Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Isabelle Z.
When you read the recent Earth Day article by Michael Bastasch on The Daily Caller, the first thing you might be tempted to do is check the date to see if it was written on April 1. The advice is so incredibly bad and contrary to everything we know about the environment that it’s hard to take it all seriously. Sadly, however, the piece’s environmental stupidity doesn’t appear to be an April Fool’s joke.
After making fun of people who care about the planet that gives us life and mocking those who eat healthy food like organic kale, the writer goes on to list some ways you can honor Earth Day. First up on his list is chopping down redwoods. That’s right; he suggests that chopping down these trees – the world’s tallest living things – is somehow helpful to the environment, providing information about a group that is campaigning to “thin out” 10,000 acres of trees in the Redwoods. Not only does deforestation cause soil erosion, but it also leads to droughts, which is pretty much the last thing that California needs.
[Editor’s note: We believe the Daily Caller is a valuable news organization that publishes a steady stream of insightful and high-quality news stories on political matters. Their apparent utter lack of knowledge about ecology and agricultural science doesn’t take away from their authority on political reporting. It does, however, make us all wonder if they’re going the direction of the widely discredited Forbes.com, which has become a circus of fiscal stupidity and a paid propaganda rag for Monsanto.]
If you’re not inclined to get out your ax and head to the Redwood Forest, he has another piece of advice that is easier for most people to do at home: use plastic bags. He says that using plastic bags isn’t necessarily better than using other types of bags, calling out organic cotton bags for the amount of fertilizer needed for the crops. Besides the fact that there are other options for those avoiding plastic bags, how can he ignore the very real and serious problem of plastic pollution in our oceans?
Plastic pollution is already responsible for the 49 percent drop in marine vertebrate populations seen between the years of 1970 and 2012. There are more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic garbage in our planet’s oceans, and that number is expected to triple within the next seven years. Microplastics are often mistaken by animals for food, and they’re already found in almost three fourths of the fish in the Northwest Atlantic.
It’s the last piece of advice, however, that shows you just how disconnected the writer is from reality: “Eat GMOs”. If the rest of the piece hadn’t been equally misguided, we might have just assumed that Monsanto wrote this part and paid him to post it; it reads like their propaganda and it’s one of their favorite tactics.
Calling organic food a “fad,” he writes that organic farming is somehow not as environmentally friendly as GMO crops, despite the fact that growing them is killing birds and bees and creating such a biodiversity loss that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has cautioned that humans may not be able to feed themselves as a result.
How could anyone in their right mind think it’s a good idea to eat food laced with cancer-causing glyphosate? Monsanto is facing a slew of class-action lawsuits from people who got cancer due to glyphosate exposure. This is just one reason that organic food is far from a fad, as evidenced by the tremendous growth in organic food sales and rising trend for farmers to convert their crops to organic to meet the growing demand.
According to this writer, we are supposed to cut down trees, use plastic bags, and eat GMOs to honor Earth Day. In other words, we should all destroy some of the world’s most majestic trees, kill precious marine life, and give ourselves cancer. In what world is any of this a good idea?
The only possible explanation for this ridiculous stance is that the Daily Caller wanted to be controversial. Instead, they just ended up showing their complete ignorance when it comes to environmental matters.
Sources for this article include: