Five Environmental Crises That Have Come And Gone

Five Environmental Crises That Have Come And Gone
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

What do extreme environmentalists do when their claims of looming catastrophe are shown to be unscientific or even ridiculous? They either abandon their current claim and find another cause to scare the public or they change the name of the fright they’re peddling.

The history compiled by environmentalist scaremongers isn’t something they should be proud of (image from FreeGreatPicture.com, CC0 Public Domain).

Consider this. We no longer hear of “acid rain” destroying crops and other vegetation. “Ozone depletion” was supposed to cause cataclysmic increases in human cancer and more – but there is no mention of it today. Another bygone scourge known as “deforestation” had its share of frightening publicity, but we hear it no more. Another great worry aimed at the public was “overpopulation” and it, too, is no longer being marketed as a significant threat. Then, “auto emissions” became the target of those who insisted the automobile did far more harm than good.

Now we are supposedly being victimized by “climate change,” the most dire environmental problem ever to plague mankind, according to scaremongering environmentalists and sloppy journalists. Climate change was formerly known as global warming. When competent scientists poked big holes in the global warming propaganda, its leading advocates arranged the name change. We are now told that rising temperatures caused by human activity warms the planet, will melt polar ice, cause a significant rise in sea levels, and put dry coastal areas under water.

The history compiled by environmentalist scaremongers isn’t something they should be proud of. Acid rain had been named as the killer of spruce trees in Vermont and elsewhere. When a group of scientists went to see this calamity, they had to fight their way through healthy young spruce trees in order to find those dead or dying. But their search proved fruitless because there were none. Ozone depletion was going to cause skin cancer, cataracts, and damage to mankind’s immune system. The main culprit was chlorofluorocarbons used in air conditioners, as a cleaning agent for electronic parts, and more. Soon, the claims about the ozone hole disappeared but not until expensive studies showed the concerns to be absurd.

Deforestation of the Brazilian rain forest became an environmental cause in the early 1980s. But when the UN’s World Bank was found to be the financier of a 900-mile road-building project right through the forest, pressure for terminating it succeeded and the rain forest was left to grow naturally. Overpopulation then became the environmental cause d’jour.

Famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau wrote in the November 1991 UNESCO Courier, “In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.” Fast forward several decades and demographers in various countries are now worried about declining birth rates. Overpopulation is no longer being discussed.

In 2014, climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels, formerly of the University of Virginia and currently the leader of Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, provided data showing “no significant warming trend in surface average temperature for 18 consecutive years.” At MIT in Massachusetts, Dr. Richard Lindzen became nationally known as a “climate skeptic.” Over at Harvard University, Dr. Willie Soon has paralleled Lindzen’s skepticism and angered the climate change partisans. But numerous former believers have moved into the camp of the skeptics. They all concede that temperatures will rise and fall; they don’t concede that humans are the cause.

More than sloppy science is at work here. Even before he was Secretary of State (2013-2017), John Kerry beat the climate change drum. In 2015, he pontificated, “When science tells us that our climate is changing and human beings are largely causing that change, by what right do people stand up and say ‘I dispute that’ or ‘I deny that elementary truth?’” He claims climate change is a more serious threat than terrorism, poverty, and weapons of mass destruction. Because of climate change, he wants government restrictions placed on people. His goal, easily known by studying his career, is a world government run by him and others like him.

If the people become aware that the claims of climate change advocates are pure nonsense, even dangerous nonsense, Kerry and his ilk will come up with some other scheme to frighten people into giving up their freedoms. We should make sure they don’t get away with it. Join The John Birch Society today to take action!

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA

Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been bedeviling Americans since 1970. Many have felt the sting of its steep fines, heavy costs to comply with questionable edicts, and occasional shutdowns of factories whose owners simply throw in the towel. “It’s all worth it,” say most environmentalists. “We’ve got to have clean air and clean water, and if there are casualties along the way, so be it.”

H.R. 861 has been introduced to abolish the EPA (Image from Wikimedia Commons, photo by Casey Deshong, FEMA Photo Library).

