Ecology Movement Grew Out of Protests Against U.S.-Vietnam War

By 2016, it has become so entrenched in American culture that ecology — a.k.a., environmentalism — is a virtuous crusade to improve human well-being, that people too young to remember the start of the ecology movement don’t know that it came into being as a desperate effort to unite rabid left-wingers in an effort to sell the far-left agenda to average Americans.

If people today do read statements about the environmentalist movement having come into being from scurrilous motives, it may be in an article by Ayn Rand published February 1970 and subsequent reprinted in an anthology that, under a new title and supplemented by additional articles, remains in print. Ayn Rand wrote in 1970:

It has been reported in the press many times that the issue of pollution is to be the next big crusade of the New Left activists, after the war in Vietnam peters out. And just as peace was not their goal or motive in that crusade, so clean air is not their goal or motive in this one.

[Ayn Rand, “The Left: Old And New,” in The Objectivist, February 1970; reprinted in The New Left: the Anti-Industrial Revolution (Signet/New American Library, 1971), an anthology later expanded by Peter Schwatz as Return of the Primitive: the Anti-Industrial Revolution (Meridian/Penguin, 1999), adding more articles by Ayn Rand and articles by Schwartz reporting on developments in same topics occurring after Rand’s death.]

Citations for the newspaper stories referred to in Miss Rand’s account have not been readily available to those reading her article, and in the decades following the February 1970 first publication of that article — and particularly in the two decades immediately following Rand’s 1982 death — researchers seeking to follow up on Rand’s report have been hampered by the inconveniences of searching through microfilm and the inadequate indexes of newspaper stories. The introduction of computer-searchable newspaper archives has made the seeking of decades-old newspaper stories more practicable. This web page offers documentation for Rand’s statement

The Los Angeles Times carried a story in its January 11, 1970, edition which in its headline practically shouts the factual basis of what Ayn Rand wrote.

The story tells of anti-war activity being less than it was, of ecology emerging “in its place,” and of an activist who says he can “keep generating anger” in those hearing the activists’ messages.


The story identifies Leonard Hitchcock as one person who went from involvement in Students for a Democratic Society (an antiwar group) to ecology activism. (The Cal State location referred to here is the one in Fullerton.)

Hitchcock states that activists are inclined to take actions to close power plants (referred to simply as “plants” in the excerpt at the top of the middle passage). The story indicates that “the movement is attracting those of both right and left,” yet a student active in the movement knew that if and when “the public get the idea the movement is radical, then the support we’re trying to get will vanish.” Put another way: “If you get a militant label on you, you’re dead.”



Ayn Rand lived in New York City and frequently quoted The New York Times in her articles. Thus, she is more likely to have read the stories excerpted next than their counterpart from Los Angeles. This headline appeared in The New York Times of November 30, 1969:

The third and fith paragraphs of the story (reproduced below) indicate that student protesters were transitioning from the Vietnam War to the environmentalist movement. That students were attracted to the movement and away from one that “offers only limited scope for student action” suggests that the students didn’t begin by studying the relevant science and then devoting themselves to the conclusion warranted by the scientific findings.


The story recounts several stunts performed by or planned by student protesters. The statement by Cliff Humphrey indicating that he sees capitalism apart from “a system that takes maximum care of the earth,” indicates that he is unwilling to work within capitalism to achieve antipollution results available within the system, e.g., by waging lawsuits against demonstrable harm caused by pollution emitted by industry. That Humphrey mentions “maximum care of the earth” rather than optimal balance between the needs of nature and human beings, indicates a potential willingness to choose nature even when the absence of technology will result in deaths of all human beings.


In the years since, other environmentalists have adopted variations of Humphrey’s tenet — of making the primary value “maximum care of the earth” — and thereby have come to regarded human beings as a scourge upon nature. One environmentalist didn’t mince words:

[quote: David M. Graber, research biologist with the National Park Service, Los Angeles Times, October 22, 1989, Book Review pg. 9, in “Mother Nature as a Hothouse Flower,” a book review of The End of Nature by Bill McKibben.]

