Environmentalism Without Government
Laudata Si’. Document for Global Good or Global Hegemony? You Decide. By Jim Poesl
I have been asked by a couple of my friends to read and comment on the Papal Encyclical on the environment Laudata Si’ that was issued this past week. I can’t discuss this without giving you some of my background. I’ve been an observer, student, and policy analyst for the last 30 years on this subject, and a delegate to one of the climate change conferences.
Throughout undergraduate and graduate schools, I was hard pressed like so many faithful Christians to articulate a Christian response to environmental arguments and philosophies. In reality there was little if anything for us that would give logical cohesive arguments on the environment--remember, these were pre-internet days. That has changed as of last week with Laudata Si’, mi Signor” or “Praise be to you, my Lord”.
The first five chapters of this document except for the incorrect references to sea level rising, and global climate change, outline a cohesive Christian support for environmental issues and debate. The document outlines most of the environmental issues of today from clean air and water, to general pollution issues. The document should be praised for this.
Being from North America we have an “Amero-centric” view of the environment where we have creature comforts and can worry about abstract environmental issues. There are other areas of the world where the environment is of little concern when compared to other issues. As Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn reported in their classic Fate of the Forest, it is a challenge for people in the undeveloped world to stop clear cutting and open burning of the forest to make room for livestock, when under that scheme they know where their next meal is coming from. While the other paradigm being forced on them by the developed world, is to invest in crops when there is a history of crop failure. In other words, real “kitchen table” issues vs. abstract “global climate change”. Which one do you think will get the priority for the average family in the undeveloped world?
A couple of my colleagues that work in the international environmental cleanup arena, state that other countries do not have a clue on basic environmental protection, like pollution and land use planning. This is where the church can be a force for good, and this document will go far to educate the public, through the churches.
Pope Francis should be lauded for his efforts in this document from a theological point of view. Unfortunately, it is with deep respect I must differ with him on several issues and solutions.
As with a lot of environmental health and safety issues, the problem solvers always revert back to what they know. Is it any surprise that someone who is the head of one of the largest and oldest international institutions (the Catholic Church), would seek solutions in other international organizations like the United Nations and other proposed international organizations? Not to me, his point of view is that international organizations are effective.
The problem with international organizations is that they soon become ineffective bureaucracies for political cronies and wealth redistributors to the detriment of the middle and lower classes, they specifically hold Western Democracies and the United States in contempt. Problems at the UN are well documented and widely circulated if you spend 30 seconds looking. Efforts in promote and surreptitiously implement its’ Agenda 21 have been to the detriment of everyone but the people making money or gaining power from it. Don’t believe me? Many of the green initiatives promoted by the government can be traced directly back to Agenda 21.
Global Climate Change. Back before widespread use of the internet in the 1990’s, before people could be connected and scientific inquiry double checked, it was easy to believe that scientists never lie, never distort, never have a political agenda, and of course never pursue financial gain. In the last 10 years we have experienced the following:
· Widespread reporting on the release of hacked e-mails of climate scientists stating that they exaggerated predictions, to gain funding (Public Choice Theory);
· Extensive documentation that climate monitoring stations are not set up consistently or appropriately, therefore having compromised data;
· Biased climate modeling;
· Peer reviewed articles that show that the proposed solutions will not address the defined problems, many even with tweaked climate models;
· Shouting down and marginalizing opposing scientific inquiry and debate;
· Predictions that haven’t come to fruition; and
· Al Gore and his supporters making billions on green technology and the carbon exchange with no benefit to the “problem” it purported to address.
The earth has cooled and warmed in its history for several reasons, all without your SUV and other human sources of carbon dioxide.
Sea Level Rise. Right now where I am sitting there was an ice sheet several miles thick, 20,000-25,000 years ago, the sea level was significantly lower because of this glacier that extended from the northeast, across the continent and around the globe. The sea level was lower, the ice melted when the earth warmed up, sea levels rose. This cycle has been going on forever. Don’t believe me? Go to South Jersey and along the coast, you will notice successive clay, silt and sand layers. Clay is deposited by slow moving water where the finer solids can settle out usually. The majority of the area between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains was once an inland sea. Go and dig a hole, see for yourself.
