leps-l future

Paul Cherubini monarch at saber.net
Fri Apr 5 12:41:50 EST 2002

Patrick Foley wrote:

> Do you want Exxon-Mobile deciding which
> scientists are experts on global climate change? Times-Warner-
> Disney-Microsoft deciding what is an appropriate email?

Those of us employed in private industry would not like to see
the academic community necessarily deciding everything either:  
Example: if this list was moderated by a group of environmental 
professors or government scientists, I bet the following commentary 
by the former governor of Delaware would not likely be allowed:


Coloring the Data Greens get caught red-handed committing
scientific fraud. 

BY PETE DU PONT Wednesday, March 27, 2002 12:01 a.m. EST 

So many federal agencies have been exposed falsifying environmental
data that you have to wonder how many other frauds remain undetected.
First came the December revelation that employees of the Fish and
Wildlife Service and the Forest Service had planted fake wild lynx hair 
in states where there were no lynx, so that the areas could be
labeled critical habitat, and thus off limits to human use. 

Then came the National Academy of Sciences' findings that shut off 
water to 1,000 farms in the Klamath Lake Basin in Oregon and
California--all to save the suckerfish. That turned out to be based on 
faulty science too. Farms disappeared and people suffered because the 
Endangered Species Act had been invoked based on junk--or maybe

In February the Forest Service admitted that it had erroneously 
reported 920 million national-forest visitors in 2000. The correct
figure was 209 million, not exactly a rounding error. 

By March it had to confess to another misrepresentation. Court 
documents showed the Forest Service had knowingly used false
data on spotted-owl habitats to prevent logging in a California forest. 
"Arbitrary, capricious and without rational basis" was how
the judge characterized the service's actions.

So why the lying? It seems deceit is the only way the greens can 
advance their Luddite agenda. They are ideologically inspired to try
to limit, slow and if possible stop economic growth, for they believe 
that prosperity is harmful to the environment. But our nation's and the
world's environments are getting better all the time, in fact so 
much better so much faster that it is hard to wave the green 
shirt based on honest data. Subterfuge and misrepresentation 
are thus left to energize the greens' antiprosperity cause.

Consider fossil fuel consumption and its resulting pollution. 
The Cato Institute recently reported that since the first Earth 
Day, in 1970, "energy consumption has risen 41 percent, most 
of it from fossilfuels. But during that same period sulfur-dioxide 
emissions . . . have dropped by 39 percent . . .;volatile organic 
compounds . . . by 42 percent; carbon monoxide emissions . . .
have dropped by 28 percent; and large particulate-matter 
emissions . . . by 75 percent." Not much of an environmental
crisis in these data. 

And if the environmental alarmists are right, how come we're 
not running out of food, minerals or oil? Leading environmental 
groups preach that the globe's natural resources are being so 
depleted that the human race's very existence will soon become
impossible, both economically and environmentally. The truth 
is just the opposite. Bjorn Lomborg's seminal book, "The Skeptical
Environmentalist," details the facts: Since 1960 world grain 
production has increased to 680 pounds per capita from 560, 
and grain prices have fallen. Per capita daily calorie intake in 
the developing world has grown to nearly 2,700 from 1,900, 
and we work fewer hours to buy the food we eat. Poverty
is declining and life expectancy is increasing. Proven global oil 
reserves have increased by a factor of 20. Production of copper, 
to take one nonenergy resource, has increased to over 12 million 
tons in 2000 from two million tons in 1950. Not much to worry 
about here either. 

As for global warming, several things are agreed: The 
temperature on the surface of the earth rose in the 20th century, 
and man burned more fossil fuels during that time. And that's 
about it, for it is not at all clear that the two are linked. Most
of the warming occurred early in the century, before the
surge in man-made gasses, and as Canada's Fraser Institute's
2001 study concluded, "There is no clear evidence of the effect 
of CO2 on global climate, either in surface temperature records 
of the past 100 years, or . . . balloon radio-sondes over the last 
40 years, or [from] satellite experiments over the last 20 years." 
In fact, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies now reports 
that global warming has slowed so much that temperature
 increases predicted for 2050 won't happen until 2100.

And the population explosion? Well, the threat is not of
 escalating birthrates but that in many countries--Italy, Russia 
and Germany, to name a few--they have fallen so far below 
the replacement rate that there soon won't be enough workers 
to support their economies and welfare programs. The
U.N. reports that as of 2000, "44 percent of the world's 
population now lives in countries where the birth rate was below 
the death rate." It is below the replacement rate in others, so 
within a few decades the world's population will be in decline. 
In any case, the entire population of the world could
fit in Texas, with each person enjoying 1,200 square feet 
of individual space.

So the rhetoric and proposals of the green organizations 
that make their living and raise their money through predictions
of cataclysmic catastrophe are far divorced from reality. 

The world is a different place than the environmentalists 
would have us believe. Prosperity is increasing and so pollution 
is decreasing, because it is prosperity, not increased regulation, that
enables a society to support sound environmental policies. 
Poverty has been reduced more in the last 50 years than in 
the previous 500, according to the U.N. Yet with all the 
industrialization, energy generation, economic expansion 
and uncontrolled growth that made poverty reduction 
possible, the environment is still improving. Fewer cries 
of environmental catastrophe and more advocacy of growth
and prosperity would encourage a cleaner world.

Meanwhile over at the Fish and Wildlife offices, it's ethics 
that's facing extinction.


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