Environmentalism: The Four-Part Series

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed December 2, 1970. According to the EPA's website, Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring played a pivotal role in establishing one of the government's most powerful regulatory arms. In fact, the EPA refers to itself as "the extended shadow of Rachel Carson."

This week, in honor of Earth Day, we take a look at the environmentalism movement, the EPA, global warming and valuing nature over man.

The four-part series is compiled below for your convenience.

Environmentalism Part I: The EPA, Silent Spring and DDT

The most important day of the entire year is upon us — Earth Day on April 22nd. It's a day in which environmentalists will overlook and dismiss earth's inhabitants and literally choose to celebrate the dirt beneath our feet.

Earth Day isn't really about picking trash in your local park or remembering to recycle your soda can. It isn't even about hugging a tree. It has never been that innocent. Earth Day is a yearly reminder that humanity must be controlled, manipulated and even destroyed for the good of the planet.

How have we come to place a higher value on plant life than human life? It all started with a selection from the Book of the Month Club.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, the book credited with igniting environmentalists in the United States. One hundred fifty thousand copies of "Silent Spring" were mailed to Book of the Month members and made their way into suburban America. With chapter titles such as "Elixirs of Death" and "Rivers of Death," Carson successfully mixed eloquence and horror to instill fear about the popular insecticide Dichloride Diphenyl Triclorethane, better known as DDT.

DDT was considered to be a miracle powder that played an extraordinary role in winning World War II. During the Second World War, DDT was used to protect allied troops and civilians from malaria, typhus and other insect-born diseases.

The insecticide proved to be invaluable against the Germans. In Italy, the fascists had strategically used mosquito-filled marshes to their advantage. And 22,000 troops were infected with malaria, until the American forces deployed crop dusters and DDT spray teams on the area, wiping out the mosquitos for good and allowing the allies to liberate Rome. DDT's efficiency at destroying insect-born illness was so great that many saw the potential in using DDT outside the theaters of war.

In 1948, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Paul Moller for discovering DDT. It eradicated diseases like no other insecticide before. But no one seems to remember all the good DDT did for the people of the world.

Rachel Carson's narrative that DDT was detrimental to both nature and human health was hungrily gobbled up by the public and government officials alike. Within eight years of its publication, Silent Spring was directly credited with the creation of the EPA.

In 1972, only ten years after Silent Spring was published, the U.S. banned DDT and other countries quickly followed suit. Once countries started falling prey to Carson' misinformation about DDT, malaria ran rampant. The devastating insect-born disease once again ravaged South Africa and South American countries.

Robert Watts of the National Institutes of Health once remarked, "The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children."

One could argue that Rachel Carson cared more about singing birds and leaping fish than children. One could also argue she was an accomplice in the deaths of millions around the world.

Environmentalism Part II: The Population Bomb

Earth Day will be celebrated by more than a billion people, making it the largest secular observance in the world. How did this singular day and its ideas become so engrained in society? In an ironic twist of fate, books --- those strange, obsolete things made from the destruction of trees --- have a lot to do with it.

You've learned about Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. The charmingly illustrated and eloquently worded volume against the insecticide DDT captured the imaginations of government officials and the public alike. However, a similar book even more terrifying was published during the feverish haze of 1968.

The Population Bomb was Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich's dire and impatient warning to mankind. Ehrlich painted an apocalyptic picture of the future: Too many people were being born and too many resources were drying up. The professor believed this was a fatal scenario for both the planet and humanity. He even went so far as to compare humanity to cancer.

"A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells. The population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies, often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion, if only the symptoms are treated," Ehrlich said.

Ehrlich had many actual solutions on how to combat the disease of the surplus population. He was a staunch supporter of families having no more than two children, so much so that he outlined in The Population Bomb how to attack the media for promoting large families. Paul Ehrlich also floated the idea of creating a federal Department of Population and Environment (DPE), arguing that one of the DPE's main focuses would be encouraging more research on human sex determination to ensure first born children were males.

The Population Bomb proved so popular Paul Ehrlich was able to co-found an activist group named Zero Population Growth (ZPG). Its members were passionate about decreasing the population and expert at using sympathy to get their talking points across. The group still exists as the re-branded Population Connection, continuing to spread their morbid fantasies about who should be born into this world --- and who should not.

If you're one of the billion people celebrating Earth Day this week, just remember: One of the founding environmentalists in America thinks the best way for you to celebrate is to drop dead.

