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Book Reviews

"The Truth About Environmentalism"

Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson
The Green Wave, Environmentalism and Its Consequences
By Bonner Cohen, Capital Research Center 2006

The introduction begins with a quote from that splendid author Alston Chase — "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." Indeed, very appropriate.

It then proceeds with a discussion of a piece entitled "Death of Environmentalism" prepared by two relatively obscure environmental activists. They interviewed over twenty-five leading environmentalists and drew conclusions that there was an alarming decline in the power and influence of environmentalism. A word of caution; the greens are a rather clever group and there is always the possibility that this was in fact intended to lure the opposition into complacency. The obscures also claimed that the environmentalists had little to show for their efforts to push legislation to reduce the threat of global warming — a phenomenon that is of very questionable existence. Then they referred to a poll showing that Americans were distancing themselves from enviros on several key issues. How many hundreds of issues have they concocted? Let us face it, they have a strangle hold and, if things continue the way they are going, they will prevail and destroy traditional society. No, they are not just another special interest group. They might even qualify as terrorists.

Then attention is given to Michael Crichton's book State of Fear, which became a best seller. Was it because it exposed the environmental movement or was it due to it being an x-rated novel? Cohen then makes a very sensible statement that, as we proceed we shall see that environmentalism's death is nowhere on the horizon. He notes that The Green Wave will take stock of the environmental movement three-and-one half decades after the first Earth Day, stating that there are about 8,000 organizations in the United States, but space only provides for dealing with a few dozen. It should be added that they are extremely close-knit and voice the same party line.

Chapter 1 entitled "Into the Boardroom" accurately relates the origin of the environmental movement and the role that major corporations have played. It begins with an appropriate quote by Tom Hayden. "We must consider changes in the rules of society by challenging the unchallenged politics of corporations."Such a pronouncement should serve as a warning to anyone concerned about the preservation of a free society. An account of what was called ideological child abuse involving second graders from Fairfield, Connecticut demonstrating against J.P. Morgan's lending money to projects that destroy rain forests is described. The brain-washing event took place at Morgan's New York City headquarters. The movement's goal to build an alternate power structure is noted and what should be an eye-opening discussion of the "Out-of-Power Elites" is provided — indeed scary stuff that should be enough to declare all out war against the enviros — but still they prevail.

Much attention is given to Rachel Carson and her role in the creation of Earth Day and what was to follow. However, some misunderstandings still prevail. DDT was never shown to be harmful to the environment. Egg shell thinning claims were bogus. EPA Administrator Willaim Ruckelshaus, after the agency's banning of DDT, admitted it was strictly a political decision. Claims had been made that the supposed endangered bald eagle was one of the victims, nut populations declines began long before DDT was used. Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, noted entomology professor at San Jose State, and early-on associate of Carson, effectively laid this to rest, or should have. And then there was Rachel's pet — the robin. Let the environmentalists explain why this bird thrives in great numbers and many now choose to spend their winters in the once-hostile Northeast.

This reviewer could devote many pages to rebuking the movement — it is so easy to blow their arguments out of the water, but discipline must prevail, due to review requirements. Cohen is to be commended for his detailed, common-sensical presentation and discussion of a multitude of issues. It is a must reading for all, especially those that have been mesmerized by the slick, but horribly dishonest tactics of the decidedly un-American environmental movement. Hopefully, the worm will turn. In a postscript he notes that policy has been reversed and now in African countries DDT can be used to combat malaria. One small but very significant victory.

Obviously, Bonner Cohen is very well-read and thorough. covering a multitude of issues and topics, including biodiversity, agricultural biotechnology, global warming, the Kyoto Treaty, the mercury scare, chemical regulation, property rights, ecosystems, the Endangered Species Act, burning questions, endocrine disrupters, to name a few. Undoubtedly, the author spent hundreds of hours in research and discussing matters with the true experts. He is certainly to be applauded. In addition, The Green Wave qualifies as a top notch reference source.

The appendix includes a list of key players — environmental groups — similar to one presented by Ron Arnold in his superb book, Trashing the Economy. In his acknowledgements, Bonner Cohen expresses a special debt of gratitude to Ron.

Nate Dickinson, wildlife biologist and author of Common Sense Wildlife Management, lives in Altamont New York.

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