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Lewis Morris / April 18, 2022

Going Green Kills People

From causing food shortages to malaria outbreaks, leftist policies to “save the environment” become deadly.

Concern for potential global food shortages sparked by the Russia-Ukraine war have highlighted, once again, the fallacy of the Left’s political agenda. Many countries that rely on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine fear famine, but there is evidence that the market will correct itself. The real problem is that years of wrongheaded leftist agricultural and energy policies have put unnecessary strain on global food output.

For decades, the Left has consistently chosen its own assumption of what is good for the environment over the health of humans. DDT, an important pesticide in combating malaria and blight, was banned in 1972 because of its supposed impact on various forms of wildlife. Popular history tells us that DDT was universally viewed as a poison that wrecked the ecosystem, but at the time the science was highly debated. (Sound familiar?)

In recent years, DDT has slowly made a comeback as a means of controlling insect populations and combating malaria. But the damage has been done. Banning DDT was considered a major victory for the environment, but the ban predictably coincided with a rise in malaria and the deaths of millions of people in Africa.

The Left’s policies and rhetoric have further harmed the African people through a sustained misinformation campaign against genetically modified foods. The so-called Party of Science has fought the application of GMOs in agricultural production in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere because … who knows? The bottom line is that GMOs are widely used and widely recognized as safe. Yet several African countries risk starving their citizens because they have bought the Left’s unsubstantiated rubbish and refuse to grow or buy GM crops.

Sri Lanka is facing a food crisis of crippling proportions after trying to convert the entire country over to organic farming. Last year, the government made a sudden and rash decision to ban foreign-made chemical fertilizers and pesticides after deeming them unhealthy to the population. There was little evidence to back up this assertion, and no thought was made as to the impact on farmers who without warning had to adapt to organic agriculture.

As one might imagine, the results were catastrophic. Crop yields for the country’s principal agricultural exports crashed, food prices spiked, and the economy went into a tailspin. The program was halted after only seven months, but it may take several years before Sri Lanka’s agricultural industry returns to its previous level of output.

Like with energy prices, food prices around the world were on the rise long before Russia invaded Ukraine, despite the fantasy history being peddled by Team Biden. The reason, again, is leftist policies. In the UK and the United States, wind and solar farms are taking up valuable land that could be used for farming. What’s worse is that these renewable energy land grabs are not even worth the effort. For instance, solar panels in Wisconsin reached only 16% of their output potential in 2020; wind turbines reached 27.5%.

The Left wants us to believe that wind and solar will solve all our energy problems. Yet these energy sources have yet to demonstrate their full potential, particularly when one considers the tradeoff. Wind and solar installations would require an area twice the size of California to meet the country’s current electricity needs. Just electricity — not fuel or heat. And that’s not to mention millions more electric cars. And what about the manufacture of all those not exactly environmentally friendly solar cells? Or the fact that China has a corner on that market?

Wind turbines can be farmed around to some extent, but not solar fields. The amount of land being gobbled up by these unpredictable energy sources is not worth potentially starving millions of people. Wisconsin Representative Tom Tiffany recently introduced the Future Agriculture Retention and Management (FARM) Act to reverse the trend of taxpayer-funded energy schemes that gobble up valuable farmland for wind and solar installations.

The Left would have us believe that protecting the environment and making certain advancements for humankind are mutually exclusive choices. They are not. We can have both a clean environment and a growing society at the same time. We just need to think before we act.

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