Earth Day – What A Crock

So yesterday was the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. For anyone who is a skeptic or a misanthrope Earth Day provides great fodder for one’s amusement. You get wacky, unsubstantiated and unscientific predictions. You get dirty, crusty pseudo-hippies who believe in Gaia (you might think that we cast off this type of worship thousands of years ago but you would be wrong). You get all sorts of stupidity on parade.

At the first Earth Day the following predictions were made:

–Civilization will end in 15 or 30 years if immediate action was not taken. This prediction came from a so-called Harvard biologist, which is why you can never trust anyone merely because they have allegedly strong credentials. We do not accept the argument by authority on this blog and it is easy to see why.

–Speaking of credentials, here is one from a Stanford University biologist: the death rate will increase within ten years so that 100-200 million people will die of starvation every year. Whoops…

–By the year 2000 the entire world aside from Western Europe, North America and Australia will be in famine.

–In a decade urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks and the sunlight hitting the earth’s surface will be cut in half by 1985.

It goes on and on and on like that. This raises two questions:

  1. Is science so bad that it can be this far off in predictions? Here the answer is clearly no in my opinion. Science is unassailable, or at least the true scientific process is not to blame. If this is true then:
  2. Why are these predictions made? They are made because of perversions of science. Like many great institutions, we glorified apes ruin it with our petty, greedy motivations. This is not science; Earth Day and saving the environment are no more about a clean earth and science than Wall Street is about good citizenship. It is all about money.

These people spouting off these ludicrous claims get by because they have a veneer of respectability. They come from Harvard or Stanford, they give each other awards and pats on the back and get favorable press attention. But they are motivated by money and power and nothing else.

This is not to say that they are alone. Science is a dog-eat-dog world with fierce competition for ideas, money and prizes. There is fraud, plagiarism, intellectual theft, outright lying and stealing and every other sin associated with greed just as much in the science industry as in any other industry. When money is involved the gloves and the ethics come off and we see who wins by looking at the Benjamins.

The genesis of this “green” movement was Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, a book that probably caused more death, destruction and despair than any book not written by Karl Marx. In it she argued for a ban on DDT. While many agreed that DDT should not be used for agriculture, what happened is that eco-activists ignorant of science banned its use for any purpose, causing an inability to control malaria in Africa and other places around the world.

Of course, we being the approval seeking do-gooders that we are in the public, buy into this nonsense. We only want to feel good about ourselves. So we recycle even though most of it is bad for the environment. We dutifully put our bottles out in the little blue baskets even though it takes more energy to recycle a bottle than to make a new one. We buy electric cars even though it causes increased use of coal. You see, we as a public are more concerned with what others think and with feeling good about ourselves, even if we are not actually doing good.

Most of us do not think about the economic ramifications in other countries from what we do. As long as we feel good about ourselves, we do not care that millions die in Africa. As long as we are not polluting with DDT we are doing the right thing. This overtly racist attitude disgusts me and should disgust you as well.

The West virtually never considers the plight of non-white people around the world, and not just in environmental issues but in foreign policy, decisions on war, intervening in genocide and everything else. The list is as long as the ludicrously and laughably dire predictions from the first Earth Day. As long as the people dying are brown and far away we do not care.

We put on a mask to hide the fact that we would rather be compliant and fall into line than question what we are seeing. Because most of us are, sadly, too ignorant to question what we are told. As Penn Gillette has said “if you want to feel good while being stupid and wasting your time, maybe heroin is for you.”

What do we get from Earth Day 2010? We get even more puerile, infantile complaining and whining by know-nothings pretending to care about the environment. We get statements like:

–The Icelandic volcano eruption was caused because we pissed off Mother Gaia, and sadly I am not using exaggeration or hyperbole here. Yes, ignorance of science at the hands of religion goes for both the right and the left.

–The recent earthquakes of the last year were caused by climate change. Notice the use of language to frame the debate, global “warming” has been virtually debunked so now we call it “climate change.” Now everything can be classified under that term!

–The rising cost of clean water will cause most people to stop using it to flush toilets. Yeah, good luck with that one.

–90% of the world’s population will be wiped out by climate change.

Feel free to check back in ten years and see how these dregs did in their predictions. That is, if we haven’t been eradicated by Mother Gaia and you are one of the lucky 10% that survive her wrath.

My thoughts are summed up by Michael Crichton:

Finally, and most important — we can’t predict the future, but we can know the present. In the time we have been talking, 2,000 people have died in the third world.  A child is orphaned by AIDS every 7 seconds.  Fifty people die of waterborne disease every minute. This does not have to happen.  We allow it.

What is wrong with us that we ignore this human misery and focus on events a hundred years from now?  What must we do to awaken this phenomenally rich, spoiled and self-centered society to the issues of the wider world?  The global crisis is not 100 years from now — it is right now.  We should be addressing it.  But we are not.  Instead, we cling to the reactionary and antihuman doctrines of outdated environmentalism and turn our backs to the cries of the dying and the starving and the diseased of our shared world.

And if we are going to remain too self-involved to care about the third world, can we at least care about our own?  We live in a country where 40% of high school graduates are functionally illiterate.  Where schoolchildren pass through metal detectors on the way to class. Where one child in four says they have seen a murdered person. Where millions of our fellow citizens have no health care, no decent education, and no prospects for the future.  If we really have trillions of dollars to spend, let us spend it on our fellow human beings. And let us spend it now. And not on our impossible fantasies of what may happen one hundred years from now


5 Responses to “Earth Day – What A Crock”

  1. embarrassing…really. I expect better from you Patric. For someone with no political chops or experience I could get something like this. But the whole thing reeks of ignorance (you really ought to do 10 minutes of actual reading and investigation about DDT and Malaria in Africa) and the worst kind of dismissing actual science based on anecdotal ravings of people without relevant experience.

    You accept at face value every urban myth assertion that doesn’t agree with your personal politics, even things that are so far from being debatable that even staunch right-wingers admit that they are true (in a sober moment).

    There’s no point in arguing with a person who takes Michael Crichton at face value because it sounds comfortable and dismisses thousands of actual scientists who, you know, base their work on study and research and things of this sort. Does intellectual dishonesty and plagiarism exist in science? You bet, and that’s why we dismiss the Crichtons and the people who mindlessly repeat the Malaria bullshit stories and instead rely upon peer reviewed literature by relevant experts

    This piece shows an utter ignorance of even the most basic writing on the topics. I expect better out of you Patrick.

    • The Misanthrope Says:

      Love it!! You seem to be getting into the misanthropic spirit here. if i rile you up i know i have done my job!

  2. The Misanthrope Says:

    paul thanks for the link but is it really necessary? he has his views I have mind and the fact is that DDT is a red herring anyway. the article is not about DDT it is about white liberals wanting themselves to feel good while ignoring the unintended consequences. a debate about DDT is a waste of everyones time.

    also note that i am not relying on crichton for science but for an eloquent statement crystallizing what i think. i frankly dont care if crichton is right or wrong on science. on the money though he is dead on correct IMO.

    rob: hadnt seen that carlin one but hey, for once carlin and I agree on something aside from the ridiculousness of political correctness. he is 100% right when he says controlling words is the first step to controlling thought as he said in the past. I dont have a problem with interest groups trying to do this, that is their goal. what i have a problem with are people who are too dumb to see that is what they are doing.

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