GREENIE WATCH -- MIRROR ARCHIVE 
Tracking the politics of fear....  

The blogspot version of this blog is HERE. Dissecting Leftism is HERE. The Blogroll. My Home Page. Email John Ray here. Other sites viewable in China: Recipes, Political Correctness Watch, Dissecting Leftism. The archive for this site is HERE. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing)
****************************************************************************************



30 September, 2004

CHERNOBYL

The big disaster was the reaction to the accident:

"Eighteen years ago, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred. Newspaper reports at the time reflected the near-universal public hysteria: The Daily Mail filled half its front page with the words '2000 DEAD;' the New York Post claimed that 15,000 bodies had been bulldozed into nuclear waste pits. But the overreaction to the accident caused far more harm than the meltdown itself, as it mistakenly led to the halting of nuclear programs in most Western countries, including the United States.....

The graphite burned for nine days, releasing a total of about 12 x 1018 becquerels of radioactivity - about 30 to 40 times that of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It just could not be any worse: Corners had been cut from the very inception of the reactor's design, right through construction, operation, and maintenance. Training and safety procedures were negligible. The Supreme Soviet that routinely disregarded human life was as negligent in nuclear-reactor policy as it was in everything else. Even The Simpsons's woeful nuclear power-plant owner, Mr. Burns, would have been ashamed of it.

The complete destruction of the reactor killed 31 people, including 28 from radiation exposure, most of whom were firefighters working on the roof. A further 209 people on site were treated for acute radiation poisoning and 134 cases were confirmed (all of whom recovered). Since then, an increase in childhood thyroid cancer has been reported, although it is not certain that this is not due to increased surveillance. There has been no other increase in radiation-induced disease, congenital abnormalities, or adverse pregnancy outcomes.....

No, the biggest tragedy of Chernobyl was that radioactivity was governed by preposterous safety regulations that forced the authorities to take extreme and damaging action against the very people they were trying to protect. Until very recently, radiological protection (and chemical regulations) depended on the linear no-threshold (LNT) theory. This says that, because high levels of exposure can cause death, there is no safe lower limit. If this sounds like a reasonable level of precaution, consider this: 750 F will cause fatal burns, while 75 F is a lovely summer's day. Vitamin A is an essential trace chemical in our diet but is toxic at high levels. The dose makes the poison, for chemicals and for radiation.

On the basis of this false assumption, nearly 400,000 people were forcibly evacuated from areas around Chernobyl where radiation was actually lower than the normal background levels in Cornwall and five times lower than at Grand Central Station in New York. To these poor unfortunates, there was damage done...... Perhaps saddest of all is that as many as 200,000 "wanted" pregnancies ended in abortion, in order to avoid non-existent radiation damage to the fetuses.....

Apportioning blame between the media and the Supreme Soviet is a difficult task. But unfounded Western fears based on the LNT hypothesis undoubtedly encouraged the Soviet mass evacuation program. Yet that inaccurate LNT hypothesis still forms the basis of radiation thinking - and it's past time that was changed. Nuclear power has dangers, which are less in terms of actual deaths per unit energy produced than most other forms of energy generation. But as long as this exaggerated image of Chernobyl endures, people will continue to imagine the costs of nuclear energy to be far higher than they really are".



MORE JUNK SCIENCE: SPRAWL IS BAD FOR YOU

So, commuters get less exercise. Tell us something else new

"Warning: suburban sprawl may be hazardous to your health. A report scheduled to be released today found that people who live in areas with a high degree of sprawl are more likely to report chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, arthritis, headaches and breathing difficulties, compared to residents in less sprawled-out areas.

The differences remained even when researchers accounted for factors such as age, economic status and race. "People who live in more sprawling areas are more likely to have chronic health problems over time," said Roland Sturm, co-author of the report by Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group. "People drive more in these areas; they walk less." Researchers said the findings suggest that an adult who lives in a sprawling city such as Atlanta will have health characteristics similar to someone four years older, but otherwise similar, who lives in a more compact city like Seattle.

A sprawling area is defined in the study as a place that has streets not well connected, lower population density and areas that are far from each other, such as schools and shopping malls. The report is not the first to suggest that sprawl cramps a healthy lifestyle. Last year, major studies found that residents of such areas - where driving to work or school is routine and walking and bike riding difficult or dangerous - weighed more than their counterparts in walkable cities like New York".

More here.



"GREEN" POLICIES

The policies of bthe Australian Green Party reveal how extensive Greenie nuttiness is:

"The Greens' energy policies are simply wrong-headed. At a time when many countries are looking at expanding the use of coal - for which Australia is a major supplier - as a clean fuel source using new technology, the Greens' policy is to "establish an ecologically sustainable post-carbon economy in Australia by phasing out the use of coal by 2050".

Obsessed with the idea that greenhouse gas-induced climate change must be stopped by punitive controls over energy usage, it is also opposed to the one energy source which clearly makes no contribution to greenhouse gases: nuclear power.

It calls for an "immediate end to uranium mining and the export of uranium from Australia", although Australian governments require the strictest standards of export anywhere in the world, and supply much of the uranium used in countries such as Japan, Western Europe and the UK.

Its fixation with nuclear energy extends to a call for the closure of the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney, no replacement, and a ban on the transport of nuclear material, meaning that thousands of Australians who depend on nuclear medicines used in anti-cancer therapies would be denied medical treatment.....

It proposes bans on the use of drugs on farm animals, except where they are prescribed by veterinarians. In other words, routine preventive treatment to deal with internal and external parasites, and vaccination programs used on every farm, would be banned.

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



29 September, 2004

GREENIE ATTACKS ON THE WORLD BANK

Greenies like keeping poor nations poor

"As I've discovered time and again, feisty Internet-enabled activists wage endless campaigns against the world's premier development institution, forcing it to spend an absurd amount of effort on public relations and delaying good projects that could reduce poverty.

I ran into one instance of the damage caused by such campaigns in Uganda, where the World Bank had been backing a dam to generate badly needed electricity. The project had drawn fire from Western environmental groups, notably the International Rivers Network of Berkeley. The activists argued, among other things, that the dam ignored popular opposition from the Ugandan environmental movement and that it would harm the poor farmers whose land would be flooded.

But when I checked these allegations, I found the evidence was weak. The Ugandan environmental "movement" consisted of a grouplet with only 25 members. And when I teamed up with a local sociologist to interview people around the dam site, I found that they were happy with the money they would get to compensate them for moving.

Or take an example from China. In 1999, the World Bank agreed to back a project that would move 58,000 extremely poor Chinese farmers off barren land into an area where they could grow enough to feed their families. Because the project was in a province that bordered on Tibet, Tibet activists in the West sprang into action: They claimed that the World Bank was backing Han Chinese colonization of Tibetan lands, even though no Han farmers were being imported from outside the province, and even though some of the resettled farmers were themselves Tibetan. Hollywood figures such as Richard Gere joined in the campaign, and Reps. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) and Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) beat up on the bank too. After a long, costly fight, the bank pulled out of the project.

Or take the case of the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline, another controversial World Bank enterprise. Western activists opposed this, partly on the reasonable ground that oil projects seldom help the poor, but also because the pipeline would supposedly disrupt the rain forest through which it traveled. At the World Bank's insistence, the pipeline consortium prepared a social and environmental impact study that ran to 19 volumes, but the activists still predicted catastrophe if construction went ahead. In this instance, the protesters were defeated and the pipeline was built - without any terrible environmental fallout. But the delays cost millions of dollars, and the bill was ultimately paid by the world's poorest people.....

The World Bank has done its utmost to fight back. Its president, James Wolfensohn, is a formidable charmer with an infectious, poverty-fighting passion; if he can't win over the bank's foes, no leader could. Which means that film stars, members of Congress and (yes) journalists must do their bit to help him out. The World Bank will remain hobbled and encircled until the rest of us begin to treat activist assertions with a dose of skepticism. Some seeming good-guy groups are less noble than they claim to be."

More here.



GREENIES TALK AS IF MONEY WERE INFINITE

"We have limited resources and face many challenges. Here's a simple truth; the money spent to combat climate change is not available to eradicate malaria, killer of 2 million people each year, 90 percent are children under 5. And it takes money to increase female literacy in poor nations -- perhaps the key investment for social progress.

Those who believe climate change trumps all else ignore the reality that we must trade off among competing values. Those who deny this hold a religious position that is not open to reason.

What if those who question the need for dramatic action are all pawns of "corporate polluters"? Even if so (it's not), the costs of addressing climate change will be paid by real people. Does anyone honestly believe Pacific Gas and Electric deliberately emits carbon to destroy our climate? Aren't they simply responding to consumers willingness to give up something they value (i.e., money) for the energy required to run their washing machines and PCs?....

The great grandchildren of the world's poorest are those most likely to be adversely effected by global warming. Here's the key to ethical policies. The best defense against adverse consequences of warming is wealth creation in the developing world. Here's why. In this arena as in so many others, wealth buffers adversity. The greatest dangers are premature policies which stifle third world economic progress, e.g., first world trade barriers. This great truth is often ignored in the debate over climate change.

Stephen Schneider, a Stanford biologist and global warming alarmist, criticized the Copenhagen project by saying, "Climate change is not an economics problem. It's an ethics problem." Mr. Schneider, indeed it is.

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



28 September, 2004

Global jockeying over global warming: "British Prime Minister Tony Blair's call for America to ratify the Kyoto Protocol this week tacitly acknowledges that Russian ratification, thought by then-Commissioner Wallstrom to have been secured by EU concessions on Russian World Trade Organization membership earlier this year, is no longer a serious prospect. Instead, European eyes are turning once again to the United States."



THE WICKED PROF. BELLAMY

He shows what an honest Greenie looks like. The true belivers in global warming think that majority votes rather than the evidence decide whether or not global warming is man-made or natural. Prof. Bellamy goes by the evidence. A majority vote in Galileo's day would have "proved" that the earth is flat. Excerpt:

"Renowned British environmentalist David Bellamy will visit Australia this week to support anti-wind farm groups and expound his controversial views on global warming. In a trip funded by the television show "60 Minutes", Professor Bellamy will be the main speaker at an anti-wind farm meeting in Foster, South Gippsland, on Wednesday night.

But the visit has dismayed Australian conservationists because the high-profile botanist has aligned himself with a small, discredited group of scientists who dismiss the problem of climate change. Despite the now solid evidence that humans - by burning fossil fuels - largely caused global temperatures to rise 0.6 degrees last century, Professor Bellamy believes the warming is natural and that high levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are good and will make plants grow better......

