Radical Environmentalism and Second Thoughts

gpLate in March, Mark Lynas, a leader in the movement against Genetically Modified (GM) crops, did something virtually unheard of within radical environmentalist circles: he apologized for demonizing “an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.” In May, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore was equally contrite, noting that his fellow extremists “have abandoned science and logic altogether.” Others in the movement are expressing similar reservations. Yet in assessing the damage radical environmentalism has engendered, one may be forgiven for wondering if such apologies are sufficient.

Moore gets to the heart of the matter, explaining that while the 1980s ushered in the age of radical environmentalism, the issues for which he and his organization had fought have been largely accomplished. Thus, in order for his cohorts to remain employed, Moore admits they had to adopt increasingly extreme positions he categorizes as “anti: anti-human, anti-science, anti-technology, anti-trade and globalization, anti-business and capitalism, and ultimately, anti-civilization.”

Real Clear Energy reporter Marita Noon encapsulates the end result: “Moore’s view helps understand how the environmental movement has gone from trying to save the planet to killing the US economy.”

In conjunction with an equally radicalized Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), activists are targeting the coal industry’s production and exports, despite the reality that the United States has the largest recoverable resources on the planet, and developing nations such as India and China are clamoring to get them. The EU is in the mix as well, having discovered that the cost of renewables is prohibitively high. And despite environmentalist claims that exporting coal, and creating all the high paying jobs that come with it, will ruin the planet, all that will be ruined is our economy: exporters from Australia and Indonesia will fill the vacuum.

The same goes for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). This product was once favored by environmentalists until fracking made it cheap, ruining their dreams of a fossil-fuel free world. Their case was made even more absurd on February 22, 2012, when former EPA head Lisa Jackson, an extremist whose agency over-reach has tested constitutional limits, told an energy conference in New Jersey, “I think that fracking as a technology is perfectly capable of being clean. I do.”

In August 2012, it got still worse for the radicals. The EPA dropped its groundwater contamination claim against Range Resources Corp., marking the third time in a period of months the agency was force to backtrack on such allegations. And last April, the agency “dramatically lowered” its estimates on the amount of heat-trapping methane released during the fracking process. Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, expressed the reflexive, pie-in- the-sky response of radical environmentalists to this politically inconvenient reality. “We need a dramatic shift off carbon-based fuel: coal, oil and also gas,” he contended. To what, remains a mystery.

Lynas is also seeing the light in the energy arena. “Nobody can look you in the eye and say you shouldn’t be worried” about nuclear energy, he says in the new documentary “Pandora’s Promise.” Yet he, along with author Richard Rhodes, writer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Making of the Atomic Bomb”; Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog founder; and Michael Shellenberger, a man Time magazine labeled a “hero of the environment,” have decided nuclear power is an integral part of our energy future–unless one embraces the Luddite attitude of enviro-radical Bill McKibben. “We might decide that the human enterprise has got big enough, that our appetites need not to grow, but to shrink a little, in order to provide us more margin,” he writes in the Guardian. “What would that mean? Buses and bikes and trains, not SUVs. Local food, with more people on the farm so that muscles replace some of the oil.”

The NY Post’s Kyle Smith gives McKibben a well-deserved smackdown. “Sorry, but only a few hippie hipsters want to raise their own chickens and pedal to work, and even they aren’t giving up their iToys,” he contends. “Meanwhile, the peasants of India and China want meat and electricity and cars and hospitals, in the tens of millions. A planet that uses less energy is not an option.”

Neither is a planet that produces less food, a reality that prompted Lynas’ aforementioned apology regarding GM crops. Like Moore, he explains what changed his mind. “Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist,” he writes. Part of what he discovered was that much of his anti-GM sentiment was based on “green urban myths,” and that the process was far safer and more environment-friendly than he had ever imagined.

As part of his recantation, he takes a serious swipe at one of the pillars of radical environmentalism, namely that over-population is the principal threat facing the planet. He explains that while we will be tasked with feeding 9.5 billion people by 2050, the increase isn’t caused by out-of-control rates of fertility, which at 2.5 is only slightly higher than the replacement rate of 2.2. The increase is due to declining infant mortality rates. “You don’t have to have lost a child, God forbid, or even be a parent, to know that declining infant mortality is a good thing,” he writes. He shows contempt for Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 “Population Bomb,” who suggested that mass famine was inevitable by the 1970s, and that we should eliminate food aid to countries like India, allowing for the inevitable starvation to reduce population.

