'"How many hundreds of thousands are [European Union countries] willing to sacrifice on their altar of political correctitude?" asked Paul Driessen, author of the book "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death." Driessen suggested that EU bans on genetically modified foods and certain biotechnologies were ultimately responsible for famine and death in Africa.'
Driessen was speaking alongside pro-GM campaigner CS Prakash yesterday at an anti-Earth Day event in Washington DC. Also quoted here is another contributor Roger Bate who attacks the WHO and UNICEF - part of the eco-imperialist conspiracy - as killers of the poor.
It would be wrong, however, to conclude that such lobbyists are operating only on the margins. The remarkably close links of the Bush administration to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where Bate is a visiting fellow, are well known. It's considered, for instance, one of the leading architects of Bush's foreign policy.
And on its Board of Trustees the AEI has many leading industrialists, including the CEOs of corporations like the pharmaceutical giant Merck and The Dow Chemcial Company, as well as the Vice President of Exxon.
According to Ronald Reagan, 'For today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think tanks - and none has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute.'
There is no reason to think Dubya regards such lobbyists any less highly.
Who lost Earth Day?
Groups debate legacy of environmental policies
By Michael Cowden, Medill News Service
CBS News, April 22, 2004
WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- Earth Day is dying, some conservative environmentalists say, as a result of liberal politics run amok. But the Sierra Club blames President Bush for the holiday's mixed legacy.
"Earth Day committed suicide because of its policies," said Norris McDonald, president of the African-American Environmentalist Association. "It just lost its mind."
McDonald and other speakers at a gathering of conservative environmentalists on the annual Earth Day celebration blamed the Kyoto protocol, bans on DDT and "radical" environmentalists for keeping the Third World poor in "cycle of death."
"How many hundreds of thousands are [European Union countries] willing to sacrifice on their altar of political correctitude?" asked Paul Driessen, author of the book "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death." Driessen suggested that EU bans on genetically modified foods and certain biotechnologies were ultimately responsible for famine and death in Africa.
Driessen also compiled a "dishonor roll" of companies and organizations that he said were guilty of "eco-imperialism." Among Driessen's list were not only predictable right-wing bogeymen like "Hollywood elites" and the Sierra Club but also mainstream organizations like the Ford Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Even Ben and Jerry's got a slap on the wrist.
Not to be outdone, Dr. Roger Bate, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, accused traditional health organizations like the WHO and UNICEF of killing thousands by discouraging developing countries from using DDT in malaria-affected areas.
"It's time Congress put these agencies in its crosshairs," Bate said, "because they kill the poor."
Like his ideological opposites, Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, found little to celebrate this Earth Day.
"This is a very sad Earth Day," Pope said. "For 30 years we made progress. ... This year we now have enough hard indicators on the ground to be able to say that that progress has stunningly been reversed in the first three and a half years of this president's administration."
Pope said Bush's environmental policy has been a boon to big business, the energy industry and industrial farms but a disaster for small farmers, Silicon Valley technology companies and consumers. He also accused the administration of cutting back on governmentally protected land and letting water become more polluted than it was before his election.
"If we can elect Sen. (John) Kerry, we're going to see some progress," he said.
The presidential candidates themselves, however, were more sanguine about the future of Earth Day, even if neither agreed the other had done much to help the planet.
Celebrating Earth Day Thursday in Wells, Maine, Bush announced plans to earmark $349 million for wetlands preservation in the next budget. But he argued that individual action, not government largesse, does more to keep the Earth healthy.
"Good conservation and good stewardship will happen when people say 'I'm just not going to rely upon the government to be the solution to the problem,'" Bush said.
Kerry was not impressed.
"Once again, my friends," Kerry said, "this administration is playing the smoke-and-mirrors game."
Kerry also used environmentally friendly metaphors to suggest what voters should do with Bush in November.
"He has recycled the deficit, the bad economic policies, the bad environment policies," Kerry said at a rally in Houston, "and I hate to say this to Texas, but that's why he's got to be recycled back to Crawford."
Michael Cowden is a reporter for the Medill News Service in Washington.