The greens are going to feel pretty blue today then they read Nicholas Kristof dumping all over them in the New York Times. Some samples:
"The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that environmental groups are too often alarmists. They have an awful track record, so theyve lost credibility with the public. . ."
" I was once an environmental groupie, and I still share the movements broad aims, but Im now skeptical of the movements "I Have a Nightmare" speeches. . ."
"This record [of badly mistaken predictions] should teach environmentalists some humility. . . Jared Diamond argues that if we accept false alarms for fires, then why not for the health of our planet? But environmental alarms have been screeching for so long that, like car alarms, they are now just an irritating background noise. . ."
"There are many sensible environmentalists, of course, but overzealous ones have tarred the entire field. . . So its critical to have a credible, nuanced, highly respected environmental movement. And right now, Im afraid we dont have one.
Read the whole thing.
I used to work for a chemical company. In the early 80s accidental releases of butadiene on the order of 1000 pounds were not unusual. By the late 90s the release of a single pound of butadiene had to be reported externally and internally was a big deal triggering corrective action.
At some point the environmentalists started straining at gnats.
I was hoping that this article would be calling for some better science. Instead its simply a call to stop the shrill whining of radicals like ELF and PETA and replacing the screaming with a soft voice. He is not advocating changing the message. According to the article the world is still going to Hell in a cloud of C02 and its all Bushs fault. He uses the example of the piple line and the impact on caribou as an example of how the predictions went bad. Then he talks about ANWR. The problem is that at the time everybody was absolutely certain that all of the caribou were going to die. It didnt happen. DDT? Soft eagle eggs? This was a load of dung and it was a known fact that it was a load even when the environuts were pusing it. They knew it and they perpetuated the myth.