Professor Bellamy, admired in Australia for demonstrating against the Franklin River dam, told The Age from his home in Britain that he hoped the 60 Minutes program would stop the spread of wind farms - just as his two other 60 Minutes pieces had helped stop the dam and put more water back down the Snowy River.

In July Professor Bellamy infuriated his fellow environmentalists by writing an article called "Global Warming? What a load of poppycock!" in London's Daily Mail. "Hooray for global warming is what I say, and so do a lot of my fellow scientists," he wrote.

Nevertheless, Professor Bellamy's visit will bolster the anti-wind farm sentiment in South Gippsland, where the recently approved and controversial Bald Hills wind farm is an election issue in the marginal seat of McMillan. He told "The Age" that wind farms ruined coasts, required back-up from fossil fuels, intermittently produced small amounts of energy and "chop up birds and spook the bats and the poor little things die"...

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



27 September, 2004

GLOBAL WARMING SECT VERSUS ANTI-NUKE SECT:

At least he realizes that nuclear power is the only viable alternative to conventional sources

China isn't afraid of nuclear power and is building a new generation of safer more reliable reactors: "Opposition to nuclear energy is based on irrational fear fed by Hollywood-style fiction, the Green lobbies, and the media... Even if they were right about its dangers - and they are not - its worldwide use as our main source of energy would pose an insignificant threat compared with the dangers of intolerable and lethal heat waves and sea levels rising to drown every coastal city of the world. We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear, the one safe, available energy source, now, or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet."



DRAT! TREES NOT VANISHING

"Remember the nineties? The radical environmental movement screaming that the world as we knew it was destined to doom because of the nasty chip mills, the clear cut destruction of the forests, the pollution of our waters caused by cutting trees, and all of the other "chicken little" mantras? Near the end of that decade, a study was begun in order to find out just how badly the southern forests really were damaged. Not an industry study, "tainted" by profit motive, but a honest-to-goodness government study, pure in heart, uninfluenced by anything but a search for truth......

The USDA Forest Service took the lead in this study and enlisted help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. For over two years, more than 25 scientists and analysts worked on this study. More than 100 scientists from universities, state and federal agencies, industry and conservation organizations provided peer reviews to enhance the accuracy and completeness of this report. Finally, in late 2001, the report was made public and was received with huge waves of apathy.

Why? The report was of no use to the radical environmental community because, with painstaking research and documented facts, it destroyed every assertion they had made concerning the forests of the south. It gave the lie to their "chicken little" scenarios and was impregnable to their attack because of the unimpeachable integrity of those who had created the study. So the radical environmental community just acted as if it had never happened.....

The Southern Forest Resource Assessment documents one of the greatest natural resource management triumphs in the history of man. From the stump landscapes of the early 1900's, the southern forests have recovered to become one of the wood baskets of the world. Vibrant, never static, quickly responding to changing conditions, the southern forests meet the needs of today and are poised to embrace tomorrow.

The Resource Assessment does not cover the why of this marvelous transformation, but I will tell you why. It is because the southern forests are privately owned. The essential difference between the southern forests and the burning, stagnant forests of the west and looted forests of foreign lands is that of private ownership. Each landowner managing his own lands (and doing it very well as the Assessment shows) for his own perceived self-interest."

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



26 September, 2004

A realistic Greenie gets abused: "I'm sure it wasn't Eddie Bauer's intention to be the poster child for searing liberal hypocrisy, but there it is, all laid out in living color in The New Yorker, Wired, Vogue and the rest of the flagship magazines owned by Conde Nast. In a six-page, full color insert, adorned with celebrities like Daryl Hannah and Rob Lowe pictured outdoors wearing company clothing, Bauer trumpets the arrival of 'Fashion Planet,' declaring 'Here's a fashion tip -- think green.' Along with each celebrity?s photo and the environmental message they espouse comes a breakdown of the cost of the clothes they are wearing. Hey, America, you can look stylish AND save the earth if you 'reduce, reuse, recycle ... and shop.' What the reader doesn't see is the true cost of those clothes. If you walk into a Eddie Bauer store, which I did a few days ago, you learn pretty quickly that it's the same old story: clothes made by sweatshop labor." [The union advocate who wrote this article deliberately ignores the fact that overseas workers take low-paid manufacturing jobs because the alternatives available to them pay even less. They badly need the work. So our union advocate is the disgusting one. He wants to force desperately poor people out of work in the hope of helping a few more American waistlines to bulge]



ANTARCTIC ALARMISM -- IT SELLS PAPERS

But the truth is there if you look hard. See the bits I have highlighted in red

"Spurred by warming coastal air and waters, some of Antarctica's glaciers have accelerated their seaward march, fresh observations show, suggesting that ocean levels might be irreversibly on the rise for centuries to come.

Global warming from smokestack and tailpipe emissions of heat-trapping gases could well be contributing to the changes, but some of what is happening is probably a delayed reaction to the long warm-up since the last ice age, glaciologists said yesterday.

Over all, Antarctica still holds a mix of conditions, with some spots cooling and others warming, but the new observations, described this week in three scientific papers, confirm that warming along the coast, as it causes fringes of ice to melt, can release larger ice sheets to flow faster to the ocean, where they will inevitably melt.

[Blah, Blah, Blah]

That change already constitutes a slow-motion catastrophe for places like Bangladesh, New Orleans and low island nations, experts say [but some very expert experts deny it]. But the findings add weight to the idea that rising seas could be a fact of life for centuries to come, requiring serious reassessments of the human penchant for living along coasts.

In a paper published today in the online edition of the journal Science, one team said the vast glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea were thinning twice as fast near the coast as they had in the 1990's. This is important because these glaciers help drain the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a region containing enough ice to raise sea levels 20 feet.

The changes in these glaciers could be a delayed response to the departure of coastal ice shelves there in the prolonged warming since the last ice age, experts not associated with the study said. But the speed-up could also have been affected by recent further warming of the air and seas in the western Antarctic, some of which is probably linked to warming of the global climate from gas emissions, independent experts and study authors said.

[Etc., etc. And, of course, more careful researchers have found more or less the opposite. See my post of August 5th. ]

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



25 September, 2004

Senate mounts sneak attack on sound science: "In a behind-the-scenes move with far reaching implications, the Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a bill including language that would shield one of the federal government?s most important scientific agencies from legal requirements mandating integrity in government science. A clause in the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Commerce and other agencies (S. 2809) would exempt research produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from complying with the Federal Data Quality Act, which requires that data circulated by federal agencies conform to standards of scientific integrity."



CALIFORNIA: HOW GREENIES HATE CARS!

"Once again, state regulators are out to get cars and trucks. In the old days, the attacks were tied to claims of reducing smog or soot levels. But as air pollution continues to decline - despite people driving larger cars over longer distances - regulators have had to find a new excuse to stay in business: climate change.

Specifically, the California Air Resources Board is targeting carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide; the latter is also known as laughing gas. But the proposed regulation is no laughing matter. On Thursday, the air board is set to mandate that new vehicles sold in California cut their greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016.

First, let's get the climate change excuse out of the way. California cars aren't causing climate change - taking all of the state's cars off the road completely wouldn't make a dent in emissions. According to government data, California motorists produce less than one-quarter of 1 percent of the world's emissions of the gases theoretically linked to global warming - a share that's declining every day as countries like China and India continue to grow. On top of that, the proposed regulation only addresses four of the six major greenhouse gases, and only passenger vehicles, not commercial vehicles. So whether you believe that we face a risk of catastrophic climate change due to man-made gas emissions or not, it is obvious that this new plan will provide little or no climate protection to current or future generations.

What about the effect on consumer choice and health? While the air board propounds a hodgepodge of technologies it claims will reduce emissions (like low-leak air-conditioning systems), the only truly effective way to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from cars is to reduce the amount of fuel they collectively burn or to change to a fuel that puts out less greenhouse gas per unit of energy. And the only way to do that is through mandating technology that would lighten and shrink cars, or by forcing "alternative fuel" vehicles onto a market that has shown little desire for them. Despite the hype, sales of hybrids across the country are expected to total around 88,000 cars this year. In comparison, there were 16.6 million new light vehicles sold in 2003.....

The danger of these mandates doesn't lie simply in their predictable failure. These laws expose people to higher risks in traffic accidents by forcing them into smaller, less protective vehicles, reduce consumer choice, suck resources out of the productive economy, and sink resources into bureaucratic paper-shuffling.

The new standards would also jeopardize the progress being made against smog and soot. When people trade older cars for newer cars (yes, even SUVs), they generally put out less smog and less soot than before. Raising the cost of newer cars slows down such purchases and the associated air pollution benefits....

Taking money out of people's pockets for higher fuel and automobile costs means less for the investments that can protect them from climate variability such as securing water resources, building resilient infrastructure and energy supplies, building a more diverse, robust and resilient economy, or investing in education or health care. And that's no laughing matter.

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



24 September, 2004

EVEN THE SCANDINAVIANS SAY CELLPHONES ARE SAFE

"There is no scientific evidence that mobile phone use or exposure to base stations below internationally accepted levels pose a health risk, radiation authorities in the Nordic countries said on Tuesday. "The balance of evidence to date suggests that exposures to radiofrequency radiation below the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines do not cause adverse health effects to the general population," radiation authorities in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland said in a joint statement.

The statement came as a conclusion to a meeting between the five Nordic countries on the subject earlier this year. "There are a number of groups here in Sweden and in other countries that think we've been lying when we say there is no scientific proof of risks, so we thought it would be a good idea to show that all the Nordic countries have reached the same conclusion," Lars Mjoenes, a program coordinator with the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority, said."

More here.



ECOSYSTEMS NOT FRAGILE AND EONS OLD AFTER ALL

"A Man-Made rainforest that should have taken millennia to evolve has baffled scientists by springing up in just 150 years. Rainforests should take millions of years to develop the highly complex, interactive ecosystems for which they are famed, in which every species fills an essential niche.

But the forest on Green Mountain, Ascension Island, in the mid-Atlantic sprung up chaotically from a mixed bag of botanical scrap brought in by the Royal Navy in 1843. And the introduced species have thrived at a rate that has stunned experts and could trigger a rethink of conventional ecological theory, New Scientist magazine reports today.

When Charles Darwin stopped off at Ascension Island in 1836 on the home stretch of his long journey on the Beagle, he described it then as "entirely destitute of trees". Lying 1,200 miles from the nearest continent, the volcanic island was almost barren because of its remoteness, with only about 20 plant species, mainly ferns.

