Rio: Killing the Earth Since 1992
by JAMES DELINGPOLE
June 26, 2012
Quite possibly the only good thing about [the] Rio + 20 summit is that it coincides with the publication of a brilliant new book called Os Melancias. If you're American or Canadian you'll know it as Watermelons: The Green Movement's True Colors. In Britain, it's called Watermelons: How The Environmentalists Are Killing The Planet, Destroying The Economy And Stealing Your Children's Future. And in Australia and Kiwiland it is called Killing The Earth To Save It: How Environmentalists Are Ruining The Planet, Destroying The Economy And Stealing Your Jobs. Oh, and it's also available in Estonian.
I wish that I could say that these titles were an hysterical exaggeration but unfortunately - read the book, read the copious references - they are no more than the truth. Thanks to the junk science, bogus computer projections, and scaremongering of the environmental movement the planet and its inhabitants have suffered grievously these last 20 years. Here - courtesy of Paul Driessen and David Rothbard - are just a few examples of damage that has been done, ostensibly to save us all from the threat of Man-Made Climate Change.
Today, over 1.5 billion people still do not have electricity, or have it only a few hours each day or week. Almost 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Millions die every year from diseases that would be largely eradicated by access to reliable, affordable electricity for cooking and refrigeration, clinics and hospitals, clean water, sanitation, and businesses and industries that generate jobs, prosperity and health.
Opposition to large-scale electricity generation forces people to rely on open fires for cooking and heating - perpetuating lung diseases and premature death, from breathing smoke and pollutants. It also destroys gorilla and other wildlife habitats, as people cut trees and brush for firewood and charcoal.
Wind turbines slice up birds and collapse bat lungs, exacting an unsustainable toll on eagles, hawks, falcons, and other rare, threatened and endangered flying creatures.
Turbine and solar arrays cover and disrupt millions of acres of farmland and wildlife habitat, to provide expensive, intermittent power for urban areas. They require backup generators and long transmission lines, and consume millions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass, polymers and rare earth minerals - extracted from the Earth, often in countries whose pollution control regulations and technologies are substantially below US, Canadian, European and Australian standards.
Corn-based ethanol requires tens of millions of acres, billions of gallons of water, millions of tons of fertilizer and insecticides, and enormous quantities of hydrocarbon fuels.
And these greenies are supposed to be the good guys? As soon as I've finished writing this post I shall be heading off to discuss these issues on the BBC's Daily Politics Show - on which, no doubt, a representative of some anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, anti-jobs, anti-growth environmental pressure group such as Friends Of The Earth (oh the irony of that name!) will be seeking to dismiss my arguments as those of a nature-loathing "denier" probably in the pay of Big Oil.
I think it's about time we started judging these Greenies on their track record rather than on their spin and emotionalizing, don't you?
Here are the facts: the catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming on which Maurice Strong and his watermelon cohorts asked us to bet the world economy back in 1992 hasn't happened.
That's why, at this Rio they're playing down the "Climate Change" issue and concentrating on "Biodiversity" instead.
But as Driessen and Rothbard note at Watts Up With That, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever for the greenies projections of catastrophic species loss.
Up to half of all species could go extinct by 2100, asserts astronomer and global warming alarmist James Hansen, because of climate change, "unsustainable" hydrocarbon use, human population growth and economic development. At Rio+20 activists are trumpeting these hysterical claims in reports, speeches and press releases. Fortunately, there is no factual basis for them.
Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500, 95% were on islands, where humans and human-introduced predators and diseases wrought the destruction, notes ecology researcher Dr. Craig Loehle. On continents, only six birds and three mammals were driven to extinction, and no bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.
The massive species losses claimed by Hansen, Greenpeace, WWF and others are based on extrapolations from the island extinction rates. Some are just wild guesses or rank fear-mongering, with nothing remotely approximating scientific analysis. Other extrapolations are based on unfounded presumptions about species susceptibility to long or short term climate shifts - fed into clumsy, simplistic, non-validated virtual reality computer models that assume rising carbon dioxide levels will raise planetary temperatures so high that plants, habitats, and thus birds, reptiles and animals will somehow be exterminated. There is no evidence to support any of these extinction scenarios.
Hmm. Dramatic predictions of human-induced planetary doom based on nothing more substantial than a few dodgy computer projections. Now where have we seen that trick used before?