Environmentalists Are The New Puritans: Religious Bullies.
This article first appeared on The Rebel website.
Religion is fine, but problems begin when it is forced on others. Proselytizing is the characteristic of Puritanism, which H. L. Mencken defined as, “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time.” Mencken’s quote applied to traditional religious extremists but is equally applicable to extremists of the new religion of environmentalism. I know most people are tired of being bullied from the moral high ground that only these bullies care about the environment. Most want to do the right thing, but weary and turn away from constant moralizing.
It raises another problem I confronted years ago when people accused me of giving comfort to the polluters. Yes, that was a concern in the short term. However, I soon realized the level of deception, exaggeration, and falsification of information would give greater comfort in the long term. It is a classic example of crying wolf. Later, when a wolf appeared nobody listened. When the people realize the degree of the deception and the damage done to society they will not listen to real problems, to the greater comfort of the polluter.
Environmentalists cried wolf almost from the start of the introduction of a legitimate paradigm shift, namely to living within the confines of a finite planet. They misled, exaggerated and made a multitude of false predictions to the detriment of the environment and people’s willingness to be aware and concerned. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was a major starting point. Carson claimed her husband’s cancer and death was due to DDT. No evidence supported the claim, as Dr. J. Gordon Edwards explained.
I next looked up some of the references that Carson cited and quickly found that they did not support her contentions about the harm caused by pesticides. When leading scientists began to publish harsh criticisms of her methods and her allegations, it slowly dawned on me that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about those topics, and that I really was being duped, along with millions of other Americans.
In Eco-imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, Paul Driessen showed that banning DDT led to millions of unnecessary deaths from malaria with numbers that exceed deaths from AIDS in Africa. The figure is at least 90 million people. One authority says,
“ One statistic often quoted is that, today, malaria kills about one million people every year, most of them children.”
Thousands of false stories made headlines over the last 40 years. All are conditional, that is prefaced by words like, ‘could’ and ‘maybe’, but the public only remembers the unconditional headlines. Ultimately, the stories proved incorrect, but that is never reported. Remember the stories of sheep and rabbits going blind in Chile because of thinning ozone. Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed it was due to a local infection. We heard of frogs born deformed because of human pollution. Biologist Stan Sessions showed it was due to a natural parasite. Each week some natural phenomenon is presented as unnatural and by implication due to human activity. The question becomes, who to believe.
Aaron Wildavsky assigned his graduate students the task of examining health and environmental claims.
Working with his students at a risk analysis center, Wildavsky examined all the evidence behind the charges and countercharges in several controversial cases involving environmental health and public safety.
None of them held up to investigation. The web page Junkscience is dedicated to exposing the myths.
The most recent false claim appeared in Pope Francis’ Encyclical.
The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.
This quote is patently false because most of the world is uninhabited. Figure 1 shows that most of the population density in the purple region is 0 – 50 people per square kilometer. But even this diagram is a distortion because China shows an average for the entire country when over half of the country is uninhabited. Even the great population alarmist Paul Ehrlich suggested the average population density was less than 4 people per square kilometer. But the Pope is a true environmentalist who doesn’t want to let facts get in the way. In the Encyclical he wrote,
Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.
Environmentalists took over environmentalism and preached to everyone that they knew best, and only they cared. How dare they? We are all environmentalists. With blind faith they, deceived, misdirected, threatened, destroyed jobs, careers, opportunities and development. Now those who paid the price will be less willing to listen or support genuine environmental concerns.
The truth is everything is better, as people live longer in better health than ever before. Thousands of new species are discovered every year. Global temperature hasn’t risen for 19 years. The world is not overpopulated by any measure. Global life expectancy increased by a remarkable 6 years between 1990 and 2013 (Figure1).
Notice the factors increasing life expectancy and health are all related to better nutrition, clean water, and pharmaceuticals. However, 85 percent of the factors shortening lives and decreasing health are all related to lifestyle and therefore self-inflicted.
The cartoon (Figure 2) shows cavemen contemplating the conundrum that they have all the conditions extremists argue no longer exist yet their life expectancy is 30 years.
Yes, there are problems, and they need attention, but the decisions about what to do are completely distorted by the extremism and false information. Political decisions are grossly distorted by the lobbying of environmental extremists. The true cost is never calculated. Consider the costs of Ontario’s energy policies, initiated by Maurice Strong and promoted by David Suzuki.
Ironically, the fallacious positions of environmentalists are found in the contradictions of their stated beliefs. They believe in Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory. In the sixth edition of Origin of Species Darwin introduced and praised Herbert Spencer’s phrase that nature was about the “survival of the fittest”, which includes the idea of the most adaptable. Humans are the fittest and most adaptable species on the planet. Humans have as much, if not more right to exist, than any other species. But consider these comments from David Graber, a research biologist with the US National Park Service said,
“Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line – at about a billion years ago – we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
We are alive and thriving, which proves we never left nature. We continue to evolve, but it doesn’t fit the beliefs of environmental puritans, so they ignore Darwin, who is central to their religion and practice a blind faith, that they impose on everyone.