But in 1843, an ambitious British scheme for revitalising the island began, with Royal Navy troops planting thousands of trees a year, using seedlings from Argentina, South Africa, and the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.....

Now Green Mountain is a thriving tropical forest, yet it grew from species collected randomly. Conventional theory suggests complex ecosystems only emerge through a slow evolution in which different organisms develop in tandem to fill particular niches. But Green Mountain suggests that natural rainforests may be constructed more by chance than by evolution.

Dissident theorists call this "ecological fitting". It says species do not so much evolve to create ecosystems as make the best of what they have. "The Green Mountain system is a spectacular example of ecological fitting," David Wilkinson, from Liverpool John Moores University, told New Scientist. "It is a man-made system that has produced a tropical rainforest without any co-evolution between its constituent species."

More here or here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



23 September, 2004

WICKED WEEDKILLER

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness seems like a good outfit -- and not only because they have this blog on their front page at the moment! They are a non-governmental watchdog and seem to be instrumental in seeing that the U.S. Federal Data Quality Act is being enforced. And how the Greenies are squealing now that there has to be sound scientific evidence of harm before anything is banned! See here for a big Greenie rant about how unfair it all is.

Note how quickly the Greenies descend into character assassination and questioning of motives when they find that they cannot get America's second-leading weedkiller banned. That it has been widely used for many years with no obvious ill-effects just seems to make it a more obsessive target for them: A lot like the way the enviers are always trying to find fault with McDonalds.

CRE also have up a response showing the dishonesty of the Greenie rant in question. See here. Some short excerpts:

"Not withstanding press reports to the contrary, the Data Quality Act has its origins in the amendments to the Paperwork Reduction of 1995, at which time the Congress directed OMB to issue guidelines regarding the dissemination of information. OMB failed to comply with this directive and similar directives in 1998,1999 and 2000; culminating in Congressional action in 2000. Interestingly, Congress conducted extensive hearings in 1995, which often does not make it into press accounts which allege the Act was passed with no hearings or debate..... The assertion that Jim Tozzi rejected the proposed Reyes Syndrome labeling is completely inaccurate...."



SOME GOOD COMES OF THE GLOBAL WARMING SCARE

In trying to find something to do with the "excess" carbon dioxide that modern life is said to be producing, scientists have stumbled across a way of making a very powerful fertilizer which also happens to gobble up carbon dioxide. Excerpts:

"Researchers in the southeastern United States are experimenting with a procedure they believe could reduce greenhouse-gas pollution using a discovery pioneered thousands of years ago by farmers in the Brazilian Amazon. The technique, which uses a charcoal-based fertilizer to absorb gases, is one of several experiments under way as scientists concerned about global warming are looking for someplace -- any place -- to hide excess carbon dioxide.....

These facts have prompted researchers to look for new technologies to siphon off the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced by burning fossil fuels like petroleum products and coal.

Meanwhile, one entrepreneur is working with a team of government scientists who believe that the answer to the carbon question was discovered by South American natives centuries before Columbus set sail. Danny Day, the president of Eprida, a developer of clean technology, believes that greenhouse gases from burning coal and fossil fuels can be captured and injected into charcoal, which is then combined with ammonia to create a powerful fertilizer. Day said his company was developing a method for turning biomass materials into hydrogen, a process known as pyrolysis, when the new idea was born. Researchers working on the biomass experiment discovered that turnip plants were growing in a pile of charcoal produced during the pyrolysis process.

Later, Day stumbled upon research stating that charcoal had been used thousands of years ago by farmers in the Brazilian Amazon to create rich, dark soil known as Terra Preta de Indio. "We have to build a 'carbon reef'" to store the excess carbon, Day said. "And I realized that it had to be in the ground." Day, along with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Georgia Institute of Technology, is developing technology based on the carbon-rich Terra Preta concept that uses charcoal to absorb greenhouse gases at facilities that burn fossil fuels. The charcoal is then mixed with other nutrients to create a super fertilizer, according to Day.

Day said that to create the charcoal that could be used as fertilizer, the biomass must be burned at temperatures somewhat lower than usual (say, 250 to 300 degrees Celsius). The charcoal fertilizer could be used to restore the nutrients in areas around the globe where soil has been depleted, according to Day. He believes charcoal-enhanced soil could increase crop yields by 200 percent to 300 percent.

Johannes Lehmann, assistant professor in the Department of Soil Fertility Management and Soil Biogeochemistry at Cornell University, however, said the carbon has been retained in the soil at the Terra Preta sites in South America for up to 3,000 years. Lehmann, who spent three years researching in the Amazon, said that possibly as long as 4,000 years ago, indigenous people discovered that partially burning wood materials at lower temperatures (250 to 350 degrees Celsius) to create charcoal and then combining it with nutrients such as fish bones or animal products made for a very effective fertilizer.

Researchers found that agricultural communities created nutrient-rich oases of fertile black soil in areas that were otherwise nearly barren of calcium and nitrogen. Tribes who treated their soil were able to stay in a single location for hundreds of years, according to Lehmann. "The charcoal is quite stable in retaining carbon in soil," said Lehmann, who is familiar with Eprida's research".

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



22 September, 2004

Kerry's nuclear power problem: "Kerry's Web site states that 'nuclear power can play an essential role in providing affordable energy while reducing the risk of climate change.' His aides also say he is for nuclear power. So far, so good. But then on a recent campaign stop in Las Vegas -- about 100 miles away from the planned Yucca Mountain site for the long-term disposal of waste from nuclear power plants -- Kerry said, 'When I'm president of the United States, I'll tell you about Yucca Mountain: Not on my watch.' The realty of the matter, however, is that you can't be 'for' nuclear energy but 'against' Yucca Mountain."



SOME GOOD COMMENTS FROM BRITAIN ON GLOBAL WARMING AND THE IPCC

"Next week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meets in Vienna. The IPCC is a particularly smug body, with much to be smug about. The Kyoto accord is based on its findings, and since science is not John Prescott's strong suit, he could hardly question whether it made sense for Britain when he signed up to it. Besides, in the Year Zero of 1997, he'd have claimed that New Labour could walk on water by 2012.

Kyoto ranks as the most expensive confidence trick pulled on the world since Yalta in 1945. The IPCC's science is nothing of the kind, being merely a series of "scenarios" of what the weather might be like at the end of the century. Since it's hard enough to predict it for the middle of next week, to say that there are difficulties in long-term projections is putting it mildly.

As Martin Agerup, president of the Danish Academy for Futures Studies, has said: "We simply do not know how much warmer the climate will be in 2100. In fact, the degree of (compound) uncertainty is so large that the mere exercise by the IPCC of providing temperature intervals is highly misleading and provides phoney confidence."*

The evidence that the world is warming is now pretty conclusive, but it's far from clear why, and the consequences are not obvious, either. Kyoto fingered CO2, perhaps because burning all that fossil fuel must surely do something bad, and every schoolboy knows about the greenhouse effect. A warming world will melt the icecaps, and raise sea level, won't it? Well, not so far. Nils-Axel Mrner, head of paleo-geophysics at Stockholm University, has been studying the subject for 35 years. As he puts it: "No one in the world beats me on sea level." He's been to the Maldives, often tipped as the first place to disappear under the waves, and can find no evidence that it's doing so. Satellite altimetry has only been going for 14 years, but it tells the same story.....

Madhav Khandekar has been studying weather patterns for 47 years, mostly for Environment Canada, and his conclusion is that it's the perception that has changed. More people and global television mean that freak events are less likely to escape detection, and do more damage because of the higher value of what's in their path. The weather itself isn't getting any worse.

The central mystery is why our politicians are so blinkered on this subject when, as Ruth Lea argues on the back page of today's paper, the policies we are following are clearly going to make us poorer, with slower growth and lost manufacturing jobs.

Forecasting is always difficult, especially for the future, as the old saw goes, and we love to spook ourselves with projections of doom and disaster. Here's one. The last 600 years have seen a series of mini ice ages, well documented by those who shivered through them. They coincide with periods of low solar activity, and the next one is due in the middle of this century. So perhaps, instead of prostrating ourselves on the altar of global warming, we should be worrying about global cooling.

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



21 September, 2004

Now it's oil-changes! "For generations, automobile technicians have advised car and truck drivers to change their engine oil as frequently as every 3,000 miles. The 3,000-mile advice, however, is designed to be precautionary and may not always be necessary. As a result, environmental advocates assert unnecessary amounts of used motor oil are spoiling the environment. In response, American automaker General Motors recently began a campaign to stress the environmental benefits of an automobile maintenance system, which has been available for the past few years, in combating unnecessary discharges of used motor oil into the environment."



AUSTRALIA'S CHIEF GREENIE IS NOT VERY CAREFUL OF THE TRUTH

Anything to stop use of (renewable) timber. Post lifted from "Crikey"

"In yesterday's attack in the Senate on the Tasmanian forest industry and all its businesses, workers and representatives, Greens Senator Bob Brown misled Parliament on several points.

Mislead No. 1. Brown claimed that the woodchips exported from Tasmania are "largely" from old-growth forests. This is false - and Senator Brown knows it. Well over half of Tasmania's pulpwood ("woodchips") comes from plantation resources (mostly privately owned), and of the remainder most pulpwood comes from non-old-growth forests. Even the State-owned native forest manager - Forestry Tasmania - says that only 10-20% of its sales for woodchips come from the by-products of the old-growth timber harvest. Note that this is exactly the same 'mislead' that was the basis of the 'green push-polling' scandal that broke in Tasmania two weeks ago.

Mislead No. 2 - Brown claims that Timber Communities Australia is a "front organisation" for the industry. I understand that TCA claims about 70 branches and many thousands of members across Australia - more than the Greens Party! There is no doubt that they are a genuine, large scale grassroots community organisation.

Mislead No. 3 - Brown claims that my organisation (NAFI) and TCA share a "common executive director" - namely, me! I am the Executive Director of the National Association of Forest Industries. Mrs Jill Lewis is the National Director of TCA. Bob Brown knows these facts, which clearly means he has deliberately misled the Senate.

Mislead No. 4 - Brown claims that Timber Communities Australia is the "brainchild" of NAFI. TCA (then called the Forest Protection Society) was established in 1987. NAFI was not established until 1989.

