Anti-chemical hysteria is heating up. Demands on the retail industry have become crushing leading Wal-Mart to make a disturbing announcement a few weeks ago–pledging to remove products from store shelves that contain harmless chemicals. Wal-Mart executives know these products (and the small amount of chemicals the products contain) are safe (and will likely become less safe without these chemicals) but the suits at Wal-Mart are desperate to satisfy the loony anti-science activists who claim everyday household products are killing us.  Other companies are sure to follow suit as Wal-Mart’s pandering sets the tone.

Even medical organizations are piling on. As Carrie Lukas wrote earlier this week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Society for Reproductive Medicine released a grossly irresponsible report that will do nothing more that scare the crap out of pregnant mothers and do nothing to help them make good decisions on behaviors that will help them bring their baby safely into the world. I can't say I'm surprised by ACOG's move. This group often aligns with liberal activist groups and let's not forget, ACOG likes to send their "official medical advice" over to the White House for review. I wonder how liberals would react if this group let President Bush sign off on their gynecological advice to women. 

So, what accounts for the sudden surge in anti-chemical activism?  What explains the sudden focus on chemicals and the near constant calls for "non-chemical" and non-toxic products?

Well, when you consider the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which admits a pause in global warming, one has to wonder, are environmental groups bored?  Are they desperate to find a new cause? Is this their new alarmist narrative?

James Delingpole at The Telegraph discusses the IPCC report and the headache it's creating for environmentalists: 

This is why the latest Assessment Report is proving such a headache to the IPCC. It’s the first in its history to admit what its critics have said for years: global warming did “pause” unexpectedly in 1998 and shows no sign of resuming. And, other than an ad hoc new theory about the missing heat having been absorbed by the deep ocean, it cannot come up with a convincing explanation why. Coming from a sceptical blog none of this would be surprising. But from the IPCC, it’s dynamite: the equivalent of the Soviet politburo announcing that command economies may not after all be the most efficient way of allocating resources.

Which leaves the IPCC in a dilemma: does it ’fess up and effectively put itself out of business? Or does it brazen it out for a few more years, in the hope that a compliant media and an eco-brainwashed populace will be too stupid to notice? So far, it looks as if it prefers the second option – a high-risk strategy. Gone are the days when all anybody read of its Assessment Reports were the sexed-up “Summary for Policymakers”. Today, thanks to the internet, sceptical inquirers such as Donna Laframboise (who revealed that some 40 per cent of the IPCC’s papers came not from peer-reviewed journals but from Greenpeace and WWF propaganda) will be going through every chapter with a fine toothcomb.

Delingpole thinks environmental groups have two choices: fess up or hold out. I say they've decided on a third path: change course and focus on chemicals.  We're already seeing similarities in the narratives: the apocalyptic warnings, the claims that chemicals are hurting kids, the very Erin Brockovich-esque suggestion that industry is to blame and out to get us, the religious fervency of the activists.

Americans need to brace for this new form of environmental activism.

Don’t misunderstand, I'm glad to see the hysteria on climate change in a free fall I don’t think their prophets will simply go away. They're just moving on to the next form of alarmism—one that’s going to hit my bottom line hard as stores start pulling the products I use everyday forcing me to purchase high-end boutique products I can't really afford.

It's enough to make me yearn for the good 'ole days of Al Gore and Leonoardo DeCaprio loving it up at the Academy Awards.