So, Friday night in Seattle (April 22) the anti-science, anti-environmental wackos will premiere a film. Among other things, the film claims Rachel Carson was wrong about DDT, but her Svengali-fu was so great that she persuaded John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Idi Amin, the National Academy of Sciences and a host of others to ban DDT needlessly, and that millions of people died from diseases the DDT could prevent at low cost and no harm.
The film premieres at an elementary school: Rachel Carson Elementary.
Get it? See the joke?
These wackos, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, have no shame about mocking the kids in second and third grade at that school who rightly look on Carson as a heroine and great human. Is it possible to be more cynical than that? Would it be possible for them to be bigger jerks about it?
The screening is sponsored by the right wing, and now clearly anti-science, Washington Policy Center.
McAleer and McElhinney are poster children for the decline of morality in America. They have no shame about bullying elementary school kids in their efforts to sully the good reputation of a great scientist and writer. Judging by their unfair and inaccurate screed against Carson and Al Gore, it appears they lack the moral sense to feel the shame. I can see their next film project now: They’ll do an exposé of how the brutal bank examiners forced bankers to live on only their salaries, foregoing the multi-million-dollar bonuses they deserved — and noting that malaria in Uganda now is worse because U.S. bankers are not compensated highly enough.
Irish documentary filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have stirred up trouble before by debunking smug liberal hypocrisy. Their latest film, “Not Evil, Just Wrong” takes on the hysteria over global warming and warns that rushing to judgment in combating climate change would threaten the world’s poor.
The film reminds us that environmentalists have been wrong in the past, as when they convinced the world to ban the pesticide DDT, costing the lives of countless malaria victims. The ban was finally reversed by the World Health Organization only after decades of debate. The two Irish filmmakers argue that if Al Gore’s advice to radically reduce carbon emissions is followed, it would condemn to poverty two billion people in the world who have yet to turn on their first light switch.
* * * * * *
The two filmmakers are skilled at using provocative publicity tactics. On April 22, they will hold a public showing of their film at the Rachel Carson Elementary School in the suburbs of Seattle. “Since it was Rachel Carson who touched off the campaign to ban DDT, we thought showing ‘Not Evil, Just Wrong’ there would be appropriate,” says Mr. McAleer.
Local environmentalists will probably not appreciate the gesture and will be appalled that the school agreed to rent out its auditorium to the renegade skeptics. But somebody might point out that it’s not evil, just appropriate, to hold a debate about the real-world consequences of acting on global warming fears.
As you may already know, April 22 is Earth Day. At noon, inside City Hall, the Seattle City Council will be showing a movie about Rachel Carson, the biologist whose book, Silent Spring, is frequently credited with spurring the modern environmental movement.
Meanwhile that same evening, at Rachel Carson Elementary School in Sammamish, conservative think tank the Washington Policy Center will be showing Not Evil Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria. (Tagline: “This is the film Al Gore and Hollywood don’t want you to see.”) It’s by the same folks who brought you that mining industry–funded classic, Mine Your Own Business. We know you’re in your grave. But you can roll over now, Ms. Carson.
That’s good news: The film showing at the Seattle City Council chamber is “A Sense of Wonder,” which will get more viewers in Seattle than the other film will get nationwide. (Presented by the Seattle City Council; 600 Fourth Street, Seattle; contact Phyllis Shulman, 206-684-8816; or see the council’s website; film shows at noon to 1:00 p.m., free admission.)
Of course, there is a little joke on these evil film makers McAleer and McIlhenny: The school isn’t just named after Rachel Carson, by popular vote of the children, it’s also green.
A total of 75 names were submitted by students. Nominees had to meet the district’s requirement of “deceased persons famous for their work in science, the humanities, letters, or education.” This list was narrowed to those that had more than one nomination, which left eight finalists. Those eight finalists were put on a ballot with a description of each nominee. Ballots were mailed to the families of children who will attend the new school next year.
A total of 320 students voted. The top three choices were Carson, Clara Barton and Amelia Earhart. The Lake Washington School District Board of Directors approved the use of any of those top three choices at its May 5 meeting. Shortly thereafter, Principal Mary Cronin received word that permission was granted to use the name of Rachel Carson. Frances Collin, literary agent for her estate, wrote that she believed Miss Carson would have been pleased.
In her writings, Carson encouraged people to discover and help children discover the wonder of the natural world. After earning a master’s degree in zoology, Carson spent 15 years working for the U.S. Government as a scientist and editor. She rose to Editor in Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her writing in her free time included many essays on the ocean. These essays led to three books about the ocean and a career as a science writer who shared her knowledge as well as her love of nature. One of those books, The Sea Around Us, won the National Book Award.
Carson’s concerns about the misuse of synthetic pesticides led to her book, Silent Spring, which sounded the alarm about the environmental impact of indiscriminate use of such powerful chemicals on nature. First serialized in the New Yorker magazine, it became a runaway best seller. Testifying before Congress in 1963, Carson asked for policies that that would protect against irreversible damage to humans and nature alike, urging study and consideration of safer alternatives.
Carson’s work led to the ban on most uses of DDT in the U.S. and a subsequent worldwide ban on DDT for agricultural use. The DDT ban has been cited as a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle in the U.S. In 1980, Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The new Rachel Carson Elementary will feature such environmentally friendly features as a green roof, extensive use of daylight and a geothermal heat pump. It is located at 1035 244th Ave. NE in Sammamish.
The school’s good practices contradict the preachings of the film makers. The elementary school kids have more sense than the climate change deniers and DDT-poisoned anti-environmentalists.
Oh. The anti-environmental film is named “Not Evil, Just Wrong.” When the film is done on its producers, it will carry an even shorter title: “Evil and Wrong.”
What would the film makers do if a bunch of 3rd graders from the school showed up at the screening, and in the Q&A after, asked, “Why are you telling such lies about Rachel Carson and Vice President Gore?”