Mislead No. 5 - Brown alleges "bullying" by TCA. Brown cites a story from last year where TCA Tasmania's Barry Chipman complained to the BBC about a one-sided report on Tasmanian forestry. It was Chipman's job to do so. In Britain an independent tribunal upheld much of Chipman's complaints and ordered an apology. This is not "bullying", but the right of ordinary people to seek justice and correction. This story was widely reported in the Hobart Mercury.

Mislead No. 6 - Brown claims that Tasmania's forests are being destroyed at "the greatest rate in history". In fact the harvest in forests of "old-growth" age has fallen to be now just over 1,000 hectares a year. This area of forest is not harvested for pulpwood, but rather for high-quality sawlogs. The harvest area is fully regenerated.

Tasmania has 3.1 million hectares of forest cover (45% of the landmass), 1.2 million of which is at old-growth age. 0.850 million hectares is in reserves. The annual harvest is only 0.001 million hectares. These facts speak for themselves. It is an established fact that Tasmania's forest coverage is actually growing".

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



20 September, 2004

A FUTILE EFFORT TO BUY THE GREENIE VOTE

An Australian conservative Federal government considers spending $450 million for what? To save "old growth" forest from logging -- i.e. forest that has been previously logged and recovered once before. Why it cannot recover again is the mystery. Note that even the Leftist State government says the old growth forest should be logged. (Note also that Australia's major conservative party is called the Liberal party. They really are liberal -- unlike America's so-called "liberals")

"John Howard's senior advisers will spend this weekend considering a new $450million plan to replace Tasmania's controversial old-growth logging with a value-added plantation industry. The proposal, from major softwood company Auspine, would create 900 new jobs, compensating for job losses from ending old-growth logging....

The Auspine plan was strongly endorsed last night by Greens leader Bob Brown, who has held out the prospect of directing preferences to whichever major party commits to ending old-growth logging.....

Mr Jakab, who said he would also be discussing his company's proposals with Labor leader Mark Latham, conceded that the plan required the commonwealth to commit a "very significant" proportion of the $450million. In return, the company would quickly absorb 900 of the 1350 jobs that Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon claims would be lost from phasing out old-growth logging.

Tasmania's Liberal senators are lobbying Mr Howard, who is reported to be planning a visit to the island next week, to stick by the old-growth industry and the regional forest agreement with the state.

Mr Lennon wrote to Mr Howard yesterday demanding he reaffirm his commitment to the RFA - a promise Tasmanian timber groups revealed Liberal senator Eric Abetz had made in writing to them this week.

More here.



Andrew Bolt's comment on the subject:

"Conservatives should think of themselves as people who prefer reason to mysticism, and individuals above tribes -- while honouring the traditions and affections which bind us, of course.

Yet here is Howard spending huge dollars to "save" a "dying" Murray that in fact is now as fresh as it's been in 60 years. Here is Howard backing "green energy" schemes that will in fact do nothing to stop the globe from getting warmer -- if that is indeed what is happening. And now he's reportedly toying with a big-bucks "saving" of Tasmania's forests, of which we have more than you could shake a saw at, as Paul Lennon will tell you....

The rise of green unreason is a great threat to our civilisation, and this is no time for the Liberals to go all mushy".

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



19 September, 2004

MISREPRESENTING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

"Well, you can't fault The New York Times for trying -- that is, trying to move its global warming agenda forward by any means necessary. On Aug. 26, a routine federal report on climate change research was hailed as 'a striking shift' of the Bush administration, and then used as the basis for a masthead editorial on Aug. 27 calling for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

In reality, the report, 'OUR CHANGING PLANET: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005' resembles a jillion other climate reports with interminable titles emanating from our Washington agencies. University faculty mailboxes groan with this overload... Doesn't anyone, much less the Times, understand how Washington works?"

More here



GLOBAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

Green One-Up-Manship is driving British politics

"With the sudden flood of top-level warnings about imminent environmental doom, one could be forgiven for thinking that new scientific discoveries had been made about the link between global warming and climate change. But nothing much has changed - in terms of the science, that is.

The recent speeches by UK prime minister Tony Blair and Tory leader Michael Howard, describing climate change as one of the greatest threats facing humanity, were driven more by green one-upmanship. Such is the moribund state of politics that the way to attain the moral high ground, without attracting ridicule, is to play the environmentalist trump card.

Talking to business leaders and environmental groups in central London on 14 September, Blair tried to improve his tarnished image as a world statesman by outlining his 'determination' to use the forthcoming chairmanship of both the European Union (EU) and the G8 group of leading industrial nations to 'revitalise international action' on global warming.

Desperate to get in first, Howard announced at a Green Alliance event on 13 September that a future Conservative government would be best placed to take the lead in persuading the rest of the world to 'join the battle against climate change'. Perhaps he had a point, of sorts. After all, former Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher did more to reduce UK CO2 emissions than any prime minister since, albeit by default - by pushing through the closure of Britain's coal mines. But, like Blair, Howard had no radical measures up his sleeve, instead highlighting the need to improve household energy efficiency and encourage technologies such as wave and tidal power.

As Simon Jenkins wrote in The Times (London), 'if they really believe in the Apocalypse, only one technology is currently available to hold it at bay and that is nuclear power. All else is hypocrisy'. After all, Blair himself said that 'to acquire global leadership on this issue Britain must demonstrate it first at home'. Improving household efficiency and building a few wind turbines or solar panels is hardly going to make much of a difference in the long term to global CO2 emissions.

But this doesn't matter much, since neither Blair nor Howard set out to drive through radical policy changes. Instead, their speeches were dominated by empty rhetoric and a high dose of eco-moralism.

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



18 September, 2004

RATIONAL GREENIES WOULD TARGET GOVERNMENT BOONDOGGLES FIRST

Peter Samuel points out that socialistic activities of governments (such as farm subsidies) are both a major cause of needless damage to the natural environment and a very poor solution to environmental problems. The article was written 30 years ago but the chronic failure of Greenies to learn anything makes it as relevant as ever. Just some excerpts:

"But the first target of conservationists should be those so-called 'development projects' which are not really development at all, because they are likely to require subsidies to make them go. They should be concentrating their anger on schemes which make neither conservation sense nor economic sense. The elimination of these will both improve the environment and increase people's incomes. There are plenty of uneconomic developments which the conservationists could attack. They did this with great success in the Little Desert affair in Victoria recently. But almost every new rural water-storage project in Australia is uneconomic --because of the paucity of market for the produce of irrigated land. Each of these dams is impoverishing the country by consuming resources in the building which could be used productively elsewhere and by putting into business another collection of farmers who will have to be subsidised steadily over the years ahead. Each dam also impoverishes the environment by submerging vast bush valleys and disrupting the whole ecology of the river downstream. Many of Australia's water birds as well as smaller species of river life are threatened by the changes in river behaviour caused by dams.....

In this context, there is no economic logic in further land clearance for farming or for any more rural dams. There is a positive economic case for progressively taking marginal farms out of agricultural production. 'Let the bush grow back' is a sound slogan for Australia in the 1970s. And it opens new horizons for conservationists. Conservationists can demand an end to policies of agricultural expansion and the beginning of reconstruction, and they should be able to get every taxpayer on side. Every acre of land given back to bush will not only improve the national environment but it will save the nation the costs of surplus agricultural production.

But perhaps the most important advice the economist will give the conservationist is that he should harness the price system to his cause. In other words he should try to extend the economic system based on price incentives into the area of 'the environment' and use it to combat pollution. Use of the price system will generally be more effective and practical than use of direct controls or regulations. Take the example of exhaust emission from cars. Being advised by bureaucrats, governments are in the process of introducing a complicated series of bureaucratic controls. All new cars will have to be fitted, for example, with devices suppressing emission of pollutants below one per cent. This regulation may help somewhat in reducing car-exhaust pollution, but it is an extremely crude device. It means that old cars can go on polluting as before. There is no incentive to the car operator, once he has got his car out of the showroom, to maintain his car so that its pollutant emission is kept down. And there is no incentive to the car manufacturer or fuel supplier to get pollution further below the mandatory ceiling emission set in the regulation. Finally, it is an unfair and wasteful imposition on the country man, who lives in an area of low motor-vehicle density.....

The non-economists' answer to the obvious overuse of cars in cities is to say let them congest: do not build the new roads and parking stations which seem justified by the existing traffic flows and congestion. The better answer is to start pricing the use of roadspace according to the cost that the motorist imposes by occupying that space. If he puts sufficient value on the mobility he gets out of using the roadspace at a particular time to pay the costs to the community of providing that roadspace, then equity and efficiency dictate that he should be able to get that roadspace to use. If motorists were charged the costs of the use of their roadspace, and if parking charges were everywhere related to the rentable value of the space taken up by parking, then the car would be brought under control. There would be an indicator of the social value of new roads, and a better use of existing roads, since charges in peak hours would encourage a de-peaking of traffic flows. Public transport would be able to compete on a more equal basis with the car".

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



17 September, 2004

Hurricanes and Global Warming: Is There a Link?

"Data provided by the National Hurricane Center, shows hurricane strikes (landfalls) by decade in the U.S. since 1900. The 1940s were rather busy, the 70s the quietest, and the 1990s pretty close to the long-term average. A simple linear fit suggests a decrease over time. This is a result echoed by Easterling, et al (2000), who said, "the number of intense and landfalling Atlantic hurricanes has declined." In the Gulf of Mexico there is "no sign of an increase in hurricane frequency or intensity," according to Bove, et al (1998). For the North Atlantic as a whole, according to the United Nations Environment Programme of the World Meteorological Organization, "Reliable data . since the 1940s indicate that the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased."

Granted, there has been an upswing in the Atlantic since 1995, and this year's bumper crop of storms has struck Florida in numbers and intensities seldom occurring before. A sign of things to come, especially in a warmer world? Not according to Bill Gray's Tropical Forecast group at Colorado State University. Gray, who has developed successful methods for predicting hurricane activity, said, "Various groups and individuals have suggested that the recent large upswing in Atlantic hurricane activity (since 1995) may be in some way related to the effects of increased man-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). There is no reasonable scientific way that such an interpretation of this recent upward shift in Atlantic hurricane activity can be made."

And there is no reason to expect increases in hurricanes due to greenhouse warming. Climate models, for all their problems, are unanimous in at least one respect: they predict that most of the future warming will be in high latitudes, in the polar regions. This will reduce the north-south temperature gradient and make poleward transfer of heat less vigorous -- a task in which tropical storms play a major role. All other things being equal, a warmer world should have fewer, not more, hurricanes."

More here. See also here.




