Project 21 New Visions

Bob Parks

Government Regulation Will Literally Take People's Breath Away


by Bob Parks (bio)

It's not news that far too many environmentalists prefer trees, animals and insects over people.

In 1962, environmentalist icon Rachel Carson — a government bureaucrat at the time — chose nature. She created a stink about the highly-effective pesticide DDT, and countless millions of children have since paid the ultimate price as a result.

According to the World Health Organization, there are between 300 million and 500 million cases of malaria every year, resulting in more than one million deaths — with about 90 percent of these deaths occurring in Africa. Most of those deaths are children under the age of five.

DDT can be an effective tool in eradicating the mosquitoes that carry malaria. But DDT use was sharply restricted, thanks to Carson and her ilk, and needless millions of deaths occurred in the Third World as a result.

Of course, these restrictions conveniently went into effect after the United States was cleansed of the disease.

Now, it appears that President Obama is choosing a similar path.

According to the Associated Press:

Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere…

The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.

Obama may have gone too far this time.

Because it contains chlorofluorocarbons, the last over-the-counter asthma inhaler, Primatene, will be illegal to sell after December 31, 2011. FDA officials think up to 2 million Americans will be affected by the ban, and they warn that the remaining stock of Primatene may run out well before the end of the year.

Obama may claim this is a problem he inherited. The ban came about from the Montreal Protocol that was signed during the Clinton Administration. Just recently, however, Obama decided against imposing new ozone regulation out of concern for his poll ratings… I mean, the economy.

He can't add this ozone-related regulation to the others on the trash heap of history? Guess not. Must not affect him.

So, if someone is a user of the soon-to-be-outlawed inhaler, he must tap his savings. If he wants to lift that brick off his chest during future asthma attacks, he must now go see a doctor and get a prescription for an albuterol inhaler that costs two to three times more.

This is where the problem gets very real for many Americans.

Asthma is an affliction to parents of children with breathing problems. I am one of those parents.

We're no longer talking about faceless African children half a world away, where millions of deaths a year is a sadly-accepted statistic. We're now talking about American children — the children of parents who vote, the children of parents who pay taxes and the children of parents who'll now be forced to choose between the comfort and safety of their children and the ever-changing “science” of an ozone hole that seems to close as often as environmentalists scream it's growing.

I may be drawing a sensational conclusion, but I believe environmentalists kill people.

No, wait. Let me take that back.

Environmentalists kill children through their selfish agenda.

They appear to have lost little sleep thus far over the deaths of African children, and I'd be willing to assume that few members of the Obama Administration have children with asthma. This looming ban must not be affecting them.

But if it did, I'm sure they'd find a way to grant themselves a waiver.

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Bob Parks is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network and operates the Black and Right web site (http://www.black-and-right.com).  Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.


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