[Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the monthly journal of Hillsdale College, Hillsdal
[Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the monthly journal of
Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan 492242. Subscription
free upon request.]
``SAVE THE PLANET, SACRIFICE THE PEOPLE: THE ENVIRONMENTAL
PARTY'S BID FOR POWER''
Edward C. Krug, Soil Scientist
[From Imprimis 20(7):1-5 (1991 July).]
Editor's Preview: Last November, Hillsdale College's Center for
Constructive Alternatives sponsored a week-long seminar that
invited nine prominent scientists and environmental analysts to
assess the respective track records of government and the private
sector in environmental protection. Their unanimous opinion was
that government action, usually precipitated by unsound science
and media sensationalism, results in massive overregulation and,
as in the case of the 1990 Clean Air Act discussed in this issue,
billions of wasted dollars. Soil scientist Edward C. Krug
observes that such action often makes environmental problems
worse and diverts attention from other less publicized but more
ACID RAIN AND THE CLEAN AIR ACT: A 40 BILLION-DOLLAR COVER UP
Every day, millions of dismayed Americans read the news that acid
rain is creating an aquatic ``silent spring'' in the northeastern
United States. ... Thousands of lakes are dead with thousands
more soon to die. ... Acid rain is wiping out our forests. The
perception of mounting environmental devastation has created an
overwhelming sense of urgency. The feeling is, ``For heaven's
sake stop talking about it and do something before we kill
everything!'' The trouble is, none of this news of impending
environmental disaster is true.
Political activists from the Sierra Club, the National
Audubon Society, and other organizations have worked diligently
to create the public perception that it is. Some scientists have
helped to fuel the flames of panic. In 1980, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that acid rain had
increased the average acidity of northeastern lakes a hundredfold
over the last 40 years. In 1981, the National Research Council
claimed that the number of acidified lakes would double by 1990.
But National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP)
scientists assigned to research the ``problem'' realized that the
publicly accepted claims of disaster were unsubstantiated. There
was simply no scientific assessment of acid rain's effects on
which to base claims of disaster, or any claims at all, for that
matter. Accordingly, NAPAP spent hundreds of millions of dollars
to develop the first census of acid rain's state-of-the-
environment. This is what they found for lakes:
1. There are only 240 critically acidic (pH <= 5.0) lakes out of
over 7,000 northeastern lakes; not the thousands claimed.
2. The average lake is as acidic as it was prior to the
Industrial Era (some lakes have become more acidic, some have
become less acidic over time); not a hundred times more acidic as
3. Only 35,000 of 200,000,000 acres [0.0175%] of eastern lakes
are critically acidic.
4. Most of this acidic water is in Florida. Yet the rain in
Florida is among the least acidic rain in the eastern U.S. --
three times less acidic than in the Adirondacks.
5. The amount of acidic water is not changing with time;
thousands of additional lakes are not becoming acidic as claimed.
6. The old Clean Air Act is working; SO2 (the principal pollutant
that creates acid rain) has been halved -- 20 million tons rather
than 40 million tons per year. The new revisions will make no
difference in the amount of acid rain 30-40 years from now. [See
Ackerman 1981 for more on the old Clean Air Act.]
7. All of the acidic lakes in the northeastern U.S. can be limed
for $500,000 a year compared to billions of dollars for an
elaborate government acid rain program.
This is what was found for forests:
1. ``Forest decline is extensive in many unpolluted areas of the
world, whereas trees in highly polluted areas (i.e. metropolitan
areas) are largely unaffected.''
2. The nitrogen in acid rain is fertilizing 300,000,000 acres of
eastern forest. Such fertilization may have a negative effect
for about 0.1 percent of the forest. Enhanced growth by nitrogen
fertilization may result in increased winter damage for 3,000,000
acres of high-altitude spruce-fir forest.
It is only common sense to conclude, therefore, that an
expensive crash program to further accelerate the current rate of
reduction of acid rain is not justified.
Yet in major media sources such as Newsweek and the New York
Times political activists passed off as ``environmental experts''
continue to claim that NAPAP has made no progress at all. They
say that NAPAP was a waste of time: it had only proven that acid
rain is the ``crisis'' it was ``known to be'' prior to the
inception of NAPAP a decade ago. In the few cases where
responsible scientists manage to report some of the real facts,
it is claimed that NAPAP's results are politically tainted --
under representing the effects of acid rain. It was in this
atmosphere that congress passed a new Clean Air Act in 1990 in
large part to allay manufactured fears of acid rain. What
Congress is trying to cover up is the fact that this new
legislation will cost our nation, conservatively, $40 billion a
THE RISE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PARTY
Acid rain is only one of a dozen manufactured crises ranging from
toxic waste to chemical poisoning of food and global warming.