Sustainability is boring

Kind of the taxpayer to waste 100 million pounds sterling, though

"The 100 million pound Earth Centre, set up five years ago to promote sustainability, was declared unviable by its operators yesterday. The centre was created on a reclaimed coal mining site in south Yorkshire with the help of 36 million from the Millennium Commission. A sign outside the gates explains the centre is admitting only people who have booked until Oct 31. Fifty-one of the 75 staff have been made redundant.

The centre, which has charitable status, has been dogged by difficulties since it opened at Denaby Main, near Doncaster. It initially said its target was 500,000 visitors in the first eight months but in the first three months only 30,000 people turned up and 30 of the 140 staff were dismissed. Entrance prices which started at 8.95 per adult were reduced to 4.95 for visitors on bicycles, on foot or who had used public transport.

In the 13-week summer season in 2000, there were only 6,000 visitors and the centre was closed to allow a second phase to be completed before re-opening in 2001. After a new chief executive was appointed there appeared to be some success with visitor numbers rising 42 per cent from 10,000 to 37,000 in the first four months of last year. The centre appeared to be on course for 150,000 visitors and the 2 million turnover required to ensure its future.

Its attractions include an indoor rain forest, gardens, wetlands, country park and play areas along with cycle trains and water features. A statement from the Earth Centre Trust acknowledged the attraction was no longer viable and talks were being held with the Millennium Commission on its future, but its survival hinges on a local authority takeover".

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



16 September, 2004

TWO REVIEWS OF "ECO-IMPERIALISM" BY PAUL DRIESSEN

Driessen points out how bad for people in poor countries the Green/Left are:

"The time has come to hold these radicals to civilized standards of behavior, end the tolerance for their lethal policies, and demand that they be held accountable for their excesses, and the poverty, disease and death they have perpetrated on the poor and powerless. Eco-Imperialism is an excellent start. Driessen does a masterful job of stripping away the radicals' mantle of virtue, dissecting their bogus claims and holding them to the moral and ethical standards they have long demanded for everyone except themselves. And he does so with humor, outrage and passion - and always without pulling any punches. Every concerned citizen and policy maker should read this book. The environmentalists will hate it. The world's destitute masses will love it. And everyone will be challenged by it to reexamine their beliefs and the environmental establishment's claims."

"There is a shrill claim today by those that fill the streets to protest globalization, and by the organizations that put them there, that these white, relatively affluent groups are speaking on behalf of the world's poor and powerless. This unfortunately, is a message that the Western media have bought uncritically - but not Paul Driessen. He cogently shows how the new Green Eco-Imperialists are seeking to impose their will on developing countries, interfering with their efforts to build dams or grow crops or do any of the things which can lift them out of poverty. These are life-and-death matters for the world's poor, and Driessen is bold and honest enough to challenge the eco-interference in people's lives as immoral and the cause of death and devastation in countries that are trying to develop and transform their lives. Both those who have bought the Green propaganda line and those who have not would benefit from reading Driessen's Eco-Imperialism book."

More here.



WHOOPEE! A LEFTIST SITE DISCOVERS HORMESIS!

In the 50s the Left were great advocates of nuclear power. Perhaps the wheel will turn full circle when the Greenies finally admit that it is the only "alternative" energy source that works

"Most of us assume that public policy is based on evidence. Alas, not so.

Why do green campaigners, with the notable exception of James Lovelock, reject nuclear power, which emits no greenhouse gases? Because they are frightened of accidents and of radiation emanating from nuclear power stations and nuclear waste. Their fears of radiation are not only widely shared, but they are nourished by official sources and have even become official policy.

Present policies for radiation safety are based on the "linear no-threshold assumption," which is endorsed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. This is the assumption that even the smallest amount of radiation is harmful and may cause cancer and genetic disorders, and that the risk of harm increases proportionately with the dose. On this basis, we should aim to avoid any exposure at all. Accordingly, the standards for radiation protection set by the commission have become more exacting and the maximum exposure dose declared to be safe is continually lowered....

Unfortunately, far from safeguarding our health, current safety standards will almost certainly increase the incidence of cancer. The evidence shows that the effect of radiation on human health is not a linear one, but is a J-shaped curve. Exposure starts by being beneficial at low doses and only becomes harmful at higher doses. This effect is known as hormesis. A low dose of ionising radiation seems to stimulate DNA repair and the immune system, so providing a measure of protection against cancer. The benefit of low doses of radiation in treating cancer have been known for some time and are confirmed by a mass of evidence, particularly from Japan where it has been studied in detail as a result of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Many other examples of the hormesis effect are well known. A bit of sunshine does you good; too much may cause skin cancer. Small doses of aspirin have many beneficial effects; too much will kill you. It also appears to apply to arsenic, cadmium, dioxins and residues of synthetic pesticides, but that is another story.

Epidemiological evidence confirms the hormesis effect of radiation. The prediction that there would be terrible after-effects from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the survivors and their children was proved wrong. Japanese studies of the life expectancy of survivors who suffered relatively low amounts of radiation show that their life expectancy turned out to be higher than those of the control group and no unusual genetic defects have been found in their children. Again, a follow-up study of Japanese fishermen who were contaminated with plutonium after the nuclear tests at Bikini found 25 years later that none of them had died from cancer.....

These facts destroy what are perhaps the strongest objections to nuclear power. They show that the regulations seeking to enforce present, let alone proposed, minimum standards of safety not only cost billions of pounds and have undermined the prospects of our development of nuclear power, but do more harm than good. It is time that we looked more closely at the phenomenon of hormesis and in particular at the successful Japanese experience of using low-dose radiation in the treatment of cancer patients. When the evidence is clear, we should not allow it to be brushed aside by conventional wisdom and ignorance".

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



15 September, 2004

GREENIES SHAFTING ORDINARY PEOPLE AGAIN

"In Orange County, renting an apartment can cost what a younger person, new to the marketplace, earns a month. So new houses are a dire human necessity. The more built, the lower the cost, including of apartments, since those who move into homes will ease up the demand. This is elementary economics.

Ah, now come certain "biologists"- of the Oregon- and San Diego-based Conservation Biology Institute - who claim that "rare species [and] wildland would be jeopardized" under a developer's plans to increase human homes here. "Significant portions of important breeding and feeding sites for a variety of rare or troubled species could be lost, the biologists say," according to a Register report.

By what standard of "important" do these "biologists," who at their best are but natural scientists and not ethicists or political theorists, determine such matters? Who would be those to whom these sites would be "lost"? One can only lose something if one owns it, and it is only those who own the land that's to be developed who are to lose anything here, not the "biologists," conservationists, ecologists or environmentalists.

Or do we now have a country in which these elites are granted the authority to take whatever they happen to deem "important" from those who actually own it? No objective criteria are provided for determining this supposed "importance." In fact, the environmental extremists, who discount human goals and interests as something unworthy and negligible, have nothing intelligible to offer when asked by what criteria this matter of "importance" is to be decided....

In nature, there will often be rivalry for space and resources, and the "biologists" who chime in so cavalierly about what is lost when human habitats are expanded are engaging not in science but in vested-interest politics and hyperbole - they prefer the wilds as they are, so they want it all preserved, period. And they neglect entirely to consider that this costs human beings millions and millions, not because some greater good is being attained in the process but simply to satisfy arbitrary wishes backed with junk science.

It is also really outrageous that those who defend human habitation in these areas are dismissed as nothing but crass profiteers, as if building homes for people were not every bit as honorable a task as giving them an education, providing for their medical care or helping them to find good vacation spots....

In fact, it is often the environmental extremists who lack the requisite measure of humanity to advise a sensible public policy on these issues".

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



14 September, 2004

SNOWFALL: ANOTHER THEORY COLLIDES WITH REALITY

Big scare! Pollution is reducing snowfall so the rivers might run dry! Problem: Pollution also increases rainfall. Bigger problem: The historical record does not show any big reduction in meltwater over time. Lesson: Studying just one effect in isolation should be left to the scientists. Drawing big conclusions from just one change is dumb

"Along the western slope of the Rockies, in a laboratory 10,500 feet above sea level, a team of atmospheric researchers has spent the past decade deciphering a deeper meaning from the blizzards that blanket the Steamboat ski resort in its famously pillowy "champagne powder."

They have skimmed snow clouds with screens to size up their icy content. They have zapped falling flakes with lasers to record digital images of the hexagonal shapes. They have captured crystals in a contraption that melts them with a heat gun and measures the mass of the water droplets. And they have come to a provocative conclusion: Air pollution is reducing mountain snowfall, the wellspring of drinking water for Los Angeles, Las Vegas and much of the urban West.

Storm clouds packed with microscopic particles from diesel trucks, coal-burning power plants and cow manure produce far less snow than clouds comparatively free of pollution, the scientists from the University of Nevada's Desert Research Institute have determined.

J. Marshall Shepherd, a scientist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration who studies global rain patterns, agreed that Rosenfeld and other scientists are showing that pollution can reduce precipitation in high altitudes.

But other studies, including research by Shepherd on thunderstorms downwind of Houston, suggest that some of the same factors can actually increase the intensity of rain in lower-lying areas, where clouds hold together longer before finally releasing torrential downpours.

Many human activities appear to be altering storm clouds, including the hotter air that emanates from dense urban centers, known as the heat island effect. It will probably take scientists decades to fully understand what is happening, and how water supplies in different parts of the country are being affected, Shepherd said.

"There is certainly convincing evidence that aerosols are having an effect on precipitation," he said, "but there are other factors, including the urban heat island effect, and we are not sure how it all works just yet."

Maurice Roos, California's chief hydrologist, said he is skeptical of the scientists' claims. Roos has reviewed historical records, and concluded that though the snowpack has clearly diminished over the last 40 years, the trend is more likely linked to a slight uptick in temperatures.

If air pollution was causing the serious effects Rosenfeld and others have suggested, the state should be losing far more water, Roos said. "I would not be surprised if there was some influence" from air pollution, said Roos, who has spent 47 years as a state water official. "But we, happily, do not see the major changes in stream runoff that these guys are predicting."

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



13 September, 2004

Ratification without representation: "Congress is currently working on legislation that takes constitutional disregard to a new level. At issue is how to implement future changes to a yet to be ratified treaty -- the Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, known as the POPs Treaty. It imposes international bans on 12 chemicals and sets up a process for banning more chemicals in the future."



