The Week That Was
December 4, 1999 NEW ON THE SEPP WEB:

With the end of the year approaching, we celebrate an annual ritual: Reviewing the year's environmental myths. Among the many, many scares that were propagated by activists, we have selected some of the most egregious. But it is strictly a subjective choice. Readers are encouraged to send in their own nominations. Maybe we'll publish a second list early next year.

To SEPP friends - old and new:

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Your contributions are entirely tax-deductible and, of course , very much appreciated. Please send us your maximum donation! We will not be soliciting you again in this century---we promise.

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A coalition of environmental advocacy groups has launched an $11 million campaign to warn the public about global warming. The campaign includes $8 million for television advertising, the largest ad campaign in the coalition's history. The TV spots, sponsored by the National Environmental Trust (NET), the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and Physicians for Social Responsibility, will air on more than 200 stations nationwide. The campaign also includes $3 million for grassroots organizing.

The ads contend that global warming caused by pollution from power plants and cars will make the weather more extreme. Costs from severe weather have tripled since the 1980s, the ads say. Sea-level rise will inundate the East Coast. They also claim that increased smog threatens the health of children with asthma.


NET is also sponsoring the "Pollution Solutions Tour," which will visit 36 cities over the next two months. "Global warming is a clear and present danger to Americans," says NET president Philip Clapp. A campaign web site,, provides information on ways to combat global warming. "Although global warming is perhaps the most serious threat ever faced by humanity [WOW1 THAT'S REAL HYPE], there is much that we -- individuals, businesses, and governments -- can do to avert disaster," the site says. [SHADES OF 'EARTH IN THE BALANCE" BY A CERTAIN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE]

The ad campaign might encourage the President to finally send the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for an honest and forthright debate on this important issue. It also could help build support for constructive, forward-thinking legislation, like the bills introduced by Senators Murkowski, Byrd, Hagel and Craig.


The Pennsylvania Council of Churches has launched an Interfaith Campaign. Leaders of more than two dozen church bodies, including Protestant denominations, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, have signed a "Religious Leaders Statement on Global Warming." It warns that human beings are doing violence to God's creation by causing global warming.

"Our faith demands that we act as stewards of creation, not squander and destroy God's gifts," said the Rev. Brenda Brooks of the Presbyterian Synod of the Trinity. "Global climate change is destroying people's lives and health, as well as our habitat. In these circumstances, failure to act would be truly immoral."

The Religious Leaders Statement calls for persons of faith to take three immediate steps to protect the creation from global warming. Those steps are: (1) urging elected officials to support public policies that will reduce greenhouse gases, including ratification of the Kyoto Treaty; (2) reducing energy usage at homes, businesses, and places of worship with simple and readily available energy conservation measures; and (3) using Pennsylvania's Electricity Choice program to buy electricity that has been certified as renewable energy by the Green-E-program. [THAT'S A STRANGE MIXTURE OF TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS, LOBBYING, AND SUPPORTING SUBSIDIZED ENERGY]

To encourage millions of Pennsylvanians to take one or all of the three recommended actions to stop global warming, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches is launching a coordinated campaign to call upon people of faith to work to prevent global warming as a matter of "religious responsibility."

Not all religious groups agree that prevention of climate change ranks up there with the Ten Commandments. The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is taking an active, non-denominational leadership role in pointing to real (not phantom) problems that face humanity.


Ukrainian authorities have restarted the last working nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant, ignoring strong international pressure to shut it down. Latest news is that they did shut it down to fix a minor problem. Obviously, they are being super-careful.

On the other hand, Greenpeace won a long-running court battle with the Dutch government when the country's highest court upheld its request for a ban on transportation of nuclear waste. In Great Britain also, spent nuclear fuel is attacked by enviros as a way of closing down nuclear energy installations.

Meanwhile, the Austrian government is applying economic and political pressure on neighboring Slovakia to shut down its two reactors in Bohunice. And they aren't even Chernobyl-type reactors. Looks like more coal will be burned in Europe, unless they want to freeze in the dark.

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