Perhaps the biggest area of concern for the church is what I experienced in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). For years through undergraduate and graduate school one of the greatest impediments to "progress" for environmentalists was the church. The church, especially Catholics was seen as backwards, mainly because they are generally not in favor of population control through abortion and non-natural contraception. They believed the church had to be mitigated to irrelevance and still do. Rather than outright conflict, many of these groups look for legitimacy through the “blessings” of the church. So they worked to become members of the church hierarchy, in the Protestant Churches it is easy since they are locally controlled with few people wanting to sit on church councils. For the Catholic churches this has been at least a 50-year endeavor because of professionally trained clergy running most of the church.
When the ELCA began losing membership, the Lutheran Office of Government Affairs (the public policy arm of the ELCA) decided that they would among other things, jump on the global warming bandwagon and support UN initiatives including the Kyoto Protocol. Fifteen years out, these alignments have caused the church to lose credibility in part because the global warming crowd has been exposed. I spoke to several pastors on this policy change 10 years ago and they said they were not concerned. I wonder if they are concerned now? I fear the same fate for all churches because I fear this may be a “jumping the shark” moment to try to retain or regain relevance in the Western world. They do so at the risk of their own credibility. Simply put, if the church can’t be believed with respect to simple scientific inquiries and basic economic theory, what about the exceedingly more important subjects such as heaven, hell, damnation, absolution, and salvation?
Why is a Catholic Document important to a Missouri Synod Lutheran? As I see it, an attack on the Catholic Church is an attack on all the churches. Any document issued by a theologian of the caliber of a Pope should be one that deserves some consideration, even by non-Catholics. It has been reported that this encyclical was issued to the “Church” in general, not only for Catholics. This is one reason why the encyclical has gotten my attention, not only because of the subject matter (my academic field of study), but it is issued by someone with uber-credentials in Christian Theology.
There is a debate in the policy arena whether the public should know all the details about a subject. On one side the answer is a resounding NO, because the public cannot understand complicated scientific arguments and make a decision, so therefore they should leave policy decisions up to the experts and trust only them. The other side is that we should make all data available, and let the public decide. I come from the latter point of view; those who can understand should explain it to everyone else. In short, more communication, more debate, and taking it to the ballot box is what is needed. Why? Because we are being asked to vote for, fund, abrogate civil rights and restrict our choices to the groups backing green initiatives. There is often no oversight of these groups, and they are effectively accountable to no one. At least with a politician there is a chance of being voted out, not so with a bureaucrat.
Governments and activists will use this document to bully people into supporting self-destructive initiatives that will not solve environmental problems real or perceived. In short, Saul Alinsky tactics will be used to squelch debate. This is already happening in the Vatican.
What is my solution? A true, new American style Revolution and self-empowerment for the planet, a non-violent one. One of the main issues we have is that the elites, religious figures, and career politicians controlling everyone for their own benefit—not the public’s. We need a massive global public education campaign, an increase in scientific and economic literacy so we could at least call a spade a spade, and with the ultimate goal of become more self-reliant. Radical solution? Perhaps, but the successful people know that if you don’t set a goal, you have no hope of getting there, and you at least “move the ball” forward. This is how we arrived at this point; this is how we solve our collective problems. Here I stand.
Whether or not this document will be used for good or evil is totally up to us. We had better start paying attention either way, our future depends on it.
May 4, 2015
Hegelian Dialectic, What Does It Mean for Environmental Issues? Why does it matter?
For years people have called those who say that the government screws up a situation to lobby for greater government involvement, funding or taking away civil rights “Conspiracy Theorists”. This connotation is meant to discredit those people regardless of the facts and reasonable logic. This has been called the Hegelian Dialectic that is Problem, Reaction, and Solution.
What does that mean? Come up with a problem (real or imagined), manage the reaction (often overhyped), then come up with a solution (usually costing a lot of money or losing civil rights).
Anyone in the Environmental Consulting Industry could come up with loads of examples—if they wanted to be objective or weren’t bound by confidentiality agreements. Situations where the government looked the other way (sometimes with their hand out), actively resulting in companies and governments polluting, or fouling up an active cleanup, so the government can introduce greater regulation or make more money.
The latest high profile example is the water supply crisis in California. There are a lot of water intensive activities all over the place, from golf courses, to green lawns, pools, emptying reservoirs to increase river flows, etc. Is it any wonder that they have a water shortage? This water shortage has more to do with lack of planning than typical California weather.
