Most of what the radical environmentalists preach is wrong or
exaggerated, and sometimes it's simply outright lies. Methyl
tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) is a gasoline oxygenate that the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency forced oil companies to add to gasoline.
For seven years, EPA Administrator Carol Browner, a former Gore campaign
aide, claimed that MTBE was an important contributor to reducing auto
As reported in "Environment and Climate News," a publication of the
Chicago-based Heartland Institute, the National Research Council has
demonstrated that oxygenates have virtually no effect on air quality.
The EPA's forcing oil companies to add a useless, costly additive isn't
the end of the story, either. MTBE is a potent water pollutant and is
having disastrous effects on the nation's water supply.
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Under heavy pressure from state and local government officials, the
EPA now admits that MTBE is polluting our water supply and making people
sick -- something EPA's own scientists warned about in 1988. Browner,
ignoring her agency's culpability says, "Threats posed by MTBE to water
supplies in many areas of the country are a growing concern."
America's Chicken Littles constantly warn and offer "solutions" to
one supposed danger or another caused by mankind's activities. For
instance, they caution that overpopulation is leading to ruination and
starvation. First, there is no clear connection between population
density and wealth. There are miserably poor countries such as the
former Zaire with a population density of 39 people per square mile.
Then there's Hong Kong, with hundreds of thousands of people per square
mile, and there are cities like New York, with hundreds of thousands of
people per square mile, that are rich.
Since 1950, the U.S. population has increased by 81 percent. For
America's Chicken Littles, that has to be a prescription for disaster.
But the fact of business is that, since 1950, the U.S. Agriculture
Department reports that our food production has increased a whopping 189
That efficiency in food production translates into the world's lowest
food prices. Moreover, we're producing more food, on less land and using
fewer pesticides. With advances in bioengineering, the future
foreshadows even greater efficiency in food production. Vice President
Gore and others, in an attempt to dictate where we can live, whine about
"urban sprawl" and loss of farmland. If farmland is a problem at all,
it's that we have too much of it.
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Then there's the global warming hype about our use of fossil fuels.
According to reputable scientists like Patrick Michaels and Robert
Balling, mankind's activities account for a minuscule 2 percent or 3
percent of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Geophysicists estimate
that just three volcanic eruptions -- Indonesia (1883), Alaska (1912)
and Iceland (1947) -- spewed more carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxides
into the atmosphere than all of mankind's activities in his entire
history. The November 1982 Science magazine reports that termites
annually generate more than twice as much carbon dioxide as mankind does
burning fossil fuels. One termite species annually emits 600,000 metric
tons of formic acid into the atmosphere, an amount equal to the combined
contributions of automobiles, refuse combustion and vegetation.
Thinking that mankind's activities can have significant effects on
the environment is the height of arrogance. If you really believe
mankind's activity can change the Earth's temperature, you probably also
think that if all of us jumped up and down we'd change the earth's
orbit, or if we all got out our paddles we could change the direction of
Political commentator H.L. Mencken explained today's hype, "The whole
aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence
clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of
hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."