The Last Word
Posted Nov. 30, 2001
By Ralph de Toledano
The Enviros: Some Notes for the Record
Paul Ehrlich, one of the leading enviros and junk scientists, has warned decade after decade that within the next 10 years there will be mass starvation because this trembling Earth will be unable to provide food, shelter or energy for an "exploding" population. Ehrlich does not say, "Oops, sorry," when his predictions bump up against reality, but instead makes those same predictions all over again. And the media eat it up.
Yet the details of what will bring about the predicted catastrophe shift with the reigning environmental fashions. In 1970, for example, this Chicken-Little-in-chief warned that the Earth was moving into a new ice age. Should the South Pole get colder (as Ehrlich said it would) the Antarctic ice cap would fall into the Antarctic Ocean and produce "a global tidal wave that could wipe out a substantial portion of mankind, and the sea level could rise 60 to 100 feet."
It didn't happen. But, without missing a beat, Ehrlich switched from ice age to global warming and issued yet another warning: "The population of the U.S. will shrink from 250 million to about 22.5 million before 1999 because of famine and global warming." (And then the melting ice cap would flood our coasts.) Well, 1999 has come and gone, bringing another set of warnings from Ehrlich but neither famine in the United States nor a decline in population.
Ehrlich is not the only enviro to play games with media gullibility. Every time the price of gasoline or heating oil rises the enviros spring up to claim that heedless and greedy humans are exhausting the world's energy supplies and will face darkened and heatless homes in winter and must suffer without air conditioning in summer if not this year then next. And if you don't believe this, just turn to the New York Times or the Washington Post, both great purveyors of junk science.
Too bad neither those newspapers nor the major TV networks subscribe to Access to Energy, a newsletter edited by Dr. Arthur D. Robinson, president and research professor of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Robinson is bitterly hated by the enviros, among other reasons because he has presented Vice President Dick Cheney with a list of 17,000 scientists who strongly oppose the idiotic Kyoto "global warning" treaty, signed by Al Gore without benefit of the advice or consent of the Senate. Access to Energy (Box 1250, Cave Junction, OR 97523) is the most authoritative publication of its kind available on scientific matters. Robinson lays it on the line in a recent issue:
"In 1947, proven oil reserves were 68 billion barrels. Between 1947 and 1968, 783 billion barrels were used and proven reserves in 1998 stood at 1,000 billion (1 trillion) barrels.
"In 1966, world reserves of natural gas were 1 quadrillion cubic feet. Between 1966 and 1998, we used 2 quadrillion cubic feet and reserves in 1998 stood at 5 quadrillion cubic feet.
"In 1949, world coal reserves were 256 billion short tons. Between 1949 and 1998, we used 168 billion short tons and coal reserves stood at 1,000 billion (1 trillion) short tons."
Currently, "global warning" is the biggest ploy of junk scientists. Robinson states categorically that the enviros have presented not one verifiable scientific fact to bolster their claims of "global warming." Here's how he puts it: "The bottom line is that virtually all life on Earth derives its carbon (essential to life) from atmospheric carbon dioxide either directly or by eating other living things that do so.
Moreover, most of the carbon on the Earth is not stored in the atmosphere. Omitting rocks, 75 percent is stored in the oceans; 20 percent in the coal, oil and gas deposits; and about 1.4 percent in the atmosphere. The atmosphere itself is only about 0.04 percent carbon dioxide.
"Human activity converts about 0.05 percent of the coal, oil and gas, or about 0.01 percent of the total, into carbon dioxide.
The principal result of human conversion of hydrocarbons into atmospheric carbon dioxide is a marvelous increase in the populations of plants and animals."
As everyone who has made a study of the enviros knows, their technique is to suppress facts or (less politely) simply to lie. This is their way of impressing the media and bullying Congress. Just one of the hundreds of examples I have in my files of their perfidy is the destruction of some 1,500 farms (200,000 acres of land) in the Klamath Basin of Oregon. The government cut off their irrigated water because enviros claimed "endangered" salmon and the sucker fish (a bottom-feeding scavenger) needed it.
This, of course, is an outright lie. The salmon run this year was the largest in six decades. But the Environmental Protection Agency already had made up its mind and was not interested in facts. Neither are the enviros. Their literature makes it abundantly clear that many of them would rather see the human race disappear than discomfort one animal. Although not always. The Des Moines Register quotes Ingrid Newkirk, cofounder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who holds that an outbreak of the devastating hoof-and-mouth disease in the United States would reduce meat eating and therefore be "good for animals, good for human health and good for the environment. I only hope it comes here."
Lunatic? No doubt. Yet these are the people who are leading America and Congress by the nose.
Ralph de Toledano is the dean of Washington columnists and a frequent writer for Insight magazine.