Returning to The New York Times of November 30, 1969:

“Environment will replace Vietnam as a major issue with the students as the Vietnam phase-out proceeds,” stated one university chairman, who added, “And it will not be just a political lever to be used by radicals.” (Ah, so it was known to be a “political lever,” even if the radicals assumed there were other considerations.) The passages reproduced below also report on students becoming motivated by speakers who advocated the benefits of lesser human population (Paul Ehrich used the expression “population bomb” in warning against overpopulation); an Environmental Defense organizer being inspired by “Zen Buddhism and its emphasis on the interrelationship of man and nature”; science students seeking to protect a natural area they themselves used—with no mention of whether the dam sought by the Army Engineers would overall benefit the local population; and a member of an Ecology Activists group stating that America “is tired of” Students for a Democratic Society.



The New York Times story excerpted below was published in its June 29, 1969, edition. The gap of more than six months between that date and Ayn Rand’s article “The Left: Old And New” could account for her not having a citation at hand.

The story, in part, profiles activist Art Goldberg, who at the time was reported as playing “a significant role” in a movement to create a “People’s Park” in Berkeley, Calif., on land bought by the Regents of the University of California and intended for University use. Nonstudent locals disliked the fensing of the property. Violence erupted; on May 15, 1969, “one man was killed, one blinded, about 200 others injured.” Governor Ronald Reagan called out 2,000 troops of the National Guard, at the request of the sheriff. “More than 900 were arrested in two weeks of violence.”

Art Goldberg was a veteran of an earlier movement while engaged in the People’s Park movement, and speaks here about turning next to “the so-called urban problems. Like smog.” He says he and his fellow radicals will “use any means necessary to have an effect. We’ll use the same militant methods as we used on the campus to eliminate the problems of urban areas.” (see third column)

Goldberg’s wanting to see that “the gap between rich and poor and class distinctions are ended” indicates his egalitarian economic-political disposition, linking him to others whose opposition to industry may have arisen by disdain over the recognition that some people can create more wealth than others are able to produce, a disdain which would then take the form of outwardly opposing factories rather than acknowledging in protests differences of ability and earned outcomes.

Note: When reading from the second to third columns, take notice that three lines of type are duplicated, demonstrating that no text was deleted between these two blocks of text.


The Boston Globe editorialized about the emerging ecology movement in its March 11, 1970, issue.

Jumping ahead four paragraphs — past familiar background information and a mention of “the pajama-clad Viet Cong operating half the world away” — the Globe turns to contemporary context:

The mention of “McCarthy buttons” is surely a reference to then-Senator Eugene McCarthy’s campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination two years prior. Eugene McCarthy garnered considerable support, especially among college youth, in his bid to succeed Lyndon Johnson, whose expansion of the Vietnam War became increasing unpopular among Democrats and the general American population. McCarthy won nearly half of the state primaries. (McCarthy won six states, Robert Kennedy four states, with three remaining states divided among three other candidates. Most states then did not hold primaries.) However, the method of awarding delegates favored Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who went on to face former Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1968 general election. (Nixon’s tally made him the nation’s 37th President.)

This next passage from the Globe compares and contrasts the antiwar and anti-pollution crusades in such a way as to demonstrate that some targets remain the same: major chemical companies, which in the past protests had represented “‘U.S. imperialism’” and in the new protests are “a natural enemy.” The Globe’s observation that, were pollution reversed, “the cost will be astronomical,” has been proven true in decades-later efforts to reduce trace chemicals to levels which couldn’t even have been measured in 1970.

Newsweek, January 26, 1970, followed a news-overview article about various forms of pollution with a collectivistic opinion piece revealingly titled “Needed: a Rebirth of Community” (pg. 47). Focusing not on scientific solutions that could impose the least effect on lifestyles, the article instead quotes a university member’s edict that humanity “adopt a new social ethic — almost a new social religion,” and another ecologist’s denunciation of “the American creed,” incorporating a few sentences giving a positive view of the Woodstock three-day-long outdoor concert inasmuch as its 300,000 attendees communally experienced deprivation.

A consistent theme in the article is that Americans have “attitudes that must be reshaped,” views disparaged as inferior to that of the uncredited article, views glossed over when the article acknowledges that the “obstacles to reform — man’s traditional notions of growth, sovereignty, individualism and time — are formidable in themselves.”

Ayn Rand would write the following month that, “just as peace was not [the New Left’s] goal or motive in [the anti-Vietnam War] crusade, so clean air is not their goal or motive in this one.” The Newsweek article leeches that alternative motive, nearly salivating for one-world government, while denigrating people’s sovereignty as an impediment.

