UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM
This section of DiscoverTheNetworks examines how actions and policies ostensibly designed to protect the natural environment sometimes result in unforeseen disasters.
For example, from the 1970s through the 1990s, radical environmentalists sued to prohibit the construction of levees that could have prevented Hurricane Katrina from devastating New Orleans and the Gulf Coast decades later, in August of 2005. Motivated by a belief that the proposed levees would have negative environmental effects on the region, the major obstructionists were such groups as Save Our WetLands, the Sierra Club, American Rivers, the Mississippi River Basin Alliance, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. For a more complete account of how the well-intentioned actions of these organizations paved the way for catastrophe, click here.
Another unintended horror to result from the efforts of radical environmentalists was the malaria epidemic that caused at least 50 million people around the world to die needlessly of a disease that was entirely preventable. By the middle part of the 20th century, the larger part of mankind had finally succeeded -- thanks to the then-recent development of the pesticide DDT -- in vanquishing malaria, which had afflicted the human race since the dawn of time (and which, by one estimate, had killed approximately half the people who had ever lived on earth). But soon after DDT became widely available, leftist ideologues -- professing concern for the integrity of the natural environment -- collaborated to ban its use in many parts of the world. Ultimately, that ban caused the disease to re-emerge in places from which it had been eradicated. Ninety percent of the victims were children in sub-Saharan Africa under the age of five. For further details on the relationship between the DDT ban and the spread of malaria, click here.