Consistently we are led to believe that we must submit to
comprehensive regulation by an ``elite'' of environmental experts
if our planet is to be saved. The real crisis, however, appears
to lie with these self-proclaimed saviors. They view the present
world order --- which places power in the hands of individuals --
as foolhardy. They manipulate science and our own institutions
to convince us that it is necessary to sacrifice our rights of
self-determination for some ``greater good'' like environmental
Environmentalism itself has become more than just a cause; it
is the preeminent American political party. Ron Arnold, author
of Ecology Wars , reports that the major environmental
organizations meet regularly to coordinate their activities.
And, according to California Representative William E.
Dannemeyer, the top twelve organizations that comprise the base
of support for the Environmental Party are four times bigger than
the combined Democratic and Republican parties:
``All told, the Environmental Party has an operating
budget of $336.3 million (1988) and has a donor base of
12,959,000. That's nearly $250 million more than the
Republican and Democratic parties combined and a donor
base of some 10 million persons more!'' [Human Events, 1
Sep 1990, pp. 3-4.]
FREE ENTERPRISE: TARGETED FOR EXTINCTION
About 90 percent of these funds go to support political
activities, not environmental improvement. Yet members of the
Environmental Party have established themselves as the poor,
blue-jeaned, idealistic defenders of the public interest and
Planet Earth. Their opponents, usually American businessmen, are
portrayed as Darth Vaders in three-piece suits -- special
interests opposed to the common good.
The Environmental party is difficult to oppose because it
embraces a nominal cause that has no opposition. Who wants foul
air, dirty water, and reckless disposal of toxic wastes? Who
relishes questioning the Party and being automatically labeled
and enemy of Mother Nature? The last group that wants to fight
on these uneven terms is the business community. But
confrontation cannot be avoided because the party has targeted
free enterprise for extinction.
If one were deliberately trying to create a means to kill
free enterprise (and its attendant wealth and freedoms), one
could not come up with a better killing machine than the
Environmental party. Indeed, from the beginning, business and
industry learned that fighting back in self-defense is even worse
than doing nothing. And, of course, there are those who have
decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em; over half the
financial support received by the Party comes from private-sector
foundations. [See Echard 1990.]
GOVERNMENT: THE BUSINESS OF REGULATION
To understand government's role as a Party ally, it is
helpful to think of government as the business of regulation.
Like all business, the business of regulation seeks growth. But
even governmental growth is not risk-free. It has the inherent
liability of incurring the displeasure of the consumer (taxpayer)
by increasing the cost (taxes) of the product. Environmental
legislation, however, is like manna from heaven: it is
principally an off-budget tax. The government is thus perceived
as working for the common good, literally for free.
To government, the well-known Environmental Party line is an
irresistible siren's song:
``Government must regulate all human activity. The
masses must obey the environmental bureaucracy -- it
knows what is `best.' Sacrifice must be made for the
`just cause.' There are only 5 to 10 years before it is
too late to save the planet from the masses who inhabit
And crises are the time-honored formula by which people are
persuaded to give up their rights to government.
MASS MEDIA: THE PARTY'S OTHER ALLY
It was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who observed that ``hastiness
and superficiality -- these are the psychic diseases of the 20th
century and more than anywhere else this is manifested in the
press.'' Businessmen would do well to heed Solzhenitsyn's
warning, for they have few enough friends in the media these
days. A report of the Media Institute shows that ``Television
almost never portrays business as a socially useful ... activity.
[Quoted in Arnold 1987, p. 20.]''
Americans love the underdog. Stories of the ``common
citizen'' battling against unscrupulous capitalists and
industrial giants are popular and pay big dividends for the media
with little accompanying risk. The myth of the great lobbying
power of the ``Timber Barons,'' the ``Oil Monopolies'' and the
``Mining Kings'' support the image of a David versus Goliath
conflict -- the battle between good and evil.
Since the environmental party provides an endless source of
prepackaged, easy-to-report disasters -- clear cut cases of
conflict between good and evil for eager consumption by the
public -- the Party and the media are natural friends and allies,
bonded through mutual self-interest. Together, they bombard the
public with a never-ending series of fictitious environmental
disasters. Invariably, the businessman and free enterprise are
The Environmental Party and the mass media also conspire to
provide government with a clear mandate to micromanage all
aspects of human activity. While scientific truth is not
established by vote, political reality is. The Environmental
Party, government and mass media represent a triad of
self-interest that excludes the public interest. They are
succeeding in dismantling democracy and free choice where all
previous efforts have failed.