Perhaps the most common attitude expressed by determined environmentalists is that, like it or not, EPA’s laws have to be obeyed. Add to that the oft-repeated claim “once a law is on the books, everyone must comply.”

But there’s a fundamental problem underlying this thinking. It is that the EPA didn’t result from a properly enacted law passed by Congress, a route required by the very first sentence in the U.S. Constitution. This regularly ignored dictum states, “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” If you understand the meaning of “all,” you can readily see that the constitutional intent left no openings for other ways to make law. The EPA’s birth didn’t arise through use of congressional law-making power. It resulted from a December 2, 1970, Executive Order penned by President Richard Nixon.

Congress had already passed legislation known as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Then came the EPA. Once in the books via the Nixon executive order, the EPA (a swiftly growing federal bureaucracy) took over enforcement of those measures. The agency’s reach has grown exponentially over the years. In the mid-1970s, a U.S. Steel plant in Indiana faced enormous EPA-promulgated fines and chose to close down with the loss of 500 jobs. Kennecott and Consolidated Copper also closed down for similar reasons. Numerous other firms did likewise. Where fines had to be paid to call off the dogs of the EPA, some companies raised their prices and passed along those additional expenses to the general population.

The EPA then targeted the automobile industry. EPA lover Al Gore (who almost became President via the 2000 election) chimed with his astounding 1992 book Earth in the Balance. Among other excesses, it called for “completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25-year period.” That means automobiles and trucks. Gore still uses both.

In 1989, Stanford University Professor Stephen Schneider, an EPA cheerleader, spoke of the “ethical” problem surrounding any defense of environmental claims. He addressed the need to get some “broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination.” How to do that? He stated:

So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

The EPA started its crusade with arbitrary dictates regarding air and water. It then spread into issuing rules regarding land use, endangered species, waste disposal, radiation, and supposed global warming (now termed “climate change”). By 2016, the EPA had 15,376 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion. It continues to grow.

To counter all of this, freshman Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has introduced H.R. 861, a measure seeking total abolition of the EPA. His entire bill, a single sentence, reads: “The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” A former veteran state legislator, he claims to have had “a front row seat to the failures of the federal government in protecting the environment.” Noting that “the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats,” he proposes that there’s no need whatsoever for the EPA and sensible environmental protection should be handled at state and local levels.

H.R. 861 deserves support in Congress and among the American people, especially those who believe in a government limited by the U.S. Constitution.

Take action by calling your representative (202-225-3121) and senators (202-224-3121) to cosponsor this bill to abolish the unconstitutional Environmental Protection Agency. 

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Globalist Colleagues Give John Kerry a Poor Rating

Globalist Colleagues Give John Kerry a Poor Rating
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

It’s not often that this writer finds himself agreeing with liberal internationalists. But a collaboration between Foreign Policy and the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project at the College of William & Mary has rated the effectiveness of recent Secretaries of State and placed John Kerry at the very bottom of its list. If Kerry is ineffective, we should be very pleased. The more effective any Secretary of State has been during recent decades, the more harm is done to our country.

John Kerry is sworn in as Secretary of State by Justice Elena Kagan, February 1, 2013 (photo from U.S. Department of State Flickr account).

FP’s 1,615 participating “scholars” rated Henry Kissinger as the their favorite over the past 50 years. Other holders of the post given high to low ratings of effectiveness were James Baker just below Kissinger, followed in descending order by Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, George Shultz, Dean Rusk, Warren Christopher, Cyrus Vance, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Lawrence Eagleburger, and Kerry. All but one of these individuals holds membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, the exception being Hillary Clinton who has stated that she looks to the CFR to implement its goals.

Foreign Policy magazine is surely no friend of conservatives who believe that our nation should mind its own business and cease forcing other countries to accept what our government leaders want. It would be wonderful if a Secretary of State believed in non-intervention in the affairs of other nations except if ours is attacked. As George Washington counseled, America’s policy should include our people having “commercial relations” with counterparts elsewhere, and our government having ”as little political connection as possible” with others. The attitude of the sages at Foreign Policy and the CFR could hardly be more different.

