Create A Crises, Inc.
— by Lee Pitts
Chicken Little was a piker compared to green groups who are sounding the alarm that the end of the world has come. Just listen to these recent prognostications:
- The Sierra Club says that scientists of all nations say we are officially in the middle of the Sixth Great Extinction. “Not since a meteorite slammed into the earth 65 million years ago have so many species become extinct so quickly. This alarming decline in species is caused by the ongoing destruction, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats both here in the U.S. and across the world. Seven out of ten biologists believe the world is now in the midst of the fastest mass extinction of living things in the 4.5 billion year history of the planet.”
- According to the National Wildlife Federation, “approximately 25% of the world´s mammals and 11% of its birds are at significant risk of extinction. Some estimate that two-thirds of all species may disappear by the end of this century.”
- “25% of drugs prescribed in the United States contain chemical compounds derived from wild species,” says the Sierra Club. “The cure for AIDS or cancer may be hidden in the vast tracts of still unexplored rainforests. By destroying forests today we are limiting our options for treating illnesses in the future.”
- According to the World Wildlife Federation, “Many nonhuman species face decline or total extermination. We destroyed 30 percent of the natural world between 1970 and 1995. Roughly 50,000 species vanish every year.”
The Canary Is Just Fine, Thank You
And on and on and on. Enough already! You get the idea. The theory is that we are like the canary in the mine shaft: if it dies we all do. We simply can´t continue to destroy valuable habitat with industrial and agricultural pollutants because by poisoning other species we are also imperiling our own lives.
The only problem with the green theory is that it is based on false assumptions.
Who says so? A former Greenpeace member, 36-year-old Danish political scientist and professor of statistics, Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist. Writer Nicholas Wade did a story in the New York Times about the book titled, “Surprise! The Earth May Be Okay After All.” According to the Times, Lomborg´s in-depth analysis is a substantial work with almost 3,000 footnotes in which he rebuffs statements made by many environmental organizations. In the book Lomborg “refers to the persistently gloomy fare from these groups as the Litany, a collection of statements that he argues are exaggerations or outright myths.”
Here are a few quotes from the New York Times article written by Wade:
- “The Skeptical Environmentalist portrays several other elements of the Litany as little more than urban myths. One is the prediction that the world´s forests and a large number of species are headed for catastrophe. Lomborg believes that forest loss has been less serious than is often described . . . only 20% since the dawn of agriculture, not 67% as stated by the World Wildlife fund.”
- “He looked at the Worldwatch Institute World Report in 1998 which said, “The world´s forest estate has declined significantly in both area and quality in recent decades.” But according to Lomborg, “The longest data series of annual figures available from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization shows that global forest cover has increased, to 30.89% in 1994 from 30.404% in 1950.”
- Lomborg believes that the International Panel on Climate Change exaggerates the effect of greenhouse gases.
- “The often quoted figure that 40,000 species are lost every year comes from a 1979 article by Norman Myers, an ecologist at Oxford University. But this figure Lomborg says, was not based on evidence but on Myers conjecture that 1 million species might be lost from 1975 to 2000 which works out to be 40,000 species per year. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature which maintains the Red Book of Endangered Species concluded in 1992 that the extinction figures for mammals and birds were “very small” and the total extinction rate, assuming 30 million species, was probably 2,300 species a year.”
The greens will no doubt try to discredit Lomborg but he´s ready: “I´m a left-wing guy and a vegetarian because I don´t want to kill animals . . . you can´t play the “he´s right wing so he´s wrong argument.”
Green, As In Cash
The news on the environment as reported by green groups is always bad. Global warming, arsenic in our water, disappearing species and forests, polluted oceans and ecosystems . . . there´s no end to what Lomborg calls “The Litany” for a very simple reason: This is business. Big business. Causes are cash to the greens.
The Sierra Club has NOT been a nonprofit organization for years. The Nature Conservancy owns five million acres, making it one of largest non-government landowners in U.S. In 1998 the Conservancy raised $744 million which included $130 million in securities income. Total transactions for 1998 totaled $1.36 billion, including $153 million in government contracts. 480 Nature Conservancy employees had salaries of over $50,000 in 1998. They aren´t called GREEN groups for nothing!
According to an article in Forbes called “Ego-Pragmatists,” The Nature Conservancy has quite a nice little business doing what it doesn´t want the rest of us to do. According to Forbes, Exxon Mobil will drill gas wells on a 2,263-acre preserve in Texas City, Texas that is only one of two places in the world where the endangered Atwater prairie chicken is found. Guess who owns the preserve? The Nature Conservancy. Says Forbes, “The Nature Conservancy acquired the land as a donation from Mobil and has reaped $5 million from the company´s wells already there.”
According to Forbes, “A couple of years ago the Conservancy paid International Paper $35 million for 185,000 acres on the St. John River in Maine to save it from other timber companies. It then contracted with a logger to log 75% of the land. The deal generated one million a year for the Conservancy.
The Conservancy also owns or has easements on 50,000 acres on Virginia´s Eastern Shore and is erecting five houses that will sell for $330,000 each! Evidently when green groups refer to “appropriate human use” it means anything done by them. It also may explain why it´s terrible when a cow poops in a stream but beautiful when a buffalo on a nature preserve does it. In the Forbes article, Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity said, “I used to say the only things not allowed on Nature Conservancy reserves were mining and slavery, and I wasn´t sure about the latter. Now I may have to withdraw the former as well.”
