Environmental Overkill

By Dixy Lee Ray and Lou Guzzo
Regnery Gateway, 1993
260 Pages; U.S. $19.95

Reviewed by Paul Crouser

They were sceptical, but they were still listening

But then the instructor rolled the Tape.

Sounding an Alarm

Social agenda

We've been duped! 

It was the perfect set up: my employer had sent me to an "Environmental Awareness" seminar to become sensitized to the terrible problems facing mankind as a result of our "unsustainable growth." I was to feel the pain of a planet groaning under the assault of toxins and horrendous chemical imbalances - all the result of mindless industrial expansion and global exploitation. This, in any case, was the instructor's agenda.

But I had my own agenda: I had Good News to share. I had just finished reading Environmental Overkill by Dixy Lee Ray and Lou Guzzo. The book clearly demonstrates that the rumours of the earth's demise are greatly exaggerated. "You don't have to fear anymore!" I told them as the class commenced, and went on to explain that the scientific basis for the environmentalist's scary claims was very suspect if not downright fraudulent. I explained to them, as the book had explained to me, that while environmental problems have occurred and will probably occur again, the earth is amazingly resilient and that technology had already provided and would continue to provide satisfactory solutions to these problems.

They were sceptical, but they were still listening.

So I went on to explain the overtly socialist agenda behind the Montreal Protocol, the Rio Summit and other UN environmental initiatives, and wrapped up my presentation by explaining the incredible cost of implementing the sweeping reforms being proposed. "We are sacrificing our prosperity and way of life without proper cause," I said. "It flies in the face of common sense and scientific fact." (In fact, the subtitle of Ray and Guzzo's book is "Whatever Happened to Common Sense?")

At this stage, two self-described "tree-huggers" were opposing me openly, but the rest were still listening, impressed with the body of factual information I was presenting.

But then the instructor rolled the Tape.

It was a video called "The Hole Story" produced by the Johnston's Wax company. It supported the Ozone Hole theory by showing an impressive display of computer-enhanced graphics, pictures of high tech devices like the Shuttlecraft, a meteorological satellite, an X-15 spy plane, weather balloons, and scientists in parkas. It included testimony from lab-coated scientists, and an animated sequence about CFCs, ice crystals and oxygen ions. The fact that the ozone hole is considered to be a normal, seasonal fluctuation was not discussed. Rather, ozone depletion is a fact, man is the problem, and government control is the answer.

When the tape was finished, so was the debate. Done deal. The seminar group, all members of the TV generation, had heard "their master's voice" and they expelled the unbeliever from their midst. The book was judged wrong because it was not written by scientists; the film was right because they could see the Scientists, plain as day, stating as fact that we're depleting the ozone. To this generation, faith comes by seeing, rather than hearing. Printed facts derived from scientific research and recounted verbally were no match for the medium of television.

This seemed unfair: Johnson's Wax is hardly a hotbed of Atmospheric Science. They had gathered evidence and presented it just as Ray and Guzzo had done, but the medium had verified the message. Most of the evidence given in "Hole Story" had been couched in weasel words such as "scientists believe," "it is possible that," or "research is beginning to indicate" but the solidity of the visual evidence causes most viewers to ignore words and believe images.

Sounding an alarm

In the face of this, Ray and Guzzo are sounding an alarm as clearly as they know how. People need to understand that we have no presently viable alternatives to CFCs for mobile refrigeration, and yet they're being phased out on the basis that they're destroying ozone. This is contrary to both the weight of evidence and the views of many prominent scientists. We're spending huge amounts of money to eliminate acid rain which, according to a half-billion dollar study by the best atmospheric scientists in the US, is not the serious problem its made out to be. We're evacuating towns and imposing impossible standards to eliminate dioxins from industrial waste despite the fact that no research to date can demonstrate that they cause anything more than a rash in humans. And so it goes for Global Warming, Endangered Species, World-wide Starvation, Asbestos, Electro-Magnetic Fields, Alar, and DDT, among others. The facts just don't fit the horror stories and governmental responses are doing much more harm than good.

Social agenda

Even more ominous than the economic repercussions of the green movement is the social agenda that they espouse. Over-population is a "given" to environmentalists, and the solutions proposed are reminiscent of Nazi Germany or Cambodia under Pol Pot. The present enforced-abortion programs in China are lauded as exemplary and similar laws for Canada and the U.S. are being encouraged. Parents should be licensed by the state to have a child. Unauthorized pregnancies should be forcibly terminated. All this despite the fact that world population growth has slowed significantly and the world can support many more people than it does presently.

If what Ray and Guzzo are saying is true, most of us will have to re-evaluate many of our beliefs about man's relationship to the environment.

We've been duped!

The conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh has said, "A way must be found to get Environmental Overkill into the hands of as many Americans as possible." Here in Canada, the situation is at least as critical. Under the Conservative government, Canada has committed itself legally to a multitude of radical UN environmental initiatives despite the fact that our economy is extremely dependant on the primary industries that are "ground zero" for the environmentalist attack: mining, forestry, petroleum, hydroelectricity and intensive agriculture.

The facts in Environmental Overkill are based on solid environmental research by scientists who cannot get air time for their point of view. Unfortunately, the large body of research that refutes the established environmentalist dogma is, for the most part, not being reported. Mainstream journalists freely admit that they've moved from a position of neutrality to advocacy, from reporter to crusader.

The greens have the media marching in lock step to their world view, and marching behind the media are hordes of politically correct politicians, their survival depending on media approval, or at least tolerance. Following the politicians are the bureaucrats, lawyers and the educational establishment - chanting slogans and waving green banners. Sadly, large segments of the church can be seen in their number.

For now, we who march to a different Drummer must read, learn, and seek opportunities to shed a little light on this and other issues on which we stand Politically Incorrect. While I highly recommend Environmental Overkill, I believe it will take more than a few conservative books to thwart the agenda of radical environmentalism. Conservatives (and Christians) will have to take on the media on their own turf, or we will continue to be sidelined and will eventually be silenced by law.

Meanwhile: we read.


Originally published in U-TURN

© 1994-2001 THE KING'S Community Church