Tag: environmentalism

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Save the Earth! Have Tons of Kids!


I got a good laugh this morning out of this piece from The Atlantic, in which Sheril Kirshenbaum tries to make a respectable (liberal) case for the acceptability of having kids. Families, she assures us, don’t have to ruin the environment. We can raise our kids in responsible, carbon-footprint-minimizing ways. Parents are already trying to do this.

The really juicy part of the argument comes at the end, where she offers us statistics indicating that parents are more likely than non-parents to believe in global warming. Yay! She thinks that having kids will make people more likely to install solar panels and buy fuel-efficient cars. Kids, she reasons, are natural consciousness-raisers; they get parents thinking more about the future. So maybe families can be sustainable after all.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Malarial Spring


googledoodleGoogle today celebrates the 107th birthday of the patron saint of the environmental movement, Rachel Carson, with one of its occasional homepage “doodles.” The predictable result: a torrent of favorable publicity for the “Mother of the Green Movement” and Silent Spring author who birthed the US Environmental Protection Agency and a global ban on the insecticide DDT.

Nearly lost in a sea of hagiographic links, an inconvenient truth can here and there be discerned: Banning DDT caused the avoidable death, by malaria, of at least 50 million human beings, mainly in the developing world. And the collateral damage continues today. As many as 2.7 million die each year of a disease that was on its way to obliteration prior to Carson’s profoundly unscientific campaign to ban a safe and effective insecticide.

Most of the world will learn nothing of the human toll taken by the resurgence of mosquito-borne disease in the wake of Carson’s political success. The typical take:

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Giving Gaia Her Due: Conservative Environmentalism


shutterstock_160298246The environmentalist movement is filled with loons. That’s obvious enough. Frank Soto dismembered the extremists in his great recent post “Gaia Demands a Sacrifice“. As always, Frank is precise in his reasoning and hilarious in his takedown, but there is something of the knee-jerk in here, something that has cost conservatives much. Environmentalism should be a conservative cause, and, even amidst the lunacy, there is something to be said for Gaia and man’s place with her.

Reid Buckley made this point in a 2009 article at The American Conservative:

But within the hysteria and exaggeration of political activists, mostly of the Left, too often supported by cooked science, there is often a kernel of legitimate concern, be it economical, sociological, aesthetic, or environmental. We conservatives have shut our ears.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Gaia Demands a Sacrifice


PoseidonKnowing that things happen for a reason is of central importance to most people. Though the questions “what” and “how” yield immensely more practical answers to most problems, the human mind obsesses most over the “why.” Knowing the why grants us a feeling of control over our circumstances, even if it is often illusory. Understanding the motives behind human behavior allows us to grasp the nature of evil, and, in turn, root it out. Unfortunately, the search for motives is often the lens through which we try to understand all hardships in life.

The planet has no shortage of ways to try and kill us. We are not safe on land, sea, or sky. The ground beneath our feet betrays us to the order of 134 earthquakes of 6.0 or higher annually. Nearly 2,000 times a year, rivers and oceans overflow their ordinary boundaries to flood human habitats. And in the U.S. alone, more than 1,200 tornadoes descend from the sky. A planet where fire can literally rain down from above following an explosion that is best measured in megatons would seem accurately described as ‘angry.’

Without a scientific understanding of the world, it is easy to see why so many ancient peoples ascribed agency to the phenomenon they suffered under, blaming disasters on the gods. Thankfully, science has granted us levels of understanding of the natural world that have moved us past such primitive notions. Hasn’t it?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Interview: James Delingpole on The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism


Since there’s no Ricochet podcast this week, if you missed my interview with Ricochet’s own James Delingpole at PJ Media, perhaps it will make up for the loss, slightly. (And given that it’s Earth Hour or Earth Day, or Earth Week, or some other pagan eco-holiday this week, it’s worth pointing out that my interview with James is much more ecologically friendly than most Ricochet podcasts, as no Blue Yetis were harmed in the making of this podcast.)

