "Environmentalism or Individualism?," as a suggested reading for his Environmental Philosophy and Ethics Course. While we do not mean to imply that his course endorses the views expressed in that essay, we nonetheless thank Professor Wimberley for encouraging his students to grapple with the philosophical alternative it poses to environmentalism. [Posted 6/18/04]
Will "The Day After Tomorrow" win the Golden Globe for "Best Unintended Comedy"?--ecoNOT has thus far maintained dignified silence about the much-ballyhooed "global warming" (or is that "global freezing"?) disaster pic, "The Day After Tomorrow." But now the early reviews are in, and...well, if the greens were expecting a credible recruiting vehicle, this one will get them much worse mileage than the SUVs they despise.
The advance hype from environmentalists for this unintended comedy knew no bounds. From eco-sensitive college columnists to the Natural Resources Defense Council, from green guru Bill McKibben to green politicians such as Al Gore and his pals at MoveOn.org, Gang Green has pulled out all the stops to exploit this scientifically absurd piece of election-year propaganda.
Propaganda? You bet. Says a piece in the May 12, 2004 New York Times: "Directed by Roland Emmerich, 'The Day After Tomorrow' imagines a catastrophic climate change and the rapid arrival of a new ice age caused by global warming. Massive storms destroy Western Europe, Manhattan is covered in a sheet of ice, and tornadoes blast Los Angeles. [Before that occurs] The film's trailer shows Dennis Quaid, who plays a
paleoclimatologist, warning the vice president--played by
an actor who closely resembles Vice President Dick Cheney--that 'if we don't act now, it will be too late.'" The Cheney look-alike, of course, pooh-poohs the warnings, avariciously stressing the supremacy of economic over environmental concerns. Meanwhile, the President is depicted as a dim bulb who takes his direction from the faux-Cheney. Time magazine confirms that "the movie's director, Roland Emmerich, can't resist some playful partisan point scoring. He pairs a weak-willed but telegenic President with a Mephistophelian, scientifically ignorant Veep, played by an obvious Dick Cheney look-alike." Small wonder, then, that "MoveOn.org is recruiting volunteers to hand out flyers on global warming outside movie theaters, and it's planning a press event featuring [Al] Gore and [Al] Franken to coincide with the premiere on May 24. Other organizations, including Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Energy Future Coalition, are following suit. Is this environmentalism's answer to The Passion of the Christ?"
If that's what they expected, they miscalculated badly. A great many critics are treating the film as a poorly written, cliche-ridden, badly acted cinematic joke. The Chicago Sun-Times' Richard Roeper, for instance, calls it "A big, goofy, summer movie, no more believable than 'Godzilla' or 'Armageddon.' Some of the effects are cool, some are cheesy--but they're wrapped around a howler of a storyline filled with ridiculous characters." Michael Sullivan in The Washington Post calls it "a Perfect Storm of cliches."
Even more laughable is the global warming "science" which serves as the foundation for what passes for a plot. Climatologist Patrick Michaels picks apart every one of the film's scientific premises in a USA Today commentary. He notes that the "nonfiction" book upon which the film draws its "science" is The Coming Global Superstorm, co-authored by Art Bell, host of a radio show focusing on the paranormal--and Whitley Strieber, author of Communion, in which he claims that he was told personally about the Earth's upcoming apocalypse by space aliens. Any wonder why even diehard greens such as David Suzuki are nervously expressing misgivings?
Prediction by ecoNOT: "The Day After Tomorrow" will make a bundle of cash over the Memorial Day weekend...until the word of mouth about its absurdities circulates widely. Then, within two weeks, the hot box office will turn cold, colder than ice-bound New York City at the film's end. And as it plunges, so will any remaining credibility for Gang Green's dire claims about impending climate disasters. [Posted 5/28/04]
If Paul Ehrlich has never been right...why does anyone ever pay attention to him? Environmental journalist Ron Bailey explains the curious appeal of Gang Green's leading gloom-and-doomer. [Posted 5/20/04]
EPA hypes "hybrid" mileage--They're supposed to be more "eco-friendly," those little green machines that combine electrical and traditional gas engine technology. Governments have even been giving big tax breaks to consumers who buy them--in essence, subsidizing manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda. But it appears that the EPA's gas mileage estimates for these relatively high-priced econoboxes have been wildly exaggerated, as this report makes clear. Just another example of how greens inflate the alleged environmental benefits of "alternative technologies," when, in fact, the only actual goals of their efforts are to undermine and destroy existing human technologies. [5/12/04]
To Gang Green, forest roads are un-bear-able--Anyone who has ever driven past wooded or forested areas recognizes the possibility of colliding with wild animals. But given their value hierarchies, environmentalists are now suing the federal government, demanding that it impose an elegantly simple solution to this problem: Close the roads.
According to Montana's Missoulan, "A new access management plan for the forests closes far too few roads--and roads kill grizzly bears, said the complaint filed by seven environmental groups led by the Missoula-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies...In the appeal filed with Regional Forester Gail Kimbell, the environmental groups chided the agency [the U. S. Forest Service] for 'failing to take appropriate action' to reduce the network of more than 20,000 miles of backcountry roads on the Lolo, Kootenai and Panhandle forests." [emphasis added]
This effort, of course, is a logical extension of their efforts to curtail and eventually halt all human access to, and activities on, public lands--mining, timber cutting, snowmobiling, camping, even tourism. (Note, for example, our April 7, 2004 commentary on plans to reduce public access to Yosemite National Park, as reported here.)
Today, 'viro litigation focuses on closing roads in national forests. But that's just a paw in the door: the logic of the "preservationist" premise won't stop there. Given the far greater animal "carnage" occurring on highways and streets across the nation, does anyone truly believe that these byways, too, won't soon be under the environmental movement's direct assault? New road construction is already subject to endless delays and red tape, from "environmental impact statements" to compliance with the Endangered Species Act. Soon, we can expect the banning of travel on some existing roads...on grounds of "excessive road kill." [Posted 5/12/04]
Protecting yourself from "protected" predators--Between 1909 and 1986, there were no fatal attacks by mountain lions on humans in California. Maybe that's because from 1907 to 1963, the state paid a bounty for dead lions. But in 1972, California banned the hunting of mountain lions, and in 1990, voters declared them an endangered species. Now only authorities are allowed to kill a puma if it's deemed a safety threat. Private citizens may also kill a lion, but only with a special permit, and only if it has first damaged property.
Result? According to this piece by Terence Jeffrey, in the past 10 years, California has recorded six mountain lion attacks and two deaths. (This past winter on the edge of Los Angeles, a lion killed and ate one person and mauled another.)
Since pumas are now officially protected, while people are not, the state's Department of Fish and Game has released a pamphlet brimming with helpful advice on how to protect oneself from a potential cougar attack:
* Mountain lions are drawn to children, so adults should pick up children so that they don't panic and run. (And if the kids are outside playing alone?)
* Do not squat or bend over while picking up children, or a lion might mistake you for a quadruped and potential prey. (And if you're weeding your garden?)
* People should try to appear larger in order to scare off a mountain lion, by waving arms, opening your jacket, speaking firmly in a loud voice, and throwing any available items without crouching or turning your back. (And if the target is a small child or family pet?)
Meanwhile, the press has added its own suggestions. The ever-Green San Francisco Daily Chronicle tells residents that "Jogging or cycling after dusk in the mountains is not advised, as that is near feeding time for the cougars." (Couples: forget those romantic walks in the moonlight.) The Orange County Register tells you to "Clear low, scrubby vegetation on your property to remove hiding places for cougars, especially around children's play areas." (Er...if you first get official government permission, that is...and if the plants in question aren't also "protected species.") The Modesto Bee advises better interspecies communication: "Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact." (Yeah. And maybe tell him, "I feel your pain" before he makes YOU feel your own?)
