Reason.tv: The Top Five Environmental Disasters that Didn't Happen

For this year's Earth Day celebration, Reason.tv is proud to present "The Top Five Environmental Disasters that Didn't Happen." The environmental movement began in 1962 when Rachel Carson published her best-selling book Silent Spring. And ever since, chicken littles have warned us about imminent environmental disasters that ultimately didn't happen.

We all worried needlessly about acid rain, expanding deserts and global cooling, but these failed predictions weren't quite dire enough to make our list. To find out which prophecies of doom did make our list, you'll need to watch Reason.tv's "Top Five Environmental Disasters that Didn't Happen."

Approximately 7 minutes.

Produced by Feine, Manning, Jensen, Bragg, Swain, Epstein and Gillespie. Narrated by Melissa Palmer. Special thanks to Ron Bailey and Julian Morris.

Go to reason.tv for HD, iPod and audio versions of this video and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • OO||

    dont believe acid rain? go to the smokey mts. above ~2 thou feet, most of the trees are dead. the rangers & locals say the tva coal-burning plants are mostly shut-down now.

  • Old Mexican||

    Thus wrote the practicing illiterate.

  • ||

    I lived in Trail, BC for a year. It was the home of the Cominco smelter.

    Acid rain from the smelter had killed almost all the trees in the Columbia River Valley thirty miles upstream and downstream from the smelter.

    They had largely cleaned the emissions by the time I was there in 1980 and the valley has since recovered considerably, but it is ridiculous to pretend that acid rain did not exist in certain locations.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, acid rain is a disaster that didn't happen largely because something was done about it.

  • sevo||

    "Acid rain from the smelter had killed almost all the trees in the Columbia River Valley thirty miles upstream and downstream from the smelter.

    They had largely cleaned the emissions by the time I was there in 1980 and the valley has since recovered considerably, but it is ridiculous to pretend that acid rain did not exist in certain locations."

    Not as ridiculous as to presume anecdotes from a one-year experience means squat.

  • LiveFromTheGreatSmokyMtns||

    The trees in the Great Smoky Mtns. above 3000 feet (not 2000) aren't dead because of pollution, but because the only trees above that elevation are pines, which have been hit hard by pests and diseases. Likewise, the "smoke" is from naturally occuring fog and mist, not smog as one dumb-ass tourist called it.

  • OO||

    "After much analysis, researchers now know that acid rain causes slower growth, injury, or death of forests. Acid rain has been implicated in forest and soil degradation in many areas of the eastern U.S., particularly high elevation forests of the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia that include areas such as the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks"
    http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/forests.html

  • Old Mexican||

    "The EPA, being a disinterested party...."

    Please, don't laugh guys!

  • OO||

    yep those EPA boyz surly r disinterested...in old mex lol !

  • ||

    Let's see, if there is no problem to fix, there is no need for an EPA. This is the inherent problem with studies coming from the EPA it's hard to be objective if you have a pony in the race.

  • ||

    Nice cherry pick. You left half of the statement out. The one saying that it's only one of many stressors affecting the plantlife.

  • ||

    Long working hours without any days off or vacations are certainly a major factor, too.

  • Realist||

    Ya just can't fix fucking stupid and libs are stupid. They have to have a cause celeb or life just ain't worth living!

  • ||

    It doesn't rain below 2000 feet?

  • ||

    It doesn't here, but that's because the low spots are at 2100.

  • kilroy||

    The video doesn't seem to work.

  • kilroy||

    Nevermind. Chrome needed a restart for some reason.

  • Old Mexican||

    I have had the same problems with Chrome. I switched to Firefox.

  • Cytotoxic||

    My Chrome works fine.

  • Firefox rules||

    But every now and then I have to use the much-improved IE for stubborn sites.

  • Firefox rules||

    Chrome is still too buggy.

  • ||

    Firefox works, but I just watch the podcast on Apple TV.

  • Old Mexican||

    The Climate Change Refugees That Don't Exist

    UN Embarrassed by Forecast on Climate Refugees

    (The UN actually took the link out)

    Six years ago, the United Nations issued a dramatic warning that the world would have to cope with 50 million climate refugees by 2010. But now that those migration flows have failed to materialize, the UN has distanced itself from the forecasts. On the contrary, populations are growing in the regions that had been identified as environmental danger zones.