Ehrlich’s despicable goal to reduce population via forced starvation was never realized. Sadly, Rachel Carson, who wrote “Silent Spring,” a seriously flawed tome regarding the dangers of chemical pesticides, notably DDT, did manage to produce enough of a political following to get that insecticide banned in many countries.

The consequences were disastrous: tens of millions of lives were lost to malaria and other diseases. A Harvard study estimated that high levels of malaria reduce economic growth by 1.3 percent annually–meaning that four decades of DDT bans have made developing nations more than 40 percent poorer than they might have otherwise been with effective insect control.

Again, science took a back seat to radicalism. For Carson, et al., the dosage level of DDT was irrelevant, as was the reality that alternative pesticides were equally toxic to other wildlife. Dr. Henry Miller, the Robert Wesson Fellow of Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, puts Carson’s effort in perspective. “The legacy of Rachel Carson is that tens of millions of human lives–mostly children in poor, tropical countries–have been traded for the possibility of slightly improved fertility in raptors,” he writes. “This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last century.”

The 2007 movie “The Great Global Warming Swindle” was where Patrick Moore first made his aforementioned assertion that Greenpeace needed to become increasingly radical in order to maintain its “anti-establishment” bona fides. Yet far more importantly, he explained why radical environmentalism has inspired so much zealotry:

The other reason why radical environmentalism emerged was because communism failed, the (Berlin) Wall came down, and a lot of peace-niks and political activists moved into the environmental movement, bringing their neo-Marxism with them–and learned to use green language in a very clever way, to cloak agendas that actually have more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than they do anything with ecology or science.

And so it remains. On Sunday, the Telegraph’s James Delingpole, commenting on Britain’s Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee Tim Yeo’s apparent willingness to take a bribe to advance the green agenda, illuminates the havoc that agenda has wreaked in the UK:

The great Climate Change hoax has cost the UK not just the odd thousand here and there. It has cost it billions. Thousands of old people have been condemned to miserable deaths in fuel poverty; good businesses have been crippled by layers of environmental regulation; bad businesses have gorged themselves on free money they simply don’t deserve by sucking on the teat of the subsidised renewables sector; property rights have been confiscated, views ruined, sleep disturbed, people’s health damage, birds and bats chopped to pieces by wind turbines; our economic recovery has been held back by idiot green taxes and the idiot ongoing attempt by DECC and its allies to stop us exploiting our abundant shale gas reserves.

It’s no different in America, where the Obama administration has held up the approval of the Keystone Pipeline expansion, despite an 82 percent approval rate by Americans who believe it would be good for the nation.

Yet cracks in the leftist environmental monolith are beginning to show. The Democratic governors of West Virginia and Montana are joining Kansas in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to rules that grant the federal government regulatory control over greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Even more startlingly, the Democrat-controlled California assembly has voted down an attempt to ban hydraulic fracking in that state. Two factors likely driving that vote are California’s unemployment rate of 9 percent, and the existence of the Monterey Shale formation that contains 15 billion barrels of oil. Oil that would provide a viable substitute for Middle East supplies.

That’s a win-win for everyone but the radical environmentalists.

Furthermore, given the recent spate of government scandals, making American more energy and food self-sufficient–even as the economy is invigorated in the process–would have to be the quintessential no-brainer of the 21st century. Unfortunately, to satisfy the whims of radical environmentalism, much of the American left remains wedded to dependence on regimes that hate us, even as they pursue chimeric and wholly unrealistic, back-to-the-land solutions for our problems. Solutions that not-so-coincidentally require massive amounts of government intrusion to facilitate.

Lynas and Moore have apologized and recanted, respectively. One can only hope more of their ideological ilk will follow suit.

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  • objectivefactsmatter

    “Moore gets to the heart of the matter, explaining that while the 1980s ushered in the age of radical environmentalism, the issues for which he and his organization had fought have been largely accomplished. Thus, in order for his cohorts to remain employed, Moore admits they had to adopt increasingly extreme positions he categorizes as “anti: anti-human, anti-science, anti-technology, anti-trade and globalization, anti-business and capitalism, and ultimately, anti-civilization.””

    You can apply that almost universally across every leftist cause.

    For emphasis: “…the issues for which he and his organization had fought have been largely accomplished.”

    • soundnfury

      I was just about to write that this could be applied to the NAACP, Jesse, Al, & the rest of the “civil rights” cabal, but you beat me to the punch.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Awesome article.

  • 1Indioviejo1

    Radical environmentalist are indoctrinated in their college science classes by their radical professors. There is no end in sight for their mischief until we take it to them.

    • brmckay

      Who is this “we”? and what are your qualifications?

      “Radical Science Professors” run amok, corrupting the youth. Good grief! How could I have been so blind? Sign me up.

      • Rifki Assudaisi
      • Albert8184

        Yeah, I’ll pretend that all the stuff I saw in college didn’t really happen. hahahahahaha Marxists? What Marxists? I didn’t meet any Left Wingers in college! Everybody was a real conservative Reagan lover.

      • OfficialPro

        It starts long before then. Most teachers here are NDP and some are Green and many of them flat out indoctrinate their elementary school classes. This was reflected in a straw poll of students taken around the time of the actual election, which showed young skulls full of moosh overwhelmingly favoring the NDP and Greens.

        Of course there’s a lot of Union affiliated parents (Teachers, nurses, etc)…so that doesn’t help.

  • OfficialPro

    Idiots have convinced idiots that the planet’s population can still be fed adequately with “organic” farming methods. Good thing Patrick Moore woke up and smelled the Starbucks.

    • Albert8184

      The planet can be fed adequately with ANY method that is rational, provided you can get the F-ing government to quit interfering in the process. You have to put people to work FARMING and ranching in order to create food to eat. You have to free up land that is being MONOPOLIZED by government and other entities for their own selfish ambitions. In the USA, for instance, it seems to me that the government is more interested in creating the conditions for a future famine than anything else. And I TOTALLY believe that the Left in America is no different than the Left anywhere else. They will control people with food and lack of food. That’s probably how they intend to get the guns away from gun owners.

  • davarino

    The truth prevails, and the liars lose.

  • JeffWRidge

    It won’t take long for the true believers and dedicated deceivers in the green movement to go to work vilifying and marginalizing Lynas, Moore and any other environmentalists who express doubts about the movement. They will be treated the way Muslim fanatics treat apostates, brutally.

    That’s how the left keeps people in line; speak out of turn and you will be destroyed. I doubt that many other environmentalists will be as intellectually honest as these individuals have been.

    Things won’t change much when it comes to the environmental extremists. There are always going to be new people willing to step up and take the lead in their push against science, progress and freedom.

    • brmckay

      You don’t even try to get it right, do you? Just feels too good running with the gang, and the gang needs someone to pick on. Not a lot of thought need go into who or why.

      • JeffWRidge

        Wrong. The far-left has a long history of doing everything in their power to destroy anyone who dares to disagree with them. If a scientists states that s/he doesn’t believe in anthropogenic global warming/climate change they are accused of selling out, or of being on the “fringe,” or of being poor scientists. Any lefty who actually changes their mind and moves from supporting lefty causes is doubly hated and reviled.

        You claim I did not put any thought into my comment. You accuse me of just “running with the gang,” in order to “pick on” someone. What a joke and what hypocrisy. Look in a mirror if you want to see someone who mindlessly runs with the pack and doesn’t think things through.

        Who am I picking on? I want names and examples of how I am picking on that person, or persons. Try putting some thought into your future comments and back up what you wrote. I won’t hold my breath waiting.

        • brmckay

          Before I apologize for my observation, (for fear of being reviled), maybe you could clarify for me what or who you are referring to as the “far-left”, ” true believers and dedicated deceivers in the green movement”, “any Lefty”, “environmental extremists”. What is the scope of your category here?

          Are you assuming that science indicates “anthropogenic global warming/climate change” is a crock?

          Of course there are idiots at both ends of the spectrum, right and left. That’s politics. Not worth much anyway.

          What does reason indicate in regard to our treatment of the environment? What about morality?

          What, would the opposite of a radical environmentalists be?

          Should we not rail against them as well?

          In regards to science, what does “belief” have to do with it?

          Let’s see, ok, Al Gore. If you think he’s cool. I apologize.

          • JeffWRidge

            The little crack about being reviled is cute. I love it when someone thinks they’re being clever and tries to misapply my words. I never said you would be reviled for apologizing; only if you changed your position on an issue the far-left holds dear. Try taking a position contrary to the accepted lefty one on a lefty site and watch what happens. Come out against abortion, or against gun control and see what reaction you get. It won’t be pretty.

            Now, after you insult me you want to act like you want to have a honest and civil discussion? Ok sure, I’ll play along and see how long that lasts.

            I break down the left in several ways. The far-left are those individuals who are fanatics and will tolerate no dissent. They are dedicated to unending growth of government, even if it means that people lose their liberties and rights.

            Most lefties seem to support big government, but the far-left will engage in the politics of personal destruction to ruin the reputations of people with whom they disagree. They will lie about someone in order to smear their perceived enemies and lessen their effectiveness as political opponents.

            The far-left also say that they think that people who disagree with Obama should be silenced, imprisoned, or even killed. The far-left treat people who disagree with them like dirt.

            Environmental extremists are generally either far-left types as described in the article, who after the fall of the USSR and the overall failure of Marxism moved their radical viewpoints to the environmental movement. They use people with legitimate concerns for the environment to push for increasing the power of the government and decreasing the freedoms of the people.

            Extremist environmentalists aren’t willing to discuss whether anthropogenic global warming/climate change is really a problem, or if the solution(s) they push would even help, or might make things worse. They are convinced that they are right and will attack anyone who dares to speak out about having doubts.

            Those of us who have stated our doubts have been attacked as “anti-science,” “anti-intellectual,” “dupes,” “liars,” and worse. Once, when I suggested that there needed to be more research done before doing something that might be dangerous to our economy and the environment, I had a far-left environmental type state his wish that my mother was raped. Refusing to consider that you may be wrong about an issue and becoming vicious is something that religious nuts do, not people following science.

            They are also people who will, let’s say, “exaggerate” about whether something will be bad for the environment, or they’ll issue forth ridiculous claims of impending disaster. Everything from “acid rain” to global warming causing a new ice age. These are the true believers. I don’t know if they make up the stuff they claim, or if they just parrot what the far-left radicals make up. I just know that I have learned not to believe a thing they say without checking the facts for myself (of course, I do that with everyone, but more so with these people).

            I first noticed this back in the 80s, when they kept running ads claiming that X-thousands of acres of trees were being cut down every single minute and destroying the rainforest. Only after seeing these ads for several years I became suspicious and decided to do a little math. I got out my world almanac and looked up how many acres of land there is on Earth (I even included all of the deserts and land used for cities to make it fair). I then calculated how long it would take before every tree on the planet was gone if trees were being cut down at the rate they claimed. I learned that there shouldn’t have been any trees left anywhere on Earth.

            Environmental extremists put the welfare of animals and plant life ahead of humans. They hammer metal spikes into trees to cause accidents that harms chainsaw operators. Look up ELF and terrorism for more examples.

            I make no assumptions about anthropogenic global warming/climate change. As I stated before, I believe that we need to learn a lot more about how climate works, and how much effect human activity actually has on nature. We need to determine if the Earth’s environment is possibly more effected by the Sun, than by humans. We need to make bloody certain of what is causing what, before we take some drastic action that could cause more damage than it fixes.

            What about morality and the environment? I don’t believe that people should torture animals, or wantonly destroy their habitat, for what that’s worth. However, unlike the radical environmentalists, I do not object to people building on their own property, even if that inconveniences insects and animals.

            I have no idea what the opposite of a radical environmentalist would be.

            When I used the word “believers,” I was referring to those people who are fanatics. As I stated, environmentalism is a religion to them. They don’t follow science, so much as they follow the leader.

            Al Gore is as about as “cool” as burning thermite. I thought that even lefties had figured that out.

            Now you can tell me who I was picking on and how I was picking on them.

          • brmckay

            I’m still not sure that I was completely off base in my comment.

            You have described extreme fanatics. Who, of course, I would put myself into opposition to as well. Besides being aggressively unhinged they usurp the legitimate energies of rationally minded environmentalists.

            This phenomena of self serving deception and aggression, is also occurring at the other end of the political and industrial spectrum.

            The fact that you, “had no idea what the opposite of of a radical environmentalist would be”, suggests that you don’t worry much about the excesses of consumption, lack of conservation and general unconcern for our children’s children’s world. Especially, that manifested by unregulated industry.

            In your breakdown of what you call “the left”, you made a passing reference to the effect of; “Most lefties seem to support big government,”. However the rest of your discussion was about the dangerous, deceptive and violent few. I still come away feeling, that you lump legitimate environment centric philosophy, in with the radical lunatics.

