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Beware of Environmental Hysteria

by Lewis Loflin


In 2007 I decided to test the reaction of local newspaper readers by casting doubt on global warming. It was a hot topic and legislation relating to was being bounced around in the House of Representatives. Being I lived in a coal mining region and grew up in the Appalachian coal fields, the issue was also of vital economic interest.

The science that I will document below makes it clear global warming should be at least debated, but I found out several years ago in college environmentalism isn't about science. It's a pseudo-religion and to question it was heresy.

In my college writing class I questioned the cost involved in recycling and why did it need government subsidies. After all, if this "trash" was so valuable to recycle, why did it need corporate welfare? The question I posed was it worth the cost of burning a ton of fuel to reprocess a ton of trash. Some of it is certainly worth it such as metal, newsprint, and glass. But cost, reason, etc. wasn't the issue, but the fact I dared to question the whole process meant I got attacked by the whole class.

I was an older student and a military vet, these were recent high school graduates. Many bemoan the high dropout rates in Tennessee public schools and colleges, but at least they are well indoctrinated on this issue. This was in the 1990s before the recent global warming hysteria.

A similar reaction confronted John Tierney at the New York Times in an article Recycling Is Garbage. (June 30, 1996) He pointed out that recycling often made no economic sense and was often bad on the environment itself. The story concerned a class activity by third graders. Why is much of the public obsessed with environmentalism in general? To quote,
...the conclusion about recycling seemed to be contradicted by the data on the floor. The pile of garbage included the equipment used by the children in the litter hunt: a dozen plastic bags and two dozen pairs of plastic gloves. The cost of this recycling equipment obviously exceeded the value of the recyclable items recovered. The equipment also seemed to be a greater burden on the environment, because the bags and gloves would occupy more space in a landfill than the two bottles.

Without realizing it, the third graders had beautifully reproduced the results of a grand national experiment...for (the) recycling fervor; the public's obsession wouldn't have lasted this long unless recycling met some emotional need. Just as the third graders believed that their litter run was helping the planet, Americans have embraced recycling as a transcendental experience, an act of moral redemption. We're not just reusing our garbage; we're performing a rite of atonement for the sin of excess...

...the simplest and cheapest option is usually to bury garbage in an environmentally safe landfill. And since there's no shortage of landfill space (the crisis of 1987 was a false alarm)...(recycling offers) mainly short-term benefits to a few groups -- politicians, public relations consultants, environmental organizations, waste-handling corporations -- while diverting money from genuine social and environmental problems. Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America: a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources.

I can waste my time here by presenting science fact all day long. Science is not the issue, ecology/religion is. It's about changing and controlling people, not saving frogs and bugs. Environmentalism is the new religion of the secular left and progressives and has expanded since the fall of communism in the 1990s. The "godless" are just as "religious" as any Christian or Muslim. Religious fundamentalists can't be reasoned with, and ecological fundamentalists can't be either.

No amount of proof is ever good enough and the massager is always suspect. Everyone not having faith in "environmentalism" is working for the evil oil companies and will be attacked. Some have suffered death threats or had their funding cut. Much of their eco-nonsense is cloaked in religious rhetoric because religion sells. For too many it is their religion.

My Letter

The science behind global warming is clear: it's a natural event; the climate has never been static. It's time to consider the religion, politics, and money behind this hysteria.

James Lovelock's book "Ages of Gaia" is the unofficial bible of the environmental movement (Preface and P203): "I had no inkling that it would be taken as a religious book...the subject was mainly science...Two-thirds of the letters received...are about the meaning of Gaia in the context of religious faith." Further, "It is the health of the planet that matters...

the people and ecosystems of the First World (us) ... (are) ... clearly expendable." Quoting author Michael Crichton, "Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists ... If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths..." Lovelock is a religious mystic.

