When is being pro-life not being pro-life? When one supports environmental restrictions on the amount of mercury newborns are exposed to.
Like David Barton, who has no academic training as a historian but is the Religious Right’s point person on American history, Calvin Beinser of the Cornwall Alliance has no scientific credentials but has become the go-to person for right-wing activists on questions of science, particularly climate change. While he lacks any credentials what Beisner does have is close ties to organizations financed by the energy industry and a history of attacking scientists, spreading misinformation, and fueling fears that the environmental movement is a pagan plot to destroy Christianity and kill “about 95% of the human race.”
Energy industry apologist Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show yesterday to once again do the bidding of polluters. As we’ve reported in The Green Dragon Slayers, Beisner has no scientific credentials but is closely tied to energy companies. During the interview, Beisner directed his animus as the Evangelical Environmental Network, which launched a pledge to combat mercury poisoning:
These were people who frankly didn’t know the science behind it, all they saw was that babies were endangered and they wanted to protect these babies. Well of course we would want to protect the babies but the science isn’t good and so consequently the EEN has succeeded, at least temporarily anyway, in fostering the notion that this is a pro-life cause. It’s not a pro-life cause if anything the opposite is a pro-life cause because whereas the current levels of mercury admissions are not causing any deaths to anyone, the reduced economic output for this country will indeed increase premature deaths among the American population.
He went on to say that calling the prevention of mercury poisoning of newborns pro-life is wrong because, well, according to Beisner, it isn’t being pro-life.
In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.
“Calling this ‘pro-life’ is quite a misnomer, but it will result in a lot of people being confused about who’s really pro-life and who’s not,” Beisner said. “Some of these people have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in Congress, so people need to know they’re really getting the wool pulled over their eyes if they fall for this.”
Unfortunately for Beisner, the CDC has the facts to dispute his claim.
But the Center for Disease control did in fact find that one in six newborns, or 630,000 of the 4 million babies born annually, are “at risk for developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the mother’s womb,” which PBS described as mercury levels “so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities and motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.”