By Christina Loh
Earth’s destruction, among the hottest topics of the day, has created an explosion of legislation, controversy, and research. Predicted time limits on the earth’s life span has thrown the public into a frenzy of recycling and donating money to worthy causes.
Only Earth isn’t being destroyed. It has survived for thousands of years. Why should we believe we can destroy it in 10!
One of the main supports of the environmentalist movement is the belief that the world is fragile. Former U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver once said that H-bombs could “blow Earth off its axis by 16 degrees.” Only strong earthquakes can use as much energy as 1,000 H-bombs set off simultaneously, according to the Defense Department. And the Earth hasn’t moved from its axis yet.
Besides earthquakes, there is the ocean. From 500 B.C. till 1967, 286 instances of tsunami or tidal waves were recorded, the highest being 200 feet high, after the 1964 Prince William Sound earthquake in Alaska.
It is estimated that one lightning bolt could lift a 52,000-ton ocean liner 6 feet into the air, and produce enough electricity to light a house for 35 years. And, in any one year, an average of 16 million thunderstorms take place.
If Earth were fragile, it wouldn’t have survived this long. It has wielded powers that are phenomenally greater than any man has created yet. But scientists have proclaimed over and over that our ozone layer is being destroyed by refrigerators, cars, and factories. A reported global warming will presumably heat up this Earth until all living creatures die off. Holes in the ozone layer have been cited, and predictions say they will spread unless we do something about it.
But then, volcanic eruptions such as Mount Pinatubo’s (located in the Philippines) have emitted a thousand times the amount of ozone depleting chemicals as all of man’s inventions combined. And eruptions like these have happened since the Earth began. How could man possibly destroy the ozone layer, even if he tried his hardest?
It was predicted that if all the Kuwaiti oil wells were lighted, the Earth would suffer drastic weather changes, and it would take years to put out the fires The soot would block the sun’s ray’s, and the sulfur would combine with rain to destroy an unprecedented number of crops.
Then The Wall Street Journal reported May 15 1992, that, although the Persian Gulf was damaged for a while, the effects on global environment were insignificant. What happened! The smoke from the fires was dissolved by rain and clouds.
It turns out that these predictions were made by as Carl Sagan, a noted astrophysicist, and quite gifted, but who has very little expertise in matters such as global warming.
Another false alarm was the supposed threat of acid rain: $500 million and 10 years were spent to research the possibilities of such rain occurring, and it was discovered that the problem was slight, and easily fixable.
Recently, the Exxon Valdez oil spill caused a wide spread panic, and the public clamored for its cleanup. Again, ominous predictions were made, this time that the cleanup would take at least 100 years. Then why were more fish caught the year of the spill than in any other year in that area! Because the ocean and its tide did most of the work, work that man could never have done.
Forests are also a major concern. Environmentalists have blamed private companies and the American life-style for our diminishing forests. It’s a popular stereotype that companies enjoy recklessly chopping down forests for profit. Not so. Free enterprise actually encourages preservation of resources. Private companies everywhere now plant an abundance of trees on their properties for careful harvesting.
In comparison, countries that exercise totalitarian regimes suffer appalling levels of pollution. When no one owns the land, no one cares enough about it to keep it clean, much less alive.
The general image accepted in today’s society is that nature was perfectly fine, until man came along; that man is destroying nature and should drastically alter his life-style to accommodate it.
Animal rightists repeatedly blame us for eating meat. They rarely mention the fact that nature is made up of living things eating each other.
It’s true that people shouldn’t go out of their way to damage the Earth, but they shouldn’t accept the belief that man is evil and doesn’t belong here. We are a part of this Earth, as we have been for hundreds of years.§
Editor’s Note: This article was published in the Tucson Citizen Newspaper April 11, 1995. It was written by Christina Loh, a Citizen Teen Columnist. Christina is a high school student and has won a national honor to take part in a summer program for high school students interested in a journalism career. Maybe there’s hope!