May 1992 (vol. 8, #4) 1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716 c 1992 Physicians for Civil Defense


Will the upcoming United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) the ``Earth Summit'' be a Versailles, ending the world's war against the environment, as environmentalists hope?

Or will a ``successful'' Earth Summit be a ``Munich that will destroy the economic vitality of nations with market economies and start them down a green road to serfdom,'' the outcome considered more likely by free-market economists (CEI UpDate, March 1992)?

About 30,000 people from more than 130 nations, including representatives of some 3,000 environmentalist organizations, are expected to attend the meeting in Rio de Janeiro this June. Helping to set the agenda is Lester Brown, president of the WorldWatch Institute and coauthor of State of the World 1992.

According to Brown, ``Building an environmentally sustainable future ... requires restructuring the global economy, dramatically changing human reproductive behavior, and altering values and lifestyles. Doing all this quickly requires nothing short of a revolution (Human Events, 2/29/92).''

Agenda 21

Global restructuring involves implementation of Agenda 21, an 800-page ``international environmental cleanup plan.'' The centerpiece is a commitment to freezing emissions of ``greenhouse gases'' by the year 2000. To carry out this agenda, the Third World will require $125 billion annually in foreign assistance ($70 billion more than they currently receive). Aid would be channeled through the World Bank, despite the Bank's history of funding ecological destruction and corrupt, oppressive government bureaucracies (CEI UpDate).

The amount of aid to Third World countries has been a sticking point with the European Economic Community. And the USA is accused of ``gutting'' the proposed treaty on global warming. So far, the US has been reluctant to surrender its sovereignty to international controls that could cripple an already ailing economy (for example, by forcing a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels). The price tag for abating CO2 could run as high as $600 billion per year, according to UNCED Secretary-General Maurice Strong.

President Bush is under increasing pressure to attend the Summit and fulfill his promise to become the ``Environmental President.'' Supporters of the ``sustainable development'' agenda include the Environmental Protection Agency and more than 200 corporations including DuPont (Issues in Science and Technology, Spring, 1992).


The imposition of a revolutionary change in lifestyle is likely to provoke some resistance. How will it be enforced?

Article 43 of the UN Charter calls on all members of the UN to make forces available to the Security Council under ``special agreements'' for the maintenance of international peace and security in effect giving the Council a standing army. One proposal to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on defining a New World Order calls for the Security Council to use Article 43 to acquire a 500,000-member ``standing reserve peace force.'' (NY Times 1/31/92).

This year, the UN will spend as much as $3.7 billion on 77,000 blue-helmeted troops. Never before have UN troops been committed to so many costly and diverse missions (McAlvaney Intelligence Advisor 4/92).

Recently, the Security Council expanded the definition of ``threats to peace and security'' to include ``non-military sources of instability in the economic, social, humanitarian, and ecological fields'' (NY Times 2/1/92).

In setting (and enforcing) global environmental policy, the decisionmakers confront some troubling uncertainties, for example, whether or not ``global warming'' will actually occur. Alton Frye, Vice President and Washington Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, suggests using Cold War methods to ``spy'' on the environment to acquire scientific knowledge firm enough for setting strict limits on greenhouse gases. This could be a practical way in which ``the cold war's demise opened up a new and more promising era of cooperation among nations and finally enabled the United Nations to break free from the political paralysis that has hindered it for most of its 46 years of existence'' (NY Times 2/1/92).

The government possesses vast quantities of unevaluated data from surveillance satellites and aircraft. To date, the Environmental Protection Agency and scientific agencies have not had access to classified data. Recently, Congress has appropriated $200 million for applying defense resources to environmental purposes, and CIA Director Robert Gates has authorized a ``scouting party'' of independent scientists to investigate the use of intelligence data for environmental study. The enforcement applications are left to the reader's imagination.

Students of history will remember that the United Nations has been consistently anti-American. And that Versailles and Munich were both disasters that led to war.

The Dawn of a New Order

A Pro-nuclear war viewpoint: ``We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into the Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion guilt-free at last!'' [Possibly the same goal could be accomplished through the UN, without need for a nuclear war Ed.]

Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalogue

``Industrial civilization is acne on the face of Gaia.''

Merlin Stone, author of When God Was a Woman.

``Human suffering is much less important than the suffering of the planet.''

David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth


An Endorsement for President Bush

``I consider that I was very lucky in have met George Bush....Even in the days when I was in the opposition we used to meet....I already felt his wide-ranging talent, his mind, and his qualities as a person....Today our relations have now been formed as friends....We call each other on the telephones. We say Boris and say George. And already this says a lot.''

