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John Edward Mercier
#1 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2009 1:01:51 PM
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The underlying facts are real... just maybe not so important that they require legislation. In my region there are several things on the market that are as effective as DDT... but taxpayers are not willing to foot the bill for simple suppression.

Economic factors actually create environmentalism... the rest is just political drivel.

#2 Posted : Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:01:13 PM
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cmate, dear, I'd say we're already lost.  Billions of disparate individuals, squabbling over our differences and our own personal self-interest, debating not what needs to be done but who needs to do it for whom. 

I'm all for individualism.  But what we've got going on Earth in 2009 isn't individualism-- it's just self-service. 

Welcome to why I'm not worried about climate change or "the population bomb" except insofar as I need to protect my kids from it (if I can).  I think a 90% die-off is probably the best hope the human race has, and I'd rather see it happen by natural means than by planned ones. 

John Edward Mercier
#3 Posted : Thursday, December 10, 2009 10:28:43 PM
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No profit in a 90% die-off.


#4 Posted : Friday, December 11, 2009 6:43:05 AM
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1. collect underpants

2. ?

3 Profit.

Religous environmentalism HURTS the Environment!

 I've seen it many times... A power transmisson line project scheduled in the 90's is held up because of some spotted owl (or something) and the result is more coal plants are built... End result... more mercury polution in the air.

John Edward Mercier
#5 Posted : Friday, December 11, 2009 3:53:50 PM
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That's basically willful ignorance though.

I get that a lot from people trying to 'win' a debate rather than make efficiency improvements by simply allowing more market choices.

#6 Posted : Friday, December 11, 2009 3:53:50 PM
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We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.

There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism.

First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s. It's not a good record. Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical. To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth---that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.

The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge. Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.

How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There's a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren't true. It isn't that these "facts" are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all---what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.

This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day. At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better. That's not a good future for the human race. That's our past. So it's time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.

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