Environmentalism and Human Sacrifice

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
Last week, Bjorn Lomborg, the widely published Danish professor and director of one of the world’s leading environmental think tanks, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, published an article about the Philippines’ decision, after 12 years, to allow genetically modified (GM) rice — “golden rice” — to be grown and consumed in that country.

The reason for the delay was environmentalist opposition to GM rice; and the reason for the change in Philippine policy was that 4.4 million Filipino children suffer from vitamin A deficiency. That deficiency, Lomborg writes, “according to the World Health Organization, causes 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind each year. Of these, half die within a year.”

During the 12-year delay, Lomborg continues, “About eight million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency.”

“Golden rice” contains vitamin A, making it by far the most effective and cheapest way to get vitamin A into Third World children.

who would oppose something that could save millions of children’s lives and millions of other children from blindness?

So who would oppose something that could save millions of children’s lives and millions of other children from blindness?

The answer is people who are more devoted to nature than to human life.

And who might such people be?

They are called environmentalists.

These are the people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT. It is generally estimated this ban has led to the deaths of about 50 million human beings, overwhelmingly African children, from malaria. DDT kills the mosquito that spreads malaria to human beings.

US News and World Report writer Carrie Lukas reported in 2010, “Fortunately, in September 2006, the World Health Organization announced a change in policy: It now recommends DDT for indoor use to fight malaria. The organization’s Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah explained, ‘The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.'”

Though Lukas blames environmentalists for tens of millions of deaths, she nevertheless describes environmentalists as “undoubtedly well-intentioned.”

while environmentalists believe they have good intentions, I do not believe their intentions are good.

I offer two assessments of this judgment.

First, in life it is almost always irrelevant whether or not an individual or a movement is well intentioned. It is difficult to name a movement that has committed great evil whose members woke up each day asking, “What evil can I commit today?” Nearly all of them think they’re well intentioned. Good intentions don’t mean a thing.

Second, while environmentalists believe they have good intentions, I do not believe their intentions are good.

Concern for the natural environment is certainly laudable and every normal person shares it. But the organized environmentalist movement — Lomborg specifically cites Greenpeace, Naomi Klein and the New York Times — is led by fanatics. The movement’s value system is morally askew. It places a pristine natural world above the well-being of human beings.

The environmentalist movement’s responsibility for the deaths of tens of millions of poor children in the Third World is the most egregious example. But there are less egregious examples of the movement’s lack of concern for people.

the environmentalist movement is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of poor children in the Third World

Take the Keystone XL pipeline, the pipeline the Canadian government wants built in the US in order to send Canadian crude to American refineries. It would be a 1,179-mile, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, beginning in Alberta, and ending in Nebraska. The pipeline will be able to transport about 830,000 barrels of oil per day to Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries, reducing American dependence on oil from Venezuela — Iran’s base in the Western Hemisphere — and the Middle East by up to 40 percent. It will also provide Americans with many thousands of well-paying jobs.

Approving this pipeline is a moral and economic necessity.

The American economy needs the pipeline — even big labor wants it; it vastly reduces American dependency on countries that wish to hurt us; it helps our ally and biggest trading partner, Canada; and if America doesn’t use that oil, China will.

But the Obama administration may (again) veto the Keystone XL pipeline — for one reason: environmentalist fanaticism.

The employment of thousands of Americans, the well-being of the American economy and American national security — all of these concerns are secondary to the environmentalist movement’s view of nature uber alles.

There are many fine people who are concerned with the environment. Indeed, we should all be. But the movement known as environmentalism is not only a false religion, it is one that allows human sacrifice.

HT: DennisPrager.com

Comments

  1. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    Well, with all due respect, Mr. Prager, and I mean that, you described those who have reservations about GMO crops as “more devoted to nature than to human life”, and you say that we are called “environmentalists”.

    But it isn’t just the loony environmentalists who have reservations about GMO crops, and I’m more than a little put off by you lumping anybody who has reservations into that camp.

    Some of us who have reservations about GMO crops are called “moms”.

    And as a mom, I have reservations about the long term, unintended consequences of GMO crops. Apparently, there exists a rather large body of evidence showing that GM crop/food production produces unintended effects, which can result in damage to health when GM foods are fed to animals, and there is no evidence to suggest that Golden Rice is any safer than these GM foods.