Environmentalism tops the agenda at every socialist/communist organization in the world. The website Socialist Action ( says this so-called crisis "(is) the result of the reckless policies of profit driven capitalism..." Earth Day happens to be Lenin's birthday. What about the hysterical U.N. report?

The 18 scientists from 11 countries include John Holdren of Harvard University, who is the "Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy." That's right, the wife of John Kerry who funds numerous radical-left organizations. The report was partially funded by the private U.N. Foundation, owned by Ted Turner of CNN fame, who idolizes Fidel Castro.

The Salt Lake Tribune said, "Only a (U.N.) carbon tax can stop global warming." This would make the U.N. a self-funding world government bent on a massive Third World welfare program. Many believe a Democratic Congress could get this passed into law. Al Gore backs this tax.

We must put reason ahead of hysteria and false religion. This is no conspiracy, but the desire of an arrogant and wealthy minority for a mystical utopia. The only problem is the U.S. has no place in it. Let's tell Congressman Boucher "hell no" to the eco-wackos, the socialists, and the U.N.

Lewis Loflin Bristol, Va. Published 04/14/2007 Kingsport Times-News

The attacks came very fast:

Loflin's letter contains inaccuracies

"Beware of Environmental Hysteria" was the title given Lewis Loflin's letter April 15. I agree some environmentalists are hysterical; perhaps it is because they care.

He mentions James Lovelock's book "Ages of Gaia (earth)" as the unofficial bible of environmentalism. It was a book that was designed to provoke thought and research, and that is what it did. Lovelock's premise is that the earth is a living organism. That Lovelock's book was taken as some sort of religious statement is news to me.

Mr. Loflin quotes author and biologist Michael Crichton as saying, "Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists." Michael Crichton is an accomplished individual, science fiction writer, producer, and director. However, he is not a biologist; he holds an M.D. from Harvard, though he has never practiced medicine.

The vast majority of the scientific community has discredited Crichton's writings on environmental issues as not being valid. Mr. Loflin also mentions that 18 scientists from 11 countries compiled the "hysterical U.N. report" on the environment. It was actually the consensus of more than 2,000 of the world's most recognized earth scientists who contributed to and agreed with the report.

I fear much of this misinformation is from the factually challenged Rush Limbaugh. Remember it was Rush who announced with authority that Styrofoam was biodegradable and paper was not. Exactly the opposite is true.

To learn about some of the issues of responsible environmentalism, the May issue of Vanity Fair magazine is a good place to start.

Michael Eckart, Blountville, TN

Vanity Fair???

Refutation #1: "That Lovelock's book was taken as some sort of religious statement is news to me." To quote article James Lovelock, Gaia's grand old man (August 17, 2000) by Lawrence E. Joseph asks Lovelock,

Your first book, "Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth," was a bestseller, embraced by radical environmentalists, goddess worshippers and New Age philosophers -- but not scientists, most of whom dismissed your ideas. Do you think that if you had named it the "Lovelock Hypothesis," or the "Biogeochemical Hypothesis," things would have gone smoother?

It's still not accepted by scientists, but mainly pagan religious fanatics. In fact in the intro to Ages of Gaia that I quoted Lovelock himself is shocked at the level of religious nonsense surrounding his work and says so.

Refutation #2: Crichton is an accomplished individual, science fiction writer, producer, and director. However, he is not a biologist; he holds an M.D. from Harvard, though he has never practiced medicine.

True, Crichton doesn't have a biology degree, but is every bit as qualified. Many of the people signing on to this global warming hysteria are not even climate scientists. To quote Wiki,

He attended Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as an undergraduate, graduating summa cum laude in 1964. Crichton was also initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He went on to become the Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellow from 1964 to 1965 and Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 1965. He graduated from Harvard Medical School, obtaining an M.D. in 1969, and did post-doctoral fellowship study at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970. In 1988, he was Visiting Writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Refutation #3: "It was actually the consensus of more than 2,000 of the world's most recognized earth scientists who contributed to and agreed with the report." No it wasn't it was 600 from 40 countries, they were political appointees, most were not climate scientists. Only 30 people were in on the final report, and they did not agree. View the video from Dr. Christi above. He was there, Vanity Fair was not. The report I quoted was UN Climate Change Panel paid for by Ted Turner.