Folks, when such a policy is applied toward terrorists and dictators, it's called "appeasement." Yet in our Brave Green World, that's exactly the policy we're supposed to extend toward animal carnivores. Has anyone noticed that many of the same people are advising us to deal with all predators--human and nonhuman--in exactly the same way? [Posted 5/12/04]
Swedish "endangered species" include a mythical serpent--The eco-conscious Swedes take protections of rare and threatened creatures very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that in 1986, Swedish government officials even added a mythical monster to their "endangered species" list.
The specious species in question is the "Lake Storsjoen Monster," legendary resident of one of the country's largest lakes. According to the Associated Press, the monster "was first mentioned in print in 1635, when Mogens Pedersen took down a legend about two trolls who were boiling a mixture in a large kettle on the shore of the lake. Having boiled the mixture for many years, the contents of the kettle began to wail and groan and then there was a loud bang. 'A strange animal with a black serpentlike body and a catlike head jumped out of the kettle and disappeared into the lake. The monster enjoyed living in the lake, it grew incredibly big and terrorized the people living on the shores. After some time it extended all the way around the island in the middle of the lake, and could bite its own tail,' Pedersen's chronicle said."
Now some folks may find this rather thin evidence for the creature's existence. But you can find supporting documentation on the monster's own Web site, where you can even view an impressive artist's rendition of the creature. What more proof does one need?
Anyway, the Storjoen Serpent's official "endangered species" designation came to public attention in recent weeks when businessman Magnus Cedergren asked a Swedish parliamentary ombudsman to intervene on his behalf. Cedergren wants to hatch and raise baby monsters and turn them into a tourist attraction. But the environmental court in Jaemtland province cruelly denied him permission to search for the alleged monster's alleged eggs in its alleged home at the bottom of Lake Storsjoen. "The environment court turned down his application," the A. P. soberly explains, "saying local nature preservation rules stated that 'it is prohibited to kill, hurt or catch animals of the Storsjoe monster species,' or 'take away or hurt the monster's eggs, roe or den.'"
Parliamentary Ombudsman Nils-Olof Berggren has now dutifully interceded, asking the environment court to clarify why it denied Cedergren permission to search for the purported eggs of the purported beast. More courageously, he has also asked the Jaemtland county administrative board to send him documents justifying its 1986 decision to declare the Lake Storsjoen Monster an "endangered species" in the first place.
As you laugh, remember that in the U. S., hundreds of obscure weeds, bugs, and critters--whose genetic and biological distinctiveness is often just as mythical--have been granted "endangered species" protection. Note also that these fanciful designations come at a steep cost: the annual price tag simply to enforce the federal Endangered Species Act is a whopping $3 billion, billed to you, the taxpayers. Yes, we may chuckle at imaginary endangered lake serpents; but that price tag--plus the many horror stories stemming from laws that pit the well-being of people against that of "endangered species"--are no laughing matter. [Posted 5/10/04]
Feuding Brit greens huffing and puffing over wind power--Back on March 16, 2004, we noted here that prominent American 'viros are hyperventilating hypocritically against their favorite energy source--wind power--whenever those windmills happen to be located in their backyards. In Britain, the controversy over wind power has even split the environmentalist movement into warring factions.
Backed by heavy government subsidies of "renewable energy sources" in the name of preventing global warming, British corporations are launching the world's biggest expansion of wind farms. In coming years, scores of new wind farms will be developed, with many windmills towering as high as 400 feet, and dotting the rugged countrysides of Wales and Scotland, plus Britain's coastal sandbanks, shallows, and estuaries. But this effort has provoked a ferocious backlash within the environmental movement. According to the May 7, 2004 issue of The Guardian, "More than 60 national and local groups, led by some of Britain's highest profile conservationists, are now hounding the planners, whipping up antagonism, and undermining the arguments for switching to renewables. As the propaganda war against wind farms heats up, the green movement finds itself split."
"Wind power is sheer lunacy," argues prominent conservationist David Bellamy, who opposes windmills on the grounds that they kill birds and destroy pristine countryside. "They can only work for 30% of the time," while the wind is blowing. He also argues that they are an eco-fiasco: "[T]hese turbines are 22 storeys high and put on hills where everyone can see them. They need 1,000 tonnes of concrete and a road infrastructure. It beggars belief that some environmental groups say they are 'green'."
On the other side, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the World Wildlife Fund find themselves in the awkward position of defending multinational companies and the British government. Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, attacks wind opponents as enemies of the Greater Good. "They are parochial, shortsighted, selfish, peddling falsehoods and misconceptions," he says. "Climate change is no longer a theory. It is the world's most pressing environmental problem and the anti-lobby, helped by nuclear interests, is trying to undermine Britain's role as a leader in tackling it and to fatally delay action."
EcoNOT believes that this rift in Gang Green is only the harbinger of even bigger future feuds. In the past, before they achieved cultural dominance, it was easy for them to unite a mass movement around a common enemy: big, evil, polluting corporations. But as they have come into political power, an internal competition has arisen among members, each trying to prove that he is "greener than thou." (As in the recent power struggle within the Sierra Club.) But more importantly, the sheer irrationality and scientific nonsense underlying many of their pet policies is also becoming apparent, as they're proving to be far less viable--or green--than originally imagined. Could we be seeing the early phase of a coming environmentalist crack-up? Stay tuned. [Posted 5/9/04]
Judge orders report on elephant's happiness--
Prompted by a lawsuit from animal rights activists, a Left Coast judge has given the zoo in Knoxville, Tennessee six months to convince him that an African elephant is happy there, after being separated from a pachyderm pal at the Los Angeles Zoo last year.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Wu ordered the report from the Knoxville Zoo during a hearing in the lawsuit, which seeks to return the female elephant, named Ruby, to the Los Angeles Zoo. The lawsuit claims Ruby is lonely, and thus spends most of her time by herself on a concrete floor and does not breed.
The judge's action establishes the legal precedent that the mood of an animal should have legal standing--a precedent that leaves animal rights activists positively giddy. Says Gretchen Wyler, vice president of the U. S. Humane Society's Hollywood office: "As far as I'm concerned, it's the first time in America that we've had a Superior Court judge bend over backwards to see if an elephant is happy."
Ironically, Ruby was transferred to Knoxville because the zoo there has an African elephant breeding program, which the L. A. Zoo does not. In other words, the animal rights protesters are interfering with a program intended to increase the number of African elephants. [Posted 5/2/04]
No, it's not easy being green--A lot of grist for our mill comes from Grist, the online environmental magazine, and especially its "advice columnist," Umbra Fisk. After advising her readers recently on the pleasures of raising babies without diapers, Umbra now confronts a horde of green wannabes who lament that the daily deprivations and moral quandaries of their Earth-Friendly Lifestyles are driving them completely batty. If you want a vivid picture of what "walking gently on the planet" really means--and the neuroses to which it leads--read the anguished reader mail in Umbra's April 27, 2004 column. [Posted 5/2/04]
Heinz/Kerry pump conservation, but guzzle gas--We all know that John Kerry is the candidate of the League of Conservation Voters, and that his wealthy wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is a major funder of environmental causes. But do these eco-avatars walk the green walk? Consider Mr. Flip-Flop's latest flap, as reported by the April 24, 2004 New York Post:
"One day after John Kerry stressed the importance of buying American cars to keep American jobs, records show that his wife owns a pricey imported German Audi. The green 2001 Audi Quattro is registered to Teresa Heinz Kerry at their townhouse in Boston's posh Beacon Hill, according to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Her registration is good through February 2005.
