Lang Hancock, “Get the ‘econuts’ off our backs …,”
The Australian, April 10, 1978, p. 9.
Apart from the National Party in Queensland, which gets its life from the dynamic leadership of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, political parties in Australia are not only mentally dead, but declining in strength of character.
Therefore, it was quite heartening to see that the WA Country Party was wise enough to realise it was dying and, in order to save itself, has embarked on a new and vigorous program of revitalisation.
However, one must view with dismay their president’s (Mr Fletcher’s) support of what any person (capable of reasoning for himself) must understand is the Number One enemy of civilisation, and hence Australia.
The main danger today resides in the environmentalist movements. I am not referring to the great number of well-intentioned people who, out of sheer ignorance, don’t realise the damage they are doing to Australia.
I am referring to those subversives who, for personal gain or a lust for power, are desirous of breaking down what is left of our “free enterprise” system entirely; these latter people, whose numbers are swelled by a great mass of unwashed, unspanked, dole-bludging drop-outs, are threatening the lives and fortunes of the Australian community as it has never been threatened before. A classic example of the dire things that can happen when the environmentalists get busy is the DDT story.
It begins during World War II when a safe, cheap, and potent new insecticide made its debut. Known as DDT, it proved its value almost overnight. Grain fields once ravaged by insects began producing bumper crops. Marshland became habitable. And the death rate in many countries fell sharply.
Malaria fatalities dropped from four million a year in the 1930s to less than a million by 1968. Other insect-borne diseases also loosened their grip — encephalitis, yellow fever and typhus. Wherever DDT was used, the ailment abated. It has been estimated that 100 million human beings who would have died of one of these afflictions are alive today because of DDT.
But that’s not the whole story. Let’s look at it from the farmer’s point of view. In many countries, famine was once a periodic visitor. Then, largely because of food surpluses made possible by DDT, famines became relatively rare. So you can credit this insecticide with saving additional hundreds of millions of lives.
Then in 1963, a lady named Rachel Carson wrote a book in which she charged that DDT has killed some fish and some birds. That’s all the environmentalists needed; they pounced on the book, embraced its unsubstantiated claims, and ran off to Washington to demand a ban on DDT. And Washington meekly gave them their ban: a gradual DDT phase-out. Other countries followed the U.S. lead.
The effect was not long in coming. Malaria, virtually conquered throughout the world, is having a resurgence. Food production is down in many areas. And such pests as the gypsy moth, in hiding since the 1940s, are now munching away at American forests.
Closer to home, God only knows what damage the “econuts” can do if our Government (with NCP help) weakly gives in and fails to keep them out of the newly fledged wood chip industry in WA.
The tragedy is that DDT, while it probably did kill a few birds and fish, never harmed a single human being except by accidental misuse. When the ultimate report is written, it may show that the opponents of DDT — despite the best of intentions — contributed to the deaths of more human being than did all the natural disasters in history.
In addition to endangering human life, the environmentalists are making things as difficult as possible for us survivors.
Of all activities of the environmentalists, the most insidious are their attempts, along with the communists, to destroy the remnants of our free enterprise system. Detractors ask, is it worth saving? Admittedly it’s not perfect, nevertheless it is by far the best system yet devised for the production, distribution and widespread enjoyment of goods and services. It is more than coincidence that virtually all of mankind’s scientific progress came in the two centuries when free enterprise was operative in the Western world, and that most of the progress came in the two centuries when free enterprise was operative in the Western world, and that most of the progress was achieved in the nation regarded as the leading exponent of free enterprise — the United States of America.
For in the past 200 years — an eyeblink in history — an America geared to private industry had conquered communicable diseases, abolished starvation, brought literacy to the masses, transported men to another planet and expanded the horizons of its citizens to an almost incredible degree by giving them wheels and wings and electronic extensions of their eyes, their ears, their hands, even their brains.
It has made available to the average Australian luxuries that a short time ago were beyond the reach of the wealthiest plutocrat. By developing quick-cook meals and labour-saving appliances, it has cut kitchen chores in most houses from five hours a day to an hour and a-half … and as a result has done more to liberate women than all the female environmentalists will ever do.
Environmentalists look back with fond nostalgia to the “good old days” when there weren’t any nasty factories to pollute the air and kill the animals and drive people to distraction with misleading advertisements.
But what was life really like in America 150 years ago? For one thing, it was brief. Life expectancy was 38 years for males. And it was a gruelling 38 years. The work week was 72 hours. The average pay was $300. Per year, that is.
The women had it worse. Housewives worked 55 hours a week, and there wasn’t a dishwasher or vacuum cleaner to be had.
The food was monotonous and scarce. The clothes were rags. In the winter you froze, in the summer you sweltered, and when an epidemic came — and they came almost every year — it would probably carry off someone in your family.
Whatever miners, farmers and industrialists have done to bring us out of this paradise of 150 years ago, let’s give them a grateful pat on the back — not a knife in it.
Mr Fletcher is very naive in saying “expansion (of bauxite mining) should be delayed till it had been scientifically proved that there would be no environmental problems.”
If the environmentalist screams for “adequate testing,” etc, before any new product is started or any new product is released to the public were heeded, they would destroy mankind’s ability to cope with itself. For instance, if penicillin had been tested the way the environmentalists want all products tested — not only on the current generation, but on future generations, to determine hereditary effects — this wonder drug would not be in use today. And millions of people whose lives have been saved by penicillin would be dead.
We simply cannot test every aspect of human existence, generation after generation, to make absolutely certain that everything we do is totally guaranteed not to harm anybody to any degree whatsoever.
When first apprised of the information that the finance committee of the NCP had been successful in raising funds for the rejuvenation of their party, I offered my congratulations. I sincerely hope that such funds will not be used to stop mining in any form.
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