This article, originally published in the March 26, 1990 issue of The New American, quotes many statements by organizers and advocates of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, as well as others who followed, to show, through their own words, that the goal is to use real or perceived environmental concerns as a rationale for imposing authoritarian controls. We are republishing the article because the real agenda behind Earth Day and the modern-day environmental lobby in general have not changed.
"This is America's last chance," warned Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1963, seven years before the first Earth Day event was held. Nelson is now honorary co-chairman of Earth Day 1990, the main umbrella group for this year's [1990's] big event. He is also honorary chairman of Earth Day 20, a smaller organization.
In 1968, Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich predicted in his best seller, The Population Bomb: "In the 1970's the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." He also warned of severe water shortages: "[I]n 1984 the United States will quite literally be dying of thirst." Ehrlich is still viewed as a credible authority by environmentalists and the major media and is now a director of Earth Day 1990.
In the September 1969 issue of Ramparts, Ehrlich predicted what our world would be like in ten years if current trends were allowed to continue. "By September 1979, all important animal life in the sea was extinct," he wrote in his grim scenario. "Large areas of coastline had to be evacuated, as windrows of dead fish created a monumental stench." Earth Day 1970 luminaries thought so highly of this article that they included it in their Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-in [which became known as Earth Day]. They also included material from The Population Bomb.
The back cover of The Environmental Handbook, which served as a manifesto for the Earth Day 1970 event, stated unequivocally: "1970's — THE LAST CHANCE FOR A FUTURE THAT MAKES ECOLOGICAL SENSE." The handbook's editor, Garrett De Bell, warned that time was of the essence. "We thought that the one-month deadline for the writing was impossible, that we could easily spend a year on it. But a year is about one-fifth of the time we have left if we are going to preserve any kind of quality in our world." [Emphasis in original.] Environmentalist leader David Brower, who asked De Bell to produce the handbook on such short notice, is another director of Earth Day 1990.
In 1973-74, the United States suffered an energy crisis. On February 1, 1973, the authoritative Congressional Quarterly reported that, according to some forecasts, "U.S. oil and natural gas reserves will last only for another two or three decades." President Richard Nixon claimed that "we are running out of energy."
Over the years, environmentalists have blown hot and cold on the "greenhouse" effect. On April 19, 1970, University of California professor Kenneth E. F. Watt told an Earth Day gathering: "If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." Watt explained that this problem of dropping temperatures is being caused by "the constantly increasing mass of smog-produced clouds all over the world." His remarks merited inclusion in Earth Day — The Beginning, compiled by the group that coordinated the first Earth Day event and published later that year.
The winter of 1976-77 was the coldest in a century. Chilled by the experience, some environmentalists recommended quick action to head off what they claimed to be the beginning of a new ice age. We are now told that the same air pollution once blamed for the coming ice age is instead responsible for a worsening "greenhouse" effect that will cause the polar ice caps to melt, raising the sea level and forcing the evacuation of coastal areas.
Scientists continue to debate the issue. Current forecasts of global warming "are so inaccurate and fraught with uncertainty as to be useless to policymakers," Richard Lindzen of MIT and Jerome Namias of Scripps Institution Oceanography claimed last year. Yet, Americans are being asked to absorb huge tax increases, perhaps even to alter their life styles significantly, in order to solve a problem that may be nothing more than hot air.
But the accuracy of the theory is not the overriding concern to some environmentalists. They have an agenda to push, and they are going to use environmental crises — real, imaginary, or exaggerated — to accomplish their objectives. "We've got to ride the global warming issue," Senator Timothy Wirth told a reporter. "Even if the theory is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy." Wirth is another director of Earth Day 1990.
Pressure From Below
The first Earth Day focused national attention on environmental problems. That year, an estimated 20 million Americans participated — almost all of them motivated by a sincere desire to improve or safeguard the environment. Organizers for this year's observance [Earth Day 1990] hope that it will have a galvanizing effect greater than that of Earth Day 1970. "Whereas 1970 awakened people to the issues, 1990 needs to make the environment the screen through which all other decisions are made," explains Christina Desser, executive director of Earth Day 1990.
Unlike the first observance, Earth Day 1990 will extend around the world to dramatize the global nature of environmental "crises." Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson predicts that this year's [Earth Day 1990] event will be "the largest grass-roots demonstration in history.... I think the pressure is building now so that political leaders can't blink at it." Organizers are hoping for as many as 50 to 100 million participants worldwide. This unprecedented worldwide demonstration will be cited by Earth Day leaders as an expression of "popular support" for their environmental agenda. Yet, their full agenda is much more radical than most realize.