    One has to admire the perseverance of AGW zealots, who in the face of mounting contradictory evidence, they still cling to the idea that man is a plague in the World.

  • kilroy||

    "To find out which prophecies of doom did make our list, you'll need to watch Reason.tv's "Top Five Environmental Disasters that Didn't Happen."

    or read this comment.

    5) Franken Foods
    4) End of Biodiversity
    3) Energy Crisis
    2) Silent Spring (pesticides)
    1) Malthusian Famine

  • Richard Head||

    Thanks, the vid wasn't working for me.

    Seems a cheapshot on some of these. Take #2; the dire predictions Carson made didn't come to fruition because we changed our behavior to address the problem she was warning about. Can't make fun of a prediction being wrong when folks change things afterward to prevent the predicted ill effects.

    For example, my friend is asleep at the wheel, the headlights (a prediction on where we're going) show we are heading toward a wall. I wake him up and say "hey, we're about to hit a wall"; he promptly steers the car safely away from the wall. He can't then say I was crazy for thinking we were gonna hit the wall.

  • ||

    You keep making excuses for your failed prophet, there, buddy. It'll make a difference. Really. "She was right! Really!"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • kilroy||

    The point made in #2 was that the DDT scare was hugely overblown and that the response was therefore massively out of proportion to the risks. Malaria has killed far more people than were ever at serious risk from the proper use of DDT.

  • Doc S||

    That may be the point but that doesn't take away from his (correct) point that the silent spring would have occoured if corrective action wasn't taken. The testimony of one of the men interviewed infact agrees with the assessment

    This is a video full of a lot of misrepresented information and half truths, fairly dissappointed that Reason thought this was quality material. Hopefully it was done just for the reaction and shock factor.

  • Tman||

    the silent spring would have occoured if corrective action wasn't taken.

    Uh, no it wouldn't. That's the whole point of the video.

    Here- http://reason.com/archives/200.....ring-at-40

  • Doc S||

    One of the testimonials states that its a choice between human lives and eagles.

    The link you provided said: "The scientific controversy over the effects of DDT on wildlife, especially birds, still vexes researchers. In the late 1960s, some researchers concluded that exposure to DDT caused eggshell thinning in some bird species, especially raptors such as eagles and peregrine falcons. Thinner shells meant fewer hatchlings and declining numbers. But researchers also found that other bird species, such as quail, pheasants, and chickens, were unaffected even by large doses DDT."

    Basically saying it doesn't affect all birds but it does affect especially those of raptors (due to bioaccumulation obvioulsy- biggest predators ingest the most of it) Not sure why it was linked.

  • Tman||

    So you didn't read the whole thing, like the part from the EPA's own administrative law judge [who] declared, "DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man...DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man...The use of DDT under the regulations involved here [does] not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife."

  • Doc S||

    No I read the whole article, That quote had way to many elipses in it for me to give it any credence.
    I would need to see it in its entirety as well as what the "... regulations involved here..." entailed (application rates, doeses, quantities, areas, etc).

  • Tman||

    Here's where most of that info came from, with references to the original studies.

    http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM8.....s/ddt.html

    You are wrong, dude.

  • Doc S||

    The ACSH (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Council_on_Science_and_Health) isn't what I typically think of as a reliable source but they did point to a number of studies in that link of which I obvioulsy won't read through all of them.

    There's sources that disagree with their findings
    http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Info/ddt.html

    But I won't pretend like I have conducted a lot of research in the field of DDT or other chloro hydrocarbons - I'm not an expert in it but the majority of evidence I have found shows DDT has significant environmental impacts.

  • Doc S||

    I see the more complete post you had further down, I still need the regulations involved filled in as well as to know more about the even itself, but thanks for the information.

  • Zeb||

    I thought we weren't supposed to believe the EPA.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Doc S,

    One of the testimonials states that its a choice between human lives and eagles.


    That's crazy talk! Humans? Really????

    Basically saying it doesn't affect all birds but it does affect especially those of raptors[...]


    And, especially, the very noisy raptors.

    Otherwise, what would be the point of calling it "Silent Spring"?

  • Doc S||

    "especially those noisy raptors"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlq2kcYQcLc

  • Cytotoxic||

    Doc S you're missing the point. Some DDT restriction was called for NOT banning the stuff completely.

  • Doc S||

    No, I get that point and I agree with that. I definately do not think that an all out ban on DDT was the best let alone the only course of corrective action.
    My point was this as you can see in the post above:
    "That may be the point but that doesn't take away from his (correct) point that the silent spring would have occoured if corrective action wasn't taken. The testimony of one of the men interviewed infact agrees with the assessment

    This is a video full of a lot of misrepresented information and half truths, fairly dissappointed that Reason thought this was quality material. Hopefully it was done just for the reaction and shock factor."

    Did the "punishment fit the crime?" No, I don't think so, but was there a "crime" being committed, yes I do think so.

  • Realist||

    This requires a scientist NOT an engineer! Get back to work and make something using the knowledge gained from a scientist.

  • ||

    I live in an area with a lot of songbirds as well as a lot of raptors. Eagles aren't what fills Spring with song. Eagles EAT what fills Spring with song.

    Quail and other bird populations are negatively impacted by higher numbers of raptors.

    It's a value judgment, what's good or bad. We have a love affair with apex predators like eagles, wolves, et al. That's fine. But "silent Spring" refers to the extinction of songbirds, not raptors, and it wasn't going to happen even if we DID try to save the millions of children now dead in the Third World because they stopped getting DDT.

    But hell, they're darker-skinned people who live in shanties, so who cares? I mean, compared to a few more hawks, what are millions of dead children too far away to notice?

  • Doc S||

    I'm sure you have donated every free hour of your life to improving the well being of those in malaria zones. Until then don't give me the hlier than thou attitude when i already stated that the ban on DDT was the wrong choice.

    Keep saving the world cock gobbler

  • ||

    Why would I donate every free hour of my life to anything?

    Fuck yourself, you worthless piece of shit.

  • ||

    Exactly! What RATIONAL HUMAN would put a bird before people. Even if we did kill all the damn songbirds, imagine all of the African children you could hear playing out in the hot African spring mornings.

  • ola||

    "....he promptly steers the car safely away from the wall."

    A more accurate example in reference to take #2 would be to expand the above sentence to include the following:

    "....he promptly steers the car safely away from the wall and into two unsuspecting pedestrians, immediately killing both."

  • another black guy||

    two unsuspecting black pedestrians would be even better. most of the deaths from malaria are most likely to be non white.

  • david duke||

    u mean 2 pregnant black welfare queens

  • Realist||

    "Seems a cheapshot on some of these. Take #2; the dire predictions Carson made didn't come to fruition because we changed our behavior to address the problem she was warning about."
    Yeah, the stupid bitch caused the deaths of millions!

  • ||

    Thanks dude--I didn't WTFV--I was wondering if the "killer bees coming from Mexico"--which I remember as a kid--was included.

  • Zeb||

    That's one that happened, but didn't turn out to be a big deal.

  • ||

    Apparently all we had to do was stand still.

  • ||

    Thanks Kilroy. Your Reason quote is one of the more flippantly arrogant ones I have seen in awhile. If the Reason item were in printed form, we could scan it and get the gist in 30 seconds or less. Instead, they want us to spend several minutes of our lives to get the item in video format. Who do they think they are, government? I read your list and typed out this bitch note in two minutes. Net saving: 5 minutes. Thank you for being respectful of my time in a way that Reason is not.

    To Reason: Please offer written article and video -- or just words if you only have time for one or the other.

  • ||

    Fuckin cry baby. It's supposed to be entertaining and informative.

  • ||

    The mounting contradictory evidence is that the UN was wrong about something?

  • Charlie Sheen||

    There is no environmental landscape. We are all in the outvironment that kills the world in a series of love triangles that sre cool unless warmed-up. I smell the poopy-scoopy that ruins our environment because of corporate greed. I know that we can save our backpacks of sugar if the fractions of corporate greed that smokes the life our father earth. I can believe no one's winning the battle to shit and cum on the machines of power.

