Happy Earth Day :-(
There is something obscene about Green organizations opposing anything that would improve the lives of the very least among us -- the poor and the starving masses of the Third World -- but that is their objective, writes Alan Caruba of the National Anxiety Center. The activists' concern for wildlife and forests outstrips their concern for the world's poorest people.
Killing People to 'Save' the Environment
By Alan Caruba
CNSNews.com Commentary from the National Anxiety Center
April 22, 2005
I confess it took me a long time to realize that much of what passes for the environmental movement or environmentalism involves imposing restrictions that (1) destroy economic growth and (2) often destroys lives.
A perfect example of both these Green objectives is the utterly vile efforts of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) that have been directed of late against major financial investment companies such as Citicorp and Bank of America. Both ceded their lending decisions to RAN in 2004.
Their latest target has been J.P. Morgan whose CEO, William Harrison, has been under siege at his home in Greenwich, Conn. As Steve Milloy of JunkScience.com has noted, "RAN wants to dictate J.P. Morgan Chase's lending policies for the developing world, especially with regard to energy projects and logging. As an extremist group railing against oil, wood, and meat consumption, RAN wants to block lending to projects it claims may contribute to global warming or involve logging in 'sensitive' areas."
One of my personal heroes, Niger Innis, the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), said, "RAN does not deserve a seat at the table of any bank, and certainly should never been given veto power."
He criticized the World Bank, Citigroup, and Bank of America for having "shamefully compromised" their lending policies as the result of RAN's threats. An Ugandan, Diana Koymuhendo, asks, "What right do they have to tell poor people they must settle for whatever crumbs Rainforest Action tosses to them?"
Without an investment in energy, Third World nations are going to remain mired in poverty. Nothing happens in this world until you flip a switch and a light turns on, a water pump starts up, or anything else we associate with the modern world begins to function. Life without electricity condemns people to a life of poverty, disease, and premature death.
Would you believe that, worldwide, two billion people still have no electricity? If RAN manages to intimidate J.P. Morgan, that condition will continue because it will elect not to support the changes needed to truly create a global economy.
With other banks having already caved in to these outrageous demands, poor Third World countries will have nowhere to turn for financing. Which, of course, is RAN's agenda; for them they will all remain traditional, indigenous, and impoverished, requiring few if the Earth's "finite" resources, and keeping their populations in check through disease, malnutrition, and starvation.
That means 800 million people will be chronically undernourished, with 14 million Africans facing starvation in southern Africa alone. More than 230 million children will continue to suffer from Vitamin A deficiency; and a half million of them go blind every year. Two million will continue to die from problems directly related to Vitamin A deficiency.
None of this is necessary. Modern biotechnology can save lives while preserving wildlife and habitats. It would let farms grow more food on less land, but RAN and other Greens declared war on biotechnology years ago. They complain that it requires widespread use of pesticides, but that is just another Green lie.
Biotech crops can withstand insects and viruses without heavy use of pesticides. Some crops have been created to grow better in saline and nutrient-poor soils. Others can thrive despite severe droughts. Meanwhile, RAN and its allies spend $35 million a year battling the introduction of biotech crops.
RAN is among those Green groups that lobbied to get the United Nations to ban the use of DDT to protect people against malaria. It infects an estimated 400,000,000 people a year in Africa alone. It kills 2,000,000, half of them children. The loss of revenue to poor African nations is in the billions annually because a third of their workforce is sick much of the time.
There is something obscene to the opposition of Green organizations to anything that would improve the lives of the very least among us, the poor and the starving masses of the Third World, but that is their objective. Their concern is for wildlife or for forests that anyone knows can replenish themselves. Cutting down a tree does not mean another will not grow in its place, but not cutting down a tree often leaves people without ground on which to grow crops or an income from that tree when sold as lumber.
From the rainforests of South America to the parched lands of sub-Saharan Africa, RAN is plotting ways to insure that people, no different from you or me, remain trapped in poverty, lack of adequate food, a constant threat of disease, and the specter of death by age 35-if they make it past infancy. That is what the modern, perverse vision of environmentalism is really all about.
