Weird science

Published December 31, 2004 6:22PM (EST)

It didn't take long for politicized debate to get roiling over the nature of the tsunami disaster -- some of it rather murky. Steven Milloy of the Cato Institute and Junk is now blasting environmentalists for "shameless exploitation" as they "surf the tsunami tragedy" in order to bring attention to the problem of global warming. Milloy wants to give the impression that he's navigating through truer waters, but clearly he's looking to ride the wave in a direction of his own:

"Environmentalists are in feverish denial about the two factors that will, in the end, contribute most to the horrendous death toll from the tsunamis -- the lack of an early warning system and lack of adequate post-disaster sanitation, both of which are tragic by-products of the region's severe economic under-development. Given that fact, how deceptive and calculating of the environmentalists to blame 'development' as the deadly cause!

"It's bad enough that environmentalists continually try to advance their agendas based on what can only be described as comically wrong information. But what's really troubling is that they seem hell-bent on denying poor nations the opportunity to develop economically so as to pull themselves out of their abject poverty. Global warming activists are pressuring U.S. banks not to make loans to energy projects in the developing world. Without energy, third world economies are doomed to remain undeveloped."

So if they'd just built up those coastlines a lot more and built more power plants to keep everything running ... disaster could largely have been averted. See how it all washes together?

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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