LEADING MANKIND DOWN
THE GARDEN PATH
Carl E. Bruce
For more than two decades our country has been under siege--not from the outside, but from a strong inside force that has been trying to change our basic system of government. This force, the "Environmental Party," has made a "crisis" of every environmental problem to come along; and even though every "crisis" has been scientifically proven wrong or averted, they still gain power and support. Where are they leading?
The foundation underlying the ecology movement is not scientific fact and love for nature but a religion--the worship of nature as a supreme god, mother, and creator of all. This religion is the heart of the environmentalist way of thought: Man, as a creation and son of nature, is subject to nature and not vice versa. Any attempt by man to act in authority over, to utilize or structure nature will result in damage to the perfect balance and order already present.
The environmentalist blames the Judeo-Christian belief in one true God Who reigns from heaven and His commandment to "...Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth," (Gen. 1:28) as being the root of man's problems.1 It is through this command and the Bible's express advocacy of the rights of each individual that godly men set up the free enterprise system. Thus, by extension, the environmentalist's most abhorred system of government is the free enterprise system.
The free enterprise system at its purest focuses solely on individual freedoms. It allows each and every person to better himself or herself through hard work. It gives everyone the opportunity to gain rewards through diligence and innovative thinking. Under this system, man has advanced exponentially in every aspect of his life and simultaneously made better and more proficient use of his natural resources. The success of free enterprise in creating bounty has raised the standard of living worldwide and provided sustenance for growing populations.
According to environmentalism this very success is in itself the worst product of free enterprise, precisely because it has made the world capable of supporting more people at a better standard. The environmentalist holds the free market system responsible for all pollution, destruction of animal habitat, endangerment of certain species, ozone depletion, etc., and at the pinnacle, "overpopulation." Or as Dr. Paul Ehrlich says, "Too many cars, too many factories, too much detergent, too much pesticide, multiplying contrails, inadequate sewage treatment plants, too little water, too much carbon dioxide -- all can be traced easily to too many people."2 "[T]he spill [Valdez oil spill in Alaska] was caused by a nation drunk on oil."3 Dr. Ehrlich proposes controlling population "hopefully through a system of incentives and penalties, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail." He goes on to say, "Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size."4 However, other environmentalists take an even stronger stance: "A 'hit list' is available upon discreet inquiry...contributions are urgently solicited for scientific research on a specific virus that will eliminate Homo shiticus from the planet."5
Only a form of government which exercised absolute control over the citizens would be able to accomplish these desired objectives. How could this government be achieved? Let's examine a classic "environmental crisis."
In 1939 a Swiss chemist, Dr. Paul Muller, patented an insecticide commonly known as DDT. DDT was a welcomed replacement for earlier, highly toxic insecticides such as arsenic, mercury, fluorine, and lead. It was found to kill body lice without harm to humans and was therefore used extensively by Allied troops during World War II. As a result, no Allied soldier contracted typhus fever, a lice-carried disease, for the first time in warfare history--a stunning change from World War I, when more deaths resulted from typhus fever than from bullets.
Before the use of DDT, approximately 200 million people contracted malaria annually, and 2 million of those died. But after introduction of DDT, malaria was almost eradicated. In Sri Lanka alone there had been about 2.8 million cases of malaria; with the use of DDT, the number had dropped to 17 in 1963. Then, due to attacks on DDT in the U.S., spraying was suspended in the late 1960's. By 1969 Sri Lanka was back up to 2.5 million cases. By 1978, six years after DDT was banned in the U.S., the number of malaria cases had jumped to 800 million worldwide, with a reported 8.2 million deaths per year. What persuaded the U.S. to ban DDT and cause such disastrous results? Environmentalists charged that DDT was so stable it would never be eradicated from the environment, that DDT would cause havoc up through the food chain, leading to the extinction of numerous species. They grimly prophesied a "silent spring."
