Talking Points on the Environment #16
Common Myths About Mother Earth
- Myth: Due to the lack of strict government controls on logging in
the "greedy" 1980s, America's forests are disappearing at an
- Reality: In the mid-1980s forests covered only 35% of Vermont,
Massachusetts and Connecticut, but today forest coveragehas expanded to over
59% of each state. As capitalist countries increase in wealth, so does their
concern for the environment. Timber companies have a vested interest in
maintaining their livelihood, so they plant plenty of trees.
- Myth: America's urban air quality is poor and it is getting worse.
- Reality: Air quality has improved dramatically in the past 20
years, and it is only getting better. Americans living in areas that failed
federal air quality standards dropped from 100 million to 54 million between
1982 and 1992. In addition, as a result of lead-free gasoline for automobiles,
lead pollutant airborne levels have decreased by 96% since 1975.
- Myth: Acid rain is more dangerous and more prevalent than at any
time since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
- Reality: The "dangers" of acid rain have always been
exaggerated, and any threat that did exist has diminished considerably. A
decade-long government study concluded "no evidence of a general or
unusual decline of forests in the United States or Canada due to acid rain."
Originally, more than 50% of U.S. lakes were believed to have high acidity
levels, but in reality only 4% do. U.S. industry emitted 28 million tons of
sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere in 1970 (the acid found in acid rain). By
the year 2000, the emissions will be reduced to less than 9 million tons.
- Myth: The single greatest threat to "Mother Earth" is
the eco-mess that mankind leaves in the name of industrial progress.
- Reality: Environmentalists often use mankind as a scapegoat for "Mother
Earth's" own big mess. In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo erupted spewing more sulfur
dioxide into the air over a few hours than all U.S. industry combined for an
Information from: "And Now the Good News About the Environment,"
by Robert Samuelson, The Washington Times, April 1995
Issue Date: April 24, 1995.
Talking Points on the Economy: Environment #16, published by The National
Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Ct NE, Washington, D.C. 20001 Tel. (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301, [email protected],
http://www.nationalcenter/inter.net. For more information about Talking Points
on the Economy: Environment #16 contact Bob Adams at (202) 507-6398 or
<<< Return to the Science and Environment
<<< Return to the Talking Points on the
Environment Cards Page
<<< Return to the NCPPR Home Page