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Book Reviews

The Craze of Environmental Irrationality

Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson
Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism is Hazardous to Your Health
by John Berlau, Nelson Current 2006

A new book by John Berlau about the irrationality that passes for modern day environmentalism ties together a range of issues. Here is a chapter-by-chapter look at how Berlau's Eco-Freaks should help expose the unscrupulous distortions and excesses of today's so-called environmental movement.

The first chapter is entitled "What I Learned About Environmentalism From Chuck D." Chuck D, a well-known hip-hop performer, talked about the need for humans to assert control over the ravages of nature. Berlau notes that environmentalists have long admitted to using fear to arouse public action. Indeed, the Greens constantly play on the emotions of gullible people, who might be referred to as useful idiots, to promote their agenda. The author states that he, too, is terrified, but what he fears is untrammeled nature, with little intervention by humans. He notes that he has no illusions about Mother Nature being a kind force, and that those who long to get back to nature never really had to deal with it.

Reference is made to an unusual conversation that Ronald Reagan participated in around 1975, with Reagan stating that it was not old Dad that was nostalgic about the good old days and sour about today's world, but rather the younger generation. Very fitting indeed. And then noting that FDR, in dedicating the Hoover Dam, referred to the taming of a turbulent, dangerous river and implied that the river was not a natural wonder but a cactus-covered waste. Note is made of the environmentalists in the 1970's halting the building of a flood barrier that experts believed would have been best at stopping the surge of the Gulf of Mexico, including that produced by Katrina. He labels the culprits as the eco-imperialists. This got the author to think of other cases of environmental correctness that caused death and devastation, such as the banning of DDT and other insecticides.

This reviewer would like to take this opportunity to point out a horrible blunder in his book Common Sense Wildlife Management. Credit was erroneously given to the banning of DDT by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for the comeback of the bald eagle. Reputedly, that pesticide caused egg shell thinness. My good friend J. Gordon Edwards (rest his soul), who is referred to in Eco-Freaks, straightened things out by identifying this as a hoax. He did not mention this in his review, since he was so impressed with the remainder of Common Sense. Corrections were subsequently made in the version printed in Spanish. The New York eagle expert later, in a Nature article, admitted that the comeback of this raptor began long before DDT was banned. Unfortunately, one cannot always believe what supposedly responsible biologists tell you. I had been duped.

Note is appropriately made by Berlau of the millions of people dying from malaria as a result of DDT bans and restrictions. And the blocking of dam construction leaving millions of people without flood protection, electricity, and clean water. It is declared that America is still mighty, but environmentalism is putting us on the brink of danger. So many useful products have been done away with based on scares. And, of course, there is Al Gore with his doomsday charges about global warming. Add to this the sacred wetlands which somehow or other are effective in flood control, the asbestos ban, and restrictions on logging with increased intensity of wildfires.

The author then announces that he will take the reader on an additional six chapter journey into the past so that he or she can think clearly about the future. Chapter 2 is entitled "Rachel Carson Kills Birds — How the Banning of DDT and Other Pesticides Endangers Humans, Wildlife, and Trees." He wisely advises people to forget about what environmentalists call harmony in nature and think about the laws of the jungle.

The remaining five chapters artfully cover a wide range of environmental issues, which should encourage the reader to think twice, or maybe more, before buying into any of the deception of the elite, well-healed, ultra-liberal environmental movement whose concern for the environment is somewhere out in the wings. Subjects include the notorious asbestos ban; anti-auto acts that endanger health, safety and freedom; carbon dioxide myths; Reagan was right — forests cause pollution; fires and animals in a rewilded America; too many trees; a coyote in the big apple; Native Americans — the first clearcutters; the deer problems; our unhealthy future under environmentalism; among many others.

John Berlau ends his "must reading for all who care" with an appropriate request — Everybody say it loud, we're humans and we're proud.

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