"That news comes the day after Kerry reluctantly admitted, on Earth Day, that his family owns a gas-guzzling Chevrolet Suburban SUV but blamed it on his wife, saying: 'The family has it. I don't have it.'... Kerry left out the pricey Audi import two months ago when he detailed the cars that his family owns to the Detroit News. Talking to the Detroit paper, Kerry said: 'We have some SUVs. We have a Jeep. We have a couple of Chrysler minivans. We have a PT Cruiser up in Boston. I have an old Dodge 600 that I keep in the Senate . . . We also have a Chevy, a big Suburban.'"
Wow. The Kerry family alone is probably responsible for a fair chunk of Exxon's annual profits. So file this one under "Do As I Say, Not As I Do." [Posted 5/1/04]
Misanthropic environmentalist quotations of the week--Our regular recognition of outstanding human-hating statements is split this time between peerless misanthrope Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and another up-and-comer.
This from Watson, who sits on the governing board of the Sierra Club, to the Los Angeles Times: "I am not sitting on this board to represent people; I am on this board to represent endangered species."
And this from a letter to the editor of the Downeast Coastal Press in Maine (no Web site available), published April 13, 2004, under the heading, "Humans Only Population that has Grown Extreme":
"...[F]ar too many animals in the state of Maine are needlessly killed. Humans have made excuses to kill wolves, to kill deer, to kill coyotes, etc., etc., etc. There are always more excuses, mostly based on the rhetoric that these populations are growing extreme. You and I know that the only population that has grown extreme is the humans. It is the arrogance of human-kind that believes that Mother Nature didn't know how to run the planet before humans came along. --Gedun Nyima,
Machiasport." [Posted 5/1/04]
Bidinotto a guest on Ken Hamblin Radio Show--EcoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto was a guest on Ken Hamblin's nationally syndicated radio talk show on Wednesday, April 28th. The topic was that "diaperless baby" fad among some environmentalists, which Bidinotto publicized recently (see the April 23 item below). Hamblin has a similar "take no prisoners" attitude toward the 'viros, and we encourage you to visit his Web site. [Posted 4/28/04]
The malaria mortality clock--Want to get a stunning, graphic conception of what ecoNOT means by the words "death by environmentalism"? Click on this link to see the "clock" posted on Steve Milloy's "JunkScience.com" Web site, which records in real time the staggering, ever-increasing malaria body count caused by the greens' war on DDT.
For more about this green genocide, click here. [Posted 4/27/04]
ecoNOT publisher Bidinotto quoted in "diaperless baby" news story--Marc Morano, an enterprising reporter for CNSNews.com, saw our March 16, 2004 ecoNOT.com commentary, "Much A-Doo: The 'Viros' New Enemy Is the Diaper." Marc loved it, and interviewed ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto for a hilarious Earth Day news story, "Diaperless Babies Seen As Earth-Friendly Solution."
The nationally syndicated piece, which quotes Bidinotto extensively, became an instant hit on talk shows. We're informed that it was the lead item on the April 22, 2002 Sean Hannity radio show--the second-most-popular in the nation, behind Rush Limbaugh; and it was the topic of conversation for several minutes on the April 23 "Fox and Friends" morning cable TV show on the Fox News Network. In addition, Marc's piece has been reprinted on such high-traffic sites as NewsMax.com, and FreeRepublic.com, where it is generating huge reader feedback. It's part of ecoNOT's ongoing crusade to expose the environmentalists' peculiar fixation on bathroom issues, which we first discussed in our essay, "The Environmentalists Finally Go Potty." [Posted 4/23/04]
Let's Make Earth Day a Religious Holiday--Doing his part to participate in our national recycling effort, ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto reprints his annual op-ed on Earth Day...insisting once more that this date be given the official religious status it has earned. [Posted 4/20/04]
"Death by Environmentalism" reprinted online--EcoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto's recent article for Navigator magazine, "Death by Environmentalism," has just been reprinted online at www.IntellectualConservative.com, a widely read conservative Web site. [Posted 4/19/04]
Environmentally-correct nuclear missiles?--The idiocy of self-appointed stewards of Our Precious Environment continues to defy parody. Here's a terse item from the April 11, 2004 Chicago Sun-Times, which ecoNOT hereby nominates for humorist Dave Barry's future "Folks, I Am NOT Making This Stuff Up" Greatest Hits Collection:
Environmentally correct missiles are on the way
April 11, 2004
by Zay N. Smith
"We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
"Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles being refurbished by the Pentagon will have weaker rocket motors, in accordance with EPA rules, to lessen their environmental impact."
Award-winning columnist doesn't swallow food scares--In his April 15, 2004 column, David Shaw, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the Los Angeles Times, tackled all the recent hysteria over mercury in fish, "mad cow disease," acrylamide in our French fries, and other dietary terrorism fomented by Gang Green. "Eating can be--should be--one of the great pleasures in life," he concludes. "Why should we let others, no matter how well meaning, make mealtime feel like a round of Russian roulette?" Perhaps the only point on which ecoNOT takes issue with Mr. Shaw is his belief that the green scare-mongers are "well meaning." Regardless, his column ought to be mandatory reading. And while you're at it, check out this related commentary from the Center for Consumer Freedom. [Posted 4/19/04]
Jacques Cousteau's war on sea life--Here's another news item that greens will find inconvenient, reprinted on April 19, 2004 in the New Zealand Herald:
"His name was indelibly linked to a wonderful technicolour world of marine life. But the legendary French explorer, Captain Jacques Cousteau, mistreated and even killed sea creatures while staging scenes for his films, according to a shocking new book by his son."
A previous biography had already revealed "that many scenes in early Cousteau films, which were passed off as shot in the wild, depended on using captured sea-creatures which were goaded over and over to perform as the script required. It was not unusual for creatures to die during filming. On one occasion a Cousteau film showed lobsters in the Red Sea, which had actually been purchased live in a fish market in Marseilles. Before his death, Cousteau admitted the allegations and apologised to his millions of animal-loving fans."
But should we really condemn the self-promoting Cousteau for his hypocritical actions, when his intentions were so environmentally "noble"? Not according to his son, Jean-Michel Cousteau. The article reports that, in his view, "Captain Cousteau's reputation as one of the 'fathers of environmentalism' should not be thrown overboard because of his occasional ill-treatment of dolphins, killer-whales and fish... 'For him the ends sometimes justified the means. Isn't the important point that, at the end of the day, he served the cause of animals?'" And: "His son says that the captain's devotion to marine life was sincere but he had the old fashioned view that it was the survival of species that really counted, not the welfare of individual creatures."
So let's file this news item under the Orwellian heading: "All animals may be equal; but some animals--and 'animal advocates'--are more equal than others." [Posted 4/19/04]
A. P.: "In Bush's world, human desires trump environmental protections"--Maybe it's the election year. Maybe it's the frustration of being out of political power. Or maybe it's just the logic of their own premises catching up with them. Whatever the reason, Gang Green and their media accomplices are becoming ever more explicit in voicing their Man-hating sentiments.
Reflect, if you will, on this Associated Press story published back on March 9, 2004, and written by the news service's designated green hitter, John Heilprin. Its title seems to take it as self-evident that there's something truly newsworthy, perhaps controversial, maybe even downright shocking about a politician who, in environmental policy, places human interests first.
Writes Heilprin: "Making life easier for people now gets more priority than protecting an endangered salamander. Preventing a wildfire from engulfing a home trumps not cutting down a tree. Cheap electricity prevails over cleaner air"--he marvels, adding, with a seeming hint of election-year hope--"at least for the time being."