Newsweek’s positive assessment of the public becoming a “community” through shared participation in ecology, was echoed by New Republic in its article “This Ecology Craze,” in that magazine’s March 7, 1970, issue (pg. 8):

New Republic had decided that “this country has needed something to unify it for a long time” — and apparently it was a secondary consideration as to whether people would be worse off by “stopping all production (and reproduction)” when instead a wiser policy may have been a careful study and application of the relevant science, subsequently advocated regardless of whether the coalition would unravel after it became apparent that the coalition had included those wanting technology and those who seek its elimination.

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was the most prominent student-protest organization agitating for top-down government-controlled statism in the United States. Their recognition that the Vietnam War had petered out as a protest issue was stated in their publication in the issue of November 15, 1969. The following appeared that date in their periodical Fire (which recently had changed its name from New Left Notes and retained the same volume numbering):

This far-left organizations wasn’t ready to disband. It did recognize that it would lose clout by continuing with its issue. It would have to shop for a new issue.

The Top Radical Manipulators Exposed Their Game Plans

Leonard Peikoff knew Ayn Rand for the last thirty years of her life, lectured on her ideas with her approval, and has since her death continued to answer questions posed by audiences about her views on prominent issues. In a question-and-answer session on April 23, 1989, at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston, following Peikoff’s delivery of his speech “Certainty and Happiness,” he answered:

Let me just say: we don’t even subscribe to the whole subject of ecology. We think the whole thing is a smoke-screen, a pseudo-scientific rationalization to justify further controls of industry. If you can prove that some industrial waste or emission or byproduct is actually harmful to a given individual or group, and you can trace it back to its source, that [infiltration] is a violation of property rights. You cannot on the Objectivist or any proper philosophy shoot poison into a man’s lungs — That’s his lungs, not yours. On the other hand, the solution is not to abolish industry, nor to make it an arm of the socialist government, but rather to use industrial means to prevent industrial pollution; and: It’s a strictly technical, not a philosophical-legal problem, it has no deeper implications, and it is simply what came along after the Vietnam War to beat capitalism over the head with.

You know, they were writing at the time that the Vietnam War was winding down, if you read any of the leftist journals of the period, What are we going to do now?—This war is coming to an end, and there were some articles early, Well, maybe we can use this environmentalist concern, and the answer was, That’s ridiculous, they’ll never go for it, and unfortunately they did.

[This passage begins about ten minutes into the Q&A period.]

Six years later, Peikoff had newly begun a late-life career as a radio talk-show host. When a caller to his call-in program brought up the subject of environmetalism, Leonard Peikoff said as part of his answer,

That kind of story comes directly out of the Middle Ages. Everybody in the Middle Ages — let me tell you — was afraid to move, because they had the mythology that everything was so interconnected with everything, that if you (for instance) went to a lake and filled a bucket with water — they had it all worked out — that the lake was going to go down and the fish were going to run out, and everything was interconnected, and then there were going to be storms because of that. It was their way of saying: God said do nothing. Don’t interfere with nature because we’re going to have a disaster if we do the tiniest thing. That’s when men stagnated for a thousand years.

Now these stories that the ecologists tell you — that if you cut down trees, you’re going to have a revolution of the mosquitoes, et cetera and so on — it’s just as much [brief silence] (I can’t say it on the air. I’ll be bleeped if I tell you what I think it is). It is just as much garbage coming from these people posing as scientists, and if you are worried about mosquitoes, then what I suggest you do is get a really good anti-mosquito repellant — so if this guy cuts down his trees, you can blow the mosquitoes back in his face. There’s nothing to prevent you from doing that.

I don’t want this whole show on ecology, though. Someday I’d do a show on ecology, except I’d feel disreputable doing a show on ecology. Because: I remember in the late sixties and the seventies, when the Vietnam War was winding down — You know all those magazines that Woody Allen satirizes and calls them dysentery: Commentary and Dissent he puts together and calls them Dysentery [see note below] — All those magazines were having articles at the time about What are we going to use as the new club to beat down business and beat down America now that the Vietnam War is winding down?, and several people at the time (I’m talking late sixties and early seventies) [suggested], What about ecology? Do you try the line that everything is interconnected, and business is wrecking everything through profit motive and so on?. There were articles written at the time, and you can look them up, that said, The public will never buy it, it just won’t go over. Finally they said, We’ve got nothing else, We’ve got to do it. They publicized in print that this was a crusade to distract American businesses and get [obtain] Big Government.

Of course, our school teachers are so brain-eaten, so lobotomized, that as soon as you print a few books and get a few propagandists going, they put it in the curriculum. Therefore, I feel disreputable even arguing about it.