    When pharmaceutical drugs are tested for safety, they are first tested on animals. Only if animal studies reveal no harmful effects is the drug further tested on human volunteers. If animal tests with a drug were to yield results similar to those seen in feeding studies carried out with GM foods, the drug would most likely be disqualified for further development. Golden Rice has never been subjected to feeding trials on animals. Therefore, it seems to me that it might be criminally irresponsible to test it on human beings.

    Your argument sounds suspiciously close to those given for man-made global warming. You conveniently overlook the serious debate and controversy that surrounds the development of GMO crops.

    There is no doubt that this article of yours was written with good intentions.

    But as you pointed out, that’s not good enough.

    • ” Apparently, there exists a rather large body of evidence showing that GM crop/food production produces unintended effects”

      Could you give a link to some of that evidence?

  2. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    “Argentina’s population is being sickened by massive spraying of herbicides on its genetically engineered soya fields. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is blamed for the dramatic increase in devastating birth defects as well as cancer. Sterility and miscarriages are also increasing.

    “A 2012 nutritional analysis of GMO versus non-GMO corn shows shocking differences in nutritional content. Non-GMO corn contains 437 times more calcium, 56 times more magnesium, and 7 times more manganese than GMO corn.

    “GMO corn was also found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. The EPA standard for glyphosate in American water supplies is 0.7 ppm, and organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm.

    “GMO corn contains extremely high levels of formaldehyde—about 200 times the amount found toxic to animals.

    “Unfortunately, President Obama recently signed into law a spending bill that included a devastating provision that puts Monsanto above the law. The provision limits the ability of judges to stop Monsanto and/or farmers from growing or harvesting genetically engineered crops, even if courts find evidence of potential health risks.”

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/09/argentina-gmo-crops.aspx

  3. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    Well, nohype, I did, but it appears to have been deemed unworthy by the moderator. :)

    I’ll try again, but you’re just as capable of googling the phrase and doing some of the same research I have as I consider what I will feed my family and what I won’t…

    If nothing shows up… you’ll know why. :)

  4. Ronda Wintheiser says:
  5. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    Ok, there it is! The article from Dr. Mercola’s site IS there.

    I just posted 3 other links, as well…

      • Ronda Wintheiser says:

        “As you googled around looking for evidence that genetically modified food had side effects and might even be unsafe or dangerous, you undoubtedly found that the there was another side to the debate.”

        I believe that side was presented by Mr. Prager.

        My point was and is simply that there IS debate, and that those of us who have reservations about GM products are not all loony environmentalists.

        My objections do NOT come from religious environmentalism; that is NOT my faith nor do my reservations about GM products have anything at all to do with any “secular religion”. I happen to be an Orthodox Christian.

        And I am a skeptic as well. I am especially skeptical of folks who dismiss and reduce the argument to ad hominem. What, pray tell, is an “alarmist”, and how is one identified? Am I an alarmist because I care about what I feed my kids and I don’t blindly accept things just because the “experts” say them?

        Your argument is more alarmist than you seem to realise. Quick! People are starving!

        Never mind that there might be far-reaching consequences of the grand scheme of GM crops that, once unleashed, won’t fit neatly back into the toothpaste tube.

        Feeding the hungry involves something much more complex, don’t you think? I appreciate the grand scheme and the hope behind GM products (except for the fact that somebody stands to get very rich doing it this way, which is one of the things that makes me skeptical).

        But I would posit that feeding the hungry is a lot like stopping abortion. You can only address it one human being at a time.

        I heard today that St. Vlad’s is hosting a Poverty Conference – May 31 – June 1 of this year. I would guess they won’t be advocating the use of GM crops; at least, I hope not. I hope their approach will be closer to some others I’ve read about. For example, Vitamin A deficiencies can be addressed by encouraging moms to breastfeed, and helping people learn how to garden. Even Americans need to do this! And that is exactly how I’ve been raising my kids — by growing fruits and vegetables in a home garden because that enables us to have a more diverse diet (and therefore create and contribute to what I would think of as REAL health care!).

        I read about a home-gardening program implemented in South Africa that was integrated with nutrition education, and focused on the production of yellow and dark-green leafy vegetables. Apparently, it significantly improved the vitamin A status of 2 to 5-year-old children in a rural village in South Africa. (Faber Mieke; Phungula Michael A S; Venter Sonja L; Dhansay Muhammad A; Benadé A J Spinnler (2002). Home gardens focusing on the production of yellow and dark-green leafy vegetables increase the serum retinol concentrations of 2-5-y-old children in South Africa. The American journal of clinical nutrition 2002;76(5):1048-54.)