But the most revealing part of the article--revealing, that is, about the actual moral values of major environmentalist leaders--is this passage:
"Bush and his aides say their view of nature as requiring upkeep is in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt...Environmentalists would prefer he leave nature alone. 'There is a philosophy that everything is put on Earth for humanity's sake. And that's a very arrogant and somewhat selfish perspective,' said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. 'Those of us who have worked around wildlands believe nature takes care of itself and, in fact, the biggest problem is where man has interfered.'"
Would anyone please explain to us any substantive moral distinction between this remark--by the head of the much-venerated, "mainstream" Wilderness Society--and the worst anti-human statements from those misanthropes at PETA, ALF or ELF? [Posted 4/7/04]
A. P.: 'Viros "plan to curb human activity" in the Pacific--Are you skeptical of ecoNOT's contention that the big, mainstream environmental groups fundamentally oppose the presence of human beings in nature? Well, don't take our word for it. The following quotations are from an April 4, 2004 Associated Press news story by reporter Jim Wasserman. EcoNOT has only added italics to stress especially notable points:
"SACRAMENTO, Calif.--Environmentalists who successfully tapped taxpayer money to buy thousands of acres of California coastline to stop development are now targeting the Pacific Ocean, with a plan to curb human activity by buying boats, fishing permits and possibly underwater land.
"The idea is provoking a renewed struggle between some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful environmental groups and California fishermen who fear they gradually will be booted off the ocean they prowl for recreation and profit...
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken no position on [potential ballot] proposals that ask voters to steer state bond money to environmentalists' ocean wish lists--and also create a Cabinet-level Ocean Protection Council within state government. The proposals, sponsored by the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council and Washington, D.C.-based Oceans Conservancy, would represent the state's first major response to a Pew Oceans Commission report released last summer detailing the growing threat to the world's oceans from population growth and overfishing...
"'If we're going to reverse the trends that are happening right now with coastal development, water pollution, overexploitation of fishing and climate change, we need a lot more tools than we have now,' said Chuck Cook, director of the California Coastal Marine Program for the Arlington, Va.-based Nature Conservancy. Cook and others are seeking bond money to buy fishing boats and licenses...Other possibilities include leasing underwater land containing prime fish habitat and pilot projects to put more large ocean areas off limits to fishing and other human activity. In theory, the money could even buy oil leases within the state's three-mile offshore waters.
"The target is money available under Proposition 50, the $3.44 billion bond measure that California voters passed in November 2002 to protect the state's coastlines and wetlands and restore its estuaries, bays and coastal waters. Supporters, including groups that financed and put Proposition 50 on the ballot two years ago, want now to expand the bond measure's mission.
"Opponents, including a wide variety of fishing groups and oil companies, still hope tight legislative deadlines will sink the bills, at least this year. Recreational fishermen are especially hostile, believing the environmental agenda is to 'lock up' more of the ocean and push them out of the state's regulatory process. 'It's like we don't have any representation,' said Ron Aliotti, a Monterey fisherman and owner of the 34-foot fishing boat, the Silver Streak. 'They want to keep it all pristine, just like God made it.'"
No further comment from ecoNOT is necessary...except perhaps: "We told you so." [Posted 4/7/04]
Being "green" = reducing the "human footprint" on nature--Here's another news item for which no further comment is necessary...except perhaps, "We told you so."
"What does it mean to be green?" asks Bob Keyes, staff writer for Maine's Press Herald in an April 4, 2004 story. "If you consider yourself an environmentalist and want to live in harmony with the earth, how do you do it in an everyday way? David Orr, professor of environmental studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, will offer ideas when he discusses the notion of living well at the kick-off event of this year's Architalx lecture series Thursday night at the Portland Museum of Art," Keyes reports.
"In Orr's mind, the idea behind living well is to reduce the size of the human footprint. Less consumption means less environmental destruction, which leads to a healthier earth and healthier people, he says." [Posted 4/7/04]
Yosemite spends millions to reduce the "human footprint"--Now this, from the April Fool's Day 2004 edition of the Washington Post. Once again, except for italics for emphasis, no further comment is necessary...
"After decades of debate, Yosemite is embarking on a $440 million plan to limit or change human activity around the glorious but beleaguered park. Some campsites will be eliminated or moved, roads and trails will be refigured, and many visitors will eventually have to roam the valley in shuttle buses instead of their cars--all to better protect the park's natural wonders without ruining public access...
"New population pressures and recreational pastimes that keep pushing deeper into pristine wilderness are laying siege to many national parks, and some of them are at a loss for solutions. Yosemite believes it has found its remedy. 'Our goal is to have a smaller human footprint,' said park Superintendent Michael Tollefson. 'We're going to have less development and less gridlock--without turning visitors away from this experience.'
"...Other critics of the plan have come to the opposite conclusion. Yosemite, they say, is on the verge of denying the public access that it deserves. Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.), who represents communities near Yosemite, wants the plan to include more campsites and more parking spaces. Asking visitors to park in remote lots and take long bus rides into the valley, he said, will hurt attendance. 'Why devise a scheme that's going to discourage people from coming to the park,' Radanovich said, 'unless that's what you want to do?'" [Posted 4/7/04]
Misanthropic environmentalist quotations of the week--For years, greens have promoted the woozy notion of "sustainable development"--i. e., cautious development of natural resources, limited by environmental considerations. But now the logical inconsistencies of that hybrid notion are coming under scrutiny by some 'viros who reveal more "ecocentric" than "homocentric" sympathies. Duke University biologist John Terborgh, who won a MacArthur "genius" grant in 1992 for research in tropical biology, reflects this value hierarchy. For one thing, Terborgh opposes leaving native tribes within international wildlife preserves. According to a Boston Globe feature aptly titled No Man's Lands, "Terborgh finds it both immoral and impossible to preserve the Machiguenga [tribe] inside [Peru's Manu National Park]...as exhibits in a sort of Amazonian Renaissance fair; they want outboard motors, shotguns, and television sets, and that spells doom for the park's wildlife. He thinks the Machiguenga should be resettled--with generous compensation, of course...'It's just ignorant of the biological conditions that are required to conserve biodiversity. People and wildlife don't go together. If there are people in a park, they'll be eating the animals.'" John Oates of Hunter College, author of Myth and Reality in the Rain Forest, echoes this perspective. "I've come to the view that although sustainable development is very good in theory, trying to promote development alongside the conservation of ecosystems is impossible," he says. "I don't want to come across as being against people. But my interest is in preserving wildlife." [Posted 4/6/04]
New York Times blows smoke about the Bush record on air pollution--"Up in Smoke: The Bush Administration, the Big Power Companies and the Undoing of 30 Years of Clean Air Policy" was the blaring cover-story headline in the April 4, 2004 print edition of The New York Times Magazine. Festooned with photos of belching smokestacks, Bruce Barcott's hit piece accuses the Bush administration of drastically loosening air pollution rules, in effect leaving smoking holes in the Clean Air Act. (Under another giant smokestack photo, the online version of the magazine carries the slightly less incendiary, though no less misleading title, "Changing All the Rules"--though the issue's lead page runs the subhead, "How the Bush administration quietly--and radically--transformed the nation's clean-air policy."
Alarming stuff...but true? In the thirteen pages that follow, you'd think there would be something to support the article's obvious implication: that air pollution has been increasing under the eco-unfriendly Bush. But in fact, nothing in the long, deliberately misleading story conveys the underlying truth, as revealed by journalist Gregg Easterbrook:
"All pollution regulated by the Clean Air Act is declining, has been declining for years, and continues to decline under George W. Bush...Aggregate air emissions, everything rolled into one, have declined 25 percent since 1970 (see figure 1 here), though the population has risen 39 percent in the same period. The Times Magazine cover and article give the impression that air pollution is getting worse when in fact it's in significant decline: about half as much, per capita, as in 1970...Particulate emissions have declined 14 percent in the last decade--see page 11. Acid rain emissions from power plants have fallen 41 percent since 1980--see figure 1 of this report--and have fallen 9 percent since Bush's election. Nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants have declined 33 percent since 1990."