Environmentalism Part III: The First Earth Day

Two years after professor Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, he was invited to speak at the first Earth Day in the United States where he shared his doomsday vision of an overpopulated planet with a free-spirited and bell-bottomed-clad congregation. The dark rhetoric profoundly contrasted visions of happy college students wielding signs and singing songs by the Fifth Dimension.

The first Earth Day was no day for joyful celebration. April 22, 1970, was much more an eve of destruction than an age of Aquarius. Speakers spewed inflammatory language about the earth and humanity being in a crisis for survival. The urgency in the so-called polluted air was palpable.

Earth Day founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin, had been sounding the alarm for at least a year before growing his pet project into a national demonstration. His philosophy was to elect an "ecology" congress as the 92nd congress that would build bridges between men and nature's systems, instead of "building more highways and damns and new weapon systems that escalate the arms race."

At least Senator Nelson was looking out for the livelihood of people. Many Earth Day speakers were less interested in the fate of humanity. Dr. James Bonner, for example, delivered an anti-human message, proclaiming man as the villain draining the planet's resources and manipulating it for his own selfish desires.

Interestingly, one of the most prominent issues discussed on the first Earth Day was how to stop humans from bringing about global cooling. In 1970, global warming wasn't even a concern. Hippies and politicians actually believed that the earth was getting too cold --- and the media ate it up. Ecologist Kenneth Watt even predicted an ice age as early as 2000.

Many reputable people believed in the less-than-accurate alarmism promoted on the very first Earth Day. In fact, a prominent and trusted news anchor didn't think Earth Day went far enough. Walter Cronkite expressed on air a great disappointment in Earth Day participation and the "skylark mood, which contrasted rudely with the messages of apocalypse."

The story of the first Earth Day in America wouldn't be complete without mentioning the figure eco activists have consistently tried to hide in the shadows --- Ira Einhorn.

Einhorn was the master of ceremonies at the first Earth Day event in Philadelphia. He was well-known on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for his tie-dye attire and message of peace and love. His diary, however, was filled with passages about inflicting pain on women and the joy it brought him. Today, Ira Einhorn, the self-proclaimed founder of Earth Day, is serving a life sentence for fatally beaten and composting his girlfriend. The pioneering Earth Day enthusiast serves as a fitting symbol of how little value some environmentalists place on human life.

Environmentalism Part IV: The Biggest Hoax of All Time

The impending ice age foreshadowed by scientists, politicians and hippies on the first Earth Day in 1970 never actually came to fruition. If you haven't noticed, our planet is not completely frozen over, and we don't currently live in igloos. But the failed predictions made about global cooling in the 1970s have been conveniently swept under the rug to make way for a slightly different issue that also requires immediate and collective action --- global warming.

In the late 1980s, environmental activists wielded the power of apocalyptic rhetoric to scare the public into fearing global warming and its disastrous consequences. The most ardent warrior pushing global warming was NASA scientist Dr. James Hanson.

In 1988, Hanson testified before Congress he was 99 percent certain the years' record temperatures were not natural. It was the first time a scientist claimed a connection between human activity and the warming of the planet. Hanson confidently warned reporters after the hearing, "It's time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here."

Hanson made many predictions in the late '80s, like New York experiencing such drastic droughts restaurants would have signs saying, "Water by Request Only." The only glitch was that the 1990s turned out to be the most drought-free decade in U.S. history. In actuality, none of Hanson's predictions have come to pass. Despite his failed prophecies, Hanson is revered by the scientific community to this day, and he continues his stale warning.

Hanson isn't the only person who has made a career based on environmental fear mongering. Al Gore has done it for years, and is quite skilled at scaring people into action. A decade ago, Gore declared that without drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases, the world would reach a point of no return. Well, over ten years have passed. Have we reached planetary emergency levels? No. Surely Al Gore's other prediction that the Arctic may be ice-free by now has come true. No, the opposite is true. Satellite photos of the Arctic taken by NASA in August 2013 show a 60 percent increase in the polar ice sheet.

Politicians seem to be experts when it comes to using environmental scare tactics to their advantage. Take President Obama's declaring climate change as a "primary national security threat." If we make any predictions this Earth Day, it would be this: Apocalyptic predictions about the environment are here to stay. It's up to that "vermin" --- or what we would call humans --- to decide whether to believe them or not.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.