Thursday, February 22, 2007
In his "The Toxicity of Environmentalism", George Reisman memorably quotes an environmentalist research biologist as saying the following:
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.Every time I encounter a catalogue of the damage done to man by environmentalism, I recall this quote. Consider the following from Suzanne Fields at RealClear Politics, who wants to laugh at all the fuss made over global warming, but cannot. "All this could be great fun if it weren't so dangerous," she says as she reels off some of the fatal consequences of past enviro-fads.
- After Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, DDT was banned nearly everywhere. Most of her "evidence" later turned out to be all wrong, but 2 million poor Africans die every year of malaria that DDT was on the way to eradicating.
- The original plans for the World Trade Center called for the interior steel in both towers to be covered with asbestos-based fireproofing material. Asbestos was eliminated when environmentalists objected. Engineers think the twin towers might be standing today but for the politically correct construction. Asbestos would have at least slowed the spread of the fire and the melting of the metal, giving hundreds of those who perished a chance to escape.
- Hurricane Katrina need not have been the tragedy it was. In 1977, the Army Corps of Engineers wanted to build large steel and concrete "sea gates" below sea level to prevent hurricane force winds driving storm surges into Lake Pontchartrain, overflowing into low-lying New Orleans. Such gates have been enormously successful in the Netherlands. But the Environmental Defense Fund, which had been a party to the lawsuit leading to the banning of DDT, persuaded a judge that the sea gates would discourage the mating of a certain fish species. Fishy romance trumped the lives of 3,100 Orleanians. "If we had built the barriers, New Orleans would not be flooded," says Joe Towers, who was counsel for the New Orleans District of the Corps. [bold added]
Recognizing the problem is the first step in curing it.