Hysteria over global warming has opened the door to restrictive energy policies that greatly jeopardize not only average Americans but also low income families in developing countries who are already beset by rising prices, according a new documentary on the modern environmental movement
"Not Evil, Just Wrong" takes a hard look at the potential human costs associated with the demands of environmentalism in areas of the world where carbon-based energy sources are vital. The current scare surrounding man-made global warming theories should be viewed within a larger historical context that reaches back to the early 1960s when Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring," which argued against the use of pesticides like DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane).
Carson, an American marine biologist, argued that DDT and other pesticides were harmful both to wildlife and to humans. Her book offered up a scenario where birds succumbed to insecticides and stopped singing resulting in a "silent spring."
But there is considerably scientific dispute today about Carson's central claims. Some researchers now say the correlation she saw between cancer patterns and DDT is highly questionable. Experiments conducted subsequent to her book also show that any egg shell thinning for birds is most likely causes by other substances not DDT.
Moreover, the beneficial effects attached to the use of DDT in combating malaria, for instance, went unheralded at a critical moment in human history Ann McElinney and Phelim McAleer, the husband and wife film team, responsible for the new film pointed out in an interview.
The World Health Organization (WHO) credits DDT with saving anywhere from 50 million to a 100 million lives by preventing the spread of malaria. There were sharp drops in malaria cases reported in parts of Europe, India, and the U.S. following World War II according to WHO. In fact, malaria was virtually banished in the U.S. thanks to DDT, government studies show.
Unfortunately, DDT was later banned as a result of unfounded hysteria allowing malaria to spread in developing parts of the world where about 50 million children succumbed to the disease, the filmmakers argue.
McElinney and McAleer previously collaborated in directing and producing "Mine Your Own Business" set in Rosia Montana, an impoverished village in Romania where a Canadian mining company sought to set up shop. This previous film contrasted the views of environmentalists opposed to economic development with those of local villagers who favored the installation of a new mine.
"Not Evil, Just Wrong" expands on some of the themes raised in the earlier film and focuses attention on what the policy fallout might be if former Vice-President Al Gore and other environmental advocates prevailed in either freezing or greatly restricting the use of carbon dioxide.
"Carbon is the new DDT, it is the new bogeyman" McElinney said in an interview. "And in another 100 years there will be another false bogeyman. "The timing of this new film is incredible given the debate we are now having on energy use and we hope come to see that this new scare has all the hallmarks of past scares that never materialized."
A small Indiana town called Vevay is the focal point for much of the action in the new film. It is a picturesque, economically vibrant community replete with restaurants and small businesses. However, the residents make it clear that their town would be difficult to sustain in the absence of cheap energy.
The scientific debate surrounding the question of man-made global warming is mentioned in the film. The infamous "hockey stick" that allegedly showed a sharp uptick in warming connected with human activity is mentioned, for instance. Although, the "hockey stick" was once cited in the United Nation's (U.N.) International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) it was later shown to be false as the documentary points out.
However, the scientific debate is not central to the film. The focus is instead on the impact intrusive government regulations might have on human lives. In many respects the modern environmental movement has become a receptacle for those who once sympathic toward communism, McAleer observed.
The suggestion coming from Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama (D-Ill.) that people should not be permitted to keep their thermostats set at a certain temperature is but one example of government control that should alarm average Americans, he said.
"There is always talk about conservatives and Republicans wanting to be in your bedroom but Obama wants to be in every other room in your house," he said. "So let's make a deal, let's keep conservatives out of the bedroom and the liberals out of every other room in your house."
Supporters of the new documentary can offer financial support through Pay Pal on the web site.
McElhinney and McAleer are ambitious to build a grassroots movement on behalf of their new project so their rejoinder to global warming alarmism and their message about its potential consequences can be more widely distributed and heard.