Top Ten Dumbest Things Environmental Extremists Did or Said in 1997 (As reported in Scoop #182)

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Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington

Issue 182 * December 19, 1997

The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Ridenour, President
300 Eye Street N.E. Suite 3 * Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301
E-Mail: [email protected]

* Ten Dumbest Things Environmental Extremists Said and Did in 1997
* Kyoto Conference & Treaty Reviewed; U.S. Makes Agreement with Europe That Our Expenses on Their Behalf Should Count Against Us
Activities at the December 13 Environmental Policy Task Force meeting chaired by David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research ((202) 507-6398 or [email protected]


Ten Dumbest Things Environmental Extremists Said and Did in 1997
To mark the final meeting of the year, Task Force participants nominated and voted on their favorite ridiculous quotes by extreme environmentalists in 1997. The following are the top ten selections, which were submitted by Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom, Brian Seascholes and R.J. Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Rich Zipperer of Consumer Alert, Chad Cowan and David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research and several who wish to remain anonymous:

10) Central economic planning and poverty are virtues. “The nation of sport-utility vehicles is lecturing a nation of bicycles.” – Richard Mott, president of the World Wildlife Fund, in response to the U.S.’s insistence that developing nations be required to participate in a global warming treaty, Washington Post, 12/2/97

9) The pot calling the kettle black. “We believe that Congressman Riggs is out of touch with reality and out of touch with the values of mainstream Americans. Not only is he defending an inexcusable use of torture, he is a party to the assault on our forest lands and our environmental laws. We want every resident of the 1st Congressional District to know at least three things about Frank Riggs — he supports Charles Huritz, he wants to cut down our forests, and he supports the use of pepper spray on our kids.” – Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, in a statement supporting Earth First! activists who occupied and vandalized Congressman Riggs’ office, throwing bark and sawdust six inches deep onto office equipment, desks and the floor and chaining themselves to a 400-pound tree stump they wheeled in.

8) Now, tell me again why global warming is bad? “In California, the sorts of changes in weather patterns that scientists say are caused by global warming already can be seen by the surfers who no longer need a wetsuit in warmer oceans off San Francisco, the fishermen who are suddenly finding tropical fish in once-colder northern waters, and those who weathered the El Nino-inspired storm in Los Angeles last week.” – Los Angeles Times, 12/11/97.

7) What they really mean by “choice.” “Families should be limited to one child.” – Media mogul and environmental activist Ted Turner on ABC’s Prime Time Live, December 10, 1997

6) Yet another problem with ozone depletion: It’s messing up the global warming scare. “Yes [satellite temperature data has shown a cooling trend], and it’s a cooling of the stratosphere; as opposed to the issue of climate change – [which] isn’t the stratosphere, it’s the troposphere. It’s the air that surrounds the planet, that we walk and live and breathe on. And the cooling of the stratosphere, by the way, is the result of ozone – stratospheric ozone depletion – the hole in the ozone [layer]. So yes, we agree and that wouldn’t have anything to do with it.” – Katie McGinty, Chairman of the Council of Environmental Quality at the Western States Coalition Summit VIII, Spokane, Washington, July 12, 1997

5) God’s blessing comes to animals before humans. “The first blessing of fruitfulness is in Genesis 1:22. It is the blessing and mandate to the fish and birds to be fruitful and multiply and fill the sky and seas. Why is that said first? It is said first so we don’t forget them. The blessing comes to all other creatures first.” – Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt, cofounder of the Evangelical Environmental Network in his presentation to the 10th Joint Faith Meeting on the Environment, January 28, 1997

4) Burning the village in order to save it. Millions of gallons of jet fuel was burned to get delegates, environmentalists, journalists and others to Kyoto, Japan all to tell us we should cut back on our consumption of fossil fuels. A single individual travelling from New York to Kyoto, Japan and back, for example, used over 203 gallons of jet fuel for the journey.

3) How to build a broader coalition aligned against you. “[It] doesn’t have to be as controversial as some people make it out to be.” — Al Gore discussing one of his proposed solutions to global warming: Abortion in Third World countries to control the world’s population. Gore floated this proposal to weather forecasters on October 1, 1997 during a meeting at the White House on global warming. Consequently, pro-life advocates began to mobilize against the Administration’s global warming policies.

2) What happened to the separation of church and state? “We have reached a fundamentally new stage in the development of human civilization… To [curb greenhouse gases] requires humility because the spiritual roots of our crisis are pridefulness and a failure to understand and respect our connections to God’s Earth and to each other.” — Al Gore, Wall Street Journal, 12/12/97

1) A new Committee on Un-American Activities in the works? “[The] oil companies and the coal companies in the United States have joined in a conspiracy to hire pseudo-scientists to deny the facts [on global warming]… I think that the energy companies need to be called to account because what they’re doing is un-American in the most basic sense…” – Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, WAMU Radio, July 21, 1997


Kyoto Conference & Treaty Reviewed; U.S. Makes Agreement with Europe That Our Expenses on Their Behalf Should Count Against Us
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research, Rich Zipperer of Consumer Alert, Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom, Jim DeLong of the Regulatory Policy Center and Al Cobb of the Republican Senatorial Committee discussed the Kyoto global warming conference.

After reviewing the treaty’s provisions, Ridenour noted that the treaty does not meet the specifications laid out for Senate approval by the Senate in the Byrd-Hagel resolution, which passed 95-0. He also quoted Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) saying opposition to the Kyoto agreement would hurt the GOP, and commented “I think that’s a political miscalculation because there are many Democrats who don’t like this treaty, as well as a major Democratic constituency group, organized labor.” Ridenour said his review of the nation’s editorial pages indicated a 50-50 split on Kyoto. He distributed a CNN online poll showing opposition to the proposed treaty and reviewed his analysis of the amount of fuel Kyoto participants used to attend a conference dedicated to reducing fuel consumption.

Rich Zipperer noted that “only U.N.-sanctioned military activities” are exempted, and noted that a large percentage of environmentalists don’t believe this treaty will work.

Myron Ebell noted that the U.S. has made a separate agreement with Europe that emissions from U.S. military equipment based in Europe for European security will count against the U.S. economy, not Europe’s. He also explained why the U.S. made so many concessions in Kyoto: When Vice President Gore arrived in Kyoto at the conference’s mid-point he informed U.S. negotiators that he wanted an agreement made that week. The Europeans, who were seeking U.S. concessions, figured this out and increased their demands, which the U.S. negotiators then agreed to in order to placate Gore. Ebell explained that U.S. compliance with the treaty will require the U.S. to reduce energy use by 30%. Participant Jim DeLong of the Regulatory Policy Center pointed out that this will be the equivalent of three times the 1970s oil shock.

Finally, Al Cobb distributed a statement skeptical of the treaty by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and a flow chart showing how complicated a U.N.-controlled international greenhouse gas trading permit scheme would be to administrate.

Contact David Ridenour at (202) 507-6398, Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282, Rich Zipperer at 202/467-5809, Jim DeLong at 202/338-0556 and Al Cobb at 202/675-4028. *

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