Thursday, May 23, 2013

Greens see the error of their ways

This post comes from a surprising article in the U.K. Telegraph, What the Green Movement Got Wrong: Greens come to see the error of their ways.  

It's shocking because it's presented without disclaimers, as was the show on BBC channel 4: 
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this programme is that it was made at all. It shows how the Green monolith has cracked. For many years, Channel 4 would not have dared devote an hour to the errors of environmentalism; or, if it had done so, it would have wrapped it in the cordon sanitaire always put round anything considered Right-wing, stating that this was a "provocative" and "personal" view.
His full article is worth a read no matter where you stand on this issue.  I'm tempted to relate it to another issue, but in the interest of brevity, I'll stick to the main point.

Where did the green movement get things wrong?
Misanthropy. According to a veteran American Green, Stewart Brand, too many Greens believe "Nature good – humans not so good". This approach is ultimately unpersuasive, since it is human beings you are trying to persuade. A policy focused on preventing human activity is one which defies human nature.

Exaggeration. If you say that the end of the world is nigh all the time, people start to disbelieve you. Paul Ehrlich talked utter rubbish about how the world would starve in the 1970s. A glorious clip showed a young but authoritative Magnus Magnusson explaining against a backdrop of artificial snow that "the new Ice Age" was upon us. Green activists give out the figure of 93,000 for deaths attributable to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. The figure favoured by the recent UN investigation is 65. The idea that there are only a few months or years left to save the planet is both so discouraging and so untrue that it disables the cause it is supposed to galvanise

Damage. The most powerful part of the programme was that arguing that the Green obsession with banning and preventing things has done actual harm. The refusal to contemplate nuclear power has encouraged more use of fossil fuels and therefore – if you believe the warmist theories – more adverse climate change. The banning of pesticides has led to the deaths of millions of Africans from malaria. The obsessive hatred of GM crops led, in 2002, to the Zambian government refusing US supplies of GM food sent to relieve its people's starvation.  
Many scientists have begun to call out the green movement on the exaggeration and damage, and that needs to continue. 

For example, one of my friends posted on the dangers of GM foods.  Despite long discussion, she wouldn't believe me, or mainstream science. 
There have been more than 100 peer-reviewed studies over the years—many by independent, non-industry scientists—that have demonstrated the safety of GM crops and food. 
The one report that suggest otherwise has been thoroughly lambasted by other independent, non-industry scientists (in other words, it's agenda-driven junk science).  For more, here's a Forbes article.

Pesticide banning is even worse.  That's not to say all pesticides are good and none should ever be banned.  When we have real, solid evidence of a danger to humans and the rest of the environment, we should stop using a particular agent.  That's not how the Green movement has done things, though.  DDT for example, seems to have been maligned by an agenda-driven smear campaign.  Years later, we've found out DDT is largely safe, non-carcinogenic and not the culprit behind the thinning of eggshells.  The largest racial genocide in history wasn't carried out by Adolf Hitler or Slobodan Milošević.  It was carried out by the green movement against poor, Black Africans.  Sickeningly, many Greens would find nothing wrong with that slaughter.  They're even proud of it.

Being good stewards of Earth and our environment is a cause all of us can support, but the green movement has gotten a lot wrong, and left those of us who want to preserve our world in a sensible manner in a worse position than if their movement had never existed.

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