        Yes, this approach can, I suppose, be discouraging and overwhelming, but it also provides an avenue for developing relationships, evangelism, church planting.

        I didn’t say “ban GMOs”, anyway. You’re avoiding my point. I said I have reservations about them, and that I’m not an environmentalist wacko. I’m just a mom.

        Who are you?

  6. Ronda Wintheiser says:
  7. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    And really, nohype, what is more alarmist than accusing people of human sacrifice if we don’t all get on board with the GM crop scheme?

    If someone is really concerned about human sacrifice, the systematic destruction of unborn babies by abortion is far more egregious than being skeptical of or opposing messing around with genetically modified crops.

  8. Everyone should read my blog post about the basics of GMOs http://healthrebels.blogspot.com/p/gmo-basics.html Sure Golden rice may increase vitamin A levels in rice, but because the DNA strand after genetic modification using 20th century theories that have been proven wrong (such as the 1 gene 1 protein theory), the entire DNA strand becomes unstable. This means that sure vitamin A may increase in rice, but the other nutritional values of the rice will decrease, and the body requires other nutrients to even use vitamin A efficiently. Vitamin A supplements cost $.05 per tablet ($25,000 to prevent 500,000 children from going blind) How much did our tax paying dollars get used to try to produce golden rice so far? over $100 million. Will it even work if other nutrients of the GMO rice will decrease? . . . Golden rice is a failed project. . . .

    Why do people support global warming denialism, anti-environmental sentiment, and pro-GMO policies? Corporations do it for the money. Maybe people just are ignorant on the science and don’t realize genetic modification of foods using 20th century pseudo theories is actually polluting the genetic pool? But religious Americans do it because of the belief of dualism; The material world is evil, thus we can destroy it as we please. In Orthodoxy, we teach that the material world fell, but the material world once was made good. The incarnation actually proves the Orthodox are right on this, and the destruction of the environment is a sin.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says:

      Wow. That’s fascinating.

      To my way of thinking, messing around with something God designed requires the assumption that we can somehow improve on it.

      There is something Babel-like about Golden Rice. :)

  9. Recycled LIberal Tropes, Inc. says:

    So according to Ronda , it’s better that millions of Phillipine kids DEFINITELY go blind – because a few fringe, pointy head theories exist that MIGHT show some slight differences between nutrient content in GM foods crops?

  10. Recycled LIberal Tropes, Inc. says:

    “Argentina’s population is being sickened by massive spraying of herbicides ”

    Sounds like herbicides could be a problem…how does that have ANYTHING to do with GM foods?

  11. Recycled LIberal Tropes, Inc. says:

    Here’s a quote from the ridiculous navel-gazing sophomoric science fiction novel ( written in GREEN INK , so NATURAL) you linked –

    Professr Goofball from the NATURE INSTITUTE (Ivy League , no doubt) concludes ” So we learn that at all levels of life – from gene to organism to environment – we need to take into account dynamic, changing relations. The ideal to control life through genetic engineering rather as we control a manmade machine begins to appear sadly one-sided. ”

    Wow . SO Science-y !
    Life changes stuff. Environment changes stuff. It’s unpredictable. ….Who knew?

    Personally I plan to enjoy a dripping , heaping bowl of Golden Rice Krispies with my family every morning amd thank God for His provision.

    Good luck tilting those Genetically Modified Windmills.

  12. Point 1: @Recycled Liberal Tropes: What is better, paying $25,000 for vitamin A supplements to prevent 500,000 children from going blind, or spending $100 billion dollars (through subsidies, meaning our tax dollars!!!!) on a product that may not even work?

    Point 2: The science behind GMOs is based on the 20th century psuedoscience theory that 1 gene can only produce 1 protein, anyone that supports GMOs has to reject 21st century science. If people learned a little about biology, they would be against GMOs, but because not many people know much about biology, or even Orthodox Christianity on God and creation, people support GMOs.

  13. sorry typo: $100 million instead of $100 billion. Either way, the pro GMO group does not care how much of our tax dollars is spent. They just want to spend money on products that do not save anyone’s life.