The only way to defeat them is by grassroots activism through
private groups like the one I work for -- the Committee for a
Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). These groups, though small and
often unknown to the general public, can have an important
influence on the issues of our time, especially on environmental
issues that have become mired in politics and media hype.
DISCREDITING SCIENCE AND GOVERNMENT
But the brilliance of Environmental Party strategy lies in
its ongoing attempt to discredit science and government and to
persuade the public habitually to place its trust in the
proclamations of the Party's political activists. Here are the
results of a survey by the Democratic firm of Marttila & Kiley,
and the Republican firm of Market Strategies, Inc. reported in
the Washington Times last August :
-- Only 15 percent of the American public trusts what government
-- Only 6 percent trust scientists seen as representing industry.
-- 68 percent implicitly believes political activists.
-- 67 percent agrees with the statement, ``Threats to the
environment are as serious as environmental groups say they
Virtually all scientific research is funded by industry and
government. Since the public no longer trusts these sources, it
is apt to accept the ``good faith'' assertions of political
activists as fact.
THE PARTY'S RUINOUS ENVIRONMENTAL ETHIC
Diverting Attention from Real Dangers
In 1990, President Bush planted an elm in Indianapolis on
Earth Day. He claimed that this tree was a symbol of the
environment, and of the ``problem'' of global warming. The
``green'' elite that informs the President got part of it right:
The elm tree does represent a problem -- the environmental
devastation resulting from the Party's sham-environmental ethic.
The President's elm is also representative of the specific
problem faced by our eastern forests: It may soon die. But it
will not die from acid rain or air pollution but from Dutch elm
There are 150 million acres of eastern hardwoods that have
been assaulted in recent years by a variety of imported diseases
and pests. Before the chestnut (the most valuable tree in the
eastern forests) was eliminated by blight, an enterprising
squirrel could have gone from Maine to Georgia on the branches of
chestnut trees, coming down only to cross rivers.
Oak, which has replaced much of the elm and chestnut, is
being devastated by the gypsy moth. Beech bark disease from
Canada is now making its way across the rest of North America
after being introduced into Nova Scotia from Europe.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Party bemoans acid rain's
hypothetical risk to about 300,000 acres of high altitude
spruce-fir forest from winter injury due to nitrogen
Inflated fears about acid rain distract us from being
concerned about the remaining 18 million acres of spruce-fir
forest that are literally being chewed up by imported insect
pests. For example, 90 percent of the mature fir trees in the
Southern Appalachians are dead or dying because of the woolly
adelgid. The spruce buzzworm has eaten millions of acres of red
spruce in Maine and many more millions of acres in Canada.
While the Environmental Party diverted our attention and
resources to acid rain, in 1986 the zebra mussel was introduced
into our lakes from Norway. A comparison of the problems
represented by acid rain and the zebra muscle is in order:
It is probable that acid rain acts to increase the acidity of
naturally acidic ``fishless'' waters. It may also acidify a very
small percentage of low-productivity waters. But the party has
portrayed lakes that cover a few tens of thousands of acres --
most of which we now know to be naturally acidic -- as an
The zebra mussel, on the other hand, is enormously
proliferate and feeds on the planktonic food base of aquatic
ecosystems. It has no natural enemies. In just a few years, it
has rapidly spread to eat the planktonic base of the aquatic food
chain, decreasing the productivity of tens of millions of acres
of water. It has also done billions of dollars of damage to
water supply systems and industry. Biologists see no way to
prevent the zebra mussel from taking over our more than 100
million acres of high-productivity freshwater.
If the Environmental Party were a genuine champion of the
environment, it would not be preoccupied with multibillion-dollar
acid rain controls or its other pet concerns like the spotted owl
and the snail darter. It would not embrace nominal environmental
issues that are used to acquire control over vital industrial
activities and it would not ignore greater environmental problems
just because they cannot be used to achieve such control.
The truth is that the Environmental Party is dominated by
false prophets whose concern for the environment masks their real
agenda, which is social engineering, and their ultimate goal,
which is power.
THE QUEST FOR POWER
During the debate over the Clean Air Act of 1990, Senator
Daniel Patrick Moynihan [D., NY] pointed to the key problem when
dealing with the Environmental Party: the triumph of process over
reason. He declared that ``environmental legislation created
over the last twenty years has typically forbidden any analysis
of cost or has demonstrated no concern for it.''