A veteran environmental journalist noted for careful, sober research, Easterbrook adds: "So The New York Times Magazine proclaims the 'undoing' of clean air policy but skips over the complication that air pollution is declining, and, yes, declining under George W. Bush. This deceives the reader, creating a doomsday impression that makes for a good magazine cover and gives Barcott's article urgency, but does not hold up if you know what the article doesn't tell you...Finally, the Times Magazine story ignores or buries the really inconvenient complication that the Bush White House has taken some steps to make air pollution regulation more strict."
It isn't the first time, of course, that green "journalists" have blown smoke in order to cover their smears of political enemies. But it takes more than a little chutzpah for the openly pro-John-Kerry Times to pretend to ignore the obvious-yet-politically-inconvenient fact that under Bush, air pollution continues to decline, and the environment continues to improve. [Posted 4/6/04]
Warning to men: country living may be hazardous to your sperm count--We all know that a bucolic rural environment is healthier than city living...don't we? I mean, haven't you read any environmentalist books? Watched reruns of "Green Acres"?
That's what University of Missouri epidemiologist Shanna Swann "knew" she would find confirmed when she compared the fertility of metrosexual males from Minneapolis with that of good ol' boys from Boone County, Missouri. Indeed, had Swan's suspicions panned out, we just know that the 'viros would have blamed all those "unnatural" environmental factors in city life--high levels of "toxic" auto pollution, chlorinated drinking water, the profusion of plastics, video display terminals, electro-magnetic power fields, etc., etc.--for emasculating the Urban Man. But to her great surprise, Swan discovered instead that the macho country guys had a 42 percent lower sperm count, and lower quality sperm, than their citified counterparts.
How to explain this Ecologically Incorrect finding? The greenies immediately seized upon a favorite demon--pesticides--and checking, Swan did detect traces of various agrichemicals in the rural men's bodies that were relatively higher than those in the city men. But critics of Swan's study note that her sample was too small, didn't screen out infertile men, examined them during the summer heat when sperm counts typically drop, and looked at too brief a period in their lives. In short, the study wasn't sufficiently controlled for many other possible factors that might explain the discrepancies.
EcoNOT dares to suggest that the true reasons for Urban Male's relative fertility may well be related to his greater access to sleek, exciting cars, fine wines, computer dating, higher-paying jobs, and oyster bars. Until scientists fully investigate these, uh, fertile areas of study, we can only advise worried young Rural Male to leave behind the green, green fields of home, and take up residence instead in the high-testosterone high-rises of the Asphalt Jungle. [Posted 4/2/04]
Warning to Christians: the 'viros declare Palm Sunday "unsustainable"--Should all religions be subject to official green approval for their rituals and practices? We wonder, since the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the Rainforest Alliance issued a press release on April 2, 2004, warning Christians about "unsustainable practices often used to harvest the 30 million chamaedorea palm fronds delivered to Canadian and U.S. Churches" for Palm Sunday services.
According to the groups, most palm fronds are harvested in Mexico and Guatemala. "Unfortunately," they declare, "peasant workers often harvest the entire plant, leading to the over-harvesting of the species, the potential destruction of rain forests, and the depletion of many bird species that migrate to these regions in the winter." As a remedy for the looming environmental holocaust stemming from Palm Sunday rituals, CEC and Rainforest Alliance promote "environmental certification," aka "eco-labeling," to help green-minded Christians determine which palms are harvested in ways they deem eco-friendly. In fact, the groups report that they are working with some churches in a pilot program to help them select "sustainable" palms for services, weddings, and floral arrangements.
If these devout advocates of the religion of environmentalism had been around 2,000 years ago, would they have picketed Jesus as he rode into town across that unsustainable trail of palm fronds? Would PETA have interfered with Old Testament prophets as they conducted ritual animal sacrifices? Stopped that archetypal anthropocentrist, Noah, from forcibly imprisoning all those endangered species on his ark?
Why, the theological implications simply boggle the mind... [Posted 4/2/04]
The Fatal Conceit Redux--"Several generations ago," writes Canadian commentator Julius Wroblewski, "the brilliant Austrian economist F. A. Hayek ripped into the pretensions of the ever growing Socialist and Marxist elite of his day, branding their foolish pretension to knowing how to order to the last spike the economic and social affairs of Man as 'the fatal conceit.'
"History has proven him right many times over, of course. But now in our modern world there are those who claim to know how to manage 'the environment' with a grandiose arrogance that would awe Caligula. And these wretches are growing ever more vocal and powerful."
For the rest of this thoughtful, truly exceptional column, click here. [Posted 4/2/04]
"A Manifesto for Earth": the ethical antithesis of the ecoNOT.com manifesto--Have you read the ecoNOT.com manifesto "Environmentalism or Individualism?"...and concluded that it is "too extreme"--or that it distorts and caricatures the basic moral premises of environmentalism? If so, we cordially invite you to read the new Manifesto for Earth, written by Ted Mosquin and J. Stan Rowe, and published in the January/March 2004 issue of Biodiversity.
Read both manifestos; compare their clashing views of Man, and of his relationship to his environment.
And then decide for yourself which you regard as the truly moral vision.
(Thanks to friend and philosopher Stephen Hicks for calling this new environmentalist manifesto to our attention.) [Posted 3/29/04]
Environmentalists continue to make war on our nation’s defenders--On November 11, 2003, we documented in an online commentary the many life-threatening impacts that environmentalists were having on our nation’s military readiness. Important new defense systems, such as advanced underwater sonar to detect enemy submarines, have been severely restricted because of environmentalist lawsuits that claim it “might” harm migrating whales. Meanwhile, huge sections of military bases are now off limits to vital, specialized troop training, due to ‘viro legal restrictions aimed at protecting “endangered species” of birds, beasts, toads, and weeds.
We wrote: “Rather than focus on training, our military personnel must now worry about complying with the endless requirements of statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, and many others...This is obscene. The very survival of the young men and women whom we count upon to defend our nation depends on their receiving the most realistic military training, under the widest possible range of environmental conditions. Yet vast expanses of their own military bases are now taboo, and the realism of their training is undercut, so that some toad might not get squashed by a soldier’s misstep, or that some lusty elk might not endure the trauma of coitus interruptus.”
The latest example of the environmentalists’ war on America’s defenders is taking place at Fort Irwin, an Army base in California. According to an Associated Press story, the Army says it needs to expand the 1,000-square-mile base by 200 square miles, in order to accommodate the faster, more sophisticated tanks and longer-range weapons used by the 4,000 soldiers who train there monthly. However, before it could do so, the Army first had to go hat-in-hand to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its “green” light. Why? Because of environmentalist claims that the expansion would threaten the “critical habitat” of the desert tortoise, and some weed called the “Lane Mountain milk-vetch.”
After investigation, Fish and Wildlife found that the expansion wouldn’t threaten the existence of the tortoise and the weed, though it said about 117 square miles of “critical habitat” will be lost. The Service thereby granted our soldiers permission to use the expanded area…as long as the Army also works hard to protect the tortoise and the plant. And so it has. In the surreal world of green political priorities, Congress has now diverted $75 million away from crucial defense purposes so that the critter and the weed will be spared. The “protective” measures include building fences to keep the reptiles from wandering into the new area or onto a road, and also creating a 1,800-acre "no-dig zone" to protect that precious, irreplaceable “milk-vetch” from harm.