MORE GUESSWORK MASQUERADING AS SCIENCE

"More than 6000 plants, insects and animals should be added to the list of the world's endangered species, according to a study published yesterday. It found that the number of species threatened with extinction was far more than originally thought because of a "hidden" threat to plants and animals which depend on each other to survive. An international study, published in the journal Science, found that biologists had underestimated the dependent species which died out when a more well-known "host" became extinct. Researchers claimed that at least 200 species may have become extinct without the world realising.

The team, from the universities of Alberta, Singapore and Tennessee, looked at a list of 12,200 plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered. It then studied a diverse selection of insects, mites, fungi and other organisms that are uniquely adapted to these listed plants and animals and which depend on them for survival. Around 6300 species should be classified as "co-endangered", it said.

Dr Heather Proctor, a biologist at the University of Alberta, said:... "What we wanted to learn was, if the host goes extinct, how many other species will go with it. "It would be easy if there were always a one-to-one relationship with a host and its affiliate, however, not all parasites, for example, are restricted to a single host species.

The researchers believed the oversight could have happened because some of the most susceptible organisms were unattractive and unpopular parasites. Dr. Proctor cited a plant vine that became locally extinct in Singapore, taking with it a species of butterfly, parantica aspasia, that depended on the vine for survival. "When we lose this vine, this beautiful butterfly dies off with it, and we'll never see it again except in photographs at museums," she said".

More here

The big weakness is in the second last paragraph above. How can they know that a parasite is not found somewhere else? Proving a negative is notoriously difficult. And the last paragraph above is amusing. Unattractive parasites dying out is bad? A lot of people would manage to hold the tears. And notice how a butterfly that is only locally extinct (i.e. no longer found in one particular location) suddenly seems to become totally extinct

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



12 September, 2004

Cool summer gives global warmers the freeze: "It's been a disappointing summer for global warming alarmists. Hollywood, Mother Nature and the media just haven't cooperated. Even with the unusual situation of two successive hurricanes pounding Florida and another bearing down imminently, global warming hysteria seems to be on ice for now. The summer began with so much promise for the climate control crowd with the release of the global warming disaster movie, 'The Day After Tomorrow.' While the movie made plenty of money, global warming activists wanted much more than that. They hoped the movie would foment global warming hysteria in the same way that 'The China Syndrome' and 'Silkwood' contributed to public sentiment against nuclear power plants. Instead, the movie was so over-the-top with implausible weather phenomena that no one -- not even the usually global warming-sympathetic media -- took it seriously. Then, unlike the movie, the real 'day after tomorrow' turned out to be pretty nice."



GREAT STUFF: COULD BE GOOD FOR FOR OVERTURNING GREENIE NONSENSE

"As the in-house newsletter of the nation's political and bureaucratic establishment, it's not surprising that The Washington Post would run a hit piece on the Data Quality Act late last month.

The act, passed with little fanfare as part of a 2000 appropriations bill, gives the regulated a fighting chance to challenge the quality of the science used by the government in formulating the rules it imposes on the rest of us.

The law not only has the potential to overturn government regulations that are based on immature or slipshod science, but to finally bring some semblance of parity to the endless struggle between the regulators and regulated.

But Washington doesn't like to play fair, or to be challenged on its supposed expertise on everything under the sun. The political process is increasingly driven by a sense of crisis that only sensationalized science can generate. And that makes the act a prime target of the regulate-first, worry-about-the-science-later crowd.

The Post portrayed the law as the "nemesis of regulation" and fretted about its use by "industry" to challenge federal rulemakers on the scientific merits. The story warned ominously that the law, under President Bush, "has become a potent tool for companies seeking to beat back regulation" - though a careful read suggests otherwise. All this could only be viewed as worrisome by those who assume that all government regulations are, ipso facto, beneficial, cost-effective and justified by science.

But we don't share those assumptions. Regulations are routinely handed down from on high based on questionable, immature and incomplete science, thanks to something called "the precautionary principle," which licenses the government to act on the mere suspicion that something might be harmful to human health. Whether these potentially costly actions are scientifically justified is a question frequently put off for another day, and then promptly forgotten, while the regulations live on in perpetuity. And where is it written that individuals, businesses and industries shouldn't be permitted to fight back?

Dr. John Graham, who heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs inside the Office of Management and Budget, sees the Data Quality Act as a tool for holding regulators to a higher scientific standard. It's helpful not just to industry, he points out, but to a "wide diversity" of individuals and interests that might have reason to challenge the quality of government science.

Among those who have stepped forward to take advantage of the law are the American Chemistry Council, which challenged the science used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in banning the use of arsenic-treated lumber in playground equipment. Sugar interests and the Salt Institute challenged the validity of federal dietary recommendations aimed at curtailing the public's consumption of these products. And the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers challenged the government's rankings of clothes dryers according to their alleged susceptibility to lint fires. Some of these petitions might seem frivolous and self-serving - unless your own livelihood or the survival of your company are threatened by actions based on dubious science.

Critics of the Bush administration routinely accuse it of "politicizing" science, and they point to the Data Quality Act as a case in point. But the corruption of science for political purposes has been going on for decades. Some of the administration's shrillest critics are most at fault for twisting the data to suit their agendas. And this White House has done more than any in recent history to insist on higher scientific standards before costly and consequential regulations are imposed on Americans".

Source

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



11 September, 2004

GREENIES AS PRAISE-SEEKERS

"Research undertaken for the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's suggests that more younger people - and younger women in particular - are buying organic. However, these purchases often had little to do with saving the planet. As a Sainsbury's press release reported: '[T]he core reasons to buy organic food are personal - people believe it tastes better and is better for you. Over three quarters of the participants claimed that eating organic food made them feel good in themselves and evoked a sense of optimism because the food was seen as healthier.'

There's little real evidence that organic food is any healthier than the non-organic variety. That 'feelgood factor' has as much to do with the statement people are making by buying organic. People just seem to know that organic is better, even if they are unlikely to be able to justify why.

The act of buying organic is far more important than the act of consuming organic because it makes a statement about your awareness of the world around you - and you expect to feel the warmth of other people's approval in return.

Sticking a bunch of organic bananas in your shopping trolley is not the only means by which you can seek such approval. The same thing can be seen in the market for the new range of fuel-efficient hybrid cars - cars that use electric motors in addition to petrol engines to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions - in particular, the Toyota Prius. Fans of the Prius include Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, while the brains behind Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have used their Prius purchases to deflect any suggestion that they are becoming fat cats.

A recent article in the Washington Post noted that sales of Honda's Civic hybrid have been much weaker than for the Prius, even though the Civic's technology is similar and it is almost as fuel-efficient as the Prius. What's the difference? 'The Prius is a fashion statement', said Art Spinella, a consultant with CNW Marketing Research, who surveys car-buying trends. 'It looks different. Other people know the driver is driving a hybrid vehicle. It clearly makes a bigger statement about the person than does the Civic, which basically looks like a Civic.'

Spinella added that hybrid buyers in focus groups gravitate to the Prius 'because of its unique design and will candidly admit they expect to receive some acclaim from friends, relatives, co-workers for their concern about the environment and/or fuel efficiency'. Green is the new black, it seems.

Being 'ethical' or 'aware' is now part of the zeitgeist. It is both a fashion statement (look at me, I'm ethical) and a moral statement (if you're not ethical like me, you're a lout).

This is also the way with recycling. There is little financial incentive for recycling, and recycling is generally, with a few exceptions, more expensive than dumping and making new goods from virgin materials. Yet there is a growing campaign for recycling, particularly promoted by local government - and more people are taking it up. The 'black box' outside your house is becoming a symbol of virtue, to reassure yourself that you are doing your bit.

More here.



Crooked Greenies: "In another setback for government land acquisition advocates, a California conservancy group, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, was recently caught mismanaging millions of dollars in voter-approved bond money that was supposed to be spent on acquiring and restoring parkland. According to the Los Angeles Times on June 6, California Department of Finance auditors issued a report on March 24 documenting that the conservancy group 'does not adequately manage, control, or oversee' $115 million in bond funds given it by the state."

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



10 September, 2004

MORE ON THE GREENIE RELIGION

A letter from Leonard Colquhoun of Invermay, Tasmania, printed in "The Weekend Australian on Sept., 4th, 2004

Greg Sheridan's article ("Opinion", 2 Sept.) has done us all a service: the Greens have undergone a dangerous metamorphosis. Once an ecological movement worried about misuse of nature, Bob Brown's party has begun to develop the kinds of fascist attitudes that characterised the European totalitarians of the 20th century and which are now to be found in Islamist fundamentalism.

Two features stand out.

One is a gnostic approach to just about everything: we Greens are the ones who have the knowledge, we know what's good for the world, and you will do as we say because the truth is with us, and only us. It is a Gaiaist version of the Roman Catholic Church's dictum: extra ecclesiam nulla salvatio.

The second is that maxim followed by the medieval popes, 17th-century Puritans, French revolutionary fanatics, by the respective commissars of Nazism and Soviet communism, and now by al-Qa'ida and other fundamentalists: the end justifies the means. The actions of the chosen are above the law and beyond conventional morality.

Granted, Brown is yet to preside over an auto-da-fe or issue a fatwa, but his party is yet to demonstrate it actually knows what is meant by compromise, an attitude without which a civil, secular liberal society is impossible, and without which parliamentary government cannot function.

Voters need to be aware that when the Greens claim they are not just another political party, that claim has to be taken seriously.



MERCURY PARANOIA

"What's actually going on is that the EPA has announced a proposed regulation -- due to go into effect next spring that would require power generators to reduce mercury emissions from smokestacks for the first time. The power generators have agreed to shoot for a 70 percent reduction. Environmental extremists are insisting that should be upped to more than a 90 percent reduction, no matter what it costs. Wait, it gets better: How much would mercury in your body -- or your kids' bodies -- be reduced if we shut down every coal-fired power plant in America forever, reducing our electrical output by 50 percent and throwing us back into a new Dark Age? Less than 1 percent."

More here:

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



9 September, 2004

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FRAUD

U.K. government "research" violates the most basic principles of social science

"The 'GM Nation' report concluded that the general public is overwhelmingly against GM technology, with feelings ranging from 'suspicion and scepticism, to hostility and rejection'; there are, it was said, 'many more people who are cautious, suspicious or outrightly hostile about GM crops than there are supportive towards them'. These conclusions were based on quantitative questionnaires answered by 36,500 people, as well as by additional comments received. (About half of the responses came by mail, and half using the 'GM Nation?' website.) Such a large sample certainly looks impressive, considering that a lot of social science and market research draws conclusions on the basis of samples of only a few hundred people.