A reasonable person would think that they would be planning for droughts, and building desalination plants since they have the largest reservoir in the world on their border (the Pacific Ocean), the results of bond issues have lead to three desalinization plants, that will not even approach resolving the problem. They have successfully lobbied for regulations on politically driven scientific issues like global warming, why not this one when it is a real threat? Especially since they that droughts were “normal” in California, why not be prepared and have water desalinization plants available on the coast? Usually when you need things in an emergency the price goes up, not down.
The interim fix that California is getting is draconian fines, surveillance (through smart meters—and we were told surveillance would never happen), and possible jail time. Perhaps this is what the plan was all along. Mismanage the situation, define the problem, come up with “solutions”.
March 2, 2015
Leonard Nimoy RIP
Other than people who have personally helped me along over the years, there were three writers/role models and one fictional character that I tried to model my behavior on. The fictional character was Mr. Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. He also helped develop the character. I personally thanked the two of the “real” people when I met them, the third I sent along a copy of my book with a heartfelt letter. I regret never having met Mr. Nimoy but his character had a profound impact on me especially in the last 10 years.
With someone with a passionate personality like me, it really was hard at first to look at things dispassionately, but you realize it is absolutely necessary to move an agenda forward. Just like Mr. Spock played by Mr. Nimoy. His other series that I was a fan of was “In Search Of” where he took his “Spock Persona” and applied it to the paranormal, at least making things paranormal OK to speak about (and fun too).
By all accounts in his public life he really did make an attempt to improve people’s lives around him, and inspire people to be better.
In today’s world where emotions rule us and we are manipulated, especially by the politicians and main-stream news media. Perhaps we all should aspire to be a little more like Mr. Spock and like the human Leonard Nimoy. May your Legacy Live Long and Prosper. RIP.
July 4th. Hobby Lobby and Happy 4th of July.
I just finished reading the Supreme Court Ruling in Hobby Lobby Case this morning. As usual, and as I suspected the News Media, whether Main Stream or Non Main Stream, did not fully discuss what the case was, the legal arguments, or the ramifications.
The majority opinion of the court was primarily based on legal arguments, the dissent’s opinion largely based on political arguments, coupled with hackneyed arguments based on eugenics from the 1920’s (which we are told does not exist anymore), followed up by veiled insults towards everyone who disagrees with them as homophobes, anti-woman, and anti-public health.
The fact that the dissent mentions cost-benefit analyses based on politicians rhetoric and government statistics demonstrates that it was a politically based opinion. How many times have the scientists, public health, private groups with a political/financial agenda, and government officials lied to us in just my short lifetime? Shouldn’t we at least be slightly skeptical when these arguments are portrayed as “truth” or the “facts”.
In just the last couple of years of lies, scandals, and information embargoes by government on all levels should lead us to at least question what the government professes. Especially on the big issues.
I have always heard that the Supreme Court Justices sometimes get personal in their arguments. This comes through in both the sides of the issue, but especially the dissent. The dissents contempt for the opposition comes through very clearly. We should expect more from the highest court in the land. And we should expect our politicians, and presidents to enact and enforce laws that don’t really need to be litigated as much.
My Master’s Thesis was based largely on the news media not telling us the whole story and sometimes fabricating info on Global Warming/Climate Change which leads to bad public policy and worse. The coverage of the Hobby Lobby case by all sides confirms my thesis. I fear that we as a people are being played by both sides for a larger purpose that will not be good for we as a people.
This Independence Day let us renew our commitment to Government getting its power from the people and not the other way around. Isn’t that in large part what the Declaration of Independence was about?
June 27, 2014
Anthrax Don't Take It Home
It didn’t make big national news, but this week the Centers for Disease Control admitted that up to 80 of their lab workers were exposed to Anthrax and were receiving treatment. We should revisit some of the “lessons” learned from the Anthrax cleanups that I was involved in back in 2001 and 2002. Some of the lessons learned:
- If you have a letter, package or other parcel delivered to your home and office and it has suspicious markings, is leaking or is from someone or a company you don’t know, don’t bring it in your home or business. If you open it, open it outside, because any contamination of your house may lead to everything being disposed of because no one will take the chance of declaring anything “clean and safe”.
- If you do open a package and it there is a spill or suspect material. Leave it in place, and leave the room/building. Moving it from space to space will only spread contamination.
- If you find yourself in the middle of a large public spectacle or media event and are a victim, realize that there will be competing interests like security, not causing a public panic, among other things. So you really need to be your best advocate, look out for your own interests, often the victims get “left behind”. The interviews that I did with the impacted people from the cleanups all indicated that this was one of their feelings.
