The Sky Isn't Falling; Despite Decades of Dire Predictions by 'Environmentalists,' Earth's Future Is Greener Than Ever, Reports Competitive Enterprise Institute
To: National and Assignment Desks, Environment Reporter
The 1970's brought us many things, including the idea that Earth was going to pot. Gloom and doom predictions by those supposedly in the know have kept "Earth Day" a main focus for the environment movement.
But the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a public policy group based in Washington, D.C., and according to the Wall Street Journal, "the best environmental think tank in the country," Earth Day is nothing more than a propaganda tool used to scare the public. As evidence, CEI cites the following advances, many of which go well beyond the 30-yr. history of "Earth Day."
-- There is no "scientific consensus" that global warming will cause damaging climate change. In fact, global average temperature is only about 0.6o higher than a century ago. Outlandish claims that our earth is warming at an extreme rate mischaracterize the scientific research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academy of Sciences.
The world is not in severe danger from rising sea levels. Research from Nils-Axel Morner of Stockholm University demonstrates that current sea levels are within the range of sea level oscillation over the past 300 years.
And extreme weather conditions have no provable link to Global warming. Research by German scientists has demonstrated that the devastating floods in central Europe in 2002 were quite normal. And don't blame climate on the growth of vector-borne diseases such as malaria. World experts agree that "other factors" are more important when it comes to the spread of diseases. CEI senior fellow in international policy, Iain Murray.
-- Alarmists such as Paul Ehrlich made hysterical predictions 30-plus years ago about the world running out of food. However, worldwide, the amount of food produced per acre has doubled over the past 50 years.
In the United States alone, more than three times the amount of people are fed on 33 percent less farmland than in 1990. In addition, death from famine dropped during the 20th century, despite the world's population quadrupling.
Advances in agricultural technology and liberalization of global trade have had an impact on alleviating the food shortage. In recent years, one very important component of the food supply- fish, has come under attack by scare mongrels that tell us rising levels of mercury in fish are putting people at risk.
In fact, according to data taken from the Smithsonian Institute, mercury levels found in fish are no higher today than they were 100 years ago. Greg Conko, CEI director of food safety policy.
-- The on-going belief that using pesticides will cause cancer has never been proven and in fact, has led to the spread of serious health risks, including the West Nile Virus and malaria. Both diseases are controllable and have been drastically reduced in communities and countries that allow the spraying of DDT.
In addition, credit pesticide use and artificial fertilizers for creating a worldwide boom in the production of food. The word "chemical" instilled fear in many people during the last century.
However, according to a researcher, chlorine, used to disinfect drinking water, ranks right up there with the discovery of antibiotics as one of the major public health accomplishments of the 20th century. Angela Logomasini, director of risk and environmental policy.
-- A popular environmental concern warns us that air quality is getting worse and is making us all sick. However, statistics show over the last 20 years, carbon monoxide levels have dropped 58 percent, despite an increase in vehicle miles traveled; ozone concentrations have decreased by 17 percent; and the ambient concentration of lead has plummeted 96 percent. Marlo Lewis, CEI senior fellow.
-- "Tree huggers'" claims of mass de-forestation are completely unfounded based on the numbers. In the early part of the twentieth century, people cut down twice as many trees as they planted; now the United States grows 36 percent more trees than it harvests.
Some researchers believe tree numbers are larger today than when Columbus arrived in 1492!
In fact, less dependence on wood for fuel and construction has led to a decrease in wood consumption by half since 1900. Look to private conservation efforts, not federal government, for the 86 percent increase in reforestation, which helps create habitat for endangered species.
Species like the California Condor are becoming extinct and environmentalists tout the Endangered Species Act for helping the condor and many other species.
While the ESA's sole purpose is to save species, in fact, not one recovered species has been helped by the ESA, according to many experts. Like the California Condor and the Wood Duck, countless species have been saved through the hard working efforts of private individuals and organizations. Robert J. Smith, Senior Environmental Scholar.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.