    Thanks.

  • Carlos Estevez||

    Also, DDT should never have been completely banned. Should it have been regulated? Yes.

  • ||

    DDT is still used all over the world as an effective form of pest control. Some states and treaties have limited its use as a general pesticide because 1) it's dangerous to the environment 2) it's dangerous to people and 3) it's effectiveness is reduced when it's used as a general pesticide.

    Seriously, I found all that out on Wikipedia. Research never hurt anyone.

  • Tman||

    Try some other research besides just Wiki.

    Here-

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....ring-at-40

  • ||

    That article has only a handful of working links to the relevant data (most of the links are broken, including the all important "banning DDT has killed x many people") and only one of those links is to a source without substantial ideological biases.

    And don't cry about my claim of ideological bias when one of those links is to a website called "junkscience.com" which appears to only publish political hit-pieces aimed at the environmental movement.

    Try again.

  • Tman||

    OK, here.

    http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM8.....s/ddt.html

    "In 1971 authority over pesticides was transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In April 1972, after seven months of testimony, Judge Edmund Sweeney stated that “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man. . . . The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. . . . The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.”31

    Two months later EPA head William Ruckelshaus—who had never attended a single day’s session in the seven months of EPA hearings, and who admittedly had not even read the transcript of the hearings— overturned Judge Sweeney’s decision. Ruckelshaus declared that DDT was a “potential human carcinogen” and banned it for virtually all uses.32"

    How's that?

  • Tman||

  • ||

    Having trouble deciding who to trust; The Lancet and The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, or the American Council on Science and Health.

    I want to give the American Council on Science and Health a fair shake, but the fact that the title of the article is Facts Versus Fears makes me antsy.

  • William||

    Don't make me choose between Fact and Fear!

  • Tman||

    There are other sources William. The fact is that our across-the-board banning of DDT without a doubt has caused millions of deaths from malaria throughout the third world. This is not in dispute. You can argue just how "harmful" DDT is at a base level, but the science that Carson used to initiate the scare tactics against DDT was complete garbage junk science, and the results are horrifying.

  • ||

    "I want to give the American Council on Science and Health a fair shake . . ."

    Why? They are nothing more than a malicious industry front group that is willing to put anyone under the bus of industry.

  • ||

    Yeah, I have to agree that Wiki isn't a very reliable source when it comes to controversial subjects. Stuff like who was in what rock band when are usually pretty safe to use but true scientific discussions can't include Wiki as a legitimate source.

  • Doc S||

    Less than impressed for so many reasons.

  • Doc S||

    This just in!!
    We stopped doing something that someone pointed out was killing things and the things stopped dying. Therefor she was wrong and they would have stopped dying regardless of whether we stopped doing the thing that was killing them or not.

    Ground breaking reporting!

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    She was wrong, but she was right! I get it! When the world doesn't end in 2012, the Mayans were still right, even though they were wrong!

    Now that you've pointed this out, it all makes sense.

  • Doc S||

    No- they're still wrong. Not even close to a similar comparison. I'll let you try again.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Doc S,

    Ground breaking reporting!


    The fact that nothing special happened in October 1914 didn't discourage the early Jehova's Witnesses either. True believers never falter.

  • Doc S||

    Sorry mex I didn't quite catch the reference. I get the world war 1 start date but, and I get that j.w's are seemingly blind followers, but not how they relate.
    Cursory search had something to do with trampling of Jerusalem
    Care to elaborate?

  • ||

    You're so right, Doc! We saved thousands of birds and all it cost us was a few million human lives.

    I wonder how silent spring seems when your kids are dead....

  • BigT||

    Silent Spring - in Africa!

  • ||

    #1 reason would be that you are a waste of space on the planet?

  • Colin||

    What they didn't mention was that Ehrlich was also a leading contributor to the global warming scare, which really should be number one on this list.

  • Doc S||

    Since the results of climate change have all already occoured.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Doc S,

    Since the results of climate change have all already occoured.


    Jesus' second coming already happened, which is why nobody has witnessed it.

    True believers never waiver. Never. And they're never wrong, either - ad hoc explanations are a non-scarce resource.

