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.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.