As James mentioned during our interview, “I’m not a scientist and actually given what I’ve seen of scientists in my experiences following the global warming scam, I’m glad I’m not a scientist because a lot of these guys are basically shysters and crooks. They’re not some kind of white-coated elite with a special hotline to the truth. In fact, they’re just ordinary guys and girls trying to earn a living like the rest of us but slightly more dodgily than the rest of us in the one or two egregious cases.” And that’s one of the kinder things that the author of The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism: The Left’s Plan to Frighten Your Kids, Drive Up Energy Costs, and Hike Your Taxes has to say on the subject. He’ll also discuss:

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Man vs. Bear — The Debate.


Here in Oregon, a rancher recently shot and killed a black bear that was hunting his cattle. The bear made the news, as it hit a record-breaking (for this area) size of 490 pounds. That is a lot of black bear, which is the smallest and most widespread of the species in North America. Of course, the real fun of this article is the comments section. As could be expected, the arguments boil down to city environmentalists versus country conservationists.

For us city folk, the arguments come down to three points:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 — Jon Gabriel


Today is Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded. Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial
  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
  11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine
  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

A version of this article was posted last year on FreedomWorks.com.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Arizona Ranchers Prevent Another Bundy-style Standoff — Jon Gabriel


Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was in a tense standoff with federal agents over the weekend. He wanted to keep grazing his cattle on the federal land his family has used for decades. Washington, D.C. wanted him to pay for those rights or they would seize his livestock.

After Bundy supporters flocked to the scene and a media spectacle followed, the feds backed off — at least for the time being. Much of the reporting has been contradictory, but the government claimed to be protecting the desert tortoise in the area. D.C. claims the reptile is endangered by grazing cows, while Bundy calls this nonsense.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. California’s Drought Gets Personal — Suzanne Temple


Next week, California shuts off the water. So says the letter my parents received from their local water district, informing them that the water supplied to the district’s farms in Northern California will be no more. This year, the North Valley will not be filling its water canals.

My parents own a 33-acre orchard and my other family members lease or own farmland all over my hometown. A few years ago, when rainfall began to diminish and irrigation prices began to rise (and environmentalists appeared determined to make all water policy beholden to the goal of saving an endangered three-inch fish, the delta smelt), my parents drilled their own well to irrigate their orchard—as did many other farmers in the area.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Matt Ridley Puts Gobal Warming Away, Or, May We Move Onto the Next Impending Catastrophe Now, Please?


Catching up on my reading, I just came across Matt Ridley’s article on global warming in the Wall Street Journal last week. Mr. Ridley—no, strike that; since the death of his father in 2012, Matt Ridley is more properly referred to as the Rt. Hon. the Viscount Ridley — Lord Ridley explained that, in its forthcoming report, even the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits that fears of global warming have been (forgive me) overheated. A couple of excerpts from a column in which, in my judgement, Matt Ridley simply puts global warming away:

Even with its too-high, too-fast assumptions, the recently leaked draft of the IPCC impacts report makes clear that when it comes to the effect on human welfare, “for most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers,” such as economic growth and technology, for the rest of this century. If temperatures change by about 1C degrees between now and 2090, as Mr. Lewis calculates, then the effects will be even smaller….

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. It’s Weather, Not the Apocalypse


Another day, another weather panic. A storm bears down on the media centers of the east coast. Reporters don oversized parkas, waddle into the howling wind and offer jeremiads about global warming climate change. “Repent! The End is Nigh!”

Because who would expect the northeast to get snow in February — it’s unheard of! Messrs. Delingpole and Steyn made great sport of this on their recent podcast.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Can California Make Laws For the Rest of the Nation?


That’s the question I examine in the newest installment of my column for Hoover’s Defining Ideas. California has recently enacted a series of carbon regulations so sweeping that they have the practical effect of regulating behavior throughout the nation. As I note in the column, it is, in my judgment, time for this issue to be heard by the Supreme Court.

The reason this case is so important is that California’s regulations essentially usurp the powers of the federal legislative branch. As I argue: