By Tom Quiner
“Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day.”
Says who? Says ten year old Milo Cress, that’s who.
Young Milo became convinced that drinking straws pollute our oceans. He put together a campaign called “we go strawless.” As John Stossel points out, the media, environmentalists, and leftist politicians all embraced his 500 million number and ran with it. Straws are beginning to be banned in major cities, even though there is no evidence that the ten year old boy’s data is accurate, or that American straws are responsible for polluting the ocean. Even the National Park Service is quoting the boy’s numbers.
Real scientists tell a different story
By contrast, real scientists point out that it is Asia, not the US, that is responsible for the overwhelming quantity of debris floating in the oceans. Banning straws is a proverbial drop in the ocean when it comes to reducing pollution. But that doesn’t seem to matter to these activists.
Iowans for LIFE takes no position on the merits or demerits of drinking straws. We are concerned at the impact slippery data can have on public policy. We’ve noticed that environmentalists have had an adversarial relationship with human beings for a long time. They view man as an enemy to the environment, and have made apocalyptic predictions for half a century.
“The Population Bomb”
Dr. Paul Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb,” famously claimed that mass starvation would rack the world, leading to the deaths of 65 million Americans in the 1980s in what he characterized as the “Great Die-Off.”
He and fellow environmentalists claimed we’d run out of oil by 1985, and that citizens would have to wear gas masks in their daily living to survive in our polluted atmosphere.
Dr. Ehrlich and his minions had special antipathy towards the Catholic Church because of her opposition to artificial birth control, characterizing the Church as terrorists:
“Thus you have ‘God-fearing’ people trying to maintain their rigid positions, especially trying to control the lives of women. I consider that their rigid opposition to something so basic, so critical to the future of life on Earth, as controlling reproduction to be just as unethical as any major affront to the environment or terrorist act.”
Babies are the worst
Of course, the apocalypse never came. Just the opposite. Their data was bogus, fueled by a tactic of deceit. But to this day, environmentalists’ discomfort with babies continues. Last year, NBC News ran a piece that asserts that,
“having a child, especially for the world’s wealthy, is one of the worst things you can do for the environment.”
A few days ago, the New York Times ran a piece by an English professor at Notre Dame who bemoaned the birth of his daughter. Roy Scranton said he cried when his daughter was born. Why? Because of his belief that,
“… in our selfishness, [we] doomed our daughter to life on a dystopian planet, and I could see no way to shield her from the future.”
Scranton accepts the most draconian assertions of the climate change crowd and states that,
“the most effective steps any of us can take to decrease carbon emissions are to eat a plant-based diet, avoid flying, live car free and have one fewer child, the last having the most significant impact by far.”
What concerns IFL about this rhetoric is the fervent belief in the environmental movement that babies are bad, that abortion is good, and that the power of the State should be used to control the population.
Are forced abortions and sterilizations in our future?
Paul Ehrlich actually believes in forced abortions and sterilizations. Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, believed in government bribes to compel people from “undesirable groups” to agree to sterilization.
A lot of unserious data is pounced upon as fact by zealots willing to use these “facts” to impose drastic anti-life public policy on an unsuspecting public.
Big Abortion embraces the tactic of deceit
Former abortionists have come clean on their shameless use of the tactic of deceit to grease the skids for unfettered human abortion. As NARAL founder, Dr. Bernard Nathanson later admitted, Big Abortion lied when presenting data to make the case for legalizing abortion:
“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions. The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception.”
An unhealthy link between abortion and environmental zealots
IFL sees an unhealthy link between abortion advocates and environmental zealots who view babies as polluters. After all, you can see how quickly a gullible world accepts a ten year old boy’s data.
Ironically, Iowans for LIFE advocates for Natural Family Planning which uses no chemicals to pollute a woman’s body or our environment. By contrast, the UN’s World Health Organization classifies The Pill as a class-one carcinogen.
The impact of artificial chemicals
Even more ironically, environmentalists, such as Al Gore and Robert Redford, legitimately fret about the impact of artificial chemicals on our environment. Mr. Gore went so far as to write the introduction to a book titled, “Our Stolen Future” by environmentalist Dr. Theo Colborn. Said Gore:
”We must find out if there are ways to protect children, who appear to be at greatest risk for birth defects and developmental disorders from such hormonally active compounds.”
And yet these same environmentalists express no concern for the artificial chemicals ingested by 11 million American women a day, chemicals that the United Nations say cause cancer.
While environmentalists get worked up over 500 million drinking straws used a day, Iowans for LIFE is more concerned about the reproductive health of American women consuming some 4 billion birth control pills a year.
[This essay was first published at the Iowans for LIFE blog. Iowans for LIFE invites you to attend the most provocative, fun, and celebratory pro-life fundraising banquet ever! Register today for “A Clash of Creeds.” Yes, it’s not until October 24th, but two-thirds of our tables are already sold! Don’t wait!]