Get PJ Media on your Apple

Incinerating America’s West

The massive western wildfires could have been avoided with intelligent forest management and less hysteria from the greens.

by
Robert Zubrin

Bio

July 3, 2012 - 12:02 am
<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page

The illogic of the antihuman sentiments behind these, and endless numbers of similar statements put forth by the beetle’s Green apologists over the past decade, is incredible. Limited harvesting that would save the forest (and incidentally reduce damage to forests elsewhere, such as the Amazon, by driving down the global price of wood) is to be shunned — precisely because it would create jobs, useful products, and commerce. At the same time, vast depredations that destroy tens of millions of acres of wild habitat, kill countless numbers of terrified animals in the most horrible way, and throw millions of tons of smoke, pine-tar gas, and other pollutants into the atmosphere  are discounted as irrelevant and unimportant by those who claim to care so deeply for nature and all its creatures.

Of course, there is another tactic that could be used to save the forests, and that would be to use pesticides. For example, as long ago as the 1940s, it was shown that DDT is extremely effective in countering the Western Pine Beetle. Thus on pages 287-288 of  Biology and Control of the Western Pine Beetle, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Miscellaneous Publication 800, 1960, authors J.M. Miller and F.P. Kern report on numerous studies done in the period from 1944 through 1951 that showed 90 to 96% mortality within hours among pine beetles that came into momentary contact with trees that had been sprayed with 5% dilute DDT solutions.

However, the same environmental groups that have halted western logging regard the idea of using DDT to stop the pine beetle with near hysteria. Rachel Carson’s 1962 tome Silent Spring (which falsely argued that the vital pesticide DDT should be banned because it was killing the birds, when actually it was protecting them — and us — from insect-borne diseases) is virtually sacred scripture to the greens, and the successful campaign to ban DDT that followed from its promotion serves as the core of their proudest creation myth. In enshrining this myth, the anti-technology cult has chosen to heartlessly turn its head away from the massive amount of human misery it has caused through its narcissistic sacrifice of millions of African children to malaria. It must perforce regard the very idea that its object of hatred might be used to save our forests and their wildlife from incineration as nothing short of outright heresy.

From DDT, to nuclear power, to fossil-fuel development, to genetically improved crops, the green movement has used the pretext of nonexistent or grossly exaggerated environmental hazards to block enterprises that would be of enormous benefit to people. However, when faced with a real and catastrophic threat to the wild they have taken the other side — precisely because allowing the necessary protective measures would not constrain human liberty, but expand it, in however limited a way, and this would undermine the central purpose of the “environmentalist” exercise.

To those seeking environmental pretexts for enhanced control over society, all changes to nature effected by humans, no matter how beneficial, must be portrayed as criminal. Thus global warming and carbon dioxide emissions are denounced, despite the fact that they lengthen the growing season, increase rainfall, and accelerate plant growth. Thus no actions may be taken to save the forests.

By the light of a burning wildness the truth may be perceived. The purpose of the green prosecution is not to protect nature, but to put shackles on humankind.

<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page
Dr. Robert Zubrin is president of Pioneer Astronautics, a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy, and the author of "Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil". His newest book, "Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism" has just been published by Encounter Books.
Click here to view the 79 legacy comments

Comments are closed.