Don´t be surprised several years from now when The Nature Conservancy does things on all these conservation easements they are busy acquiring that the original owner would have never been allowed to do.
So you see, the green groups can´t afford to run out of causes because that´s what pays their salaries. To get gullible folks to whip out their checkbooks they need a never ending source of causes. And if they run out of land to “save” there is always the ocean. The Ocean Conservancy has a $15 million dollar budget with which it is trying to lock up parts of the sea. Says their President: “It´s time to begin applying to the oceans the same conservation ethic that has saved so much land from the destructive hand of humankind.” Next I suppose they´ll be trying to save outer space.
A Holy War
Environmental organizations raise three and a half BILLION dollars every year and much of it is spent on a massive public-relations and fund raising effort. Some of the money is spent trying to elect politicians who will play along. The Sierra Club Political Committee contends that their goal is to elect Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are pro-environment, but in the 2000 election the Sierra Club endorsed all Democrats for the Senate except Jeffords, the then “Republican” who has since metamorphosed into an “Independent Senator.”
All this money buys the green groups a seat at the negotiating table. That´s how the World Wildlife Fund ended up helping draft the Group of Eight Communique. The Nature Conservancy is a favorite of the Bush Administration because, like it, The Conservancy did not endorse the Kyoto Protocol. The $1.6 million government grant it got to study issues raised by the Kyoto Protocol was probably in no way related.
The greenies have even engaged the help of a higher power. Currently the Sierra Club is courting what they call the “Christian-environmentalist movement” which includes groups like Christians Caring for Creation; Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation; The Interfaith Global Warming Task Force (a project of the National Council of Churches, The Council on the Environment and Jewish Life); and Moses (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy and Enabling Strength) founded by Catholic activists and joined by Presbyterian, Anglican and Baptist churches.
That explains why we now see pastors, preachers and Jewish holy men meeting with legislatures to discuss a ban on logging on public lands or Catholic priests blessing newly installed solar panels and wind turbines in Wyandotte, Michigan. Since 1998 the Maine chapter of the Sierra Club and the Maine Council of Churches “have worked as partners in the spirituality and earth stewardship program focusing on watershed and global warming issues.” According to the Sierra Club, Susan Sargeant is a grass-roots organizer and vice-chair of the Maine chapter who laughs as she describes the beginning of a partnership between her chapter and the Maine Council of Churches. “Since I´m an activist and organizer, I have at the top of my to-do list: find a coalition. But it´s become so much more than that. Our meetings are celebrations held in a different watershed each season. All these environmentalists get together and talk about what´s happening in their watershed and perform rituals at the same time. There´s a Celtic harpist who plays nature and spiritual songs. It´s a far cry from a regular meeting.”
Anne Woiwode, is Director of the Mackinac Chapter of the Sierra Club and works with church groups on sprawl issues. She says, “It´s amazing how changing the messenger can change how the message is received.” The greenies have even drafted the women´s movement in their war. One ally is Women´s Voice In The Environment, a group that organizes hikes, lobbying trips and “eco-spirit workshops.”
To brainwash the next generation of check writing supporters the greenies established The Earth Day Network, a consortium of green groups that recommends that students join Earth First!, best known for their eco-terrorist tactics. If you don´t think your children are bombarded with green propaganda in school read their textbooks, or their letters to Congressmen. Ten percent of students may not know George Washington was their first president but they can tell you that our forests are vanishing, despite the fact that 70% of the forests that were here when Columbus landed are still here! But facts don´t matter. This is a holy war!
Shame On Us
The media is a willing co-conspirator says Lomborg who, according to the New York Times, “chides journalists, saying they uncritically spread the Litany, and he accuses the public of an unfounded readiness to believe the worst. The Litany has pervaded the debate so deeply and so long that blatantly false claims can be made again and again, without any references, and yet still be believed.”
Typical is the current debate over drilling in Alaska´s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. You may know that the U.S. imported 37% of its oil in the 70´s and 57% today. But did you know that the U.S. Geological Survey estimates there is enough oil in the Arctic Refuge to replace our imports from Saudi Arabia for the next 20 to 30 years? Did you know that Bush´s proposal would permit drilling on only 2,000 acres of the ANWR, or about one hundredth of one percent of the entire refuge? Of course you didn´t know that; the left-leaning media won´t tell you.
What boggles the mind is that funding for green groups often comes from foundations established by founders of the very companies the greenies seek to destroy. While they may get money from capitalists and engage in capitalism, in their hearts the greens are socialists who believe in central planning and environmentally correct economic development that is fairly distributed. “Socioeconomic and political factors like inequities in wealth and land ownership also play key roles in the loss of habitat,” says the Sierra Club. “Because Americans consume so much more energy, food and raw materials than our counterparts in other developed countries, our impact on our environment is proportionally much greater. As a result, wildlife and wild places in the U.S. are being pushed to the brink of extinction.”
Yes, the flower children of the sixties have grown up but their protest signs still decry the greedy practitioners of the Western lifestyle. Or what the Sierra Club refers to as “the social and political and economic institutions of the capitalist system.”
Obviously they don´t like us very much. Especially you, because you own land and are employed in “the resource extraction industry.” Let´s face it, they need an enemy to fight so they can continue to replenish their war chest and “TAG,” you are it.