But the large size of the sample does not overcome one glaring problem with it. It is, as even its authors concede, a self-selected sample, and therefore is almost certainly not random. As a self-selected sample, it is probably comprised mostly of those with strong opinions on the subject. After all, if you don't give a damn, why would you go to the trouble of writing a letter to a survey unit telling them that you don't give a damn? The fact that tens of thousands of the sort of people who get worked up about GM wrote in to say that they get worked up about it tells us nothing much about the rest of the population, especially when one considers that none of the 'GM Nation?' budget was spent on advertising, and so most of the people who knew about it (before the results hit the headlines) were the activists.

After all, 36,500 people amounts to roughly one out of every 2,000 people in Britain, and you'd hardly have to ask 2,000 people before you got someone who was strongly against GM. Environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth mounted concerted campaigns to get their members to take part in 'GM Nation?' (and newspapers reported complaints that the public meetings held as part of the process were overwhelmed by anti-GM activists).

Consider that over a million people in Britain took to the streets against the Iraq war, but proper surveys showed us that there was not an overwhelming majority of people against the war. A survey about war attitudes that only asked people on these marches wouldn't be taken seriously - but the 'GM Nation?' survey amounted to little more than that. So we have no right to take these results to represent the general population. No decent scientific journal would take these results seriously, and there is no reason why anyone else should either".

More here. The author of the article from which the above is excerpted also has a blog

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



8 September, 2004

THE GREENIE ANSWER TO BARBARISM: STUFFED TOYS

Cloud cuckoo land is where they live

"Australia should send 400 personalised stuffed koalas to the grieving families of the Beslan school massacre, Greens leader Bob Brown has proposed. He has also argued that the Russian Government should bow to Chechen demands for independence - a suggestion that prompted an angry reaction from the Government and concern from Russian representatives.

In a radio discussion aired in Sydney on Monday night, Senator Brown startled his co-panellists, Tourism Minister Joe Hockey and shadow employment spokesman Anthony Albanese, by proposing that stuffed koalas might cheer the families of the Beslan dead. "We could send 400 koalas over there, you know, the fluffy toy koalas, with the name of each (victim), and deliver it to each of those open doors where the families are," he said.

Mr Hockey said last night that the comments were "just bizarre - grossly insensitive, bizarre and beyond belief". Senator Brown also said he believed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should begin moves to give the Chechen people their independence, the outcome the terrorists are seeking. While the attacks were "disgusting and inhuman", he said, the Chechen people could not be blamed for the terrorist activities of a minority, and the Russian Government should ask the United Nations to assist with a transition to independence. "He (Mr Putin) has to look seriously at them (Chechens) taking a form of their own government," Senator Brown said.

A Russian embassy spokesman said giving Chechens independence was "not a good idea". He said the region was given de facto independence 10 years ago but it did not work. "Soon they were attacking neighbours and producing drugs; they had this chance."

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia, Archbishop Hilarion, agreed that providing limited independence had been unsuccessful and rejected the suggestion of a new deal.......

Mr Hockey accused Senator Brown of advocating a surrender to terrorists. "Giving in to these terrorists is offensive and unacceptable," he said. "This illustrates everything that the Greens are: totally divorced from reality. They do not understand the consequences of their actions.""

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



7 September, 2004

THE OTHER GREENIE AGENDAS

Christopher Pearson comments on the policies of the high-profile leader of the Australian Green party -- Bob Brown

"When the political history of the Greens comes to be written, Brown is unlikely to find it comfortable reading. He is, more than anyone else, to blame for the party's ideological baggage. A more prudent observer of the international Green movement would have steered clear of fundamentalist positions in favour of a broad church when it came to formulating social policy. A less reactive politician would have cared more about coherence and plausibility.

For example, they would have avoided arguing in the same breath for an open-door approach to asylum-seekers and reducing the population by 2 million. Brown got himself into this particular mess by trying to corner the markets in both compassion and radical commitment to "a sustainable Australia".

However, he is untroubled by contradictory stances. It's plain that getting media attention is all that matters and almost his entire stock-in-trade consists in striking postures to appeal to one or other of his various constituencies. Brown's defenders argue that his leadership is best judged by concentrating on Green as a political brand with growing support, bearing in mind that he had to differentiate himself from the wishy-washy Australian Democrats....

Instead, as the press gallery discovered last week, Brown's policy manifesto for the election panders to every feral obsession. Globalisation, free trade, corporations and the military-industrial complex were all cast as bogeymen, in the best traditions of Pauline Hanson.

What even she would have too much sense to propose were state-sanctioned distribution of ecstasy, heroin and marijuana, automatic entitlement to unemployment benefits, an end to the US alliance through banning nuclear-powered ships and a directly elected world parliament to supervise the UN. These are the building blocks of the Greens' nirvana.

When the gallery began to scrutinise his party's website last week, Brown was not prepared for searching questions. He could only put it down to a Murdoch cabal. Faced, almost as though for the first time, by a hard-nosed tabloid journalist armed with chapter and verse on Greens drugs policy, proposals for swaths of new taxes, including capital gains tax on some family homes and vague plans for state appropriation of farmlands to be returned to bush, he was reduced to indignant spluttering.

John Howard, fresh from offering Meg Lees a third-party endorsement of her "sensible and constructive role in the Senate", seized the opportunity. "The Greens are not just about the environment," he said. "They have a whole lot of other very, very kooky policies in relation to things like drugs and new taxes and whatever, which people never talk about because they try [to] portray themselves as a one-issue party of just being warm and fuzzy about the environment."

More here



And Greg Sheridan has more details

"This election will probably see the emergence of the Greens as Australia's most important third party. This will be a sad and a bad day for our political culture, for the Greens represent the triumph of extremism over moderation, of the paranoid style over commonsense, and the flight from that civic responsibility which characterises a mature polity.

The Greens are essentially left-wing Hansonites, simultaneously reactionaries and revolutionaries, who combine a hatred of modern society as it actually exists with a conspiracy-laden, fantastical view of how the world works. They offer nothing positive beyond dreamlike cliches and slogans, but their negative power is quite great. They can build nothing, they can damage much. But they may hold the balance of power in the Senate. It is conceivable, though not likely, they will hold the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Bob Brown, the canny, ruthless, manipulative politician who leads the Greens, says 1million Australians may vote for them.

It is hard to believe 1million Australians really support the anti-growth, anti-modern prejudices of the Greens. Many will just be lodging a protest vote, but it's sad that the vehicle of protest should be so disreputable... the ideology of the Greens rejects the very legitimacy of the modern economy and in many ways the modern Australian state. The rise of the Greens mirrors the rise of extremist third parties of Left and Right throughout western Europe. To some extent a similar process is under way in the US, with Brown and Hanson imperfect but rough analogues of Ralph Nader on the green Left and Patrick Buchanan on the xenophobic and isolationist Right.

The Greens' policies on the party's website are a mishmash of contradictory and incoherent generalised statements. Brown is smart enough to know that the Greens can only suffer from having intelligible or specific policies on the record. They seek to embody a sentiment of rage and frustration rather than to advance real policies....

There are several pages of policy on Israel and Palestine without one mention of the word terrorism, although suicide bombings are condemned along with Israeli government actions. All the concessions demanded of course are from Israel, and the Greens support imposing international sanctions on Israel to enforce these concessions.

The international economic stuff is quite seriously loopy, calling for the abolition of the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, unless impossible reforms are enacted, because these organisations "are major, all-powerful engines of globalisation that peddle a specific brand of market-obsessed globalisation which is destroying many economies, particularly those of poor countries".....

The Greens want to establish a "directly elected people's assembly" to act as a house of review at the UN. Of course, holding elections in North Korea, Syria or even China might be tricky.

The Greens would end the US alliance by banning the passage of nuclear-powered ships through our waters. On domestic economic policy they would impose death duties, raise every form of tax they mention, but simultaneously ensure full employment while cutting working hours but not pay. All this self-contradictory nonsense is literally an insult to our intelligence and, worse, a degradation of our politics."

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



6 September, 2004

GREENIE WIERDNESS -- Part 1

David Icke was the national spokesman for the UK Greens from 1988 to 1991. The guy is as mad as a cut snake and believes the world is secretly run by 9 ft alien reptilians who control the show from deep inside the hollow earth. There is an amazing amount on Icke here. Most of it is harmless New Age silliness, but the same kind of loony tunes ideas propelled some well known Germans, now mainly seen on The History Channel.



GREENIE WIERDNESS -- Part 2

Andrew Bolt writes:

"Thankfully, a few Greens supporters are now waking up to the extremism hidden in the Greens philosophy. Some are shocked to realise their party increasingly rejects civilisation and freedom and embraces the tyranny of tribalism -- the purity of the noble savage. See the results -- the Greens heckling George Bush, but demanding more aid for Saddam Hussein; vilifying Israel, but largely ignoring the Islamist terrorists trying to wipe it out.

This appalled singer Deborah Conway, who this month declared: "Usually I'm very passionate and sympathetic to the Greens, who actually asked me to stand for them in Victoria." But Conway is Jewish, and the Greens, she says, "have stunned me".

"I've always been considered Left. It's who I've been. Suddenly some of these people from the Left want to put me up against the wall and shoot me because I'm Jewish." She's not talking of the Greens' leaders, of course, but of fans of their policies....

Perhaps the man who is best able to tell us what the Greens' vision means for us is Peter Singer, philosopher, former Greens Senate candidate and co-author with Brown of The Greens. It is Singer who developed the key Greens belief -- that man is not at the pinnacle of creation, as Christians and Jews believe, but is just one of the animals, with no more rights than any other.

Human life is no longer sacred, but should be judged in a utilitarian way. Is that life a burden to someone? Is that being conscious enough to let live? And Singer judges with a merciless eye: "If the fetus does not have the same claim to life as a person, it appears that the newborn baby does not either, and the life of a newborn baby is of less value to it than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee . . .

"If we can put aside these emotionally moving but strictly irrelevant aspects of the killing of a baby we can see that the grounds for not killing persons do not apply to newborn infants." Or even much older ones: "A three-year-old is a grey case," says Singer, author of Should the Baby Live?"

More here.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



5 September, 2004

SELF-INTEREST MAKES STRANGE ALLIES

But it is always the ordinary guy like you who pays

Tree farmer Kent Hinson says he is out on a limb when it comes to his pro-environment view. "Most foresters in general look at the environmentalists as an adversary, as a group that makes rules about how we should do our jobs," said Hinson, who owns about 200 acres of forestland near Dublin in central Georgia. "Me, I believe that foresters should be environmentalists first. I may be an odd forester, but we are both trying for the same thing."