It’s exactly analogous to when Hitler came to power, he had a few propagandists preaching about a Zionist conspiracy and the evil of Judaism, then everyone in Germany began to debate, Is it really true that the Jews are depraved or not? I think that was a corrupt debate. The very idea of debating whether the Jews are depraved is itself depraved, and that is exactly what I think about debating ecology. I will debate most things, but when something is a blatant propaganda plow, that hasn’t got a leg to stand on, and the attempt [is meant] to return us to the Medieval Period, I draw the line on debating it.

[The Leonard Peikoff Show, KIEV radio, live broadcast of January 26, 1996, episode titled “Money: the Root of All Good.” This passage begins at about sixteen minutes into the program as measured without advertisement breaks.]

Explanation about Woody Allen reference:
Dr. Peikoff’s reference to dysentery above alludes to an exchange in Woody Allen’s movie Annie Hall (the Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1977) between the character played by Woody Allen and that character’s wife, an intellectual writer:
Woody: “I’m so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for Dissentary.”
His wife:Commentary!”
Woody: “Really? I had heard that Commentary and Dissent had merged and formed Dysentery.”
  •  (The American Heritage Dictionary defines dysentery as “[a]n infection of the lower intestinal tract producing pain, fever, and severe diarrhea, often with blod and mucus.”)

Commentary in its January 1969 issue evaluated the setback of the Democratic Party in the November 1968 election with this:


The May 1969 of Commentary contained under the heading “The Democrats” an analysis by two authors, followed by a response from Penn Kemble, described in a byline of a prior issue of the same magazine as “national secretary of the Socialist Party, USA,” who “served as chairman of the executive committee of Frontlash-’68, a youth organization which conducted a national voter-registration campaign during last year’s elections.” Kemble’s evaluation of the political scene contained this:

A common element in both items from Commentary is leftist fretting that traditional coalitions aren’t enough to unite enough voters in elections, with leftists distressed that the opposing party will satisfy the types of citizens whom left-wing intellectuals count on to be aggravated when leftists are not in power. The contrapositive to the second writer's complaint that there’s “no dramatic issues to arouse” left-leaners is that the left side of the political spectrum would be energized were “dramatic issues to arouse” apathetic average citizens to crusade for a cause which would unite them into a left-wing coalition.

These two items demonstrate part of what Dr. Peikoff claims. The next article to be discussed adds another piece to the puzzle.

Dissent in its August 1971 issue had an article which demonstrates that leftists were eyeing the environmentalist movement as part of the next way to form a coalition. Emanuel Geltman and Stanley Plastrik wrote the following in an article aptly titled “Coalition Politics Revisited”

Yet, we feel we are right in asking: what political course has met with success, what brave new political worlds have revealed themselves to us over, say, the past ten years? It is our contention that, had a more vigorous coalitionist policy been pursued and preserved, a policy designed to unite people behind desirable goals, the tone and level of political life in the United States would not be in its present dismal condition.


All in all, fundamental shifts in the composition, activity, and personnel of the world’s most gigantic labor force are bound to have major political consequences and to act as a stimulus to forming alliances between this mass of human labor and other sectors of our society—alliances that may well assume fresh and unforeseeable forms.

Even the coalitionism of a few years ago differed sharply from the classic coalitionism familiar in the United States since the days of the New Deal. By the 1960s it had acquired a new context: the context of the civil rights movement, of the struggle to right the wrongs of the Vietnam war and to prevent similar national catastrophes. Now, in the 1970s the task of a progressive coalitionism is still more demanding:

• First, there is the burning need for a redistribution of the nation’s wealth, at present concentrated in the hands of those whom Gus Tyler calls the “superrich,” so as to make possible funding of the tens of billions of dollars required to solve the problems of school building, housing, health care, alleviation of poverty and hunger, etc.
• Second, there is the whole ecological problem, which includes such matters as a voluntary population redistribution in order to de-congest urban density, the collossal issue of pollution, and the more conventional questions of resource conservation. It is calculated that ecological rebirth in the United States will involve sums running into the trillions of dollars. A vast number of policies must be worked out: population control, land usage, recycling of wastes, readjustment of resource allocations, reestablishment of control over the use of air, water, fuels, etc.
• Third, there remain the familiar but urgent social issues that condition the daily responses of almost all Americans: crime, drugs, racism, campus life, etc. And, in the early seventies, the traditional union preoccupation with the problem of whether a man has a job or not (full employment) has assumed new importance.

