By Joseph Kellard
The virtually imperceptible manner by which false ideas are often propagandized
was poignantly demonstrated on Bill Maher's ABC talk show Politically
As Ronald Bailey notes: "Of the scores of scientists I interviewed for this book, I could count on the fingers of one hand the number who did not mention funding and the scarcity of research monies. Lab directors are not only scientists; they are also public relations officers and politicians who must navigate the dark byways of Congress and government agencies in search of the wherewithal to keep their organizations going. Consequently, they feel enormous institutional pressure to hype the work of their laboratories and to tie it to the solution of some looming mediagenic crisis."
Mr.Henley continued: "The environmental problems in this country are well documented...You need look no further than your own backyard to see. If you want to talk about the environment you have to start with population." He then proceeded to quote statistics of the world's population and the average yearly and hourly percentage of worldwide birth rates, without any explanation as to why or to whom population growth is a threat. He simply assumes it to be a self-evident 'problem'. This peephole-narrow view of population is exactly that which Paul Ehrlich's outrageously false claims rested--and fell--on. Despite Ehrlich's apocalyptic falsehoods, his premise nevertheless paved the road for others to travel with their population-growth-is-a-problem claims. Mr.Henley makes none of Ehrlich's outrageous predictions, but Ehrlich's entrenchment of the idea that population growth is a problem thus allows Mr.Henley to make simple, contextless statements, all with the intent of alarming people about populations alleged 'problem.' But, in reality, population growth per se is not a problem.
It is considered a self-evident threat to man and nature because environmentalists often portrait a new individual on Earth as a life-long, parasitic consumer--not as a potential producer. But responsible parenthood involves knowing one can feed and raise a child, and teaching him that adulthood requires the responsibility of becoming a producer, of working to feed himself and his child. Increased population is a potential problem for man primarily when governments stifles freedom, which renders production and technological advances either scarce or non-existent, or when irrational cultural customs cause parents to disregard long-range living.
It's no accident that the freest and therefore the most productive
and technologically advanced nations (with expanding resources), are
generally the wealthiest and cleanest--with the
As Nicholas Eberstadt of Harvard University's Center for population Studies wrote in The True State of the Planet "World population has increased tremendously in our century--more than tripling, it appears, between 1900 and 1990--and it continues to grow...with extraordinary speed... This demographic explosion, however, has not plunged humanity into penury and deprivation. Quite the contrary, the global population boom has coincided with an explosion of health, and of productivity, around the world. On average, the human population today lives longer, eats better, produces more, and consumes more than at any other time in the past."
Bill Maher then continued: 'The problem is that if you lie to people and then they know it's a lie, doesn't that down the road erode [their]credibility?"
"I don't think it's fair to make a blanket generalization that everybody in the environmental movement, so to speak, is lying or exaggerating" Mr.Henley said. "There are scientists at the NASA...Institute who are predicting global warming. There is a consensus among world scientists[my emphasis] that global warming is a reality. The question is when and what's going to happen when it does happen."
This claim is offered as a fact not because it is self-evident, but
because a 'consensus' of scientists say it is true.1
Presuming that all scientists are innocent of politicizing their claims,
is a claim true simply because a majority of scientists say it is? Everyone
once believed that the Earth was flat and stationary, until a very small
minority of persecuted astrologers and scientists showed everyone objectively
demonstrable facts that it is round and it revolves around the sun.
That most people support a belief doesn't mean that in reality it is
true. Furthermore, since every scientist now believes that the earth
is round, a rational man believes it is true not because every scientist
says it is so, but because it is an objectively
As with their other claims, the environmental consensus is wrong on their global warming claims since they disregard certain relevant facts pertaining to them, such as, to name a few, that the computer models that predict 'global warming' sport huge inaccuracies; that volcanic eruptions have far more of a negative effect on ozone than man-mad pollutants; that the Earth's temperature for the past hundred years has varied almost identically with variations of the sun's energy for that time; and that the global climate has been constantly fluctuating for millennia--not just since the Industrial Revolution. Global warming becomes a particularly absurd claim when one considers that during the 1970's the consensus among environmentalists was that the Earth's atmosphere was cooling. Therefore, in less than a mere two decades, the impending threat to the Earth has switched from an Ice Age to a vast desert.
Thus, an objective methodology shows us that the Earth may or may not be warming. What is going to happen if and when it warms? If warming occurs, it will be minor, it will probably be almost entirely due to natural factors, such as volcanoes, and it will probably have a beneficial effect on man, since warming increases Co2's, which in turn increases plant, i.e. food, production.
No, not everyone in the environmental movement is deliberately exaggerating or lying about environmental problems. However, such falsehoods are the inevitable outgrowth of a movement whose science is based on an anti-objective approach toward assessing all relevant data. "It's like apple pie and motherhood--you've got to be for it[environmentalism]", remarked another guest on Mr.Maher's show. Naturally, a cleaner world is beneficial to man, but because environmentalism pollutes our world with false, noxious ideas, it is thereby a threat to man--and nature. By undermining truth, and scapegoating property rights, capitalism, industry and technology as 'the problems', the environmentalists deceive a consensus of people into decrying these assets; the very preconditions necessary for man's survival, health and happiness in a cleaner world.
1 (To find the actual facts on this alleged consensus since this article was first written, see both The Intellectual Activist at http://www.intellectualactivist.com/tia/articles_new/singer_interview.html; and the Science and Environmental Policy Project at http://www.sepp.org//pressrel/petition.html)
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