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Environmentalism.com Articles by Steven Brockerman

Articles are copyright by Steven Brockerman. Used by permission.

Mr. Brockerman has a Master of Science degree in English Education from Florida State University and is CEO and president of WrittenWord Consulting, www.written-word.com

Environmentalist Mythology: Slicker Than Oil

    "On a calm day, you can't take a boat ride [in the Gulf of Mexico] without seeing gigantic oil slicks," according to Harry Roberts, Louisiana State University marine geologist ("Oil Fields' Free Refill," Newsday, 4/2002).

    Naturally, we all know thanks to environmentalists that the sources of those slicks are the greedy, malevolent oil companies. Not.

    The gigantic oil slicks in the Gulf to which Roberts refers are the result of what's known as "seeps" areas on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico where large amounts of oil and gas escape through natural fissures. Scientists, including Texas A&M University chemical oceanographer, Chuck Kennicutt, have recently discovered that the oil and gas are surging up from deeper strata far beneath the Gulf. Moreover, the seepage that naturally occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, said Roberts, "far exceeds anything that gets spilled" by the petrochemical industry.

    Naturally, we all know, too again, thanks to environmentalists that those areas must be barren of marine plant and animal life. Not.
    Trawling during a 1984 research voyage "brought up over two tons of stuff," according to Texas A&M scientists. They found clams the size of one's hand and tube worms up to five feet long. So abundant were the life forms   part of what scientists call chemo-synthetic communities that scientists now know the seeps to be "long-duration phenomenon." Indeed, the A&M researchers estimated the clams alone to be 100 years old. 
    Geologists, oil workers, ships' captains everyone, apparently, save environmentalists have long known the Gulf seeps exist. According to Roberts, "the Gulf of Mexico leaks like a sieve. You can't take a submarine dive without running into an oil or gas seep."

    Since the first Earth Day, environmentalists have set about constructing a cunningly slick mythology calculated to replace genuine Earth science fact with a cross between rural folklore and urban legend. We've been told, for instance, that if we engage in offshore oil drilling, we risk the catastrophe of oil spills. Given the research data already mentioned, that would appear to be less than true. What about the other side of that myth that the world is running out of oil?
     Funny you should ask. 

    Yet another interesting fact about seeps is that the deep strata oil causing them is also beginning to fill some of the known oil reservoirs, replenishing them, in geologic time, at a very rapid rate, sometimes within three to 10 years. If that proves the rule rather than the exception, then the world supply of oil would be much, much greater than previously thought. It would mean   someone please alert the media   that we're not running out of oil.
    What we do appear to be running out of, though, is sufficient domestically produced petroleum to run our economy. In these post-911 times, that's pretty critical to national security, right? Solving that problem would surely make for a safer nation, wouldn't it?

    Well then, if we're to crucify the FBI for failing to act on data it had since 1997 regarding 911, how should we treat those who have ignored or even concealed information dating from 1984 regarding offshore oil drilling? How should we treat those environmentalists and politicians who, by seeking to ban oil exploration in the Gulf, keep the U.S. dependent for oil upon Mideast tyrants who also happen to be bankrolling, with their oil profits, the leaders and comrades of the 911 terrorists?

    Why, invite the environmentalists to lead Earth Day sing-a-longs at our schools and re-elect the politicians ? again and again and again.


With Environmentalist Mythology, We All Get Burned

    The Bush White House, citing a "new" study a short time ago, is revisiting its position on global warming. The media went into a feeding frenzy and, like an e-mail hoax that won't die, the myth of global warming has been resuscitated. Unfortunately, the "new" study is based on the same old studies   chief among them the 1996 IPCC's "Summary for Policy Makers"   whose conclusions rest on three fallacious claims:

1)  Based on historical weather data, average global temperatures have risen dramatically in the latter half of the 20th Century.
2)  Scientific research indicates that the cause of such rising temperatures is man made.
3)  There is a consensus among scientists supporting both claims.

    The first claim that global temperatures have risen dramatically since 1940   finds its source in the approximately 100 year-old temperature record of the National Weather Service. According to the NASA report, Global Climate Monitoring: The Accuracy of Satellite Data, though, the NWS record is based strictly on surface temperature readings. When weather balloon and satellite records are examined, one finds temperatures either stayed the same or actually declined by as much as 1 degree F during that period.

    What if we step outside the NWS box?

    Data extrapolated from tree ring, ice core and lake sediment indicate that in the 18th Century the average world sea and surface temperatures were 71 degrees F. Climatologists refer to this period as "The Little Ice Age." Such data also show that in 1000 CE the average global temperature was over 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees F.  By comparison, the average global temperature in 1999 was 73.5 degrees F.

    The conclusion to reach about the claim of dramatically rising global temperatures in the latter half of the 20th Century is clear. First, it depends on where you stick your thermometer, on the surface, (whose reading will be highly inaccurate due to urban hot spots) or in the atmosphere (the most accurate readings). Second, the significance of the data depends upon the historical climate record of the planet.  Here, as with any kind of scientific data, context and perspective are everything.

    Of the second claim, that the cause of global warming is man-made, environmental activists point to the correlation between recent global industrialization and the sweltering summers of 1998 and 1999.  A correlation, though, is not proof of cause. If global industrialization were the cause of planetary warming, the satellite and balloon temperature record from 1940 to 1980, a period of far greater worldwide industrialization, would show a marked increase in average global temperatures, which it does not.