In 1971, as happens four decades later, ecology was seen as an issue (here listed the second of three) to be bundled with draining the “superrich,” tackling racism, eliminating poverty and hunger, and a few others. As the tone of the article suggests, the authors regarded their political fortunes to have entered unfamiliar realms and they now had to fathom new alliances. This, too, fits with Peikoff’s account.

Saturday Review, in its issue of March 7, 1970 (pg. 51), carried an article titled “Politics of Ecology.” Its author was Harvey Wheeler, described in a footer beneath the first text-column as “a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Santa Barbara, California.” A block of text to the side of the title, placed in a large otherwise-blank space above the article, indicates that ecology was already being thought of in political-election terms:

The first paragraph of the article positions ecology within an emerging “third new politics” while reporting the shift in youth allegiances noted in other publication:

“War protest has yielded,” the author states, apparently aware that savvy political insiders will seek to gain by catering to the new trend.

The Crusade-of-Last-Resort Went Mainstream

Since 1970, a so-called science which appealed to an early adherent because it resonated with the Zen Buddhism he already knew, has become a prism through which a large percentage of publicly-known people evaluate real-world events. When a Malaysia Airlines plane went missing in 2014, a cable news anchor asked if the disappearance could be “due to global warming.” When a ship full of scientists traveled to Antarctica to collect evidence of global warming and were instead trapped in massive ice, mainstream news accounts omitted any mention of the unexpected frozen water which went against the findings that would be expected were temperatures increasing in accordance with ecologists’s doctrine.

There have numerous reports of evidence countering the orthodox “Global Warming”/“Climate Change” doctrine which can be easily understood by laymen, without a study of the science.

The United States Historical Climatological Network, in its National Climatic Data Center, on June 24, 2007, deliberately removed the addresses of its 1,221 allegedly-“high-quality” weather stations from the NCDC database, some of those weather stations having been located: within five feet of a burning barrel, or close to air conditioner exhaust vents, or next to large, heat-storing, asphalt parking lots. (For photos, go to this norcalblogs page, scroll down to or search for "August 04, 2007" and then keep reading the earlier dates. Smear efforts against whistle-blower Anthony Watts are recounted elsewhere Those who believe that the science prove their position shouldn’t feel a need to bury evidence for the other side.)

Mainstream news reports breathlessly state that ocean waters have reached higher levels than they previously did on one city’s beach and on an island’s shores. Reporters on these stories sound the alarm that global warming will do this world-wide. A NASA article leads with the assumption that global warming is to blame, but in its fifth paragraph it acknowledges that tectonic plates could have adjusted land levels from below ground. (Link to NASA article) An intelligent layman can reason for himself that were it that global warming is causing polar glaciers to melt, the additions to the ocean waters would level out world-wide, and higher sea levels would be seen along all along a continent’s shores. Instead, a report that Miami is seeing two inches higher ocean levels is taken as evidence that global warming is the cause, without consideration of ocean levels not having been reported to rise in Atlantic City, Maine, the Carolinas, or numerous other locations where the Atlantic Ocean meets North America.

A report in Nature Geoscience — a sister publication of the highly-respected science journal Nature — discussed the disappearing ice sheets of Greenland, mostly from the perspective of global-warming theorists whose evidence is photographs shot years apart. Their explanation is melting by higher air temperatures. However, it posits the competing theory that Greenland wasn’t warmed from the air above but from geothermal activity below. The Nature story is joined in offering this alternative theory by

James Hansen headed a NASA division (until 2013) before a career change intended to allow him a more active role advocating on climate change; in 1988, he claimed that temperatures would rise by two to four degrees Fahrenheit between 2000 and 2010; instead, they rose only one-quarter of that or not at all (the measure varying among different temperature data sets available). John Holdren is President Obama’s Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (position held March 2009 to this writing in 2016); a 1986 book by Holdren’s mentor reports Holdren holding it “possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.” Now with 88% of that time-span having elapsed, it’s evident that there no such trend developed that could erupt in abnormal rates of climate-related death. (Testimony with collection of disproven claims, with citations.) (Holden’s predictions examined in 2010) (New York Times story from 1988 about Hansen in 1988) (Holdren cited in Paul Ehrlich, The Machinery of Nature, pg. 274, per Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (2014), pg. 8.)

Laymen have also been misled by the oft-repeated contention that scientists have 97% consensus that mankind’s activities are warming the earth. However, the source of this statistic acknowledges in its opening paragraph,“We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW” (anthropogenic global warming). (source) Beyond that, the claim “relied on the authors misclassifying the papers of some of the world’s most prominent global warming skeptics” — they “misclassified various papers as taking ‘no position’ on human-caused global warming” where an opinion had been offered. The 97% figure reflects, also, that the issue “surveyed was simply whether humans have caused some global warming”, even though the “contention dividing alarmists and skeptics is whether humans are causing global warming of such negative severity as to constitute a crisis demanding concerted action.” (quote and explanation) By such methods, climate scientists who contend that life will continue as before with any warmer temperatures, are lumped in with doom-predicters. “The investigative journalists found Cook and his colleagues strikingly classified papers by such prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97-percent consensus.”

It has regularly occurred that climate alarmists have made it appear that their ranks include respected scientists who actually dismiss the alarmist view. Richard Lindzen of MIT submitted his climate research and findings to the National Academy of Sciences for a climate report it issued in 2001. That “report does not provide a valid scientific basis for global warming, nor does it show a scientific consensus on the issue.” Moreover:

Scientists with varying views, including global warming skeptics like Lindzen, are convinced to submit research for the report. Their contributions, including all of their doubts about warming, are painstakingly spelled out in a massive scientific report — a report whose size and detail assure that it will never be read.

Since no one reads the full report, the panel’s message is actually decided by a handful of political organizers who write its alleged ‘summary’ and send out the press releases. In this summary, they downplay or simply eliminate every scientific fact that doesn’t fit their agenda. This summary is sent to politicians and the press, who magnify the hysteria even further by quoting only the summary’s most sensational sentences — and then attribute those views to a ‘unanimous’ consensus of every scientist on the panel. (source)

Thus, though scientists are careful to delineate how much theory they can support, the non-scientists who write the summary statement misrepresent the scientific findings so as to make it seem to lazy readers that the theory has been proven. Newspaper writers can’t be expected to grasp the intricacies of science, so they rely on the summary being accurate, a mistake which leads newspapers to spread as near-gospel the message of the misrepresenting summary.

News reporters also give deference to politicians whom they already admire. The highest-rank American politician said in 2013, “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” These claims were delivered in most news media without any factual counter-evidence. When a few commentators were willing to challenge the prevailing views, and consulted respected sources (including American government data), they could factually report that the number of U.S. fires had been declining for thirty years, that firefighting practices accounted for the size of specific major fires, that drought was essentially unchanged over sixty years, that major hurricanes had been fewer the previous forty years than in the prior century and a half. (elaboration and citations) A politician protected by sycophantic, obsequious media could mention “more powerful storms” with assurance that listeners would think of recent storms Katrina and Sandy, while the media said nothing there about those storms having been rated midway on the scale which has measured hurricanes for decades; those storms had been conspicuous news for having happened to have hit populated areas. (Incidentally, if one parses the grammar of the President’s statement, one realizes that Obama doesn’t actually claim more “devastating,” “crippling,” and “powerful” incidents, only that “none can avoid” any that should occur.)

One can expect popular entertainment to present orthodox and mainstream opinions. Creative people tend to accept prevailing notions, and television networks and major motion-picture studios cower to not challenge powerful forces. In the 21st century, the movie industry has devoted high budgets to dramatize the orthodox view of climate in such fiction as The Day After Tomorrow from 2004 (in which New York City is deluged by stories-high rising ocean water). In the 1970s — the first decade after the establishment of Earth Day — a major producer of children’s programming in association with a major television network, dramatized what was then the orthodox view of climate change. The result, an episode of Super Friends titled “Too Hot to Handle” (Hanna-Barbera Productions, produced under an agreement whereby ABC was set to air it), shows a story in which pollution in a planet’s atmosphere imperils its population by causing the planet to freeze. (synopsis) (authorized streaming) Though people raised since that first broadcast may think the episode to be merely writers’ fancy, it had in its time presented what was regarded as the most-respected science, views taught to schoolchildren. Just as 1970s views of established science were reversed, so too may current views be overturned by ones entirely different. Since 1970, the most accepted opinion about atmosphere has changed from Global Cooling, to Global Warming, to Climate Change (a name which can continue being embraced regardless of how temperature averages change). (see cartoon on this)




New content on this page created by and © 2016 by David P. Hayes