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Dissecting Environmental Extremism by Ed Hiserodt

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Dissecting Environmental Extremism by Ed Hiserodt

Ask a friend or associate, “Can you explain 'cap and trade'”? More than likely you will be astounded at what a poor grasp (if any) he or she has of the subject, even though the future of our economy and even our country hinges to a large extent on whether or not cap-and-trade legislation passes or not. Without knowledge, our citizenry will not realize this innocuous phrase “cap and trade” really means government control of an ever diminishing energy supply and the rationing that must accompany any restrictive policy implemented.

Explaining how the government plans to control energy, and the effects of that control, is just one of the points that co-producers and directors Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney put forth in their documentary Not Evil Just Wrong. This explanation is not given by means of graphs and charts, but by the words of a young couple who have raised their family by hard work and who can see what the Obama administration's promise to shut down coal plants (because the tax on them would be prohibitively expensive) would do not only to their family, but to their community and the nation.

Where did this rush for “cap and trade” legislation come from? It is a spin-off (actually the only goal) of the hysteria over global warming alleged by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming supposedly caused by the tiny human contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This alleged connection has become “fact” in the mainstream media, in liberal political rhetoric, and in academia. Yet polls show that most American voters believe that climate change is caused by natural factors; moreover, more people become skeptical every day as we see and feel temperatures on the decline. This year, for instance, meteorologists joke that winter in the upper plain states came 70 days early.

McAleer and McElhinney show that a general trend of planetary warming has been going on since the end of the Little Ice Age some 150 years ago, proving that there is no connection between CO2 and increasing temperature – except in that increases of CO2 levels in the atmosphere follow temperature increases on Earth because the oceans warm and outgas CO2. Further, they show that the major “proof” given by global-warming alarmists of CO2 forcing temperatures up was a farce. The proof, which was offered by the IPCC in its 2001 assessment, was a graph known as the hockey stick. The film gives the history of this graph, documenting how it was found to be a fraud that caused the IPCC to remove it in its 2007 assessment.

About the In” Crowd

Not Evil Just Wrong provides plenty of time for environmental alarmists to explain their positions, which appear ludicrous when juxtaposed with a few basic facts. First on the list is Chief Global-warming Alarmist Al Gore, whose Inconvenient Truth was found to contain nine significant errors according to Britain's High Court.

In another example of self-condemnation, a member of Plane Truth promotes shutting down air travel because of a belief that CO2 emissions from aircraft are going to cause the planet to become uninhabitable from skyrocketing temperatures (temperature increases that I'm sure he is sad to see are not coming about, as the Earth's temperatures have actually been decreasing during the past several years to record lows – as proven by satellite temperature readings and underwater ocean monitors). There's no word from Al Gore in the movie about stopping air travel; apparently because he continues to fly around in his private jet from one “green” function to another. Nor was there any commentary
from Obama and his wife, who took separate jumbo jets to Copenhagen to lobby the International Olympic Committee to hold the 2016 Olympics in Chicago.

Many viewers (including your correspondent) were expecting the documentary to be strictly on the global-warming issue, since dialogue on that issue is in a critical phase in U.S. Politics. So when a relatively large segment of the movie was about the insecticide DDT, it seemed incongruous – at least at the beginning. Eventually a realization hits that the controversy over DDT and that over global warming are both examples of the environmental movement's disregard for the effect of their policies on the well-being of the human race. And how environmentalists – at the highest level, not the college student next door who has no idea of what is being done in the name of being “green” – consider mankind to be an alien life form on the planet, while protection of the snail darter is to be accomplished at any cost. With less and less energy to supply water and sanitation, cultivate and process food, provide health services, and allow us the many other modern life enhancing amenities we enjoy – how many lives would be sacrificed to the “green religion” of the environmentalists?

In one scene that made me want to throw bottles at the TV set, a well-to-do environmentalist showed no concern to a Ugandan mother, Flora Kobusingye-Boynes, over the loss of her child to malaria, a disease that was almost eliminated by the use of DDT, but then resurged when the EPA banned DDT's exportation and insisted other countries adopt the same policy. Now the death toll of malaria victims worldwide, but mainly in Third World countries, mostly young children, is estimated by the World Health Organization to be one million per year. Recently the World Health Organization, under strong pressure from human rights organizations, particularly in Africa and Asia, rescinded its ban on the pesticide that has been shown in test after test to be harmless to humans and animals, including birds. The environmentalists continue to push to overturn this ruling, regardless of its toll in human misery and death.

Pushing Back

While there were many other villains on the environmental Left that were allowed to embarrass themselves – NASA's James Hansen noteworthy among them – there were also heroes of the skeptic camp who offered reasonable commentary on the shallowness of the hysterical arguments and gave verifiable scientific rebuttals. Among the scientists were Atmospheric Physicist Richard Lindzen of MIT, Stephen McIntyre, who discovered the “hockey stick” graph could be produced with any data set, and Professor Fred Singer, who has been involved in global environmental issues since receiving his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton in 1948.

A particularly convincing skeptic of anthropogenic global warming was Dr. Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace who left the organization when it became obvious to him that the movement had gone down the slippery slope to misanthropic policies, such as banning the use of chlorine to purify drinking water.. He knows well whereof he speaks.

Then there's Roy Innis, who leads the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). While most civil rights organizations are in lock-step with leftist environmental policies, CORE ridicules them, presenting an understanding that restricting the access to energy of a society – again, which all “cap and trade” proposals would surely do – would be particularly devastating to the poor in developing nations who are already living on the brink of abject poverty.

Finally, there are the producers of the movie. In an interview with The New American, co-producer/director Phelim McAleer was pleased with over 7,000 premieres on Sunday, October 18 (this
movie has not been disseminated through the usual channels, but was shown in homes and at college campuses). The producers estimate that about 400,000 people watched the movie's premiers. But McAleer hopes that this is just a beginning and says that we Americans must educate ourselves on the many sham environmental issues that are but an excuse for government to institute new, unlimited taxes and to shift the balance of economic power from individuals and functional corporations to government, where destruction of our capital is assured. We agree that widespread viewing of this film could help awaken many of those who have not yet realized the danger faced by our Republic.

The New American – November 9, 2009

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