Ralph Nader and His Greenies
Jude Wanniski
April 24, 2001


Memo To: Ralph Nader
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Introducing Dr. Gordon Prather

Dear Ralph:

You may have noticed in my “Memo on the Margin” yesterday that I put in a good word for you and Pat Buchanan in your arguments against “free trade.” The way that debate has evolved, “free trade” means rules and tariff schedules that benefit the BIG GUYS at the expense of the LITTLE guys. President Bush doesn’t yet realize that, but then he is the new kid on the block, and thinks that “free trade” means a zero tariff on cheap stuff produced by poor people abroad, so they can buy expensive stuff from our high-value added industries. To me, “free trade” is a market open to all legal goods produced abroad, with no protective tariff so high as to keep out goods and no NON-TARIFF barriers. Goods coming into our free market should pay a small tariff, which is why I recommended scrapping all the several thousand tariffs we charge and saying we will charge a flat 6% for everything that comes in. You may not like the idea, but I don’t see why, unless you really do not want solutions to the problems about which you continue to huff and puff.

My memo is addressed to you today because I think you are becoming a TOOL of the those vested interests that stand to gain by the hysteria you are now whipping up over the environment. Yes, you were the presidential candidate of the GREEN party, but as its leader, you should take a little bit of time and trouble to assure yourself that the GREEN agenda is sound in each and every particular. As I noted yesterday, there may be good reason to tighten the arsenic standard in drinking water to 10 parts per billion from 50, but since Mother Nature puts the arsenic in the water to begin with, maybe it is doing some good at the higher level that the GREENIES don’t tell us about. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Dr. Gordon Prather, a nuclear physicist who knows all about the intersection of science and politics. For example, when I asked Gordon about arsenic, here is what he wrote: “In arsenic levels -- as almost everything else EPA regulates -- what they do is start plotting percentage of mice killed vs. level of exposure. Suppose it's 100% at some level A and 10% at some other, much lower level B. Then they draw a straight line between A and B and then ask what percentage corresponds to some very, very low level C. Suppose that at C, that percentage turns out to be .00001%. Well, .00001% times 100 million mice is 10 dead mice.”

What happens when GREENIES keep basing their hysterical calls on phony science, Ralph, is a steady devaluation of their credibility. There are plenty of solid environmental objectives to get behind without going goofy on every issue that comes along. Global warming is a dopey goal, to tell you the truth. Gordon persuaded me years ago that there is zero chance that mankind has the slightest effect on the climate. He writes a weekly column for Worldnetdaily.com. This week is a howler, about “Gasohol and the Hindenberg,” which will take you a few minutes to read, because of its detail and its length, but you will be a more effective leader having gotten it under your belt. You can find his archive at WorldNetDaily and his e-mail address.