The party is not interested in using logic and science to
correctly identify problems, or to decide which responses might
do more harm than good. It ruthlessly pursues any legislation
that gives it the means not just to control economic activity,
but all forms of human behavior. The result is that the
Environmental Party has become the absolute secular power of the
country. Any activity can be construed as unacceptably damaging
to the environment. Pull one fish out of a lake, cut one tree,
or plant a field and you can be said to have harmed the
environment. If you breathe, you exhale CO2 and allegedly cause
The Environmental Party did not acquire power all at once; it
took its lead from bureaucracy. Starting with the first federal
water pollution law in 1948, government has given itself
increasing authority to regulate everything from noise to
wildlife. Ron Arnold notes that with the passage of RCRA (the
Resources Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976) and
``Superfund'' (the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation and Liability Act of 1980), government now has the
authority to regulate literally every substance in existence
[Arnold 1987, p. 15].
The Environmental Party has imitated government by gradually
expanding control over well known environmental organizations
such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and the
National Wildlife Federation. These groups began as bona fide
organizations promoting wise use, i.e. conservation of the land,
but have abandoned, as former NWF president Ray Arnett and others
have testified, conservation education for the more tempting
pursuits of political advocacy and lobbying.
THE NEW WORLD ORDER: COLOR IT GREEN
THE DESTRUCTION OF PEOPLE
What values does the Environmental Party advocate? Ron
Arnold states: ``America's new-found sensitivity to nature came
packaged in a strongly anti-industry, anti-people wrapper. It
came with a gut feeling that people are no damn good, that
everything we do damages nature and that we must be stopped
before we totally destroy the earth.'' [p. 10] The best know
environmentalist of our time, Dennis Hayes, proclaimed on the
first Earth Day, ``We feel that Earth Day has failed if it stops
at pollution, if it doesn't serve as a catalyst in [changing] the
values of society.''
In his 1968 book, The Population Bomb [New York: Ballantine
Books/Sierra Club, 1968] (sold by the Sierra Club and endorsed in
the foreword by Sierra Club Executive Director David Brower), Dr.
Paul Ehrlich called people a ``cancer'' on the earth. He
repeatedly asserted that ``the battle to feed humanity is already
lost.'' He predicted that the world would run out of food by
1977, after which world population would begin to starve back to
two billion by 2025.
To stave off this disaster, Ehrlich prescribed a form of
global triage. He claimed that the Third World was hopeless and
that we should help it die: specifically, we should increase the
death rate by denying food and technology and reduce the birth
rate through mandatory birth control and sterilization. The
nations that were not beyond hope would have only mandatory birth
control. Government experts would decide who could reproduce.
In 1968, Ehrlich did not think that we were ``mature'' enough for
this approach -- yet.
Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, the world has not
come to an end. Undeterred by his awesome capacity for error,
however, Ehrlich has republished his thesis (The Population
Explosion [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990], 1989 [sic]),
merely changing the dates. Incredibly, he has retained his
hallowed status as a prophet of the future, even receiving the
1990 MacArthur Foundation genius award.
With the help of Ehrlich and others like him, the
Environmental Party is working hard to make its dismal world
vision come true. For example, one of the 12 pieces of
legislation the Environmental Party uses to rate Washington
legislators is a bill to fund the United Nations' program of
compulsory sterilization in Third World countries receiving aid.
GLOBAL WARMING: ANOTHER MANUFACTURED CRISIS
The U.N.'s alliance with the Environmental Party doesn't end
with the schemes to kill off or stunt the Third World population;
the stated fundamental goal of its international convention on
global warming is no less that the development of a statist world
government that will control every activity of life in all
countries. The leading 17 industrial nations have signed an
agreement in principle to implement such a plan to stave off the
alleged horrors of global warming.
Global warming is but another manufactured environmental
crisis whose real purpose is social engineering. World-class
agronomists, geologists, and environmental scientists of the
U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) find that
if global warming occurs to the degree and extent that the
doomsday global warming models predict, it will be of great
benefit to the world! What these IPCC data mean for the U.S.
alone is an increase of $12 billion per year in food production,
$30-50 billion per year in water resources, an increase in wood
of 80 billion cubic feet, and more than $500 billion in wood by
2050. (These prospects are merely academic, however, since a
number of scientists admit that if we look at the last fifty
years, rather than the century average as is customary,
temperatures are not increasing.)
Nevertheless, the well-publicized plans of the U.N. and the
Environmental Party require Third World nations to place large
areas in ``forever wild'' nature preserves to prevent their dire
and, predictably, false warnings about global warming from coming
true. Additionally, these nations will be denied use of their
remaining natural resources by the banning of primitive
slash-and-burn practices and of modern agricultural and
transportation technologies based on fossil-fuels -- ostensibly
to minimize emissions of CO2.