Eckart refers to a bunch of nonsense he read in Vanity Fair. What does their "Green Issue" May 2007 have to say?

World government, P236: GLOBAL CITIZENS The mission: save the planet. The weapons: food, movies, wine, fashion, fame, and music, as well as science, economics, and superhuman will. From Robert Redford to Sir Nicholas Stern, to a treeful of Nobelists, V.F. pinpoints 88 crusaders whose passions have global payoffs... Note: where is the part about science? I'm an American citizen, not a "global citizen."

An intelligent argument from VF: P264 DANTE'S INFERNO: GREEN EDITION Abandon hope, all environmental sinners. George W. Bush, Michael Crichton, and Gale Norton are among those toasted as V.F. reimagines the nine circles of hell...

Note: where is the science? More attacks and no facts.

P266 QUIET THUNDER The hottest new sports car on the market goes from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds, is whisper quiet, and runs without a drop of gasoline. Checking out the Tesla, Michael Shnayerson reports on Silicon Valley's re-invention of the electric wheels. Plus: Robert Levine surveys the next generation of rechargeable hot rods and green dream machines...

Again, where's the science?

And my favorite, except that I never listen to Limbaugh: P100 RUSH TO JUDGMENT Lampooning environmentalists as "wackos," Rush Limbaugh lulled millions of Americans into happy complacency. As the country wakes up to the climate crisis, James Wolcott asks: Who looks wacko now?

It's apparent that the "factually challenged" Mr. Eckart has no mind of his own and mimics VF. He doesn't bother to check any facts. What you won't see at Vanity Fair and what Mr Eckart doesn't care to know:

Sun's Output Increasing in Possible Trend Fueling Global Warming

by Robert Roy Britt Senior Science Writer 20 March 2003

In what could be the simplest explanation for one component of global warming, a new study shows the Sun's radiation has increased by .05 percent per decade since the late 1970s. The increase would only be significant to Earth's climate if it has been going on for a century or more, said study leader Richard Willson, a Columbia University researcher also affiliated with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The Sun's increasing output has only been monitored with precision since satellite technology allowed necessary observations. Willson is not sure if the trend extends further back in time, but other studies suggest it does...That does not mean industrial pollution has not been a significant factor... In other words they just don't know.

Ref. Rush Limbaugh doesn't work there. And what about the following:

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says

National Geographic News February 28, 2007 (Note: Rush Limbaugh doesn't read National Geographic, I do.)

Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural-and not a human-induced-cause, according to one scientist's controversial theory. In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row. Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun."The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," he said.

Abdussamatov believes that changes in the sun's heat output can account for almost all the climate changes we see on both planets. Mars and Earth, for instance, have experienced periodic ice ages throughout their histories. "Man-made greenhouse warming has made a small contribution to the warming seen on Earth in recent years, but it cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance...

But that isn't all that's going on here. Let's review Mars could be undergoing major global warming December 7, 2001 The New Scientist:

Mars is undergoing global warming that could profoundly change the planet's climate in a few thousand years, new data suggests. High-resolution images taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor show that the permanent south polar "ice" cap shrank significantly between two successive Martian summers - a period roughly corresponding to two Earth years.

If the trend continues at the same rate and the polar cap is entirely frozen carbon dioxide, "the whole cap would be evaporated in a few thousand years," Mike Caplinger of Malin Space Science Systems told New Scientist. This would release enough carbon dioxide to give Mars an atmosphere one-tenth the density of the Earth's. "That takes us from a situation of working in a near vacuum with a space suit to being able to run around on the surface with an oxygen mask and a heavy coat. It's what the terraforming people were always talking about...