Population Control: While the "greenhouse" effect seems to be getting most of the attention lately, many environmentalists have considered "overpopulation" to be the most pressing environmental problem of all. "too many cars, too many factories, too much detergent, too much pesticide, multiplying contrails, inadequate sewage treatment plants, too little water, too much carbon dioxide — all can be traced easily to too many people," said Dr. Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb.
Ehrlich proposed controlling population "hopefully through a system of incentives and penalties, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail." Writing five years before Roe vs. Wade, he candidly stated: "Abortion is a highly effective method in the armory of population control." He added:
Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve [population] control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size.
Earth Day 1970 Environmental Handbook editor Garrett De Bell recommended that, after halting world population growth, we "work toward reducing the current three and a half billion people to something less than one billion people.... This number, perhaps, could be supported at a standard of living roughly similar to that of countries such as Norway and the Netherlands at the present time."
Handbook contributor Garrett Hardin argued that a welfare state such as ours has an interest in controlling the breeding of families. "To couple the concept of freedom to breed with the belief that everyone born has an equal right to the commons is to lock the world into a tragic course of action," Hardin said. The Earth Day 1990 umbrella organization proposes the "adoption by all countries of strategies to stabilize their populations within limits that are sustainable using environmentally available agricultural and industrial processes."
New Priorities: "The population problem is more serious than any other problem," declared a petition to President Nixon in The Environmental Handbook; "therefore, at least 10 percent of the defense budget must be allocated to birth control and abortion in the U.S. and abroad."
Writing in an Earth Day 1990 publication, Gaylord Nelson stated: "President Bush would inspire the world and give it the dramatic leadership it yearns for if he would propose that the United States and the Soviet Union mutually reduce military expenditures by 50 percent in the next ten years and another 50 percent in the following decade with half the annual savings allocated to husbanding the ecosystem of the planet."
Anti-Automobile: Environmental leaders view our present transportation system, with its heavy reliance on the private automobile, as being extremely energy inefficient and a major source of air pollution. Environmental Handbook contributor Kenneth Cantor recommended programs "aimed at reduction of automobile usage to one-tenth of the present levels...." The Handbook's "Suggestions Toward an Ecological Platform" included these immediate steps:
1. Outlaw the sale of reciprocating internal combustion engines by 1975.
2. Massively shift gas taxes and other sources of revenue for freeways to urban and interurban mass transit, rational bus systems, and free or low-cost shuttle transport.
3. Progressively tax higher automobile weights and engine displacements according to a sharply rising scale.
At an environmental conference in 1989, Paul Ehrlich pointed out approvingly that raising the price per gallon of gasoline to at least $2.30 via taxation would limit gasoline consumption.
Environmental leaders recommend a shift from the automobile to government-subsidized or -owned mass transit systems. Americans would thus have to rely heavily on the government for their transportation needs, and the potential for government restriction of our freedom of movement would be great.
Limiting Consumption: Environmental leaders argue that more consumption means more pollution. Precisely because of America's affluence, they see the pollution problem as being worse in America than elsewhere. "[T]he destructive impact of each U.S. citizen on the physical, biological, and human environment is enormously magnified by the variety of gadgets and by the amount of energy at his disposal," lamented Rockefeller University professor René Dubos in The Environmental Handbook.
Earth Day leaders are not merely opposed to growth; they seek a reduction in energy use and the adoption of a simpler life-style as a means of reducing "pollution" and improving our "quality of life." Handbook editor Garrett De Bell proposed a 25-percent reduction in total energy use in this country over the next ten years.
Earth Day 1990 chairman Denis Hayes wants to phase out CFC emissions by 1995, cut acid rain by 80 percent, and cut fossil-fuel consumption by 85 percent by 2015. "You're talking about pulling the U.S. off of oil, coal and nuclear energy in the course of the next 25 or 30 years," he admits.
More Government: Radical environmentalists cannot implement their agenda without increasing the size and cost of government. The Earth Day 1990 "Green Pledge" asks Americans to support "the passage of local, state, and federal laws and international treaties that protect the environment." One of the goals of Earth Day 1990's "Global Cities" project is: "To produce a whole new generation of technical and organizational assistance and grant programs.... These new programs will be offered by the federal government, the state governments, and the organizations serving cities."
Anti-Profit Motive: Garrett Hardin's selection in The Environmental Handbook made this assertion: "We must admit that our legal system of private property plus inheritance is unjust...." Handbook contributor Keith Lampe stated: "[C]ompetition (capitalism) must be phased out and replaced with cooperative economic models."
In 1970, Earth Day speaker Rennie Davis, a member of the Chicago Seven, advocated "an end to a system based on the prerogatives of private greed rather than social need." He praised North Vietnam, even though America was still fighting the Vietnam War. And he proclaimed that "Earth Day is for the sons and daughters of the American Revolution who are going to tear this capitalism down and set us free." Earth Day 1970 organizers included his speech in their book, Earth Day — The Beginning.
New Values: Environmental Handbook contributor Lynn White, Jr. has stated: "More science and more technology are not going to get us out of the present ecologic crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one." According to White, "we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man."
In 1989, CNN founder Ted Turner handed down his own "Ten Commandments" to replace the old ones. "When Moses went up on the mountain, there were no nuclear weapons. There was no problem with the ozone layer," he proclaimed. Turner's Third Commandment: "I promise to have no more than two children, or no more than my nation suggests." Turner is an Earth Day 1990 director.
In the minds of environmental leaders, man can no longer "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." He cannot have dominion "over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing...." Gaylord Nelson claimed in 1970: "Man is just one of the creatures that the Lord put on this earth and is not more important than all the rest."
World Government: The Environmental Handbook included an article by John Fischer that proposed a comprehensive environmental college education, dubbed "Survival U." Fischer, a contributing editor for Harper's magazine, referred to the U.S. Constitution as a "political artifact." He quoted Professor Richard A. Falk of Princeton on "the inadequacy of the sovereign states to manage the affairs of mankind in the twentieth century." He explained that students at Survival U. would be encouraged to ask the following questions:
Are nation-states actually feasible, now that they have power to destroy each other in a single afternoon?... What price would most people be willing to pay for a more durable kind of human organization — more taxes, giving up national flags, perhaps the sacrifice of some of our hard-won liberties?
On Earth Day 1970, Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins bluntly stated: "Humanity needs a world order. The fully sovereign nation is incapable of dealing with the poisoning of the environment." He argued that "management of the planet ... requires world government." That same day, I.F. Stone made this comment in his own Earth Day speech: "There's no use talking about Earth Day until we begin to think like Earthmen. Not as Americans and Russians ... but as fellow travelers on a tiny planet in an infinite universe."
Because of their world view, environmentalist leaders support the strengthening of the United Nations. Earth Day 1990 supports the "organization of a powerful international agency with authority to safeguard the atmosphere, the oceans and other global commons from international threats." Unless such a force had police powers, however, it would lack the means to ensure world participation. As the October 9, 1989 issue of Time magazine put it: "The stick could be a United Nations environmental police force deployed around the world to guard the planer's most precious natural resources."
The National Audubon Society has launched an Earth Day 1990 campaign to send a message from the youth of America to President Bush. The "Youth Declaration," which bears the emblem of Earth Day 1990 as well as that of the National Audubon Society, states in part: "We the youth of planet earth ... hereby declare our interdependence...." The National Audubon Society has set a goal of one million signatures to be delivered to Washington D.C. during Earth Week.
Earth Day 20 is planning an Earth Day "peace climb of Mt. Everest" by a team of American, Soviet, and Chinese climbers, who plan to broadcast to the world via satellite.
Earth Day 1990 is helping to coordinate activities in 120 countries. Earth Day organizers are pursuing an international agenda. They argue that the devastation of the environment is too big a problem even for nations to solve and that international controls are necessary. Their words betray them: Earth Day is a campaign not to clean up the environment but to establish worldwide control — control over the environment, control over people, control over everything.
Admittedly, the tone and scope of Earth Day 1990 literature are not as strident and comprehensive as those of the Earth Day 1970 Environmental Handbook. But the connections are obvious: Earth Day 1990 literature describes the 1970 event in glowing terms and credits it for giving "birth to the modern American environmental movement." Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson is actively promoting this year's [Earth Day 1990]event. Denis Hayes, who organized the first Earth Day event, is chairman and CEO of Earth Day 1990. Edward Fluria, who organized Earth Day 1970 events in Philadelphia, is president of Earth Day 20.
Earth Day 1990 literature emphasizes voluntary efforts that individuals can undertake to conserve resources. These efforts include: recycling aluminum, glass, and paper; using public transportation; using cloth diapers rather than disposables; and taking grocery bags back to the store for re-use. Yet, in light of the broader body of Earth Day materials, one cannot help wondering when such voluntary conservation measures might be deemed inadequate and compulsory measures recommended. This February , in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Gaylord Nelson suggested a 25-cent-per-bag tax on paper bags as a means of discouraging their use.
Pressure From Above
Ostensibly to save the environment, misinformed and uninformed Americans are being mobilized to create the appearance of popular support for a radical agenda intended to alter our life-styles and subvert the independence of our country. If this agenda is implemented, it will not improve the environment but will fulfill a long-sought-after goal of the "Establishment." For this very reason, the Establishment has supported the radical "environmental" cause.
If the global environmental activists consisted of a collection of misguided ideologues in academia, they would not be of earthshaking concern. It is precisely because of this Establishment support that they are able to wield such great clout and pose such a dangerous threat to our liberties.
The most visible manifestation of the Establishment in this country is the elitist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR promotes world government and is able to influence U.S. foreign policy because of the number of their members who hold high-level positions in government during both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Writing in the Spring 1988 issue of the CFR journal, Foreign Affairs, Columbia University Professor Richard N. Gardner (a CFR member) recommended the use of environmental concerns to justify more internationalism. In the Spring 1989 Foreign Affairs, World Resources Institute Vice President Jessica Tuchman Mathews (CFR) stated approvingly: "Environmental strains that transcend national borders are already beginning to break down the sacred boundaries of national sovereignty...."
These pronouncements carry extra significance because of the journal in which they appeared. Newsweek calls Foreign Affairs the "pre-eminent" journal of its kind, while Time calls it "the most influential periodical in print." Proposals appearing in its pages often become U.S. policy.
The pillars of the Establishment who seek a socialist "New World Order" are using environmental "crises" as a pretext, just as they have capitalized on other concerns in the past. For instance, Gardner recommended five issues that could be used to bring about more internationalism. In addition to the environment, they were: nuclear arms and energy, drugs, AIDS, and population. During the height of the "Cold War," the threat of nuclear holocaust was the number-one weapon the New World Order architects used to justify an end to nationhood; now their number-one propaganda weapon appears to be the environment.
Lawrence Rockefeller is a member of the family that made a fortune in oil. He is also President of the American Conservation Association and an Earth Day 1990 director. In an article in the February 1976 Reader's Digest, Rockefeller advocated "a simpler life-style." He warned that, if we do not follow this new pattern of living "voluntarily and democratically, it may be forced upon us." He added:
Some economists and analysts argue that, if we continue consuming resources as we are now, the only way to bring about a balance between demand and supply will be through authoritarian controls.
The following year, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund sponsored a Task Force report entitled, The Unfinished Agenda: The Citizen's Policy Guide to Environmental Issues. The report describes itself as a "consensus document" that reflects the "collective thinking of the participating environmental leaders...." According to The Unfinished Agenda, "this book is about a world transition from abundance to scarcity, a transition that is already well underway." The recommendations in this Rockefeller Brothers Fund-sponsored report included:
• "Continuation and increased funding of family planning programs...."
• "[A] progressively increasing gasoline tax, the proceeds of which should be used to begin reducing the ill effects of automobiles."
• "An escalating tax on natural gas consumption.... A similar tax should be applied to all fossil fuels...."
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has continued to support the environmental movement. For instance, on June 26, 1987, the Fund donated $225,000 to the Worldwatch Institute for publication of their World Watch magazine. The November/December 1988 issue of that publication stated:
If lasting inroads into the pollution problem are to be made, we need to ... consider ways to reduce the excessive reliance on automobiles. Rising numbers of cars, higher speeds and the popularity of light trucks ... all call for some form of restriction. EPA Administrator Lee Thomas has suggested that "the smog problem may well be dealt with by reducing the number of cars on the street, by telling people they can't drive nearly to the extent they have in the past."
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has also given money to the Environmental Law Institute, the Sierra Club Foundation, the World Resources Institute, and the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) in recent years. Indeed, according to the October 4, 1987 New York Times, "The environment has long been a special interest to Rockefeller philanthropies."
The Rockefeller Family Fund Inc., a separate entity, has given money to the American Environment, the Environment Policy Institute, Friends of the Earth Foundation, the NRDC, and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. The Rockefeller Foundation has donated to the NRDC, the Population Council, and the World Resources Institute. Its funding of the Population Council — three grants totaling $125,000 reported in 1988 — included research on the development of an antifertility vaccine.