Interview with Boris Yeltsin, NY Times 2/2/92


Proliferation Reports

China. According to American intelligence reports, China has delivered to Syria about 30 tons of chemicals needed to make a solid-fuel missile and planned to deliver an additional 60 tons in March or April. It has also delivered to Pakistan guidance units that could be used to control the flight of M-11 ballistic missiles. There was disagreement among officials as to whether the sales violate the Missile Technology Control Regime. The Chinese view the M-11 as short-range missile, although the US considers it a medium-range missile that would be covered by the agreement. Its range is 180 miles, and as a shorter-range missile, it can carry a nuclear warhead (NY Times 1/31/92).

North Korea. Kim Il Sung has been stalling for time on accepting inspections of nuclear facilities. But ``as for military action, forget it'' counsel William J. Taylor and Michael Mazaar of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ``Without inspection teams on the ground, we do not know the right targets. Even if we knew what to hit, reports suggest the North Koreans have dug shelters, deep into rock, that are impervious to most precision weapons. In the gulf war, 40 days of air strikes did not halt Iraq's nuclear program, and Kim Il Sung's labs are dug far deeper than Saddam Hussein's (NY Times 4/13/92).

Japan. Japan has begun a nuclear weapons program with plans to import 40 tons of plutonium from Europe (McAlvaney Intelligence Advisor, PO Box 84904, Phoenix, AZ 85071, Dec. 1991). One ton of plutonium is sufficient to produce 100 to 150 atomic bombs. The planned shipment from Europe would appear to be the largest transport operation involving pluto-nium in history (NY Times 4/13/92).


Dreaded Ozone Hole Fails to Appear

Despite the NASA predictions that led President Bush to ban freon and other CFCs by 1995 (instead of 2000), the chemicals failed to poke a hole in the arctic ozone this winter. Chlorine monoxide levels have decreased substantially since the mid-January studies that showed ``alarming'' levels of chlorine monoxide.

The doomsaying NASA scientists are not reassured, however. They say the earth was saved only by unusually warm weather. Mark Schoeberl of NASA stated that peak ozone levels were 10 to 15% lower than in previous years and the lowest that has ever been seen in 13 years of satellite observa-tions (AP). (The ozone levels over the US fluctuate naturally by as much as 50%, according to Arlan Krueger of the Goddard Space Flight Center-see Reason magazine 6/92.)


Bacteria Threatened

An ally has been found in the war against ozone-eating chemicals: anaerobic bacteria that eat the chemicals (which were previously thought to be practically indestructible). The bacteria, reported by the US Geological Survey, were dis-covered in the muck of the Potomac River. They could also exist in landfills, where CFC-containing products are often disposed of (AP).

The bacteria will be on a starvation diet. All business that service, repair, or dispose of cooling equipment are being forced to buy special devices to recover refrigerants, lest some released CFC molecules find their way to the stratosphere instead of the soil. A few businesses are making large invest-ments in recycling equip-ment-probably a good investment since recycled CFCs will be the only ones available after production is banned.

Air conditioning repair costs have already jumped 62%. The cost of the freon recovery unit is about $5000, and the cost of training and certifying employees in its use is $200 to $300 per employee.

We understand that the federal government should be oblivious to the pain of pampered American consumers and businessmen. But how can they disregard the potential threat to bacteria? We don't even know the extent to which CFC-eating bacteria can utilize alternate nutrients.

An Environmental Impact Statement is needed to study the effects of the CFC ban on an important species, especially since it inhabits protected wetlands as well as landfills.


Worries Proliferate

Americans may be sanguine about Korean bombs and Chinese missiles, but there's a more important threat closer to home: the shower stall.

We're accustomed to the risk of slipping in the tub and breaking a hip. We're quite inured to the dangers of catching a chill. But the threat of VOCs requires immediate govern-ment action.

This February, the Environmental Protection Agency held an all-day conference on VOCs. One session was titled ``Review of Draft documents: Projects Summary: Guidance on Estimating Exposure to VOCs During Showering.''

VOCs (for those in Rio Linda, CA) are Volatile Organic Compounds. One such compound is chloroform. A small amount of chloroform is generated when chlorinated water is heated. In an enclosed shower stall, the chloroform might build up to toxic levels. To date, there are no reports of anyone being chloroformed while showering. But then there has been no confirmation of global warming either. ``Pro-active'' is the word for the EPA.

Physicians' offices (like other places of employment) are just now learning about the dangers of $7,000 fines per violation for lacking a Material Safety Data Sheet for danger-ous chemicals like isopropyl alcohol or acetic acid (vinegar) or for having an unlabeled container of such chemicals to hold a ther-mometer or the salad dressing (AAPS News 6/92). Business has learned to expect such regulations from OSHA. For the early warning of penetration of federal agencies into the shower, we thank Ray Archer of the Arizona Republic.

Remember that bureaucrats are not paid to be funny.