  • Doc S||

    Ahh, now I catch what you referenced above.

    I can see how you would relate the two, but there's a big difference between the second coming of a supposed diety and the effects of increased GHG's in a closed system 0 regardless of how many unknowledgable self interets groups exist in both cases.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    I wouldn't bother trying to explain anything to Old Mexican. His next intelligent comment will be his first.

  • sevo||

    "I wouldn't bother trying to explain anything to Old Mexican. His next intelligent comment will be his first."

    Shame you can't do as well.

  • ||

    Since the results of climate change have all already occoured.

    I recall seeing that headline in the Cro-Magnon Times.

  • ||

    Yes. Consistently. Over billions of years. The climate has changed and this has had impacts of various sorts, like the existence of homo sapiens.

  • ||

    I remember the long trek over the North American ice sheet. Many died, but thankfully my ancestors survived and procreated long enough to enjoy global warming.

    Seriously where will it start warming first? I want to move there.

  • ||

    Well now it's climate change, so it doesn't matter if it gets warmer, colder, dryer or wetter, they will be right, unless of course it stays the same with some natural variability due to solar cycles and other cyclical climate events.

  • ||

    Here's my question: Would the average environmentalist ever believe any good news about the environment?

    The default setting seems to be to uncritically accept accept all bad news.

  • ||

    I would call myself an average environmentalist.

    I believed a report I read a year ago claiming that beavers had returned to the Bronx river.

    So my inclination would be yes?

  • Bill Clinton||

    That's why I moved there - beavers!!

  • Doc S||

    Can't speak for the "average' environmentalist, but as an environmental scientist I'd say absolutely.

    For example: the success of property rights in increasing sustainability of fish stocks and improving the sustainability of foresting methods. Rebound rates of certain species, improvements in air and water quality in regions.

    As you know though, there's always a press bias, the bad news will always get the most publicity.

  • Adonisus||

    Just a couple of things in defense of Carson

    1. She did NOT recommend the banning of DDT, and even said that only an idiot would do so.

    2. As far as saying DDT was a carcinogen, it was a paragraph, and it was only mentioned in passing.

    Yes, Silent Spring did have some unfortunate consequences reguarding Carson's work (even though it's still one of my favorite books), but I believe we should be fair when criticizing Carson (and there are things that deserve criticism).

  • Doc S||

    Well put. No one would agree that it is a perfect book (and in her defense few scientists blazing trails in different directions get it right on their first attempt), but it did a service in at least getting people to start to realize the rammifications of their decisions on themselves and the environment.

  • Ryan||

    Wow. Just...wow.

    Never in my life have I seen so many Straw Man arguments, selective re-interpretations and failures to understand the issues compressed into less then 7 minutes.

    Just a quick rundown of some fun facts:

    5) Those miracle foods that need less pesticide? Turns out they've caused natural selection that has led to bugs that are now immune to those in-bred pesticides. And since those pesticides were based on the spray pesticides we now use, our spray pesticides are now less effective.

    4: We aren't suffering extinctions, but the concern that is the center biodiversity is losing species from a given ecosystem. This can cause a change in the ecosystem, sometimes miniscule, sometimes catastrophic, depending on the role the species filled.

    3: Seriously guys: Oil production costs have been going up because we have to use less cost-effective methods to get at it. We are going to need to switch over a non-fossil fuel based energy grid at some point.

    2: You guys do know DDT is harmful to humans, especially young ones or in large volumes. Forget the birds, I think you need to remember humans are part of the environment too.

    1: Malthus's work was based on the best guesses of his day. We managed to change the rules in that equation. Robert Ehrlich's counter to the Malthusian Imperative, "Human Ingenuity Can Overcome Any Problem", however, is often misunderstood. It should read "Human Ingenuity Can Overcome Any Problem, Given Enough Time." If we wait until the problem has reached crisis level before we start looking for solutions, we will invoke one of my favorite sayings of Mr. George Carlin "The planet will be fine; It's the people who will be f**ked."

  • Jersey Patriot||

    3: Seriously guys: Oil production costs have been going up because we have to use less cost-effective methods to get at it. We are going to need to switch over a non-fossil fuel based energy grid at some point.

