Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Easterbrook and Environmental Alarmists

I'm not sure why I should spend my time refuting the points of a wanker like Gregg Easterbrook. I guess because people might be convinced by them I suppose. Well anyway, Easterbrook has gotten a bee in his bonnet over Americans' hysteria over mercury poisoning. Yeah, that's right. His article today in The New Republic argues that there isn't really any evidence that mercury causes birth defects, that Bush is brave in his policies to cut back on mercury emissions, and that environmentalists talk so much about the problems of the world that no one believes them anymore. He actually claims that if only Congress had passed the Clear Skies Act, Bush's oh so radical proposal to cut air pollution, that we would have even less mercury in the air than we do today. Easterbrook conveniently ignores how every provision of Clear Skies was written either by industry lawyers or with the needs of industry in mind. He ignores how Clear Skies is an Orwellian euphemism that would make our air significantly dirtier. He poo-poos all the evidence showing that mercury is a problem by simply declaring that it is in fact, not a problem. Very convincing.

Moreover, he references the New York Times' resident wanker Nicholas Kristof, on the environmental alarmist deal, in short arguing that if environmentalists don't shut up and focus on the really big issues like global warming, no one will listen to them on anything. Well first, the government doesn't listen to environmentalists on global warming anyway. Second, Clear Skies would make global warming worse so he just contradicted himself. Third, these issues are all related. The same coal-fired power plants (Ah, coal again) that cause global warming also cause mercury poisoning. You would think that such basic arguments would have occurred to Easterbrook. But then I expect too much from our leading DINO magazine.