Even granting these irrationally warped moral priorities, you’d think those protective measures would be enough to satisfy the demands of the greens. Guess again. According to the news report, “Daniel Patterson, desert ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, called it [the grant of permission] unreasonable, citing ‘the intense destruction of habitat caused by this type of tank training.’” Gang Green says it will now challenge the decision in court.
If the motive of the greens were truly “environmental protection,” they would view the Fish and Wildlife decision as a reasonable compromise. But environmentalists are not about reasonable compromises. Here is yet another clear illustration that their real, uncompromising agenda is not “pro-environment”: it’s anti-human.
We have long argued that the environmentalist movement--predicated on the notion of the “intrinsic value” of “untouched” nature--is logically, irreconcilably opposed to the fundamental requirements of human life, well-being, and survival. How could it be otherwise? If a “pristine environment” is their moral ideal, then any human use and development of natural resources necessarily constitutes “environmental destruction and degradation.” Thus the bedrock premise of environmentalism--"preservation as an end in itself"--is completely incompatible with the demands of human life. There is no “compromise” possible with so radical a premise; there is only this moral alternative: choose it, or choose human life as your standard of value. You can't have both.
And the Ft. Irwin controversy highlights that truth. Now, while our brave young soldiers are trying to protect our way of life, our very existence, in the war against terrorism--when they need the best in equipment, training, and funding in order to do their dangerous jobs--militant greens are obstructing their training and diverting vital resources...so that reptiles and weeds might thrive instead.
We’ve said it before, but can’t say it often enough: The value priorities of environmentalists may be called many things; but by human standards, “moral” isn’t one of them. [Posted 3/28/04]
No, it's not about snowmobiles; it's about philosophy--John Krist, a senior reporter and syndicated columnist at the Ventura County Star in Southern California, wrote about the ongoing controversy over snowmobiling in Yellowstone Park in his March 5, 2004 column. An environmentalist, Krist is savvy enough to understand that the controversy isn't really about snowmobiles.
"The conflict is emblematic of an old paradox built into the national park system and reflects a deep and irreconcilable division in the way Americans perceive their native landscape," he writes. "The dispute is about more than just snowmobiles, noise, and air quality. At its heart are deeply conflicting attitudes regarding the purpose of national parks. Do they exist to preserve unique natural treasures in as undisturbed a state as possible, even if that means curtailing some types of human activity? Or are they intended primarily as playgrounds for visitors and to enrich private businesses that cater to those visitors?
"Those philosophies have been in conflict almost since Yellowstone was established and reflect fundamentally incompatible belief systems. As long as some Americans believe the natural world exists only to be exploited for profit, while others believe in preservation for its own sake, the courts will be called on to resolve the irresolvable."
Amen. We said that here months ago, in our manifesto. Environmentalists like Krist grasp that "preservation for its own sake" is "fundamentally incompatible" with a human-centered view of nature. On the day when their adversaries and victims also come to understand that this value alternative is "either/or," then human life may at last achieve the pre-eminent status to which it is morally entitled. [Posted 3/27/2004]
Citigroup kowtows to the greens...and sacrifices the Third World poor--Ever hear of the term "greenwashing"? It's the pathetic effort by businesses to appease environmentalists by adopting environmentalist-approved policies of "social responsibility" in their investments, conduct, and products. Of course, appeasement doesn't work: it only encourages 'viro activists to demand even more drastic concessions. But many major corporations, having no clue about how to defend their moral right to exist as profit-making businesses, continue to cave in to their sworn enemies and would-be destroyers.
Citigroup is among the most recent to take the green corporate shower. "On January 22, Citigroup directors and executives fell all over each other, rushing to claim their Ethical Oscar from the radical activist group, Rainforest Action Network," reports Paul Driessen, author of the devastating new book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death. "Henceforth, promised Citi, it would dramatically scale back investment in developing country projects that some might perceive as being socially or ecologically destructive. From now on, they would minimize investment in hydroelectric and fossil fuel projects, and focus instead on renewable energy, 'sustainable development,' climate change prevention, and preservation of habitats and indigenous cultures.
"Residents of developing countries might be excused if they don't share the jubilation. They understand all too well that Citi's capitulation will further postpone the day when their destitute families will have electricity, safe running water, and a glimmer of hope for a better, healthier, more prosperous future."
You'll understand, too, when you read Driessen's full commentary. [Posted 3/26/04]
"Defining deviancy down": the Hollywood Left canonizes an eco-terrorist--Do you ever wonder why terrorism has become so widespread in the world? Consider the crucial role played by terrorism’s "enablers": those intellectual and cultural leaders who act as apologists and excuse-makers for violence and evil.
The late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined a useful term for this phenomenon: “defining deviancy down.” By this he meant that, when a society and its leaders begin to view evil actions sympathetically, as somehow excusable, then it isn’t long before those actions are seen as “normal”--and finally, even as causes for admiration and celebration.
Consider, for example, the culturati’s sunny view of Paul Watson, one of the Founding Fathers of modern eco-terrorism. We previously reported on Watson’s anti-human misanthropy, and on his campaign to take over the Sierra Club (click here, then scroll down to the entries about the “Sierra Club” dated January 28 and January 29, 2004). Prompted by the takeover controversy, the Portland Oregonian has published a profile of Watson. It reveals that prominent intellectuals and the Hollywood Left are set to elevate Watson to the status of a cultural hero and icon, with a new film glorifying his violent exploits, and starring Academy Award-winner Sean Penn (typecast?) as the eco-thug.
In his latest commentary, ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto provides the details about this coming ethical atrocity, exposing how our "cultural leaders" have become "terrorist Enablers." [Posted 3/22/04]
New hybrid car runs on gas, feelgood environmental BS--Folks, forgive me, but I couldn't resist reporting this "news item"...
Friday, March 19, 2004
Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury
Mercury World Report
New hybrid car runs on gas, feelgood environmental BS
EVANSVILLE, Ind.--Fueling the recent craze over hybrid cars, Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled on Wednesday its newest model, the Gaia.
Powered by a hybrid engine that uses both unleaded gas and feelgood, self-important environmental crackpot bullshit, the sedan averages about 65 miles per gallon--and up to 80 MPG if you really, truly believe in the power of a single person to change the world...
(For the rest of this exciting news report, click here.) [Posted 3/19/04]
Much a-doo: the 'viros new enemy is the diaper--What, we wonder, can possibly explain environmentalists' strange affinity for bodily wastes? In one of our most popular essays, we plumbed the depths of the greens' opposition to our flush toilets, which they want us to replace with composting outhouses. But environmentalists have more creative suggestions to bring us "back in touch with nature." For instance, Umbra Fisk, official "advice columnist" for Grist Magazine--a leading environmentalist e-publication--is just bloated with helpful notions for the eco-wannabes who are obsessed with toilet issues.
On February 12, 2004, the husband of an expectant mom wrote Umbra with a moral dilemma. "Due to prodding by my wife, I have begun to think about things such as diapers," wrote Jason from the eco-conscious enclave of Denver. "Babies make a lot of boom-boom [ecoNOT readers: I am not making this up], and wrapping it all up in a bundle of plastic diaperness, tossing that in a plastic sack, and then tossing the lot in a landfill seems eco-unfriendly. And reusable diapers are definitely parent-unfriendly, insists my wife. I have seen some all-cotton and paper disposable diapers, but at $1 a pop, I'd have to sell the child to pay for the diapers. Besides, I can't imagine anything biodegrades 100 feet down in a landfill. Since my wife has completely vetoed reusable cotton, what are some options to lessen the impact of my baby's bodily functions on our Earth?"
We are truly inspired that Jason's main concern is not for the comfort of his baby, nor for the convenience of the baby's mother, but for the harmful impact that his baby may have upon Mother Earth. Such priorities deserve serious concern, and ever-helpful Umbra had this brilliant suggestion: "What about no diapers?"