            Those lunatics of course, arise synchronistically, and in counterpoint to, the wanton, unsustainable ravaging of the planets resources by industry. Especially when it is left unchecked by a concerned citizenry. Birds of a feather.

            That citizenry, concerned or otherwise, being culpable through the effect of increasingly unbalanced appetites.

            As an environmentally minded citizen, I really have to ask you to look a little deeper than this quote would indicate you have:

            “JeffWRidge – What about morality and the environment? I don’t believe that people should torture animals, or wantonly destroy their habitat, for what that’s worth. However, unlike the radical environmentalists, I do not object to people building on their own property, even if that inconveniences insects and animals.”

            Don’t know what you’re alluding to about Al Gore, and really, what’s with the subtitle of this magazine?

          • JeffWRidge

            In your original reply to me you painted me as someone who just goes along with the “gang” to “pick on” some still unidentified individual or group (I begin to lose hope of ever learning their identity, or identities. Oh, woe is me). You acted as if I did not think for myself and that I did not even care about the truth. You are so wrong that I don’t have the words to express it. Your comment was inane and insulting. You want to stick to it, that’s on you. It says more about you, than it does about me.

            Yes, I described “extreme fanatics.” Hence my reference to them as “extreme” and “fanatics.” That’s what I have been writing about. Did you somehow miss this fact?

            I never said that there weren’t people who are “unhinged” on the other side of the political spectrum. I’ve had my share of run ins with right-wingers who call me a RINO (even though I am not a Republican), or claim that I am something called a “neo-con” (I have been a right-winger for decades, but I do not identify myself as a conservative since I diverge from them on certain issues). These people can be very unreasonable.

            The thing is, I’ve never had any of those right-wingers tell me that they wish that I, or members of my family would die. Or that I, or any member of my family, be harmed (unlike the far-left jerk who wished my mother would be raped). I have never received that kind of treatment from a right-winger, no matter how heated the conversation became. Only lefties have done this.

            I stated that I do not know what the opposite of an environmental extremist would be based on my definitions of the term, which if you will recall, you requested that I post. You are giving your definition of the opposite of an environmental extremist based on your definition of the term. Not mine.

            If you will read my definitions again, you will see that the opposite would not necessarily be a person who is not an environmentalist; nor for that matter would they be an environmentalist. In fact, I gave more than one definition of the term environmental extremist. I do not know what the opposite of my definitions would be.

            You ask for my definition of the far-left and I gave it. You did not ask for my definition of the left as a whole, unless you want to claim that you did when you asked for a definition of “any lefty,” which would make no sense. “Any lefty” would be defined as anyone on the left side of the political spectrum, far-left, moderate left, anywhere else on the left. That should be self-evident, especially considering that I used the words to refer to a lefty who begins supporting positions contrary to left-wing orthodoxy.

            A more complete definition of the left would take a lot of time to work up. The breakdown of the left I mention is in my mind. I have never bothered to put it to words, since as I stated, that would be rather time consuming and my free time is not without limits. Besides, I know my own thoughts on the subject and never planned on writing an essay about it.

            I did not “lump” in legitimate environmentalists with the radical lunatics. Reread my comment. I even mentioned that the far-left types manipulate those people with legitimate concerns about the environment to their own ends. In the post I am referring to you even acknowledge that they do this.

            Industry is far from “unregulated.” Excessive regulation is part of the problem America currently faces. BTW, it is at this point, that the far-left types will suddenly pounce on the previous sentence and claim that I favor no regulations on industry, even though that is not what I wrote. Tell me, did you feel that urge? Reducing regulations is not the same as doing away with all regulations, any more than trying to lose a few pounds means you want to completely eliminate your body; but try to explain that to some people.

            I am quite comfortable with my statement regarding morality and the environment. That you have different feelings on the matter does not effect my position.

            My point about Al Gore was, and still is, that he is the antithesis of cool. There is nothing cool about the man. Does that clear it up?

            When you ask about the subtitle of the magazine, I assume that you are referring to the line:

            “Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.”

            There are actually some decent articles to be found on this site that will likely answer your question, if you look for them. You should address that question to the people who run this site, rather than to a fellow reader and commenter.

            However, I will give you my take on it, if you wish. First off, I never refer to the modern left as “liberals.” There is nothing liberal about them. As I have noted, the modern left tends to support ever growing and increasingly powerful government. They do so even when as our rights are shrinking because of that governmental growth. A lot of lefties can’t seem to recognize that the more powerful you make the government, that the less powerful the people become. An overly powerful government can eventually shut down personal rights. This is what a lot of us fear.

