"The central concept of this book is that there is hardly any area of your life that the greens [or environmentalists] consider off-limits to intrusion. There is almost no personal behaviour of yours that they consider too trivial or too sacrosanct to regulate...Throughout this book you will encounter, up close and personal, the myriad [of] encroachments and invasive oversight mechanisms of your day-to-day life that are lurking behind the shiny, seductive label that reads 'green.'
A powerful network of individuals and organizations is propelling this [green] agenda...to force the green's idea of environmental virtue on you."
The above comes from this book by Steve Milloy who is the founder and publisher of Junk Science dot com, a columnist for Fox News dot com, co-founder of the Free Enterprise Action (mutual) Fund, and co-director of the Free Enterprise (meaning free market) Project.
In the book's introduction we're told that "it is beyond the scope of this book to debunk the scientific claims of global warmists." I found this odd considering that Milloy is founder of Junk science dot com. So what is this book about?
This book is about how environmentalists (or "greens" as Milloy calls them) are, in our democratic society, pervading every level of society and making "green" policies that are wrecking the fabric of society. His hatred of environmentalists is so great that even President Obama is in his cross hairs since Barack Obama is "The First Green President." (This is the title of chapter 11).
Milloy presents things that environmentalists have influenced or have a green solution for and argues that their influences or solution are just plain wrong. I found that all his arguments had flaws. There are two types of arguments I found in this book: (1) those that are difficult to refute initially (since you have to really think about what Milloy has said) and (2) those that are incredibly easy to refute. Here is an example of an argument that's difficult to refute initially:
This is with respect to hybrid cars (that is, electricity/gas hybrids, a proven technology) which environmentalists are advocating. According to Milloy, "considering their huge cost [that is, a hybrid's higher sticker price] and negligible environmental impacts [that is, the atmosphere 'probably doesn't notice' the amount of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, that's not emitted by hybrid cars compared to the vast amount of carbon dioxide emitted by natural sources], then hybrids are a double rip off." Looks like a fairly good, concrete argument.
However, Milloy has forgotten (?) a few things. People who buy hybrids get rebates from the government and this brings down the sticker price. As well, the maintenance costs for an electricity/gas hybrid are much lower.
Contrary to what Milloy says, the amounts of carbon dioxide not emitted by hybrid cars IS noticed by the atmosphere. A scientific fact that he doesn't tell us is that carbon dioxide that comes from natural sources is naturally reabsorbed by our planet.
He also doesn't mention the significant noise pollution that is eliminated since hybrid cars are so quiet.
Milloy also gets his facts wrong a number of times. For example, in his discussion of pesticides (which are chemicals), he tells us that "asthma is not known to be caused by exposures to chemicals at all; it's a physical response to a allergen." WRONG! Allergens cause (you guessed it) allergies. Asthma has a number of causes. Cold air can trigger asthma and even exercise can induce it. Allergens can also cause asthma but are not it's sole cause as Milloy states.
Finally, I have a confession to make. I always check the background of authors who write books such as this. I found that Milloy was involved with oil companies but I did not know in what capacity. To my amazement, he tells us in chapter 7 in the section entitled "Silencing the Heretics." At the beginning of this section, he tells us that the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report complaining that (my upper-case emphasis added):
"Exxon Mobil has funnelled nearly $16 million...to a network of...advocacy organizations that sought to CONFUSE THE PUBLIC ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE."
At the beginning of the next paragraph in this section he states:
"It's interesting to note that these...organizations, SOME OF WHICH I HAVE BEEN AFFILIATED WITH, received what averages out to $46,500 per [organization] per year."
What a revealing and stunning admission!! Did Milloy write this book to confuse the public?? Judging from what I've read in this book, I think so!!!
In conclusion, be very, very, very careful when reading this book. I wonder what Steve Milloy is going to write next? Perhaps a book that argues that second-hand smoke does not cause cancer. Maybe. (He has, you guessed it, also close financial ties with tobacco companies.) I know! I know! His next book (possibly published by those free enterprise people at BP oil) is going to be on how massive oil spills are beneficial to the environment and the people & animals that live in the area of the spill. (Milloy believes in offshore oil drilling at any cost.)
(first published 2009; introduction; 12 chapters; main narrative 235 pages; acknowledgements; suggested reading and viewing; notes; index)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>