    A cause and effect relationship, though, has been discovered between solar activity and global temperatures. Danish climatologists Friis-Christensen and K. Lassen (in the 1991 issue of Science) and Douglas V. Hoyt and Dr. Kenneth H. Schatten (in their book, The Role of the Sun in Climate Change) found that "global temperature variations during the past century are virtually all due to the variations in solar activity."

    What about scientific consensus, the third claim supporting the notion of global warming? The answer is: there isn't any.  In 1996 the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a document titled, "Summary for Policy Makers," which supported the notion of global warming. Environmentalists crowed that 15,000 scientists had signed the document.

    However, the report was doctored without the knowledge of most of those 15,000 scientists, whose protests became so vocal that the lead authors backed off their conclusions, disavowing the document as "a political tract, not a scientific report."

    In 1998, 17,000 scientists, six of whom are Nobel Laureates, signed the Oregon Petition, which declares, in part: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

    In 1999 over ten thousand of the world's most renowned climatologists, astrophysicists, meteorologists, etc., signed an open letter by Frederick Seitz, NAS Past President, that states, in part: the Kyoto Accord is "based upon flawed ideas."

    Finally, in a paper in June of 2001, aptly titled, GLOBAL WARMING: The Press Gets It Wrong our report doesn't support the Kyoto treaty, Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: "Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens."

    In light of these facts, if the continual resurrection of the issue of global warming in the media is not a consummate example of the Big Lie, I'd be hard pressed to find a better one.

Environmentalist Mythology Is Killing Us Softly

     Theirs is the disease you don't hear about on the nightly news. Newspaper editorialists, too, are silent about the death toll from this ailment   nearly 9 million people since 1999, of which 8 million were pregnant women or children under the age of five. No, the disease isn't AIDS. It's mosquito borne malaria, and we've had the means for wiping out this affliction for over a century now. However, thanks to environmentalist mythology, the tool, DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), has all but been banned worldwide.

    The ban on DDT, like the modern environmentalist movement itself, sprang from the book, Silent Spring, by Rachael Carson. As almost any school child today can parrot, Carson claimed DDT thinned the eggs of birds. Pointing to a 1956 study by Dr. James DeWitt published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Carson wrote: "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [illustrate] that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction." Not. DeWitt instead found that 50% more eggs hatched from DDT fed quail than from those in the control group.

    Following Carson's lead while ignoring the facts, hippie environmentalists began claiming that raptor populations eagles, osprey, hawks, etc. were declining due to DDT. They failed to note that such populations had been declining precipitously for years prior to DDT use. Indeed, the yearly Audubon Christmas Bird Counts from 1941-1960, when DDT use was greatest and most widespread, indicate that eagles actually increased in number, along with 26 other species of birds. A forty-year count by Hawks Mountain, PA, ornithologists also found population increases for Ospreys and most kinds of hawks.

    Finally, after years of study, researchers at Cornell University "found no tremors, no mortality, no thinning of eggshells and no interference with reproduction caused by levels of DDT which were as high as those reported to be present in most of the wild birds where 'catastrophic' decreases in shell quality and reproduction have been claimed" ("Effects of PCBs, DDT, and mercury compounds upon egg production, hatchability and shell quality in chickens and Japanese quail").

    Carson, her book's affected prose designed to create optimum public panic over DDT, heralded, along with the decimation of bird populations, a coming cancer epidemic among humans. Her assertion was based on the high incidences of liver cancer found in adult rainbow trout in 1961   a result, not of DDT, but of a fungi produced carcinogen, aflatoxin.

    Once again, environmentalists followed Carson's lead, ignoring the facts. In 1971, William Ruckelshaus, member of the Environmental Defense Fund and, incidentally, head of the newly established Environmental Protection Agency, banned DDT. He did so while refusing to attend any of the EPA's administrative hearings being held at the time on DDT. Later, Ruckelshaus refused to read even one page of the 9,000 pages of testimony, rejecting, too, the findings of the hearings' judge, who declared: "DDT is not a carcinogenic ... a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man ..."

    Since 1971, environmentalist organizations like the International Pesticide Action Network have succeeded in getting DDT banned in country after country. People in those countries, forced to rely on pesticides that are neither as effective nor as safe as DDT, are now also forced to live, and to die, with the consequences of such environmental activism. Today, where cases of malaria once constituted only a handful of people, in Sri Lanka, Zanzibar and other tropical Third World countries throughout Africa, the Asian subcontinent and South America, deaths from malaria are skyrocketing into the millions.

    Heedless of this silently rising death toll, environmentalists are now pressuring governments worldwide to also preserve wetlands, i.e., swamps, the foremost breeding grounds of mosquitoes. One would have to conclude, given all the facts, that environmentalists are either insane or murderously misanthropic. At a UN sponsored earth summit in 1971, a delegate's remark gives us the answer: "What this world needs is a good plague to wipe out most of the human population."

    When the death toll from malaria begins to mount in this country, we'll certainly hear about it on the evening news. Malaria will be blamed, of course, but the real culprit will be environmentalist mythology, which has been killing us softly for decades.

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