The real consequence of such action is to prevent Third World
countries from becoming developed. The U.N.'s and the
Environmental Party's plan effectively blocks them from following
the developed nations through the demographic transition to
prosperity and near-zero population growth rates.
The plan is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Underdeveloped
nations will remain underdeveloped, and will retain low economic
growth, high population rates, poverty, and concomitant
THE PARTY'S HOSTILITY TOWARDS GOD-CENTERED RELIGION
``Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing
but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their
The Environmental Party has given us a new definition of
``social responsibility,'' one that has little to do with people
and much to do with rainforests, sea turtles, dolphins and
spotted owls. It has also given us a new definition of man, one
that has important religious significance.
It was the misanthropic core philosophy of the new
environmentalism in the 1970s that originally led Reverend
Richard Neuhaus (a founder of National Clergy and Laymen
Concerned About Vietnam) to write the book, In Defense of People
[New York: Macmillan, 1971], in which he pointed out that this
movement puts the ``rights of nature'' above the ``rights of
man.'' Today, we also know that under the Environmental Party's
proposed new world order, the lost rights of the many are
concentrated into the hands of the ``knowing few'' who administer
``the rights of nature.''
The core of this environmental totalitarianism is anti-God,
even though some general Judaeo-Christian or other religious
principles are acknowledged and even venerated by many
Environmental Party Members.
God and the Environmental Party know that man is a sinner.
Both define what sin is. Even though we sin, the loving God
views people, science and technology as blessings. Under the
loving God, we have free choice. The Party does not love people,
science, or technology. It wants to replace God with its own
authority and eliminate free choice. It worships Creation, but
not the Creator.
DEFEATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL PARTY
The Environmental Party does not respect the sanctity of
science. It manipulates science as a tool of persuasion.
It does not respect the sanctity of the environment. It
manufactures environmental crises as a means of gaining control
over the resources that support modern civilization. One of the
outcomes of this siege on civilization is the destruction of the
The Party does not respect the sanctity of an individual's
right to self-determination. It holds that, given the truth,
``we the people'' do not have the ability to make the ``correct''
decisions. Only the Party elite have that ability.
The Party views the present world order -- which places power in
the hands of the people -- as dangerous and unacceptable. Its
leaders must feel ironic satisfaction in using our own free and
democratic institutions to force us through a form of boot camp
in which they break us down and remake us in a new ``green''
Those same leaders know that ``the only thing necessary for
evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.'' Let us prove
them right -- not by doing nothing -- but by defeating the
Environmental Party's bid for power.
[The following appeared on page 2:1 as a one-column insert.]
``Edward C. Krug, director of environmental projects for the
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT, P.O. Box 65722,
Washington, D.C. 20035), is a former soil scientist for the
Illinois State Water Survey. With more than a decade of
experience in the field and a Ph.D. in soil science from Rutgers
University, he specializes in research on manmade influences on
watersheds -- influences such as dredging, agriculture, industry,
mining and waste disposal. On the college level, he has taught
courses in land planning and utilization, and electron microscopy
and x-ray microanalysis. He lectures frequently before groups
such as the National Press Club, the Air Pollution Control
Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of
Science. His articles have appeared in Policy Review, Science,
Nature, the Encyclopedia of Earth System Science, and other
publications. In December , Dr. Krug was interviewed
during a widely remarked ``60 Minutes'' program on myths about
acid rain [broadcast on 30 December 1990], and he will appear on
a second ``60 Minutes'' program this month.''
[Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the monthly journal of
Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan 492242. Subscription
free upon request.]
[The following is not part of the original article.]
Ackerman, Bruce A. and Hassler, William T. CLEAN COAL, DIRTY
AIR. New Haven, CT: Yale, 1981.
How the Clean Air Act became a multi-billion-dollar bail-out
for high-sulfur coal producers.
Arnold, Ron. ECOLOGY WARS. Bellevue, WA: The Free Enterprise
Brookes, Warren T. ``The Green Network Grows Greener With
Cash'', HUMAN EVENTS, 19 May 1990, p. 14.
Based on Echard 1990.
Echard, Jo Kwong. PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT: OLD RHETORIC, NEW
IMPERATIVES. Washington, D.C.: Capital Research Center,
Capital Research Center, 1612 K Street N.W., Suite 704,
Washington, D.C. 20006. Voice: 202-822-8666.
Krug, Edward C. ``Fish Story: The Great Acid Rain Flimflam'',
POLICY REVIEW, Spring 1990, pp. 44-48.
Krug, Edward C. and Frink, Charles R. ``Acid Rain on Acid Soil: A
New Perspective'', SCIENCE 221:520-525 (5 Aug 1983).
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank