Gut Rumbles

August 03, 2007

"Scare 'em, then save 'em."

Originally published March 15, 2002

That was a successful sales formula for a friend of mine in the water treatment business and he did very well at it. The process is simple, and it works. You approach your chump, er... I mean the client, and you convince him that he has VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS, and without immediate action, he's gonna die, or kill someone else, or at least be liable for ruinous lawsuits because of his neglegence. Then, you offer a miracle cure for all of his problems. He pays money, you take it, and both parties are delighted with the deal. Then you invent another problem and sell another cure.

Environmentalists have worked this scam for years. It has been lucrative, so they discourage anyone saying we're getting better. Like government agencies, environmental activists have a vested interest in ensuring that problems are never solved. They only get worse. Otherwise, the funding dries up and you have to find a REAL job to earn a living.

Clueless people who listen to the environmental mau-maus are convinced that the world is in the worst shape it's ever been and it's going quickly downhill. I realize that the propaganda spewed by environmentalists is pervasive and effective, but I simply have to wonder what happened to the memory banks of those who swallow it.

I am fifty years old. I remember leaded gasoline, raw sewage being "treated" by pouring it into the Savannah River on the outgoing tide, the rotten-egg stench of sulphur dioxide belching from the stacks of the Union Camp paper mill (smells like money!) and watching a tidal wave of soap suds rise forty feet high, wash over the road and stop traffic over the Hayner's Creek bridge when I was a boy. I don't see or smell crap like that anymore. Shad fishermen string their nets in the Savannah River where once it was toxic, dead and liable to catch fire at any minute. I remember when a nimble person could run across the river from bank to bank without getting wet feet, just by treading on the God-Knows-What that floated there at the time. Anybody who says the environment is worse now than it used to be is out of his mind.

But we have a lot of stupid people in this world. It's good for environmentalists.

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