In 1988 the Rockefeller Foundation also reported three grants totaling $141,490 to Peking University in China for population studies, including rural China's population policy. China practices forced abortions and sterilizations.
Other major tax-exempt foundations have also used their clout to advance the environmentalist cause. In recent years, the powerful Ford Foundation has donated to the Environmental Policy Institute, the NRDC, the Population Council, and the World Resources Institute. The Carnegie Corporation of New York has donated to the Environmental Policy Institute, the NRDC, and the World Commission on Environment and Development in Geneva.
In 1989, the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations funded a conference on the global environment at the Smithsonian Institution. Biologist Thomas Lovejoy, one of the conference's participants, said that, "unless there is a major shift in the rate in which policy is developed or changed, it's likely that we are simply not going to make it.... It's not very far off before the problems are so big that it's almost beyond our capacity to recover." He added: "We are in a sense, or should be, at war with our life-styles and that is something we've never had to face with our species before." Lovejoy is also a director of Earth Day 1990.
Earth Day 1990 is working with equipment donated by Hewlett Packard and Apple Computer. Hewlett Packard President John Young is an Earth Day 1990 director. Earth Day 1990 proposes a world-wide ban on chlorofluorocarbons; Hewlett Packard is reportedly the second largest emitter of chlorofluorocarbons in Silicon Valley. Lawrence Rockefeller and John Young are members of the same board as Greenpeace U.S.A. Executive Director Peter Bahouth and Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle.
Twelve members of the 120-member National Board of Directors of Earth Day 1990 are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations. They include: U.S. Senators John Chafee, John Heinz, and Tim Wirth; New York Governor Mario Cuomo; and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.
The architects of the New World Order want more government and more internationalism. The environmental activists are providing a pretext for the implementation of these goals. The U.S. government is responding.
Last year , Senator Albert Gore, an Earth Day 1990 director, introduced legislation to designate April 22, 1990 as Earth Day. The Senate passed it last October 20th by unanimous consent, and the House passed it on November 16th by voice vote. President Bush signed it into law. The new law proclaims:
[W]e face an international environmental crisis that demands the attention of the American people and citizens of every nation in the world, and we must build alliances that transcend the boundaries dividing countries, continents, and cultures in order to solve it....
On January 3rd of this year , in order to "heighten public awareness of the need for active participation in the protection of the environment and to promote the formation of an international alliance that responds to global environmental concerns," Mr. Bush proclaimed April 22, 1990 as Earth Day.
U.S. government support of Earth Day extends beyond an internationalist proclamation that many congressmen may have failed to read. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a brochure praising the 1970 Earth Day event and recommending participation in the upcoming Earth Day demonstration. Articles by Gaylord Nelson promoting Earth Day have appeared in the July/August 1989 and January/February 1990 issues of the EPA Journal.
On June 12, 1989, President George Bush broke a 12-year deadlock in the effort to strengthen the Clean Air Act, by submitting his own sweeping proposal. The plan would set a goal of a 50-percent cut in sulfur emissions from coal-fired plants, a 75-percent to 90-percent cut in the release of airborne toxic chemicals by industry, and a 40-percent cut in automobile tailpipe hydrocarbon emissions.
According to Mr. Bush, in 1987 alone we spent $81 billion on pollution control, over $62 billion of it in the private sector. If a Clean Air bill is enacted, this cost could increase significantly. The Administration puts the cost of its own proposal at $19 billion. However, the Business Roundtable estimated earlier this year  that a Senate version of the Clean Air bill would cost as much as $104 billion a year.
On November 7, 1989, the U.S. and 67 other countries agreed to stabilize levels of carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2000. On January 12th of this year , the EPA and its Soviet counterpart announced hopes to form a jointly managed U.S.-USSR international park spanning both sides of the Bering Strait. On January 24th, Mr. Bush endorsed cabinet-level status for the EPA.
Although the environmental agenda is already moving forward, environmentalists hope to use Earth Day as a catalyst for stepping up the timetable. "Earth Day can be the booster rocket for the next ten years in making people more receptive in terms of changing behavior," claims Josh Baran, a top public relations consultant retained by Earth Day 1990.
If the Insiders are successful, the America people will be convinced that they must lower their standard of living, boost federal spending, and accept international controls in order to save the earth from environmental decay. Earth Day is a key part of this conditioning process. In the wake of Earth Day 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was established. There is no telling what could happen in the wake of Earth Day 1990.
This article was originally published in the March 26, 1990 issue of The New American.