    That's nonsense. We have an infinite supply of oil at $15 a barrel. The only reason we don't is because of [choose one] speculators/environmentalists/OPEC/oil executives/Ben Bernanke/Republicans/Democrats/conservatives/liberals/global warming/Barack Obama/George Bush/The Starting Line-Up of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers.

  • sevo||

    Jersey Patriot|4.20.11 @ 4:07PM|#
    "That's nonsense. We have an infinite supply of oil at $15 a barrel."
    If strawmen ever learn to fight back, you're in deep trouble.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Great, the ugly girl is following me around the prom.

  • Doc S||

    i laughed out loud

  • sevo||

    Doc S|4.20.11 @ 4:46PM|#
    "i laughed out loud"

    Assholes will do that.

  • Doc S||

    If you have an asshole capable of doing that I suggest you take it on tour, or at least put it on youtube, you could probably get a lot of "like"s

  • ||

    You can laugh out loud, right?

  • ||

    Lol... Oops?

  • sevo||

    Jersey Patriot|4.20.11 @ 4:14PM|#
    "Great, the ugly girl is following me around the prom."

    Hmm. Seems shithead lefty has delusions that even an ugly girl would follow him.
    Professional help is indicated.

  • sevo||

    wow, just wow!
    So many bullshit claims, innuendos, irrelevancies and excuses packed into one post!
    Way to go Ryan!

  • ||

    Please provide a link to fun facts. Scientific data, or reputable reporting would be acceptable.

  • Realist||

    What's Bailey doing in the video? He is part of the problem with AGW.

  • ||

    My quibble is with the sound. Why does the narration have to be at a volume higher than the interviewees?

  • ||

    this video spews ignorance.

  • Doc S||

    It's impressive isn't it? I almost threw up in my mouth watching it. I was in so much awe that i didn't know whther to laugh at how wrong ignorant it was or shake my head because I knew so many on these boards would agree with it.

  • Bios||

    It's a shame that such a fine magazine would be so unbalanced in its approach to a series of complex topics. It makes me really question the balance or truthfulness of the other pieces I read from them.

  • Doc S||

    Yeah, it really reflects poorly on the quality and reliability of the pieces they provide. I said earlier I hope they only did it for the shock value to drum up hits, but I'm afraid they actually believe this is worthwhile.

  • ||

    Strange how you admit up the thread that you have not personally researched this but claim to know the correct side. Actually, pathetic would be a better word.

  • Doc S||

    No... I said i have not personally researched the link someone referenced refuting the research of Carson in silent springs. I'm actually fairly knowledgeable about the nonsense this video attempts to present as fact.

  • ||

    Even though you have not looked at the scientific refutation of her very non-scientific work, you remain knowledgeable about it? How very "scientific" of you.

    So not only are you really, really smart, but you can actually know things through osmosis? You haven't heard one side of the story but your emotions tell you it must be untrue?!

    Science you are a piece of shit. The "facts" that you have claimed here are nothing of the sort.

    Perhaps you should get a job at East Anglia. They seem to practice you kind of "science". You know, the kind that is full of shit and totally political?

    Even after millions are actually dead, you still say "but in some fantasy world more would have died"? And still call yourself a scientist? Absolutely fucking unbelievable!

  • Doc S||

    You're trying really hard. Reread what I said and realize how misguided your post is.

  • sevo||

    Bios|4.20.11 @ 5:17PM|#
    "It's a shame that such a fine magazine would be so unbalanced in its approach to a series of complex topics."

    It's a shame you make such a bullshit claim and can't bother to point out any errors.
    Would you be a watermellon?

  • Tony||

    Why do libertarians obsess about DDT and stuff? Because they literally don't want to believe that it's possible to do harm to the environment, because they don't like the way envirohippies dress or something? That's all I can figure.

  • ||

    Why do libertarians obsess about DDT and stuff?

    It is a graphic example of when the "smart people" make decisions for the rest of the world how they are disastrous.

    Why are you unable to realize that regardless of Carson's intent, DDT was banned around the world as a result? Now look at malaria deaths around the world before and after. Literally millions dead, mostly children.

