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Why No Joy Over the Acid Rain Report?

We now have another good example of why it is foolish to lurch into imprudent environmental legislation. The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Project spent ten years, and over 500 million dollars, studying acid rain. After all that study, it turns out that "acid rain" which is "poisoning" rivers and lakes is in fact a result of water filtering through naturally decaying vegetation and has virtually no adverse effects on the environment.

The results came out last June, but were suppressed so that they wouldn't threaten the passage of the Clean Air Act. In other words, the results of a scientific study were censored (and the naive gasp) in the interests of an ideological, religious agenda. This shouldn't be surprising; our eco-fascists generally conduct their political activity as though there were little difference between proof and assertion. We help them out by failing to respond with appropriate skepticism. Why, and how, did we become so gullible? We must recover the art of asking discomfiting questions: "Exactly how big was the hole in the ozone layer in 1310?" "What was the average global temperature in 1776?"

Of course the answer is that we don't know how big the hole was, and we don't know what the global temperature was. The relevant corollary should be obvious; those in a dither about ozone depletion and global warming are, scientifically speaking, talking through their hats.

Is this saying that such things couldn't possibly be a concern? Of course not. It is simply saying that such questions should be researched by careful scientists before our Solons charge off blindly, vigorously yelling and tapping their canes, enacting legislation to fix they know not what. It should also be mentioned, as an aside, that computer modeling, however useful to real scientists, can also be used as an instrument which enables one to speculate wildly at a high rate of speed.

Every religion has its fanatics and doomsayers, and eco-pantheism is a religion. Christianity has had, to its embarrassment, many who have prophesied with certainty the day and hour of the End. Not to be outdone by those on the fringes of Christianity, pantheistic environmentalists also indulge themselves in the same apocalyptic, apoplectic way. They too know that the End is Near, and nothing is worse for such folks than good news.

To return to our beginning example, how many enviro-pantheists were happy to hear the news that acid rain isn't the problem we thought? First they were distressed because acid rain was causing all this damage, and now they are distressed because it isn't. There's no pleasing some folks.

DJW


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