How much truth was in all this? In reality, DDT loses its toxicity to insects, let alone larger creatures, in usually less than two weeks. In the sea, which receives all run-off from land, 93 percent of all DDT is broken down within 38 days, and only one part per trillion can be detected in inshore waters. And the "silent spring"? Studies conducted by the Audubon Society showed that most bird populations increased during 1941 to 1971, the years of heaviest DDT use. Experiments failed to show the "shell thinning" in eggs that was supposed to occur through ingestion of DDT, even at doses 6,000 to 20,000 times the DDT residue level found in nature! It was further alleged that DDT caused cancer in humans. However, in 1968, when the average daily human ingestion was 0.065 milligrams, a study was undertaken in which volunteer groups were fed up to 35 milligrams per day for periods of 21 and 27 months. There were no ill effects then or now, nearly 30 years later.6
With all arguments soundly rejected, the environmentalists must have had an ulterior motive in banning DDT. What was it? Charles Wursta, the chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, referring to DDT says, "[T]his is as good a way to get rid of them as any (referring to 'all those little brown people in poor countries')."7 Or as stated in more Utopian language by Garrett Eckbo, "In each growth area of the world, following the experience of China, humane measures [would be] designed...to bring the population down to a level that the basic ecosystems of its land could support. ...The plans...[would be] aimed at ultimate coordination in a steady-state world in which the population would be tailored to fit the environment, rather than vice versa."8 (Translated: forced sterilization, abortion, and euthanasia.)
The DDT scare typifies the strategy used by environmentalists to implement their worldview of complete government control over forcibly diminishing population. The strategy: Induce panic by a barrage of media hysteria, then demand instant government intervention as the only solution. What is astonishing is that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the impending "catastrophes" hyped up by the environmentalists has been without conclusive scientific basis: asbestos, dioxin, snail-darter, alar, ozone depletion, fossil fuel emissions, global warming (an impending Ice Age a decade ago!), oil spills, etc. Each "calamity" is merely a tool to expand government powers and impose a tremendous, needless cost on individuals and businesses.
A recent case in point: acid rain. A $500 million, 10-year study employing 700 of the nation's top aquatic, soil, agricultural and atmospheric scientists--the National Acid Precipitation Prevention Assessment Project-- showed virtually NO danger from acid rain either to crops or forests, and attributed lake acidification (essentially unchanged from pre-industrial times) to forestation! But due to environmentalists' demands, the response? The Clean Air Act, costing $140 billion in total; $7 billion per year to remove 10 millions tons of sulfur dioxide per year by 1999 to "recover" 75 lakes, at a cost of $4.7 billion per lake. Perpetual liming would have cost under $50,000 per lake! It has been estimated by economists Robert Hahn and Willard Steger of Carnegie Mellon University that the Clean Air Act, will result in "[A] minimum of several hundred thousand jobs at risk...a minimum of 200,000 jobs will be quickly lost...This number could easily exceed one million jobs-- and even two million..."9 "Today, the public and private costs of meeting environmental regulations amount to more than $90 billion per year!"10
Environmentalists press for such "remedies" at astronomical costs because they cripple the free enterprise economy. One senator, Timothy Wirth, has been candid enough to state, "We've got to ride the global warming issue.... Even if the theory is wrong..." "The late Barry Commoner, former Socialist Party presidential candidate, professor of plant physiology and chairman of the department of botany at Washington University, stated categorically that 'capitalism is the earth's number-one enemy.'...Small is Beautiful author E. F. Schumacher claims that free markets 'take the sacredness out of life, because there can be nothing sacred in something that has a price.'"11 What kind of world is it that these people want? It is very evident from the kind of words that fill Schumacher's book, words like "force, constrain, legislate,, command, exact, require, cause, pressure, entice, direct, summon, and, oh yes, tax."12 (italics original) At Earth Day 1990, British musician Billy Bragg sang the communist anthem and then shouted: "We must reject capitalism. We must commit to the ideal of collectivism."13
However, these ecologists are forgetting to look at the facts again. "In some areas of Eastern Europe, air pollution is 50 times heavier than in the U.S. and life expectancy is ten years less. In some areas, 90% of children suffer respiratory diseases. A military accident in the Soviet Union has destroyed one-third of all marine life in the White Sea, including 100,000 seals and 5 million starfish (which covered an 18-mile stretch of beach to a depth of 8 inches). 70% of Czechoslovakia's rivers (and 95% of Polish) are heavily polluted, 40% of sewage untreated, 50% of Czech forests (33% of Bulgarian) are dying or damaged, and pollution-related cancers and infant mortality are soaring. In many countries, metals pollution has destroyed half of available farmland.
The Suzhou River in Shanghai is greenish-black and devoid of animal and plant life. Poisonous gas bubbles frequently surface. About 60% of Red Chinese do not have access to uncontaminated water."14 By contrast, a new study by economist Mikhail Bernstam found that in the U.S. pollution emissions dropped 13 percent from 1940 to 1986, while at the same time the U.S. population rose 82 percent and the real gross national product increased over 380 percent! "...[W]estern countries cut their steel use per $1,000 of GNP by 24 percent from 1975 to 1985 and their energy usage by nearly 15 percent, while the Warsaw Bloc countries increased their energy use by 8 percent and their steel use by 12 percent even as their GNP growth fell apart." Bernstam "concludes that 'market economies promote resource efficiency, while no-market countries promote resource waste.'"15 "Per dollar of GNP, socialist economies use nearly three times as much energy as market economies."16
In 1936 in Denver, Colorado, H.T. Pershing put it in everyday language: "You can't speed the progress of the rider by hindering the horse, and you can't increase prosperity by decreasing production, and you can't increase employment by hampering business....to try to force business to employ more men by taxing it is about as stupid as trying to force a hen to lay more eggs by starving it."17
We have found that for more than two decades radical environmentalists using the slogans "small is beautiful," "nature is better," "industry is bad," etc. have been turning our government from a "government of the people" to a "government to regulate the people"--with the intent to eliminate "people" along the way. It is a defeatist, hopeless philosophy that has only repression and even death as its end result. These environmentalists have left behind a trail of laws, government intervention, millions of lost jobs, billions of dollars of cost to taxpayers, a more socialistic government, and economic disaster all in the name of a "greener earth." However, due to unquestionable scientific proof, many Americans are finally waking up and realizing that every environmental "crisis" that comes along is not necessarily true, and that the environmentalists' socialist utopia cannot match our own free enterprise system in either production or in conservation.
When God set man on this earth He charged him with the duty to subdue and have dominion over it. However, this was not a blank ticket for man to do anything he wants. The Lord gives severe warning to men to keep His commandments and to keep the land clean. In Jeremiah 16:18 God speaks through Jeremiah and says, "I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land..."(NIV) In Leviticus 26:3-4 God promises "If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit." The free enterprise system best answers the role of stewardship with accountability to God in responsible and fruitful ecology management.
lWhite, Lynn, Jr.; 1967; "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis." Science, Vol. 155,
2Ehrlich, Dr. Paul; quoted in The New American, March 26, 1990. 3Greenpeace ad; 1436 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. 4Benoit, Gary; "Earth Day: The Greatest Sham on Earth," The New American, March 26,
5Earth First! Journal; Sep. 22, 1989, p. 21. 6Ray, Dixy Lee and Lou Guzzo; "'Acid Rain' for Insects: Pesticides," Trashing the Planet,
Regnery Gateway, 1990, pp. 68-73. All information on DDT taken from this source. 7Ibid., footnote p. 70. 8Quoted from Garrett Eckbo, "Today into Tomorrow: An Optimistic View," in Mark
Francis and Randolph T. Hester, Jr., eds., The Meaning of Gardens, Cambridge, MA
and London, England: MIT Press, 1990, p. 230.
9"The Catastrophic Environment Act," Aim Report, April-B, 1990, p. 2. 10Anderson, Terry; "Free Market Environmentalism: The Only Option," PERC Reports,
Dec. 1990, vol. 8, no. 3, p. 12. "Asmus, Barry; "Building an Unlimited Future," Imprimis, Jan. 1992, vol. 21, no. 1, p.
12Ibid. 13McBirnie, W.S. Ph.D; "How the Leftists are Infiltrating the Environment to destroy
America's Economy", A Voice of Americanism Publication, P.O. Box 90, Glendale,
CA, 91209, p. 5. 14Ibid., pp. 7-8. 15Brookes, Warren T.; "Will EPA Turn the Learning Curve Red?," Conservative Chronicle,
March 17, 1991, p. 8. 16Asmus; op. cit, p. 2. 17Liberty--A Weekly for Everybody, 1936, 1990, Liberty Library Corp., MacFadden
Publications Inc., published by Shaw-Barton, Coshoction, OH.