This is the central theme of a very eye-opening book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout - The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist, by Patrick Moore, one of the early leaders of Greenpeace.
Here are selected quotes that stood out to me...
Solar Power and Forestry
Environmental activists place huge importance on solar panels made from aluminum, silicon and gallium arsenide when in fact the most important solar collectors are the leaves and needles of trees and other plants. (p197)
Dangers of Nuclear Power
U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics confirm that it is safer to work in a nuclear plant than it is to work in either real estate or financial services. A study of 54,000 nuclear workers conducted by Columbia University and published in 2004 found these workers had significantly fewer cancers, less disease, and lived longer than their counterparts in the general population. (p234)
Danger of Pesticides on Food
In the 1990s, the Cancer Research Institutes of the U.S. and Canada collaborated on a multi-year study of all scientific publications about the connection between cancer in humans and pesticide residues on food. They could not find a single piece of evidence connecting the two. (p273)
In one of the most surprising surveys taken, 121 U.S. television weather presenters, all members of the American Meterological Society, were asked their opinions on climate change in April 2010. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed were accredited meteorologists. When asked about the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's statement, "Most of the warming since 1950 is very likely human-induced," a full 50 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed. Twenty-five percent were neutral and only 24 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed. (p334)
"Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of -0.075)." One has to wonder how the pH of the ocean was measured to an accuracy of three decimal places in 1751 when the concept of pH was not introduced until 1909. (p361)
Personally, I enjoyed the book very much -- except for the parts that made me angry (mostly when parties in a dispute resort to "terminological inexactitudes", as Winston Churchill calls them.)
If you're interested in it, check out this excerpt.
Other related posts:
Surf Life Saving Flags at Long Bay could be Killers
Open Letter to Minister of Police: Don't Lower "Ticketing" Speed Limits
5 Reasons Why You Should Hear Christopher Monckton
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