Earth Day? Beware the Hype.

Mike Brownfield /

Acid rain. Expanding deserts. Global cooling. As Reason.tv explains in its video “The Top Five Environmental Disasters That Didn’t Happen,” all of the above were moments of environmental hysteria that led to nothing.

Others they cite? Frankenfoods, the end of biodiversity (the claim that 70-80% of the Earth’s species would be extinct by 1995), running out of energy, a “silent spring” (an apocalyptic prediction about pesticides), and Malthusian famine (hundreds of millions of people starving to death by the 1970s).

Under the Obama Administration, concerns over the environment — and specifically, global warming — have driven Congress and the president to push for even greater regulation of carbon emissions, first through the defeated cap-and-trade legislation and now through proposed CO2 regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris explains that, even setting aside the scientific dissention regarding the danger of CO2 and its effect on global warming, reducing CO2 unilaterally will have an insignificant impact on global emissions.¬†Even worse, the regulations would extract trillions of dollars from our economy¬†and destroy over one million jobs.

Conserving our environment is a laudable goal, but there are better ways to do it than using hysteria to scare people into accepting draconian laws and regulations.