Focus Point - The Skeptical EnvironmentalistCommentary by Pete du Pont
August 22, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. There's a breath of fresh air in the debate over the environment from a guy named Bjorn Lomborg, the author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist."
Lomborg really is an environmentalist. He used to belong to Greenpeace. But the more he looked at the predictions and assessments of outfits like Greenpeace, Worldwatch Institute and others, the more he saw that their diatribes - he calls them "the litany" - were based on bad science which, when repeated often and loudly enough, are simply taken as fact. But they aren't true.
Claim: The world's forests are disappearing. Fact: According to the U.N. global forest cover increased in the 44 years leading up to 1994. Claim: Population growth will lead to mass starvation. Fact: While population's up, so is world calorie intake. He refutes scare stories about international debt, acid rain, global warming and oil prices - and uses the same sources that would available to the alarmists if they chose to use them. But they don't, which is Lomborg's point. They want scary stories, not the facts.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, my tv secret.