Founded in 1970 by Samuel Huntington, FP favors the same policies as Foreign Affairs, the journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations. It’s hardly surprising to note that Huntington has been a CFR member since 1964 and current FP editor David Rothkopf is also a CFR member. Published by Graham Holdings Company, formerly The Washington Post Company, FP has always been dominated by CFR.

These two magazines, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs have similar, if not identical, viewpoints. For whatever reason, FP didn’t indicate why the 1,615 it polled awarded John Kerry its least effective rating. We can guess that these “scholars” don’t think too highly of the recent pact he engineered with Iran, his latest “accomplishment.” Or they may have a poor opinion of his poor record as a deal maker in his confabs with Russian, Chinese, and Saudi leaders.

John Kerry recently outdid himself in paralleling the attitude frequently presented by FP when he delivered his May 5th commencement address at Northeastern University in Boston. He told the graduates they would be entering a “borderless world.” No borders? If there are none, then there are no nation states including the one he has frequently sworn a solemn oath to defend. In what was his clearly expressed preference for terminating nationhood, he pointed to “dangers like climate change, terrorism, and disease [that] do not respect borders.” And he scolded the nation he represents because the U.S. spends “just one penny of every dollar of our federal budget for foreign aid.”

Kerry’s commencement speech dwelled in part on “climate change,” the issue believed by FP’s scholars to be the most important. Had those FP scholars known how much emphasis our current Secretary of State places on that topic, they might have given him higher marks. Among the internationalist elite, insistence on the unproven threat known as climate change is mandatory.

John Kerry has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for more than 20 years. He wants world government; he tries very hard to force other nations to accept the demands of the liberal U.S. establishment; and he crusades for dangerous solutions to questionable problems. All of this and more earn him a very low rating from this writer. But there is no way our judgment of America’s current Secretary of State is based on the policies promoted by Foreign Policy and the Council on Foreign Relations.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


What Altered Reality is President Obama In?

What Altered Reality is President Obama In?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama managed repeatedly to avoid reality. Simply stated, his performance as chief executive has harmed America. He ended his speech with the claim that “the State of our Union is strong.” Many Americans disagree. One clear measure of that disagreement is the powerful showing of a candidate seeking to succeed him who employs the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Americans who support this candidate, and others as well, believe that our nation’s greatness isn’t strong.

In his speech, the President pointed to the nation’s “broken immigration system.” He has had seven years to fix it but, as he himself admitted, it’s still broken.

He called again for a raising the minimum wage, as if such a task fits within his job description. Sound thinking economists insist that arbitrarily forcing employers to pay higher wages discourages hiring, especially among the youth.

He took credit creating “14 million new jobs.” But whatever wealth-creating jobs have opened up aren’t the product of any government magic. Real jobs get created despite the taxes, regulations and bureaucratic control government creates.

He patted himself on the back for cutting the rate of unemployment when the figures regularly given by government don’t count the many would-be workers who have given up looking for a job.

He claimed the “No Child Left Behind” educational program had improved education. Reality shows it to be another failed scheme forced on the schools by the federal government.

The president’s cheers for solar and wind power failed to mention the tax breaks and subsidies the government provides for such industries. Even more, he skirted the fact that the combined product of both of these energy sources adds up to a mere one percent of what is needed to power our nation.

He took credit for cutting imports of foreign oil when those cuts really resulted from discovery by private enterprise of new domestic sources and new methods of obtaining previously unavailable oil and natural gas.

He insisted that our nation’s “standing around the world” has improved in the years he’s been in office, and he termed any disagreement with such a boast “political hot air.” The reality is that respect for America has declined substantially with him at the helm.

He claimed it is a “lie” to believe that radical Islamists spring from a reading of Islam’s holy books. While it surely is true that most Muslims don’t seek to implement some of the directives appearing in their basic creed, a minority does take what they find literally. And they act accordingly.

