Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Fear Sells!!!
Something I read in one of the news magazines roughly 20 years ago has stuck with me ever since. One of the new breed of environmentalists was asked about claims his organization had been making that a certain pollutant would cause an increase in so many incidents of cancer among Americans. The fellow, who clearly knew the assertion was so much hype, confided that there were so many organizations out there raising money with scare stories about one thing or another that "unless you multiply your numbers by ten you won't get heard."
I was reminded of this rule of thumb most recently in reading a review of Michael Crichton's new novel, "State of Fear" (HarperCollins, 603 pages, $27.95). Crichton is of course the well-known author of "Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park" and several other techno-thrillers, fiction and non-fiction. What Crichton has discovered in his poking around for material is something I've been writing about for at least a dozen years, the fact that "Global Warming" is a giant hoax. By that I don't mean the earth is no warmer now than it was a century ago. It is, a bit. The hoax is that the warming has been caused by mankind oxidizing carbon, i.e, burning fossil fuels. How come so many serious people seem to believe it is gospel (One its true believers, Al Gore, almost became President)? Crichton's novel is upsetting a lot of eco-wackoes because it will almost certainly make a dent in the hoax when it is read by millions of people, when it gets to paperback, and when it is seen by tens of millions when it becomes a movie.
Dr. Fred Singer, an atmospheric and space physicist who serves as president of the non-profit Science & Environmental Policy Project, has been one of a handful of academic scientists valiantly pointing out the giant holes in the GW hoax, but not getting very far because the News Media loves Global Warming. Fear Sells!! The New York Times, which is the chief advocate of the Hoax in the U.S., did not especially like Dr. Crichton's book, Crichton being an M.D. Dr. Singer, though, is overjoyed at having the Hoax exposed by Crichton, especially knowing that Senators John McCain [R AZ] and Joe Lieberman [D CN] will have to answer to their novel-reading, movie-going constituents sometime soon about why they have been promoting the Hoax with taxpayer's money. As far as I know, the only member of Congress who has even laid a glove on the Hoax is Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, who is dismissed by the newsies because he wants to develop Alaska's energy sources!! Can you imagine?
Here is some of what Singer had to say in his review of "State of Fear," in which a 60-foot tsunami has a prominent role:
The message conveyed is two-fold:
**The scientific evidence does not support Global Warming fears -- or even the occurrence of a significant warming trend.
**The environmental movement and its well-paid leadership has jumped on the GW bandwagon because that's where the money is….
Crichton's story starts out with a series of seemingly disconnected events in far-flung places: Paris, Malaysia, London, Tokyo, Vancouver, Iceland, etc, and mostly California -- but gradually comes into focus as we discover that the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF), a fictitious environmental organization, is planning a gigantic worldwide conspiracy: major catastrophes to simulate imagined impacts of a sudden climate change. In contrast to the notorious movie "The Day After Tomorrow," these disasters are carefully engineered by eco-terrorists and not at all connected to any climate change.
But our heroes, led by John Kenner, manage to scotch the nefarious doings of NERF and its egomaniac chief, Nicholas Drake but just barely. Drake and his minions want to surreptitiously trigger a series of natural disasters, including a supersize hurricane and a giant tsunami that would hit California with 60-foot waves; these disasters would be timed to coincide with NERF's big media conference, thereby awakening the public to the dangers of climate change wrought by Global Warming.
By coincidence, the tsunami that has caused so much death and destruction in Asia has produced plenty of commentaries from the eco-wackoes trying to somehow tie the earthquake to the GW Hoax.
It also provoked the following comment from Gary North, the political economist whose writings I follow on Lew Rockwell's website. Gary wonders why the News Media can go bananas over 150,000 tsunami deaths and ignore other environmental disasters that are orders of magnitude greater. He has also decided that fear sells.
Consider the number of estimated deaths directly attributable malaria, a mosquito-borne disease. Western governments have been major players in imposing this holocaust because they have banned the production of DDT, which is the most effective anti-mosquito chemical agent. Dr. Arthur Robinson, a chemist specializing in biochemistry, has summarized the situation:
"Somewhere on the Earth, on average every 12 seconds, a child dies of DDT-preventable malaria. The United States National Academy of Sciences
estimated that DDT saved 500 million lives before it was banned. The discoverer of DDT was awarded the Nobel Prize.
"Then came Silent Spring -- a book filled with deliberate falsehoods and blatantly marketed unreasoning and unjustified fear. The burgeoning enviro movement chose these lies for one of their first big campaigns. This campaign coincided with the rise of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA was in search of a big win with which to promote itself. The EPA studied the subject and its own scientific review board reported that DDT is harmless to the environment and is a very beneficial substance that should not be banned.
"Politics prevailed, however, over reason. DDT was banned, and the U.S. government spread that ban throughout the world by tying it to all sorts of international programs. The result: Malaria, which was well on the way to control and eradication, now afflicts 250 million adults and kills about 3 million children per year." (http://snipurl.com/malaria)
North mentions other unnatural disasters that take the lives of millions of people, including 45 million global abortions per year, or sanctions on Iraq designed to cause so much suffering that the people will overthrow their leaders. These are politically correct, though, so they don't sell. He reminds us that in 1996, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked by Lesley Stahl on "Sixty Minutes" about the reported half million deaths of Iraqi children due to the sanctions on Iraq, and whether it was worth it. She replied: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."
The quote has been played a million times in the Arabic press, North points out, and of course if you know of it, you saw it on the alternative press. But when a Dow Jones search of mainstream news sources since September 11 was made, the quote turns up only one reference to the quote--in an op-ed in the Orange Country Register (9/16/01). Says North: "This omission is striking, given the major role that Iraq sanctions play in the ideology of archenemy Osama bin Laden; his recruitment video features pictures of Iraqi babies wasting away from malnutrition and lack of medicine (New York Daily News, 9/28/01)."