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When Environmental Activism Does More Harm Than Good

Posted By Nicolas Loris On October 19, 2009 @ 1:22 pm In Energy | Comments Disabled

Last night Heritage hosted the world premiere of “Not Evil Just Wrong [1],” a feature-length documentary that reveals the true cost of global warming hysteria and the unintended consequences of radical environmental policies that have been going on for decades. The film was broadcast live on Ustream.tv [2]and screened at 6,000 different locations in 27 countries.

The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis recently exposed [3]what would be the unintended consequences of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade legislation. CDA found that far more jobs would be destroyed [4] than green jobs created, households will lose income, and the economy as a whole will be operating $9.4 trillion under its potential from 2012-2035 [3]– all because of cap and trade.

“Not Evil Just Wrong” puts a face on the story that Heritage economic modeling has been telling as it documents the story of working Americans who work for industries that rely on fossil fuels, which is a massive part of the nation’s economy. For instance, “Small towns in the heartland, like Vevay, Ind., will become bastions of unemployment and poverty. Breadwinners like Tim McElhany in Vevay will lose their jobs — and will have to start borrowing money again just to buy bread for their families.”

It also brings into the question the alarmism of global warming hysteria by interviewing scientific experts on climate change. Two of those skeptics, Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT and Donald Roberts, professor emeritus of tropical health in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, were part of a panel following the screening at The Heritage Foundation. Andrew Breitbart moderated the panel that also included John Fund, columnist at the Wall Street Journal. You can find a video of the panel discussion here [5].

The film also makes note of Gore’s rejection of the use of DDT to combat malaria in Africa despite the World Health Organization lifting its ban on DDT three years ago. And this, if nothing else, should be the take away: There’s a right way and a wrong way to protect the environment. Americans are completely capable of being good stewards of the environment without the government telling us how or why.

And the wrong way is when environmental activists lobby for government policies and fail to take into account the unintended consequences that lead to environmentally destructive outcomes, economic devastation and worse, the loss of human life. The DDT example is just one item of a laundry list full of environmental policies gone badly. The ethanol mandate [6]to reduce reliance on fossil fuels also happens to destroy rainforests and cause food shortages, especially for citizens in developing countries where corn-based foods are a staple in their diets. The government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards [7] to improve the number of miles per gallon cars and trucks achieve also made vehicles lighter and less safe, increasing the fatalities from car crashes.

There is a general problem that these policies divert resources away that could be used for more efficient use, or that we’ll have $9.4 trillion [3]less available resources to combat real catastrophes because of policies that will make negligible reductions in the global temperature – like cap and trade.

Not Evil Just Wrong [1]” takes a good look at the real damage environmental extremism can do. While it’s not available for viewing online, you can purchase it  here [1].


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/19/when-environmental-activism-does-more-harm-than-good/

URLs in this post:

[1] Not Evil Just Wrong: http://www.noteviljustwrong.com/

[2] broadcast live on Ustream.tv : http://www.ustream.tv/channel/not-evil-

[3] recently exposed : http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/cda0904.cfm

[4] far more jobs would be destroyed: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed100209c.cfm

[5] here: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Events/ev101809a.cfm

[6] ethanol mandate : http://www.heritage.org/research/energyandenvironment/wm1925.cfm

[7] Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/BG1458.cfm

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