Now that the Bush administration is planning to open roadless forests to commercial logging, more tree farmers are joining Hinson by reaching out to environmental groups to keep a glut of timber off the market.

Small farmers who have benefited from timber restrictions banning logging in the vast federal lands in the West do not stand to be awarded the massive contracts the timber, oil and gas goliaths will pursue. Instead, they fear the entry of more lumber in the logging market.

"It's bad for the environment and bad for the pocketbooks of the tree farmer," said Mark Woodall, who grows about 6,000 acres of trees near LaGrange in west Georgia.

The White House is rewriting a restriction ordered in the Clinton administration's final days that essentially protected almost 60 million acres of federal forestland from logging, mining and oil and gas development by prohibiting road construction.

More here.



Interesting email from a reader on the supposed global warming: "What do you think about the belief that any extra warming will end up causing more hurricanes and tornadoes, and dissipate itself into kinetic energy?

And what about the idea that burning fossil fuel liberates the carbon locked inside the earth to create wonderful, abundant LIFE; and that those who would like to keep it locked up can't stand to see a return to the bountiful life of previous geological periods?

Myself, I believe that if there is excess CO2 present, then rainfall in the deserts will be more likely to lock fresh water from the rains upon land, providing the necessary moisture for storms and such. I've been toying with the idea that perhaps wind currents aren't deterministic, but a result of the presence of deserts. By making the CO2, planting in the deserts, and making an effort to keep moisture from running back to the sea so quickly, we can alter the winds and perhaps change the environment for the better."

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



4 September, 2004

TWO GREENIE SCARES IN ONE

It was the "Summer of the Shark." In 2001, massive numbers of hapless swimmers were shredded up and down U.S. shores. Or so the media told us. Turns out there were 11 fewer U.S. shark attacks than the year before. The hysteria ended only in September, when the nation got some truly scary news.

But as 9/11 fades from memory, shark attack stories are back - with a twist. The media have combined them with another bit of nonsense it consistently promotes with the ominous name of "The Dead Zone." Shark attacks and a dead zone, oh my! Good thing it's all a fish story.

First, the "Dead Zone."

Every year during the summer an oxygen-depleted area forms in the Gulf of Mexico where the Mississippi River Basin empties. This depletion is called hypoxia. The zone waxes and wanes annually. If it's larger than the year before, the media make sure you know it. If it's smaller, they make sure you think it's grown larger. Thus CNN.com's recent headline: "'Dead Zone' Spreads across Gulf of Mexico." Nowhere does it say it spread considerably less than previously.

Now, since nature herself would never do anything bad - aside from earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanic explosions, and minor stuff like that - we know the Dead Zone MUST be man-made. The most-often fingered culprit is fertilizer run-off from farms that goes into Mississippi basin rivers, creating algae blooms that soak up virtually all the oxygen within the zone.

And the sharks?

Well, the Dead Zone is to Louisiana marine biologist Nancy Rabalais what the Redcoats were to Paul Revere. But for the one, nobody would have heard of the other. Rabalais originally publicized the hypoxic area, she measures it, and she crusades against the horrible farmers and fertilizer companies she claims create it.

And the environmentalists love her for it, giving her accolades and cash awards that would send most people into a feeding frenzy. This includes the San Diego Foundation's 1999 Blasker Award, complete with check for $250,000. (The 2002 winner got only $47,000, but he was merely working on bioterror defenses against anthrax.)

Imagine Rabalais' panic then, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which had given her its 1999 NOAA Environmental Heroes Award, announced the zone this summer will remain "about the same size as it has been since 1990." (Actually, it's only about two-thirds the size this year as in 2002.)

So panic led to gimmick. Playing off a small shark scare in Texas, Rabalais told reporters: "The higher number of sharks in shallow waters may very likely be due to the low oxygen being close to the shore at the time of the attacks." So the Dead Zone no longer threatens just mollusks; it now threatens man.

Except that "Sharks are not more numerous or more aggressive than usual," according to Tom Harvey, spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Austin. He told a local TV station, "They are not 'coming in' to shore more than usual. We've had two attacks within a week or so, and that is unusual, but what we're seeing is probably more of a media frenzy than a shark feeding frenzy."

Further, why would this year's much smaller hypoxic zone be triggering shark movements that previous much larger zones did not? Such logic escaped CNN, Reuters, BBC, and other media outlets that eagerly swam with the Rabalais story.

But while Rabalais' shark theory has no teeth, neither does her Dead Zone cause celebre, for a variety of reasons. One is that hypoxic zones occur all over the world in places where there is no fertilizer run-off. "There are millions of square miles of ocean that are naturally hypoxic," Derek Winstanley, chief of the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign told me

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



3 September, 2004

HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE

More on global warming as a religion

"Global warming has been put under the spotlight as the principal cause of the locust swarms. Last summer's heat is said to have dried out grain fields, providing the locusts with ideal conditions to lay eggs. Meanwhile, this year's rains have increased breeding by traveling locusts. It seems that both hot and cold weather can be attributed to global warming.....

Many responses to the swarms of locusts and other extreme conditions have been reminiscent of biblical, pre-scientific times. Most media commentators report weather-related events without recourse to the science of climate change. They employ the language of global warming to "explain" problems in a manner common to pre-modern superstition. Even the prestigious New Scientist journal ran an article this month with the following doomsday scenario on Europe's future:

"European winters will disappear by 2080 and extreme weather will become more common unless global warming across the continent is slowed."

This article followed the release of a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), launched on 19 August. The report painted a particularly bleak future for Europe. It stated that freak weather conditions, such as the floods of 2001 that killed 80 people and the 2003 heat wave that led to an estimated 20,000 deaths, are likely to become more frequent and extreme.

The EEA report predicted further temperature rises due to emissions of greenhouse gases. "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities," stated the report. Yet there is considerable scientific uncertainty about whether temperature rises are due to the sun, greenhouse gases or other causes.

Nevertheless, the EEA report does not hold back from insisting that emissions of greenhouse gases and human activities should be restrained. "Europe has to continue to lead worldwide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA. This means reducing economic growth, especially in the transport sector, agriculture and energy production. However, "even if society substantially reduces its emissions of greenhouse gases over the coming decades, the climate system would continue to change over the coming centuries," as the EEA report points out.

The key message behind the secular religion of global warming is that sacrifices are demanded for the Earth, despite the absence of scientific evidence that these will save us from extreme weather. Only our own actions can help limit the impact of climate change. If southern Italian farmers had dug up the areas where locust eggs were buried last year, the current swarms could have been averted. And hurricane disasters and flooding can only be limited by building up our own defenses. Human activities are the solution to the problems of climate change, not the cause".

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



2 September, 2004

Sea levels no threat to Islands, says scientist

So sad for the Greenies

Low-lying Pacific nations are in no danger of disappearing under the sea, says an Australian oceanographer who has analysed over 10 years of fluctuating sea levels in the region. Dr Than Aung presented the latest data on sea-level records in the Pacific at a gathering of scientists and researchers in New Caledonia this week.

Aung, who teaches at the University of South Pacific, told the New Zealand Herald yesterday that the fears of small nations like Kiribati and Tuvalu disappearing under the ocean were exaggerated. "We have never believed that these islands will go under water. People will live there for thousands of years yet."

But Aung said that countries like Tuvalu did not seem to want to hear that, as they would rather blame Western countries for their perceived predicament. He predicted Tuvalu would be particularly loud in its complaints in 2006, when its highest levels of tides were due in February, March and April of that year. "It has nothing to do with climate change."

Aung said data had been collected for 136 months in a project managed by Australian Marine Science and Technology Ltd, which showed sea levels had both risen and fallen across the Pacific in that time.

More here

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************



1 September, 2004

ANOTHER GREENIE JUDGE

Greenies hate dams

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation violated state and federal law by diverting most of the water from the San Joaquin River to agriculture for more than 50 years, a federal judge in Sacramento ruled Friday. U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton found, in effect, the bureau reduced the river to a pathetic remnant of its glorious past.

The specific question before Karlton was whether the agency is legally liable for the decimation of Chinook salmon and other types of fish that were native to the upper reaches of the river before construction of Friant Dam in the early 1940s. Karlton's answer is a resounding yes. "The bureau, by its own admission, releases no water" for preservation of native fish, the judge wrote. "Failure to release water from Friant Dam has rendered many miles of fish habitat unusable, especially in the stretch between the dam and the river's confluence with the Merced (River), and has also adversely affected water quality along the whole course of the river."

"We're very disappointed," said Ron Jacobsma, manager of the Friant Water Users Authority, which represents 22 of the 28 bureau contractors along the Friant-Kern Canal that serves thousands of farmers in Fresno, Tulare, Kern and Madera counties. "Any more downstream releases will really tighten the screws on farmers already scrambling to cope with an ever-decreasing supply of water." The authority delivered 1 million acre-feet of water this year, down from 1.4 million last year....

In January, the judge will hear arguments on other issues raised in the 16-year-old lawsuit. He will later tackle the question of whether to take water away from agriculture. He noted in Friday's order that any remedy will have to be compatible with the bureau's mandate under the law governing the Central Valley Project. "Farmers throughout the valley have dedicated their lives and fortunes to making the desert bloom," Karlton wrote. "They did so in reliance on the availability of CVP water. That reality most likely should be taken into account when the court comes to address a remedy."....

The river's fall-run Chinook salmon were reported extinct in 1949. Spring-run Chinook disappeared after unsuccessful rescue attempts in 1949 and 1950.

More here.



GREENIE "ERRORS"

One of the "sister" ("brother"?) sites to this one is "Bizarre Science", run by the hard-working Aaron Oakley. A recent post there is amusing. Aaron pointed out that the high priests of global warming (the IPCC) had issued a map of global temperatures which showed "warming" spots in red -- but which also showed "no change" in red! They were of course caught out in their little trick and subsequently issued a less misleading version of their map. That the IPCC would even think of doing what they did let alone actually do it shows how desperately partisan they are. But in the "comments" section attached to the post, Green/Left blogger Tim Lambert says the initial colour choice was just an "error"! You can deliberately choose a colour for something by mistake? Poor Tim. I used to have some respect for his honesty but not now. He has in the past shown some respect for the facts but he clearly reveals himself there as concerned only to come to the conclusions that he wants to come to.

*****************************************

Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here

*****************************************