The recurrent problem of green scares that don’t live up to the hype

Watts Up With That?

By Matt Ridley (originally in the Wall Street Journal, sent to WUWT by the author)

‘We’ve heard these same stale arguments before,” said President Obama in his speech on climate change last week, referring to those who worry that the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon-reduction plan may do more harm than good. The trouble is, we’ve heard his stale argument before, too: that we’re doomed if we don’t do what the environmental pressure groups tell us, and saved if we do. And it has frequently turned out to be really bad advice.

Making dire predictions is what environmental groups do for a living, and it’s a competitive market, so they exaggerate. Virtually every environmental threat of the past few decades has been greatly exaggerated. Pesticides were not causing a cancer epidemic, as Rachel Carson claimed in her 1962 book “Silent Spring”; acid rain was not devastating German forests, as the…

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