In honor of Earth Day 2011, here are the Top 10 Environmental Scams:
1. Global warming alarmism: Predictions from the early global warming alarmists that the Earth was rapidly heating, and would suffer untold damage as this trend continued, have already failed to come true. There has been no discernible warming since the mid-1990s. Coupled with Climategate’s disclosures showing bias among key scientists, and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s laughable report predicting melting Himalayan glaciers, with no evidence to back it up, it is hard to accept the global warming alarmists’ constantly changing theories as anything other than hysteria.
2. Earth Day: Earth Day’s solutions to save the planet often include calls for stricter government environmental regulations that would strangle the economy. The Washington Times was right when it editorialized several years ago that Earth Day has “anti-business overtones and [a] message of guilt and limits. … Earth Day is a global guilt-fest that views the future with a sense of dread. … Rather than increasing their productivity, people are told to decrease their carbon footprints.”
3. Cap and trade: The cap-and-trade legislation that failed last year in a Democratic-controlled Congress was a maze of environmental regulations that would have resulted in lost jobs and an energy tax for the American people. The Heritage Foundation estimated the cap-and-trade bill would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020—$1,870 for a family of four, rising to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035.
4. Green jobs: By giving czar status to Van Jones, Obama chose an ex-Communist to come up with a plan to create green jobs. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about the economic viability of such a government-subsidized enterprise. Spain’s attempt at actualizing a green jobs revolution ended up costing the country more than $774,000 for each green job created, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.
5. Environment activism: Many environmental activists are as eager to denounce capitalism as they are to save the planet. Their activities are often aimed at preventing the development of abundant energy resources in the United States that would help the nation move toward energy independence.
6. Hollywood hypocrisy: The Lords of Malibu love to preach about saving Planet Earth from the evils of corporate America even while they dump tons of pollutants into the atmosphere from their high-octane cars and opulent mansions. Memo to Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, and James Cameron: No more lectures about reducing our carbon footprint until you ground your private jets.
7. Wind power hypocrisy: Wind power is another environmental dream that has proven to be too expensive to be effective on a massive scale. And even environmentalists can’t agree on where wind projects should be located when it soils a pristine scene. Members of the Kennedy clan opposed Cape Wind, a wind energy project in Massachusetts, because it threatens the view of Nantucket Sound.
8. Carbon trading: The attempt to set up a system for trading carbon emission allowances to thwart global warming gave purveyors of alarmism a way to cash in on their hysterical ranting. Former Vice President and global warming guru Al Gore founded a private equity firm, Generation Investment Management, which trades in carbon offsets, and he made a fortune. He even purchases carbon credits from the company for his own personal use, which comes to $30,000 a year just for his posh Belle Meade mansion in Nashville, Tenn.
9. Greenwashing: Greenwashing is a term used to describe companies that use marketing to portray false claims that they are turning green. Usually these companies spend more on advertising than any real effort to save energy. The next time you see a hotel room sign promoting the reuse of towels to save the environment, recognize that it is just spin.
10. Al Gore: Al Gore transformed his movie An Inconvenient Truth into a mega-money maker (see No. 8). What is truly inconvenient about his Nobel Prize-winning film were the 11 falsehoods that it contained, as determined by a British court, including the misleading suggestion that Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming.