This year was the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Founded by then-U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), it was held in 1970 as a “symbol of environmental responsibility and stewardship.”
In the spirit of the time, it was a touchy-feely, consciousness-raising, New Age experience, and most activities were organized at the grassroots level.
A driving force of environmentalism in that era was Rachel Carson’s best-selling 1962 book, Silent Spring, an emotionally charged but deeply flawed excoriation of the widespread spraying of chemical pesticides on crops and wetlands for the control of crop-devouring and disease-causing insects.
The fear of pesticides that began a half century ago has degenerated into full-blown chemophobia today. Although “Every Day Is Earth Day” is etched into the American psyche as a benevolent mantra, it is useful to examine some of the motivations, actions and outcomes found under the banner of environmentalism. Protecting our planet and using resources efficiently is a noble endeavor, to be sure, but not all acts of environmentalism are created equal. Hysterical overreaction and fear-mongering by government, industry and lobbying groups are counterproductive.
Take, for example, opposition to neonicotinoids. Unfounded fear of this relatively new, state-of-the-art class of insecticides is rampant, although they are less harmful to beneficial pollinators than previously used chemicals.
The Big Organic industry continues to spread the earthly joys of chemophobia. In 2013, the Organic Consumers Association called on Americans to swarm the EPA on Earth Day, and to “tell congress to ban neonicotinoid pesticides before they devastate the U.S. bee population.”
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Dirt On Earth Day: Chemophobia Masquerading As Environmentalism