If it’s April 22, it must be Earth Day. Easily the most interesting thing about Earth Day is how committed to the environmental cause its cofounder Ira Einhorn was:
I mean, any radical can kill his lover. But to compost her body takes real dedication.
When Earth Day was founded by Einhorn in 1970, it marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. At that time, the predictions put forth by all the experts said that the earth would be uninhabitable in short order. Over at Ricochet, Jon Gabriel put together 15 of his favorite early 1970s predictions of the looming environmental apocalypse. Here’s a sample:
- “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
- “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
- “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
These dramatic predictions were taught in classrooms and emphasized by the media. When I was in elementary school, there was this barge filled with trash that couldn’t find a place to unload its New York City garbage. The mob boss who chartered the barge had simply not planned well but it somehow turned into this epic media meltdown about how everyone needed to recycle. I’m more with the New York Times‘ John Tierney, who wrote in his 1996 piece Recycling Is Garbage, “Rinsing out tuna cans and tying up newspapers may make you feel virtuous, but recycling could be America’s most wasteful activity.”
In any case, today is Earth Day. And you will not believe how Bill Nye, the children’s entertainer who goes by the name “The Science Guy,” is marking the high holy day.
First keep in mind that this is the guy who is in a competition with environmentalist and actor Ed Begley, Jr., over who can have the lower carbon footprint. It’s a competition so extreme that this ABC article about it (“Eco-Friendly Competition: Who Can Go Greener?“) discusses how bad hairdryers are for the environment (carbon dioxide production of 29 kg per year, for an average person). And this is a man who smears everyone who is not a climate change alarmist a “denialist” — see “Meet Bill Nye, The Anti-Science Guy.”
Here’s his tweet:
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) April 21, 2015
We can assume, for his sake, that he’s “heading down” from his residence in New York and not the ones in California or Washington State. You know what has a very small carbon footprint? Each house you own in a different state. Anyway, he’s heading down via some mode of transportation (plane? train? car?) to celebrate Earth Day with a “flight on Air Force One”? Are you kidding me?
The New York Times, certainly a good arbiter of the doctrines of the movement, says that air travel is the cardinal sin of the environmentalist:
For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.
Perhaps Bill Nye is joking about taking this flight to celebrate Earth Day. If not, is there any better example of how unserious some people are about climate change than a completely unnecessary flight on a 747?
— Anthony Cumia (@AnthonyCumia) April 22, 2015