They have known of this since 2001, so why has it not gotten more press? NASA has known of increased solar radiation since the 1970s, so why is that not front page news? Now let's note this statement from the same article regarding Mars: However, Caplinger warns it is hard to make long-term predictions using observations over such a short period. So why are such predictions so accurate for earth? Why not the same caution instead of hysteria?

I believe I'll stick to science and not some wacko magazine on eco-fashions.

Environmentalists the new commies?

When I read Lewis Loflin's rant about those awful environmentalists, I almost thought I was back in the good old days of commie baiting. I'm sure many of the older folks in the area will remember the red scare letters to the editor where commies and creeping socialism were regularly denounced.

Now the reds are gone, and the good old USA has triumphed. But wait, environmentalism, that new creeping enemy of the American Way, has raised its ugly head and said that we should try to quit destroying the planet by overconsuming Earth's limited resources and spewing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

It's obvious to a right-thinking American like Mr. Loflin that it's a conspiracy by all the people not like him. You know, the liberals, New Agers, the U.N. and those panicky egghead scientists. It's all a trick to give all of our hard-earned wealth to the Third World and make it impossible for Americans to drive SUVs without feeling guilty. Surely Hillary Clinton or Al Gore must be behind all of this.

Joe Allison Limestone, TN

As Joe said, "Surely Hillary Clinton or Al Gore must be behind all of this." Read the documentation from above and it's no surprise that Gore-Kerry-Clinton and their associates keep coming up in report after to report. As for "a trick to give all of our hard-earned wealth to the Third World" I directly quoted Only a carbon tax can stop global warming from the Salt Lake Tribune .

While it's proper to be skeptical of Exxon over their global warming claims because of their profits, why is the UN not held to the same standard when it comes to a "tax" that will transfer massive wealth and political power to them? The fact that many of those funding and promoting the "UN" report have a direct political and financial interest in the report should raise alarm bells with any thinking person. Why accept the opinions of "2000" UN payed for and sponsored scientists seeking more funding from the UN? This is no conspiracy as I had pointed out numerous facts anyone could check on Google. The facts are these from the left:


We stand firmly in opposition to the destruction of the environment. We believe that the scourge of pollution, depletion of resources and degradation of our natural environment is primarily the result of the reckless policies of profit driven capitalism, and the shortsighted consumerism that it fosters. We believe that under socialism - through a rational, democratically controlled planned economy - we will be able to make decisions that can stop and reverse the destruction of the environment. We support efforts to save what remains of our natural environment, re-tool industry to use sustainable fuels, resources and production practices, and to break down the artificial and debilitating divisions between the labor and environmental movements.

From Chicago Democratic Socialists of America article Socialism and Environmentalism by Rodger C. Field to quote:

For most Americans, the beginning of the environmental movement can be pinpointed with uncommon precision: Earth Day, April 22, 1970...It is probably not surprising that a movement which was born with this de politicized attitude has failed to articulate an adequate political vision...These questions beg for a systemic analysis - not only of industrialization and the economic sphere, but the relationship between environmental degradation and capitalism. These are large issues which hold the potential for reconsidering the basic structure of our environmental laws...which should be a the heart of any socialist vision.

Fact: April 22 is Lenin's birthday. Quoting Socialism Today Issue 55, April 2001 Where's the Cash in Global Warming? :

There has been an endless stream of new publications dealing with globalization and the anti-capitalist movement. New leaders, or 'anti-leaders', have emerged, all with a view and a new book. Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, delights in the fact that the anti-corporate movement is "taking a little bit from Marxism, a little bit from socialism, from environmentalism, from anarchism, and also a lot of inspiration from even older places and more indigenous theories about self-determination". (The Observer, 13 November 2000)...A viable alternative to capitalism in all its forms - globalized and localized - needs to be adopted. A socialist alternative....

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