Mommy, There’s A Monster Under My Bed! (A Review Of Global Warming And Other Eco-Myths)

Mommy, There’s A Monster Under My Bed! (A Review Of Global Warming And Other Eco-Myths)

Rost review published in the Alleghany News
November 19, 2002

Beginning with the publication of “Silent Spring”, the environmental movement has become progressively disconnected from science and more rigidly defined by a utopian ideology. Based primarily on exaggerations, distortions, and a willful neglect of valid scientific data that runs contrary to their preaching’s, the movement continues to advance an agenda that, while posing as society’s savior, condemns millions to poverty and disease. Aided by contemporary press-release “journalism” and the “want-it-to-be-true” attitudes on the part of those reporting the stories, their claims go unchallenged, becoming part of the “conventional wisdom.” But information about the true state of the world environment is available; it’s just difficult for to find among the hysteria. Fortunately, Ronald Bailey, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is trying to change that.

As the editor of the recently published “Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths”, Mr. Bailey has assembled a group of the most respected researchers in their respective fields to explain the truth in their areas of interest. The list of contributors includes, among others, Dr. John R. Christy, Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and Lead Author of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Global Warming]; Dr. Norman Borlaug, Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture at Texas A&M and the driving force behind the “Green Revolution” [Biotechnology]; Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies [Population and Resources]; Dr. C. S. Prakash, Director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research, Tuskegee University, Alabama [Genetically modified plants]. Along with their colleagues, and in only eleven chapters, they manage to address the major claims of environmental theology: Global Warming, population control, “sustainable” development, Genetically-modified foods, “synthetic” chemicals, energy production and the widely cited “precautionary principle.” And, surprisingly, the book is both readable and understandable. I say “surprisingly” because, too often, experts in a field tend to fall back on unfamiliar phrasing and jargon specific to their specialty. That tendency is refreshingly absent in this book.

And the contents? Let’s start at the beginning, quoting Dr. Christy on the IPCC “Summary for Policymakers”, the most quoted portion of the report: “…the brief account of the main points…was actually edited and approved by a political body.” Or “Statements…that thousands of IPCC scientists agree on anything is simply untrue and misrepresents the process.” The article on Global Warming is well worth reading in its entirety. You should read the article on biotechnology, written by Dr. Borlaug. You’ve heard the protests over “Frankenfood.” How about the fact that, if crop yields remained at 1950’s levels, current production would require three times the land area now under cultivation?  Or that “Organic” production would be a miserable failure as a replacement for current practices? Where you aware that distribution, not production, is the root cause of world hunger? If you read Dr. Eberstadt’s article on Population, you’ll find that global fertility rates are dropping, not increasing; that population rates increased because of falling death rates, not births. And that is interpreted as a bad thing?

Other chapters recount the DDT charade, including the ongoing costs in human life resulting from its ban; the illogical debate over energy supplies and “alternative” sources; the widespread acceptance of the “Precautionary Principle”, whose main object is to stop the development of the human race.

Thomas Huxley wrote, "Science ... warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile. My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations." The environmental movement has turned this expectation of science upside down in the pursuit of a blindingly utopian concept of how the world should be. If successful in their quest, you can expect that your life span will shorten, your costs will increase, your choices will become limited and your children’s future will be compromised. Sounds too drastic? Consider that the very things the ideological environmentalists work to eliminate or retard are the same things that contribute to the elimination of disease, poverty and hunger in less-developed areas of the world. And you will not be immune to that failure.

Read the book. You can have an influence, but only if you are aware of the consequences and willing to get involved. “Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths” is an excellent roadmap through the forest of misinformation and mythology. And you might start with your school-age children.