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Actually, they made a lot more sense when they were against global cooling. Had it continued, global cooling would actually have been bad. Global warming is good. It lengthens the growing season and increases net rainfall worldwide. Increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is even better, as it accelerates the rate of plant growth – and this in fact is happening. We have photographs taken from orbit since 1958, and they show that the rate of wild plant growth has increased 14%, at the same time that the atmospheric CO2 level has increased 19%. And there is no doubt that it is the CO2 augmentation that is helping the plants, because you can repeat the same experiment in the lab and get the same result. Plants need CO2, and by raising its atmospheric concentration above its impoverished preindustrial levels, humans have made the Earth a more fertile planet. But to the antihumanists, this does not matter. Despite their rhetoric, they are not friends of the biosphere, they are enemies of humanity – prosecutors seeking any grounds, no matter how unfounded, for a conviction that will allow them to put the human race in chains.
FP: Why were Jewish refugees on their way to America aboard the St. Louis in 1939 turned back? Who and what was really responsible for that crime? What ended up happening to those refugees?
Zubrin: During the 1920s and 1930s the American eugenics movement, which, as I show in detail in the book, was intimately linked to the Nazis, sought to restrict immigration to prevent non-Nordic people from entering the United States, and with their advice, immigration restriction laws with strict racial quotas were passed for that purpose. Jews were a particular target, and became more so after the Nazi takeover of Germany in 1933 made emigration an increasingly urgent necessity. For their part, the pre-war Nazis were willing to let Jews leave, albeit without their property. The problem was, that in every country the eugenicists campaigned to stop their admission. Thus, when in 1939, Senator Robert Wagner (D-NY) put forward a bill that would have allowed 20,000 German Jewish children, who had already been accepted for adoption by American families, to enter the USA above the quota, the eugenicists, led by Population Reference Bureau director Guy Irving Burch, Eugenics Records Office Superintendant H.H. Laughlin, and American Eugenics Society director John Trevor, organized a successful campaign to defeat the bill. According to Burch, writing in the Washington Post in May 1939, 20,000 Jewish children might not seem like much, but they would multiply to 500,000 in only 5 generations.
A few weeks later, the St. Louis arrived, bearing 930 Jewish refugees, seeking permission to land. As they sailed up and down the east coast begging entry, Laughlin issued a special report on immigration which demanded that “international sentimentality” not cause America to lower its “eugenical and racial standards,” that immigration quotas be cut a further 60 percent, and that “loopholes” which allowed Jewish immigration to America by excusing the “moral turpitude” of fleeing Jews who had smuggled (their own) money out of Nazi Germany be closed.
As a result of this agitation, the St. Louis was turned around, and the 620 of its passengers who could not receive permission to get off in Britain were returned to Europe, where 254 of them were eventually gassed.
In 1942, Burch and Trevor’s anti-immigrant “Coalition of Patriotic Societies” was indicted for pro-Nazi subversive activities. This, however, did not stop Burch from going on to have a great career as a leader of the post-war population control movement.
FP: The Left is at the center of antihumanism. Tell us why and what your findings tell us that the Left really is.
Zubrin: Once upon a time there were many leftists who saw themselves as champions of the oppressed, and who therefore opposed Malthusianism on that basis. I quote a number of them in the book, as in their own way, they are particularly strong in underscoring the utter immorality of antihumanism. But since about 1970, when the mass-promotion of environmentalism made it the new super-fashionable cause wherein recruits could be gathered, such voices have fallen silent.
So now, instead of socialism being set forth as the means for enabling the progress that capitalism can’t, it now stands openly as a way of stopping the progress that capitalism can. There is a legitimate role for a left in society, and that is to represent the plebian interest. Such a left would be strongly supportive of economic growth and technological innovation. But that is not the left we have. Instead of representing the working class, they represent the bureaucratic class, which seeks to expand its power by dreaming up ever more requirements for restraining human activities. Antihumanism is the perfect creed for justifying this totalitarian crusade, as it provides the arguments the prosecution needs to put humanity in shackles.
However, even in the days when the left still supported hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants, they were nearly all collectivist in outlook. This made them ready candidates for recruitment into the antihuman camp, which constantly poses the metaphor as human individuals as mere cells within some greater organic entity, such as the Volk, the human race, the biosphere, the world, or Gaia. Of course, in such systems, the body is what counts, whereas the individual is entirely expendable. We have seen where that leads.
FP: What does your book do that no other book has done before?
Zubrin: I have taken these numerous movements, which span 200 years of history and every political coloration imaginable, and shown that they are all one. Furthermore, I have refuted the pseudo-scientific pretentions of every one of them, and hopefully done so in a way that shows that they are all false for the fundamentally the same reason, which is that they deny the true creative nature of man.
FP: What do you hope your book will help achieve?
Zubrin: I hope to refute antihumanism, expose its crimes, and make apparent its mode of operation, so that it can be recognized and repulsed in whatever form it may choose to appear. I hope to make people understand that we are not in danger from lack of resources, we are in danger from people who seek to stop us from using our resources; we are not in danger from there being too many people, we are in danger from people who say that there are too many people; that we are not in danger from human liberty wrecking the Earth’s weather, we are in danger from people who wish to use weather as an excuse to wreck liberty.
I hope to make people understand that, contrary to the antihumanists, every new person born into the world is not a minus to the rest of us, that every nation or race is not the enemy of every other nation or race, and that we do not need have a future of enforced stagnation, poverty, tyranny, war, hate, despair, and genocide. I hope to make it clear that, provided we categorically reject antihumanism and embrace instead an ethic based on faith in the human capacity for creativity and invention, that we can have a future of peace, progress, abundance, love, hope, unlimited possibilities, and the freedom to pursue them.
FP: Dr. Robert Zubrin, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
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