    What next Tony, you going to ask why Libertarians obsess about Stalin and stuff?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    It's not like you have to use tons of the stuff to kill a dozen mosquitoes. One spray will last months. The problem was obsessive overuse.

  • Tony||

    No environmentalist claims to have perfect knowledge... unlike libertarians.

  • That has to be a spoofer Tony||

    That statement is so fucking ridiculous.

  • ||

    No environmentalist claims to have perfect knowledge.

    And yet, they are willing to force millions to do what they want. Seeing as how they don't have perfect knowledge, maybe they shouldn't attempt to force their worldview on others.
    Especially when their imperfect knowledge could cost the lives of tens of millions of human beings.

  • Tony||

    Imperfect knowledge doesn't equal no knowledge.

  • ||

    So if it comes down to saving birds or saving humans, it is okay for a few scientists, with imperfect knowledge, to decide in favor of birds and then foist the fuckin policy on the rest of the world.

    Imagine the arrogance of a few small groups making decisions for everyone else and influencing policies in 3rd world countries through the WHO.

    People inherently trust scientists. I don't know why, they are human just like everyone else and prone to bias and error. It is one thing for a small community to take action on some scientific studies that may be wrong, incomplete or biased. At least the effect stays largely in that community, it is another for large governmental organizations like the EPA or the WHO to make or recommend policies and represent the information as scientific fact or consensus, when in fact the debate was far from settled.

  • sevo||

    Tony|4.20.11 @ 6:59PM|#
    "No environmentalist claims to have perfect knowledge... unlike libertarians."

    Right. Tell us about how the 'science is settled' shithead.

  • ||

    "More people are [now] being fed better than at any time in history."

    No. We have bigger diets than at any time in history.

    More people are being fed more calories than at any time in history. There's an important difference, and it's not just semantic.

  • sevo||

    jcalton|4.20.11 @ 11:10PM|#
    "More people are [now] being fed better than at any time in history."
    No. We have bigger diets than at any time in history.
    More people are being fed more calories than at any time in history. There's an important difference, and it's not just semantic."

    Yes it is 'just semantic', unless you think starving is 'semantic'.

  • Doc S||

    No it's correct, there's technically more people on earth than there ever have been and thus theres more people being fed, regardless of the amount that are at the chronically hungry or starving level.

  • Jocuri||

    If it didn't happen it doesn't necessarily mean it wont, it's just a matter of time in my opinion.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    Constitutionalist/libertarian/true republican: "Hey, if we assume that all or some of the environmentalists' predictions are true to at least some degree, then why don't we allow markets and innovation, in the unmatchable comfort of liberty, to drive our world steadily away from fossil fuels and pesticides and similar shit, perhaps paving the way to a cleaner and safer future, without limiting ourselves and the way we use the natural world?”

    Environmentalist fanatic/Democrat/faux-Republican/Tony's mother: "THAT'S FASCIST. CANNOT ALLOW. CANNOT ALLOW. MARKETS SUCK. We should just ban and restrict and ban and restrict some more, and try to do with less and less and less and less, instead of using our resources and ingenuity to actively solve these problems wherever they might arise. Ron Paul drinks the blood of Democratic children as they sleep."

  • Tony||

    All environmentalists want is for the market to work properly. If oil and coal stopped getting subsidized by socialist tax money and their costs reflected the damage they do to the environment (other people's property), then the market could be a huge contributor to solving environmental problems.

  • ||

    Herbicides catch holy hell from the informed too, being blamed for cancer, dead honeybees and limp dicks.
    I recall a siminar sometime in the mid '80's where a Monsanto chemist declared that there was nothing in RoundUp tht would prove fatal if drank, then drank some.
    I also recall an old commercial beekeeper that said he assumed a 15 - 20% hive lost on all overwintered hives his entire career and could see little in the recent data that suggested to him anything was abnormal with the bees, aside from common varroa mite. Yet several states' legislators have suggested legislating on some pest/herbicide useage to protect the bees.

  • cool||

    impressedCool

  • cool||

    impressedCool

  • Olve Wold||

    A bit simplistic for my taste, though the points made are valid and important. I would also have liked to see the relation between these theories and actual humanitarian disasters stressed more.

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