He urged acceptance of the dangerous Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new form of entanglement that will surely lead to surrendering hard-won independence just as European nations have surrendered theirs to the European Union.

He congratulated himself for steering the nation into climate change agreements. Yet the number of competent scientists who strongly disagree with the need for such action continues to grow.

Near the beginning of his speech, Mr. Obama praised America’s “commitment to the rule of law.” But, like numerous predecessors, he employs executive orders to make law, a horrendous flouting of the rule of law. He also sanctions sending our military into war without a constitutionally required congressional declaration of war. And he does nothing to abolish unconstitutional departments of energy, education, medicine, housing, and more. The rule of law has virtually disappeared.

Missing completely from his address, however, was any mention of the enormous national debt that will almost double during his presidency ($10.9 billion in 2009 to $20 billion when he leaves in 2017). Indebtedness that grows daily can alone destroy this nation.

The state of the union isn’t “strong.” It is weak and getting weaker. And much of the blame for this growing weakness can be laid on Barack Hussein Obama.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Scientific Hokum and its Destructive Political Agenda

Scientific Hokum and its Destructive Political Agenda
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The war on the use of available energy (coal, oil, and natural gas) not only continues, it received a huge boost at the recent United Nations Climate Summit in Paris.

The doomsayers who gathered in the “City of Light” decided that the world must be saved from certain calamity by markedly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide put into the air by burning fossil fuels. But the carbon dioxide resulting from such fuel burning happens to be well known among competent scientists as the “gas of life.” Simply stated, plants eat carbon dioxide. The more that’s available, the healthier and larger will be the trees and plants that humanity uses for food, building, and more.

Orange trees as part of an experiment to see the effects of elevated levels of carbon dioxide. The result? Plants grew three times larger and produced 10 times more fruit! Photo and charts from U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Several years ago, scientists at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Arizona conducted a remarkable experiment. They planted small orange trees side by side with each tree enveloped in a clear plastic container whose top was left open. Half of the trees were supplied with ambient air and the other half received air enriched with 300 parts per million of carbon dioxide. After four and a half years, the trees enriched with carbon dioxide grew three times larger – both above and below ground – than those exposed only to ambient air. Also, the trees receiving the carbon dioxide produced ten times more fruit than the nearby trees that didn’t receive the added carbon dioxide.

An experiment like that has undoubtedly been duplicated elsewhere. It demonstrates carbon dioxide’s value, not its supposed harm. But what the Arizona scientists showed was politically incorrect. Some even feared that publicizing the results of their work could lead to cancellation of their funding by the government. No one is supposed to conduct experiments that contradict politically correct conclusions.

Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is blamed for melting polar ice, rising sea levels, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more. But fluctuations in the Earth’s temperature have been occurring regularly for as long as records have been kept. As for the claimed weather anomalies, they too have occurred before coal, oil, and natural gas heated our homes and ran our industries.

The war on carbon dioxide amounts to a war on productivity, even a war on life itself. And there are plenty of scientists who have taken a stand against the scientific fright-peddlers and the hordes of agenda-promoting politicians. As recently as 2014, Dr. Art Robinson, the co-founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, obtained 31,000 signatures from American scientists on his Global Warming Petition Project. It stated in part, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” If you have never heard of this petition, its political incorrectness is the reason.

Who promotes the fears about climate change? From 2008 to 2015, Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer chaired a prestigious United Nations panel dealing with the topic. He stated his goal in promoting fears about carbon dioxide: “We redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy.” Separately, UN official Christiana Figueres said that the real goal of the claims about climate change was “a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world.” These individuals are not alone.

The truth is that carbon dioxide is a blessing and the claims of global warming and climate change alarmists amount to dangerous politically motivated hokum.

The New American, a JBS affiliate, sent a team over to the UN Paris Climate Conference. The January 4, 2016, issue offers their findings. Either download or order physical copies today of “UN Climate Summit: Shackling the Planet to ‘Save’ It.” Learn more about the climate agreement that will affect every American, and what you can do about it.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.