As this is being written, we are waiting to see of J.P. Morgan will cave into RAN as other major investment institution already have. One can only hope they will resist the siren call of death in RAN's message.
(Alan Caruba writes "Warning Signs," a weekly column posted at the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.)
The Scourge of Earth Day
By Michael Berliner
FrontPageMagazine.com April 22, 2005
Earth Day is here, and with it a grave danger faces mankind. The danger is not from acid rain, global warming, smog, or the logging of rain forests, as environmentalists would have us believe. The danger to mankind is from environmentalism.
The fundamental goal of environmentalism is not clean air and clean water; rather, it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Environmentalism's goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather, it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion.
In a nation founded on the pioneer spirit, environmentalists have made "development" an evil word. They inhibit or prohibit the development of Alaskan oil, offshore drilling, nuclear power--and every other practical form of energy. Housing, commerce, and jobs are sacrificed to spotted owls and snail darters. Medical research is sacrificed to the "rights" of mice. Logging is sacrificed to the "rights" of trees. No instance of the progress that brought man out of the cave is safe from the onslaught of those "protecting" the environment from man, whom they consider a rapist and despoiler by his very essence.
Nature, they insist, has "intrinsic value," to be revered for its own sake, irrespective of any benefit to man. As a consequence, man is to be prohibited from using nature for his own ends. Since nature supposedly has value and goodness in itself, any human action that changes the environment is necessarily immoral. Of course, environmentalists invoke the doctrine of intrinsic value not against wolves that eat sheep or beavers that gnaw trees; they invoke it only against man, only when man wants something.
The ideal world of environmentalism is not twenty-first-century Western civilization; it is the Garden of Eden, a world with no human intervention in nature, a world without innovation or change, a world without effort, a world where survival is somehow guaranteed, a world where man has mystically merged with the "environment." Had the environmentalist mentality prevailed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we would have had no Industrial Revolution, a situation that consistent environmentalists would cheer--at least those few who might have managed to survive without the life-saving benefits of modern science and technology.
The expressed goal of environmentalism is to prevent man from changing his environment, from intruding on nature. That is why environmentalism is fundamentally anti-man. Intrusion is necessary for human survival. Only by intrusion can man avoid pestilence and famine. Only by intrusion can man control his life and project long-range goals. Intrusion improves the environment, if by "environment" one means the surroundings of man -- the external material conditions of human life. Intrusion is a requirement of human nature. But in the environmentalists' paean to "Nature," human nature is omitted. For environmentalism, the "natural" world is a world without man. Man has no legitimate needs, but trees, ponds, and bacteria somehow do.
They don't mean it? Heed the words of the consistent environmentalists. "The ending of the human epoch on Earth," writes philosopher Paul Taylor in Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics, "would most likely be greeted with a hearty 'Good riddance!'" In a glowing review of Bill McKibben's The End of Nature, biologist David M. Graber writes (Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1989): "Human happiness [is] not as important as a wild and healthy planet . . . . Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along." Such is the naked essence of environmentalism: it mourns the death of one whale or tree but actually welcomes the death of billions of people. A more malevolent, man-hating philosophy is unimaginable.
The guiding principle of environmentalism is self-sacrifice, the sacrifice of longer lives, healthier lives, more prosperous lives, more enjoyable lives, i.e., the sacrifice of human lives. But an individual is not born in servitude. He has a moral right to live his own life for his own sake. He has no duty to sacrifice it to the needs of others and certainly not to the "needs" of the nonhuman.
To save mankind from environmentalism, what's needed is not the appeasing, compromising approach of those who urge a "balance" between the needs of man and the "needs" of the environment. To save mankind requires the wholesale rejection of environmentalism as hatred of science, technology, progress, and human life. To save mankind requires the return to a philosophy of reason and individualism, a philosophy that makes life on earth possible.