Earth Day and four decades of fear

Reuters

Earth Day means never having to say "Don't worry." For the environmental Left, the Passover seders may be past, but the plagues are eternal: floods, fires, cyclones, drought, extinctions, pestilence, famines, acid rain, ozone holes, cancer-causing power lines, global cooling, global warming, alar, plastics, mercury, depletions, deforestation, falling sperm counts, population bombs, plagues, water wars, nuclear winter, sex-changing fish, cancer-causing cell phones, pandemics, The Lifetime Channel. (OK, the last one is my personal nightmare.) You get the idea: doom, gloom, and apocalypse ad infinitum. 

But amid the looming catastrophe, a tiny ray of hope survives: it is Earth Day, when all right-thinking members of the reality-based community proclaim their love of the Planet and their worship of Gaia. When many announce, as a matter of religious principle, their eagerness to allow others to suffer economically and physically so as to pursue the restoration of the Earth to its natural state of Eden, as it existed before mankind consumed the forbidden fruit of the tree of technological knowledge.

Which brings us to the Book of Modern Environmentalism, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a deeply disingenuous propaganda exercise that nonetheless transformed pesticides - DDT in particular - and economic growth into political poison. How many mere humans, most of whom existed in grinding third-world poverty, have died because of it? The typical estimate is one of Stalin's statistics: at least 50 million. 

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About the Author

 

Benjamin
Zycher
  • Benjamin Zycher is the John G. Searle Chair and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on energy and environmental policy. He is also a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

    Before joining AEI, Zycher conducted a broad research program in his public policy research firm, and was an intelligence community associate of the Office of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State.  He is a former senior economist at the RAND Corporation, a former adjunct professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the California State University Channel Islands, and is a former senior economist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.  He served as a senior staff economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisers, with responsibility for energy and environmental policy issues.

    Zycher has a doctorate in economics from UCLA, a Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UCLA.

  • Email: benjamin.zycher@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Regan Kuchan
    Phone: 202.862.5903
    Email: regan.kuchan@aei.org

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