Green doom-mongers refuse to see the forests

Caption: A sight to warm a green’s heart ? and there’s more and more of it.

I think it was around 2007 that I happened to notice Bj?rn Lomborg?s The Skeptical Environmentalist on the shelves of my local library. Idly curious, I took it out. The book helped change almost everything I?d previously believed about the state of the world?s environment.

What was especially illuminating was that, when I repeated some of its findings, such as that forest cover in developed nations was actually increasing, people were often literally offended. The green gospel of unremitting destruction was so ingrained in people’s thinking that suggesting otherwise drove them into outraged denial. Nearly 20 years after The Skeptical Environmentalist, the green lobby are still reciting the same mantra in defiance of the facts. Quote:

Recently on the BBC, Deborah Tabart from the Australian Koala Foundation noted that ?85 per cent of the world?s forests are now gone.? Luckily this statement is incorrect.

Moreover, due to afforestation in the developed world, net deforestation has almost ceased. End of quote.

The main reason the green lobby are so wedded to their lies about environmental doom is not just because their entire worldview is built around it, but their very livelihood depends on it. Humans mostly hate having their minds changed, especially about their most cherished beliefs. Environmentalists need to believe in environmental destruction, because otherwise environmentalists would have no reason to exist (and people would have no reason to keep giving money).

For an activist, a problem solved is an existential crisis.

Years ago, I interviewed rock star Jello Biafra, who emphasised to always try to drill to the source of activists? claims. More often than not, he said, you?ll find they?re either made up, or at best made up by other activists and then repeated as gospel truth. Carl Sagan also advised to always subject quantitative claims to a quick, back-of-the-envelope reckoning.

Tabart?s claim fails both fact-checking strategies. Quote:

After searching for evidence to support Tabart?s claim, the closest source I could find is an article from GreenActionNews, which claims that 80 per cent of the earth?s forests have been destroyed?

For 80 per cent of the forest area to have already been destroyed and for 4 billion hectares to remain, 135 per cent of the planet?s surface must have once been covered in forests. End of quote.

So, what is the real figure? Quote:

Anyhow, slightly more than 31 per cent of the world is covered in forest. The world does continue to lose forest area, but consider the rate and location of this loss. According to the United Nations? Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the annual rate of deforestation has more than halved since the 1990s. Between 2010 and 2015, the world has gained 4.3 million hectares of forest per year, while losing 7.6 million hectares of forest per year. That accounts for a net decrease of 0.08 percent of forest area each year?

The FAO makes it clear that ?93 per cent of global forest area, or 3.7 billion hectares in 2015,? was natural forest?natural forest loss is declining by 0.059 percent per year and is heading towards zero. End of quote.

The green miserablists are not only wrong ? or lying ? about the data, but about the cause as well. Environmentalists blame economic development for environmental degradation. The truth is the reverse. Quote:

In about half of the world, there is net reforestation and, as Matt Ridley puts it, this isn?t happening despite economic development, but because of it.

The world?s richest regions, such as North America and Europe, are not only increasing their forest area. They have more forests than they did prior to industrialization. The United Kingdom, for example, has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago. End of quote.

Poor people are too busy trying to eat and keep warm to give a stuff about forests and wildlife. If you?re a poor African villager, forests and animals are only so much fuel and wildlife that your family desperately needs. Conversely, environmentalists are clustered in the rich, inner cities of developed nations. Quote:

?The environment is a luxury good,? says Tim Worstall of the Adam Smith Institute, ?it?s something we spend more of our income upon, as incomes rise.? End of quote.

For this reason, wolves and tigers, in developed Europe and rapidly-developing Russia and India, are increasing. Lions, in impoverished Africa, continue to decline. Quote:

To encourage reforestation and environmental protection, the answer is a simple one ? adopt economic policies that encourage rapid development and urbanisation. As people grow rich and move to the cities, more money becomes available for environmental protection and more land can be returned to nature. End of quote.

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