World’s Elite Continue Support for False Claims Made by Green Scientists
By Edward C. Krug
“We had been studying natural selection in water snakes which lived on islands in the western end of Lake Erie…[W]e would be very much interested in continuing the research today. But all we can do is reminisce. You see, in the past decade Lake Erie has died. The snakes are almost gone, as are the fishes on which they fed…Lake Michigan will soon follow it in extinction. ” —Paul Ehrlich 1968. The Population Bomb
“A few years ago – nobody was paying close enough attention to tell exactly when – Lake Erie died. Acidic wastes from the surrounding factories have strained its water of virtually every form of life except sludge worms and a mutant of the carp that has adjusted to living off poison. —Newsweek, January 26, 1970
Green histrionics about the Great Lakes has a long and dishonorable history. In his best selling book, The Population Bomb, Dr. Paul Ehrlich tells us of his alleged first-hand experience as a biologist that Lake Erie had gone “extinct” sometime between 1958 and the writing of his book in 1968!
The uncritical parroting of such claims by authoritative sources (e.g., see the 1970 Newsweek quote above) even had the likes of Francis Schaeffer, author of Pollution and The Death of Man, repeating the myth of Great Lake extinction.
Nevertheless, Great Lakes fisheries biologists knew that Lake Erie had not gone extinct Indeed, it was in 1968 when the State of Pennsylvania decided that it was time to start stocking Lake Erie with fish, which require excellent water quality – trout and salmon. And thank God that fish can’t read! Because the Lake Erie stocking program is an unqualified success! To quote the first paragraph of a newspaper article touting the success of the program (October 3, 1993 issue of The Times News, Erie, PA, pp. 10F):
“The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is preparing to put on a real show when the Fairview Fish Culture Station celebrates the 25th year of its Lake Erie Trout and Salmon Program … on October 17.”
Undeterred by the start of Pennsylvania’s successful Lake Erie Trout and Salmon Program in 1968, in 1970 Newsweek also proclaimed Lake Erie “dead.”
But commercially caught Lake Erie fish have always been treated as culinary delicacies by local restaurants – in spite of the proclaimed “extinction” of Lake Erie. As noted by a Great Lakes fisheries expert who corrected Newsweek about the so-called death of Lake Erie, the 1969 catch for Lake Erie was 100 million fish (Newsweek, Feb. 9, 1970, pp. 4).
And so, the stocked salmon thrived in “extinct” Lake Erie much to the delight of recreational fishermen.
But Mr. Ehrlich et al does not admit to their enormous capacity for error.
When confronted with the fact of great fishing in Lake Erie – the most “polluted” of the Great Lakes, environmentalists proclaim it a “miracle” of recovery! This “miracle” is claimed to be proof of their superior wisdom! Never mind that the Lake never died in the first place – or that in the next breath they proclaim apocalypse from an invisible, alien toxic terror falling, out of the sky (pesticides from south of the border). Philosophers don’t call the present era the “Age of Fragmentation’s” for nothing.
And why should this self-proclaimed morally and intellectually superior, elite admit to error? They are not held accountable for their “mistakes.” Unlike Cassandra, the tragic character of Greek mythology whose prophesies were always right but never listened to, the Green elite seem to be Reverse Cassandras – always wrong and always listened to.
Indeed, false environmental prophets are rewarded (not stoned) for “errors” of environmental apocalypse which unerringly work to concentrate ever more power into the hands of those who control the levers of society. In the case of Dr. Ehrlich, we see that The Population Bomb, sold over 3 million copies (New York Times Magazine, Dec. 2, 1990, pp. 52): A book is considered a best seller if 100,000 copies are sold.
However, the high number of copies sold apparently did not relate to the accuracy of the information contained within The Population Bomb, which went through at least two revisions (1971 and 1978). While this book was significantly revised to include even more doom-and-gloom, there was no correction about Lake Erie and Lake Michigan (Ehrlich 1968, pp. 62 repeated in 1978 on pp. 39-40). Nor did Dr. Ehrlich feel compelled in 1978 to correct the main theme of the book that the world would run out of food by 1977.
While many of you may feel as I do – outraged – apparently those who matter to ones success (or failure wanted more of the same from Dr. Ehrlich since he has gone on to publish a number of best-selling books, including The Population Explosion (1990), a sequel to The Population Bomb.
In “The Explosion’s” preface, Ehrlich asserted that what was said and predicted in “The Bomb” has proven to be true, or has come to pass. “The Bomb” he warned us about in 1968 had “exploded” by 1990.
Then Ehrlich rages with the question, “Why Isn’t Everyone As Scared As We Are?” – the title of “The Explosion’s” first chapter. He answers himself in the second chapter (particularly page 32) by saying that people were too stupid to see the prophesies of The Population Bomb.
And what have been the consequences for Dr. Ehrlich? Why, besides getting to be a featured speaker at the 1991 “Earth Day” in Washington, D.C.:
“When he is not teaching at Stanford University or studying butterflies in the Rockies, Ehrlich can generally be found on a plane on his way to give a lecture, collect an award or appear in an occasional spot on the ‘Today’ show. This summer he won a five-year MacArthur Foundation grant for $345,000 [Ed’s note – called the MacArthur Genius Award], and in September he went to Stockholm to share half of the $240,000 Crafoord Prize, the ecologist’s version of the Nobel.”
Perhaps the final affront is environmentalist’s self-portrayal of being persecuted underdogs: Cassandra’s who are always right but never listened to. Or to use the words of EPA’s William Rielly, “It ain’t easy being green.”
From the Environment Betrayed, a monthly publication by Edward C. Krug
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