            Quite a lot of lefties have stated their desire that any and all right-wing speech be silenced, in essence denying us our First Amendment rights. Some lefties have called for us to be imprisoned, claiming that our speech is responsible for crazy people who have acted violently (for example: we were blamed for the actions of Anders Breivik, among others). A few far-left types have called for our deaths. That is a totalitarian attitude.

          • brmckay

            Ok.

            I don’t think that I’ll be able to get on a good enough footing with you; to try and make my points clearer.

            Bad start. I confess.

            My writing style and choice of themes also causes you trouble. Probably much like your’s do mine.

            I’d sort of like to back out of the room now. Wishing you well.

            I apologize for my initial rudeness.

          • JeffWRidge

            What are you, some kind of wise guy? Being polite? Apologizing? Wishing me well? I don’t have to take that. Don’t you know you’re on the internet? No one is nice on the internet; it’s the law! Well, two can play that game.

            I apologize back for any rudeness I showed towards you. Yeah, take that!

            Seriously, people should be able to disagree without being disagreeable. Thank you. Have a good weekend.

          • Albert8184

            The opposite of a radical environmentalist would be, according to the radical Left, a reactionary capitalist from the pre-Modern era, dealing in outmoded ideas of right and wrong, truth and untruth, laissez faire economics, Judeo-Christian based exploitation – you know, a standard conservative Westerner from the traditional era.

            You rail against them all the time. From every conceivable angle and avenue.

      • Albert8184

        Notice the thumbs down you keep getting. You’re not getting anywhere here. Why don’t you go back to the Huffington Post? Nobody’s buying your miracle cures.

        • brmckay

          You’re sort of proving my original point.

          I was starting to think I was off base but perhaps, just picked Jeff out of the hat by mistake.

          Besides, he wants me to stick around and prove I’m not a troll.

          I’ll do so for a little while yet, if you don’t mind.

          Discussion is good. It’s how we learn.

  • RogerDane

    Sadly truth is so often overlooked. Go back to the heyday of “nails in trees” and Greenpeace trying to sink whalers and you have to see the extremism for the looney-toons it has always been. How many square miles of national parks are closed because some little three-toed horny backed whatever is ‘endangered’ even when history and facts show that they seldom get good recovery numbers from such practices. How many fires, lost homes and lives, can we lay at the feet of radical environmentalists that won’t allow states and counties to do clearance burns of brush and refuse!? Some (!) of these people are the worst ‘haters’ that exist, great article. Hope this ‘intellect over radicalism’ prevails.

  • Guy Fromage

    I have noticed, with some consternation, many otherwise sensible conservatives jump on the anti-GMO bandwagon. They make claims such as “rats fed Monsanto GMO corn are found filled with tumors.” Fact is, most domesticated rodents which do not otherwise meet their ends from exposure to toxic materials, dissection, or other injuries, will die from cancer. It’s the number one natural cause of death for domesticated rodents.

    I’ve had several pampered furry friends end this way, including one I selfishly allowed to linger, longer than I should have.

  • Elisheva Hannah Levin

    A couple of issues here:

    First–all farming methods are “organic” just as all food is. Otherwise, it would hardly be worth eating. That said, there is nothing wrong with animal husbandry that promotes building good soil, nor is there anything wrong with crop rotation and other methods of promoting a healthy soil that provides good nutrition to food crops. In this vein, the issue of soil conservation through good cultivation methods is worthy of thought and discussion. Farmers and ranchers were the first environmental engineers and we remain tied to the health of our land, soil, water and grass. Although the so-called “environmentalists” are wrong about a lot of things, there are issues regarding soil and water conservation, as well as the use of mono-culture over time that legitimately need to be addressed. I think that we–farmers and ranchers–are better able to address them in our generational commitment to our private lands than is any government agency or large chemical concern. As useful as they are in the short term, pouring chemicals onto the soil without building it is not going to address the long term problem of soil health. IOW, chemicals are useful as supplements, but reliance on them in the long term bankrupts those of us who produce your food and does nothing at all to build fertility.

    Second, although GMOs may be promising, the way in which DNA combinations are being patented and and the way in which drift of GMOs into non-GMO environments (such the property of other farmers) is being adjudicated is a big concern to those of us who want to preserve the genetic diversity of our crops and stock. Whereas, normally the law has made it the responsibility of ranchers to “fence out” livestock on private lands in open range states, this simply will not work with wind-pollinated and insect pollinated GMOs that drift onto the property of other farmers, who are then billed for the drift. Here, I think that the owners of the GMO crops should be made responsible for containing their property, rather than making innocent farmers pay for the genetic drift into heritage crops.

    The larger concern is not that GMO’s are bad, but that they can create a dangerous lack of genetic diversity if genetic drift into other plant populations is not controlled. Genetic diversity is important to the long-term survival of any species, as it builds in different responses to changing environments. Monoculture–even one of F1 hybrids–can mean that a species does not have the diversity to survive environmental difficulties such as drought or species interactions, such as resistant blights and rusts. Consider, for example the corn blight in the ’70′s that destroyed whole crops in the Midwest, resulting in shortages and higher grain prices, which exacerbated the recession and contributed to economic misery on the national level. Following that experience, seed companies large and small endeavored to introduce a variety of good hybrids that not only were bred for varied conditions, but also broadened the genetic diversity under cultivation.

    These issues are at the heart of agricultural science. Remember, science at its best is not dogmatic, and should have no political agenda.

    –Notes from a Rancher and Soil Scientist

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “First–all farming methods are “organic” just as all food is. Otherwise, it would hardly be worth eating. ”

      Don’t be dense. Obviously they are referring to methods that use as many organic methods as possible for insect control and other cultivation issues. You lose credibility when you say things like that. Anything living is obviously organic.

  • brmckay

    I heard a spokesman for the fracking industry in Michigan explain, that is was ok to remove the millions, and ultimately billions, of gallons of contaminated water from the ecosystem via deep injection wells.

    Because…

    He explained, for every gallon of methane burned two gallons of water resulted.

    This makes it ok?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “He explained, for every gallon of methane burned two gallons of water resulted. This makes it ok?”

      If the processing is optimized, then yes.

      • anor277

        Then let’s optimize it. For every 16 grams of methane burned (with 64 g oxygen), 44 g of carbon dioxide is produced along with 36 g of water. Granted the combustion of methane is much, much cleaner than the combustion of coal or diesel, however, the carbon dioxide produced (unlike the water) is not going to be removedfrom the atmosphere very quickly. It is naive to think that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are not going to have an effect on climate. Carbon capture by corn or other plants will soon reach a point of diminishing return.

      • brmckay

        Water gone down a well.

        New H2O New CO2

        Don’t we need the Oxygen

        For other things?

        And next week and next year

        And fifty years more.

        We do it again and again.

        Seems insane.

        Just ask your great great

        great great grand kids.

  • Marita K Noon

    I met Patrick Moore a couple of years ago when he was speaking in New Mexico. My book, Energy freedom, has a chapter on the history of the environmental movement. His input was very help to me when I was writing. He Ok’d everything I wrote about him. Thankfully he’s vocal about his conversion.

  • onecornpone

    What the rabid Left pseudo science tribe is being forced to admit, is that their decades long PR campaigns of fear mongering clap-trap can no longer procure fringe “scientist” who will put their names and reputations on the line, in the name of anti-capitalistic goals. Their ideas are no longer sustainable. LMAO!!! We can give partial credit for that to the internet. Thank You Man-bear-pig!

    The real credit belongs to a few agricultural producers who became sufficiently morally outraged to risk losing EVERYTHING they own (there have been many bankruptcies) to fight outrageous, overly aggressive zealots posing as Keepers of the Earth, after which courts could NOT ignore the questionable science that EPA et al had happily embraced to rule in favor of anti-capitalist actions for decades. Organizations like Landmark Legal Foundation and a few national farm organizations joined to support these monumental legal efforts.

    In fact, lately a few courts have ruled that some egregious examples of EPA overreach merit damages to ag producers. Hell, in 30 years, once the overall big picture can be assessed, we may have a “Pigofrd” program for actual real farmers, rather than these we’ve seen which are merely disguised reparations.

    Just as the collusion among “scientist” who were cashing in on shoving global warming at us was deep-sixed by sunlight, these charlatans would eventually have been backed into a corner, thus their timely epiphanies. Oopsie, “I was wrong” won’t suffice for those of us who have been fighting this uphill battle for decades. We want grovelling, we want deep, sustained apology, we want retribution.

    NOW for the world-wide class action lawsuit, to send these snake oil salesmen hiding underground for eternity. The damage they have done to the food chain is unfathomable. WHAT will be their punishment? Where are Cloward & Piven? Where are Ayers & Dohrn? Where are Al & Tipper (yeah!) In other words, “Get over it!”

    The damage wrought on the world economy will never be estimated, much less recouped, but these svengalis will undoubtedly find another niche market of Utopia seeking idiots to exploit in their never-ending quest for power.

  • anor277

    Currently, humanity releases about 30,000 million tonnes of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere ANNUALLY. This figure is likely to increase in the near future as our appetite for coal and natural gas continues unabated. Now Science tells us the likely consequences of this continual emission of carbon dioxide (and, like it or not, this conclusion is verified by the weight of experimental observation). If we rely on Science to inform environmental policy, the same Science also suggests that we should seek to decrease our reliance on the combustion of fossil fuels. This article suggests otherwise. C’est la vie. (Cue vociferous comments to the contrary.)

    • onecornpone

      An average hectacre of corn in Ontario removes 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air…

      Took me five seconds to find that. I suggest you do the math on a global scale. Problemo Exito! There are many other co2 gobbling crops in addition to corn.

      • anor277

        The amount of arable land is probably less than you think. To cultivate and harvest that corn crop you are also going to have to burn a lot of hydrocarbon. Corn cropping is not a magic bullet.

        • onecornpone

          There are 41,000 million hectacres of arable land on the planet.

          … humanity releases 31,000 million tonnes of greenhouse gas… ANNUALLY.

          It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Some of us regularly deal in large numbers, thus don’t fear them.

          Eat MORE Texas raised BEEF!

          • anor277

            How fortunate that you regularly deal with large numbers. I think you have over-estimated the area of arable land. The figures I found give 1500 million hectares arable (under cultivation) and 5000 million hectares (agricultural), For your perspective, the surface area of ALL land on the Earth (arable + agricultural land + deserts + Antarctica + permafrosts) is 14830 million hectares (this is much less than the figure you quote for arable land so your figure is a wild exaggeration; it seems that when I said “the amount of arable land is less than you think” I was right).

            To a first approx. the right figures suggest that if devote all arable land to carbon capture we can offset emission of carbon dioxide for 1 year or so. And yet each year another 30,000+ million tonnes greenhouse gas is added to the atmosphere. These figures also do not factor the cost of fertilizing, cultivating, and harvesting the crops, all of which which have very significant greenhouse gas emission associated with them. And of course we’ve stlll got to grow food.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “Corn cropping is not a magic bullet.”

          It’s not just corn.

  • Albert8184

    SO, in other words, the useful idiots in the radical green movements have served their purpose and now that the Left is running the show, they need them to hold off on the economy damaging, revenue inhibiting activities???

    In other words, the Left only cares about the environment as a WEAPON to be used against ideological foes. And looking at the environmental legacy of Left wing nations in the 20th century, I’d say that fits reality.

    • Steeloak

      Cindy Sheehan? Code Pink? International Answer? Iraq Veterans Against the War? Where are they now? I mean, the wars these groups and individuals noisily protested against in daily media reports are still going on, however the anti-war crowd has somehow mysteriously vanished into obscurity.
      Could it be they were only useful tools for the Democrat party to demonize Bush, tools not needed now that a radical Democrat is in the White House?

      • Albert8184

        And, could it be that in demonizing Bush, they give him the COVER he needs to be a shill of the Left and still be voted for by gullible conservatives?

        And that ruse is wearing thin now, isn’t it? Conservatives have never been more disillusioned than they are now. Which is exactly what the Left wants.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “These guys are all on the same side. The New World Order side.”

          No. There are plenty of politician in the USA that believe in our national sovereignty and even our special role in the world as the dominant super power. They don’t win presidential elections these days. They’re lucky to win seats in congress.

          The other conservatives like McCain are duped and purchased. They believe in our national sovereignty but put it at risk with their compromises. They’re not globalists per se, but they sure are not fighting the globalists as hard as I’d like.

          If you want to find the globalists, scratch the surface of every leftist you meet. Conservatives that fall for the political trickery are not globalists, just more dupes.

          • Albert8184

            You and I see eye to eye.

  • DougI

    The UN treaty concerning DDT banned the pesticide for agricultural use, it didn’t ban it for disease control. That’s just one of the many numerous errors contained in this article, like you notion that Luddites were anti-technology. I suggest a bit more fact checking and less frothing at the mouth and you might not look like such a kook.