She explains: "The disposable vs. reusable diaper fight is in a stalemate for the foreseeable future. (And it sounds as though mom-to-be has negged the reusable route anyway.)...The no-diaper idea is not mine to claim. People around the world who have no access to diapers manage to raise children, and a small group of parents in diaper-rich countries have decided to follow their lead. Around here [in the aromatic offices of Grist?], it's called 'elimination communication' or 'diaper-free.' The concept is logical and simple: Infants give recognizable signs of imminent peeing and pooping; it's possible to learn your infant's signs; infant pee isn't frightening; and if you train your kid to ignore their outputs, you'll just have to go back and retrain them when traditional potty-training time arrives...Parents and caregivers need to be able to pay close attention to the child, hold him or her most of the time, and--obviously-- be comfortable being unusual. If you think you might fit the bill, there are gobs of resources on the web for this retro cutting-edge environmentally friendly scheme. Check out Natural-Wisdom.com for starters. Be the first in your neighborhood!"
Ponder, if you will, the aesthetic fulfillment to be had by stepping outside on freezing January nights to commune with nature in your own composting outhouse. And imagine, if you will, the additional Parental Bonding Experience to be had while rushing your bare, squirming infant out into the cold, and holding the shivering tyke over the outhouse seat until his quote "outputs" unquote are complete.
As for the unavoidable accidents that occur at night, or during dinner parties, solace yourself with the knowledge that you are engaging in a quote "retro cutting-edge environmentally friendly scheme" unquote--and that somewhere, some would-be landfill will remain pristine and green...even if your bedding and carpets do not. [Posted 3/16/04]
Prized "wetland" caused by a leaky water pipe--The "wetland" on the campus of Taipei's Kungkuan Elementary School had been the school's pride and joy for 27 years...until it was found to be the result of nothing more than a leaking water pipe.
The embarrassing discovery occurred after the school received $300,000 (U. S.) from authorities to transform its "wetland" into an "ecology park" for butterflies and insects. Water authorities checking out the school's pipes found and fixed the leak last month. Since then, the "wetland fountain" has stopped gushing--and the school's monthly water bill has fallen dramatically.
Which raises another environmental dilemma: Is it ecologically proper to undo a "wetland" that was created by Man? [3/16/04]
Misanthropic quotation of the week: Tom Regan--In the ecoNOT manifesto, we observed that "As the only entity on earth having both the conceptual ability to define 'good' and 'evil,' and the power to choose between them, Man is the only natural source of moral values...To Enlightenment thinkers, this was Man's power and his glory. To environmentalists, however, Man is the only thorn in an otherwise perfect Garden of Eden...
"Practically, the notion of animal rights entails an absurd moral double standard. It declares that animals have the 'inherent right' to survive as their nature demands, but that Man doesn't. It declares that the only entity capable of recognizing moral boundaries is to sacrifice his interests to entities that can't. Ultimately, it means that only animals have rights: since nature consists entirely of animals, their food, and their habitats, to recognize 'animal rights,' Man logically must cede to them the entire planet."
Was this an exaggeration or caricature?
Philosopher Tom Regan, author of The Case for Animal Rights, is one of the two main scholarly architects of the philosophy of "animal rights" (along with philosopher Peter Singer). In a February 2004 speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Regan made clear his own moral priorities, as quoted by a local newspaper:
"Regan advocates against any use of any animal for human purposes, including for food, clothing or entertainment. He proposes the elimination of all commercial animal-based farming, the total abolition of the use of animals in science and the elimination of all forms of hunting and trapping...
"Regan believes that humans have a unique moral responsibility to make choices other animals are not capable of making... Regan...stated humans have notions of morality, and animals don't. 'As a result, we've been asked to bear a burden that other animals haven't, actually,' he said. 'Every day, we make the moral choice to turn toward the Garden of Eden (where there are no predator/prey relationships) or we can turn toward McDonald's.'" [Posted 3/16/04]
Alternative energy, yes...but not in my back yard--You have to love the hypocrisy of environmentalists. For example, they oppose all of the forms of energy production--oil, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear--that make our lifestyles possible. In their place, they tout "alternatives" such as solar and wind power. They do, that is, for some people--somewhere else.
Some time ago, we noted the furious opposition mounted by famous greenies living on Cape Cod against an offshore windmill site. Led by the Hyannisport Kennedy clan (including Senator Ted, and that greener-than-thou mouthpiece for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), plus the ever-pontificating Walter Cronkite (see our entry of March 1, 2004), and the Humane Society, a local coalition of Gang Green prominenti doesn't want the view of the pristine ocean spoiled by the windmills. Wind power, you see, is a great idea...in someone else's back yard. (Though not in Europe, either: Britain's Royal Academy of Engineering has just reported that wind power is up to 2.5 times as expensive as gas- or nuclear-generated electricity.)
That leaves us with solar power, the other highly touted mainstay of our green energy future. Er, well, maybe...if we can find socially acceptable places to stick all those rather ungainly and unsightly solar panels. Seems that in our nation's oh-so-eco-trendy enclaves, it's simply an aesthetic faux pas to have those P. C. panels on your roof. According to a February 25, 2004 Wall Street Journal report summarized here, in California--where solar energy usage has become most common--a score of local homeowners' associations have laws in place making it harder to install solar panels. The same thing is happening across the Sunbelt. Though most residents favor solar power as a clean, alternative energy source, many neighborhood homeowners' associations reflect the NIMBY, or "not in my backyard" attitude, finding that the panels are, well, ugly.
Which leaves us with a dilemma. If you eliminate all our conventional energy sources, and wind, and solar, just what is going to keep all those lights blazing at the Kennedy compound or in Barbara Streisand's cavernous mansion? We are left with only one practical alternative: somehow harnessing all the hot air emitted by environmentalists as they preach the virtues of a green lifestyle to the rest of us. [Posted 3/16/04]
A new primer on the Mother of All Eco-Crises: global warming--Global warming is every environmentalist's favorite cause. Small wonder, since mitigating this planetary-scale "crisis" would require draconian, all-encompassing governmental restrictions on human lifestyles and activities--restrictions that are every power-seeker's fantasy. What is the truth about global warming? That was the title of a February 1990 Reader's Digest investigation written by ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto, who concluded that the "threat" was being vastly overblown. Now, in this well-written primer, Duncan Maxwell Anderson updates the "state of the science"...and suggests that the Idealists who are making all those apocalyptic predictions may have rather worldly motives. [Posted 3/13/04]
Cash & Kerry: major green funding group launders his wife's money into his campaign--President Bush's leadership and decisions after 9/11 were sure to become a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, as his opponents knew. So the moment he aired ads with images of the 9/11 atrocity, they were ready with a carefully orchestrated response.
It turns out that those "9/11 families" who suddenly turned up everywhere in the media to protest the Bush ads were--surprise!--part of an organized, well-established left-wing group, "September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows." This strident pacifist group, which also opposed the War in Afghanistan, actually represents only 120 of the 3,000 families of 9/11 victims--though you'd never know that from the adoring press coverage.
But wait--it gets even better.
"Peaceful Tomorrows" is an official project of, and heavily funded by, the Tides Center and its parent group, the Tides Foundation--a radical leftist operation that launders millions in donor cash to a wide range of socialist, environmentalist, and anti-war groups--while keeping donors' identities secret (for a fee). For example, according to the Capital Research Center, a watchdog group, "Here are a few notable nonprofits started, managed or funded by Tides: the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Working Group and the Ruckus Society."
And guess who is a major contributor to the Tides network?
Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democrat candidate John Kerry--that's who. She is chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment, which channeled over $4 million to the Tides Foundation between 1995-2001. Two other Heinz family foundations which she leads have donated an additional $2 million.
That's not all. We've noted here that the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), a 'viro political lobby, jumped onto the Kerry for President campaign with a surprisingly early primary endorsement. Capital Research notes that "In 2000, the LCV waited until April to endorse Vice President Gore, a candidate whose advocacy for LCV’s positions on environmental issues is much stronger than Kerry’s. Why did LCV jump so early on the Kerry bandwagon?
“A clue may be found in grants the Heinz Endowments of Pittsburgh made to environmental groups whose leaders sit on the LCV board of directors. Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Senator Kerry, is chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment (HHE) and a board member of the Vira I. Heinz Endowment (VHE) as well as chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. The LCV Education Fund received $10,000 from the Heinz Family Foundation in 2001. More importantly, at least four members of the LCV board of directors lead environmental groups that received more than $1,000,000 from the Heinz philanthropies in the past three years.”
Among LCV board members whose groups received major contributions from the various Heinz philanthropies run by Teresa Heinz Kerry are: John Adams, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (which received $50,000 in 2003); William Meadows III, president of the Wilderness Society (which received $50,000 in 2003); and Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense (which received over $600,000 in the period 2001-2003).
Now we all know that John Kerry pledged to refuse “special interest” contributions, right? And we all know that individual campaign donors, like his activist wife, are legally limited to only $2,000 in campaign contributions, right? But through devious money-laundering and back-room influence-peddling, the Kerrys and the rest of Gang Green manage to by-pass campaign finance laws, manipulate the media, and deceive voters. Such are the ways of the noble “idealists” of environmentalism. [Posted 3/8/04]
P. S. For an update, check out my blog entry of March 10, 2004...
P. P. S. ...and by the way, here's another. [Posted 3/10/2004]
For items previously published on this News Page, please visit the Environmental News Archives.
Commentary on Environmentalism by Robert Bidinotto
"Death By Environmentalism"--In this shocking report in the March 2004 issue of Navigator magazine, Robert Bidinotto, publisher of ecoNOT.com, documents how environmentalist ideas and policies have led to staggering human carnage worldwide. [Posted 4/1/04]
Environmentalists continue to make war on our nation’s defenders--We previously reported in an online commentary the many life-threatening impacts that environmentalists are having on our nation’s military readiness. Important new defense systems, such as advanced underwater sonar to detect enemy submarines, have been severely restricted because of environmentalist lawsuits that claim it “might” harm migrating whales. Meanwhile, huge sections of military bases are now off limits to vital, specialized troop training, due to ‘viro legal restrictions aimed at protecting “endangered species.” The latest example is taking place at Fort Irwin, California. The Army says it needs to expand the base by 200 square miles to accommodate faster, more sophisticated tanks and longer-range weapons used by the 4,000 soldiers who train there monthly. However, before it could do so, the Army first had to go hat-in-hand to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its “green” light. Why? Because of environmentalist claims that the expansion would threaten the “critical habitat” of the desert tortoise, and some weed called the “Lane Mountain milk-vetch.” Read Robert Bidinotto's latest commentary on the green threat to our national security. [Posted 3/28/04]
"Defining deviancy down": the Hollywood Left canonizes an eco-terrorist--Do you ever wonder why terrorism has become so widespread in the world? Consider the crucial role played by terrorism’s "enablers": those intellectual and cultural leaders who act as apologists and excuse-makers for violence and evil. Take for example the culturati’s sunny view of Paul Watson, one of the Founding Fathers of modern eco-terrorism. Now, prominent intellectuals and the Hollywood Left are set to elevate Watson to the status of a cultural hero and icon, with a new film glorifying his violent exploits, and starring Academy Award-winner Sean Penn (typecast?) as the eco-thug. In his latest commentary, ecoNOT publisher Robert Bidinotto's details this coming ethical atrocity, exposing how our "cultural leaders" have become "terrorist Enablers." [Posted 3/22/04]
Peddling Panic to Parents--Among the ugliest tactics of environmentalist scaremongers is their cold-blooded manipulation of parents’ concerns for the health and safety of their children. This propaganda tactic was perfected in 1989, when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) hired left-wing publicist David Fenton to hype their deceptive "study" that falsely claimed Alar on apples would foster cancer among kids. In the wake of that national panic, environmental activists now manage to find dire "threats to children" in virtually every issue they address. Robert Bidinotto surveys recent examples, and explores their common aims. [Posted 11/21/03]
The environmentalists finally go potty--In their never-ending quest to sink modern civilization back into the cesspools of primitivism, environmentalists such as Al Gore have identified a new enemy: the flush toilet. Robert Bidinotto explains why this seemingly bizarre choice of targets makes perfect sense, in terms of the environmentalists' outlook--and why the greens strive especially to halt modern sanitation in the Third World. [Posted 11/19/03]
The environmentalists' war on the U. S. military and national security--In Arizona, the Air Force must move or cancel practice bombing runs if antelope are spotted within 5 kilometers of the target area. In Idaho, low-level combat flying missions are prohibited, because the noise might disrupt the mating of elk. And the Navy has been ordered by a federal court to drastically restrict use of its vital new defense sonar, intended for detection of enemy submarines, because it might disturb migrating whales. Read how the environmentalist movement is putting our soldiers and our national security at risk, in this column by Robert Bidinotto. [Posted 11/12/03]
Earth to California: thank environmentalism for your wildfires--The first spark of the California fire season actually ignited 'way back in 1988, when its kangaroo rat was declared an "endangered species." Since then, compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act has forced California, and communities across the nation, to develop species and habitat "conservation plans" that severely limit human activities in "protected" areas. "Protected" from everything except wildfires, that is--especially on the vast tracts of government lands and forests in the West. Robert Bidinotto surveys the death and damage--and its ideological causes--in a blistering essay. [Posted 11/7/03]
New York Times writer complains that we have "too much food"--Scientific advances in agricultural production over the past half-century have rolled back the global scourge of mass starvation and hunger. That's a good thing, right? Well, not according to those dubbed the "food cops." Leftists who were just a few years ago charging that millions of kids were going to school hungry, are now complaining that they are going to school too fat...that we're facing an alleged national "obesity epidemic." In the October 12, 2003 New York Times Magazine, food cop Michael Pollan denies that the source of America's glut of gut is lack of personal self-responsibility. According to palate policeman Pollan, "The underlying problem is agricultural overproduction" which is "another word for way too much food." Robert Bidinotto exposes the meaning of the new green war on food in this essay. [Posted 10/14/03]
The environmentalists' deadly war against "Frankenfood"--An essay by Robert Bidinotto, commenting on Jonathan Rauch's outstanding article in the October 2003 Atlantic Monthly. Rauch defends genetically engineered crops, and ponders the greens' attempt to stop a technology which could save millions from famine. [posted 9/25/03]
Kristof's Choice--and ours--A follow-up to "A Conflict of Values in the Arctic," which is hyperlinked immediately below (and which should be read first). Robert Bidinotto concludes his comments on a New York Times reporter's philosophically revealing series about oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. [posted 9/10/03]
A Conflict of Values in the Arctic--A New York Times reporter visits the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to decide for himself whether we should be drilling for oil there. In doing so, he reveals the basic value conflict that underlies our choices between human values, and the alleged "value" of pristine nature. Robert Bidinotto dissects that conflict. Bidinotto's follow-up commentary, "Kristof's Choice--and Ours," is hyperlinked immediately above this news item. [posted 9/6/03]
Want to better understand the philosophical perspective underlying these commentaries? Read the ecoNOT.com manifesto: "Environmentalism or Individualism?"
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