- Realize that you may suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome if you are involved in a disaster (even if it is a personal one), please seek counseling from either a good friend, clergy, or even a professional therapist if necessary.
The reality is that most of us will not be involved in a terrorism related incident, but in our work environment we should remember proper hygiene, either launder contaminated clothing at work under proper controls, and not bring anything contaminated home. Not only can it impact your family (especially if you have small children) by spreading contamination, but it can also lead to your entire house needing a cleanup.
Jim Poesl is the Corporate Safety Director for West Virginia Paint, he was the assistant to the Sr. Science Advisor for CBS and NBC during the Anthrax Cleanups in 2001, and co-wrote the initial cleanup guidelines.
May 23, 2014
Three types of Preparation and Dual Survival. By Jim Poesl
The bloodbath of good TV shows that were canceled or changed this week continued with cancellation of NBC’s Revolution and Dual Survival losing Cody Lundin. There has been some controversy on him leaving the show. Did he quit, or did they fire him? It really doesn’t matter at this point to the viewer.
For those not familiar with the Dual Survial. Two people are placed in survival situation, some of the situations are fanciful, like why would you be on a deserted desert island SCUBA diving, some are practical, like your car is broke down in a snowstorm, in a rural area, what do you do? Two folks, with two different types of survival skills, and personalities are put together. The cast of hosts are:
- Two military guy (Dave Canetebury, in Season 1 and 2), Joseph Teti (Seasons 3 and 4)
- Two autodidacts (self-taught) Cody Lundin (Seasons 1-4). Cody was replaced by Matt Graham in Season 4, who is also on other Discovery Channel shows, and is largely self-taught.
The show is not “staged” but as demonstrated in last weeks episode, like all TV shows it is “produced”. In my opinion it deliberately causes conflict between the two hosts because they have different philosophies, different training, and different temperaments. They always succeed in getting through the situation despite their differences, that is the important thing.
Why is this relevant to you the reader? In a disaster and emergency response there are generally three different categories. It is important to differentiate if you are in charge of making emergency preparations for yourself, your family, or your business. I’ll discuss all three, all three are fluid, there is transition between all three.
Category 1: Emergency Response, Short Term Emergencies, and Short Term Military Operations. 0 to 96 hours
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has repeatedly stated that we should all be prepared for up to 96 hours without outside sources of food, fuel, and electricity. If you are in areas with specific disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, or wildfires, then you should absolutely be prepared for those instances. In military special operations the focus often is on the short term.
How do you prepare? Simply have enough “stuff” for each person to last four days. Do an Assessment, Analyze and Act. This could range from “knowing where the fire exits are” to what to do if you are stranded at work or school for 4 days.
Category 2: The Transition from Emergency Response, to Short Term Disruption. Weeks to Months
This time period lasts from the time the original response, to about 3 months. During Superstorm Sandy, most people in the impact area were out of electricity and drinkable water for 10 or more days. As of today, many still have their lives disrupted.
This is the best that you could prepare for. Unless you have a major facility for storage you probably will not be able to store enough food, water, and other supplies for anything longer than 3 months. Remember for a family of four this means 1 gallon of water per day, for 90 days, per person that means 360 gallons and that is if you are extremely disciplined with it. That is when you need to transition to the third category.
Category 3: Primitive Living.
This is one step beyond “Living Off the Grid”.
Primitive Living is exactly that, folks do not have food, water, or other supplies on hand and this is a huge societal disruption to say the least. Some estimates by official government sources list the death toll in the 10’s to hundreds of millions. What kind of disruption is this? Regional to National Emergencies including nuclear attack, massive volcanic eruptions, Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) events, famine, massive public health emergencies like a pandemic flu, disease, crop failure, drought, government disruptions, civil war, social upheavals, and any other emergency that may cause widespread problems. This week Portland Oregan is on a boil water order because of water contamination. That could be a widespread emergency that could lead to problems if not resolved.
Primitive living could be living in the undeveloped world. Preparations for this type of situation for Americans and Western Europeans would mean society re-learning how to live off the land, collect water, hunt, fish, grow your food, and yes, defend your family with force if necessary. NBC’s Revolution is probably the best example of this type of TV show, however it is a work of fiction (or is the government trying to disclose something?).
There are many families in the US that still ascribe to primitive living, and there is something to be said for it.
Back to Dual Survival.
Dual Survival concentrates on Category 1 and perhaps Category 2. All the hosts up to Matt Graham address what you do up to 1 week of a “situation”; although all the hosts do have experience for all three categories. With all due respect to Mr. Teti, his experience and demeanor on the show focuses on Category 1. That is what his experience is, that is what the show calls for, and it is produced in that fashion. Fortunately most of us will only ever be in a Category 1 situation. Mr. Lundin focused more on the transition area between Category 1 and 2. Again this is what he has experience in based on his resume, and what I observed on this show. There is nothing wrong with either approach, just different ways of looking at things, and you need to examine the situation, and see what works for you.
I look to the future with optimism to learning something from Mr. Graham because on other shows I have seen him on he is focused on Category 3 Primitive Living. I am sure there is something we could learn there.
I consider myself lucky because I have met and conversed with almost all of my mentors ranging from TV personalities, authors, and politicians. I hope to one day meet and perhaps take a course taught by anyone on Dual Survival, because all of the hosts have my utmost respect for their abilities. Good Luck to Everyone.
Jim Poesl is author of Nuclear Terrorism. A Family Response Guide. (nukebook.info), and owner of JCP Technical Services. He has 22 years experience in the Occupational Safety and Health Field and is an OSHA Authorized Disaster Response Trainer.
\Happy New Year 2014
January 14, 2014
I hope to be posting more often this year. This is a response to the West Virginia drinking water situation, and an ongoing discussion on Facebook. My good friend John, who I know from Nursery School posed the following question:
"Okay, serious questions for the 'smaller government, less regulation, get out of our lives' folks (Libertarians, Conservatives, whichever flavor):
1) Is the government responsible for disaster recovery in West Virginia? If so, how does this fit with your philosophy of smaller/less government control?
2) With a smaller government with less regulation on industry, how do we prevent disasters such as this?
3) If your answer to #1 is 'no', who IS responsible for disaster recovery and management? Why them?
I'm not asking this to bait an argument. I legitimately want to understand the point of view of the less government/smaller government folks."
Your response requires an entire article, which is not what Facebook is set up for.
As is reported in the papers, the West Virginia water supply was impacted by a leaking chemical tank at a coal facility. Not knowing the specifics of the jobsite, or what specifically happened (hopefully it will be forthcoming in the investigation) it is impossible to come to definitive conclusions. I am considered a very conservative/libertarian person and advocate for “common sense environmentalism”, based on civil rights, limits on government, and free markets. Although government does have some role, it often fails (systems almost always fail) individuals may or may not. For complete disclosure I am a donor and supporter to the Heartland Institute.
I. Is the government responsible for disaster recovery in West Virginia?
The first question that should be asked is: Do they have the ability/expertise and political will to manage it? I’ll assume that the answer is yes on all three. My direct experience over the last 22 years says otherwise.
I believe the Federal government should not be involved in this response. This should at most be a state response. What is my rationale: The states are 100% responsible for permitting this facility according to the law. Permits are necessary for these facilities to operate. If they had an unsafe situation at this permitted facility they should have been aware of it, through their inspection program. So they are partially liable no matter what on a moral basis. Because of a despicable concept called “Sovereign Immunity”, they will NOT be held responsible for dropping the ball.
II. With a smaller government with less regulation on industry, how do we prevent disasters such as this?
Before environmental laws, this was treated as a trespass. I would treat it as a trespass, with unbelievable penalties for the operators including extremely long prison sentences up to the death penalty, if there were any fatalities or illnesses. If a tank is leaking it either was not maintained properly, or work orders/installation were conducted improperly therefore it is 100% the operator/contractors signing off on that tank’s fault. I would also remove “Sovereign Immunity” protections for government workers who failed in their oversight duties since they are the permit issuers. This is the same level of responsibility I have when I sign off on paperwork. Just for messing up on OSHA Outreach Training I can potentially go to jail; apply the same standards in this case.
III. If your answer to #1 is 'no', who IS responsible for disaster recovery and management? Why them?
If they were doing their job to begin with, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. No matter what, the principals and company that owns or manages this coal plant are 100% responsible for paying for it. And the government is responsible for ineffective oversight by their personnel. Both should be held responsible.
In the ongoing response and recovery the government should be 100% open on all of the issues and publish sample results and actions on the internet at least weekly.
The ongoing response and recovery if I were managing, it would be 5-fold:
1. Stop the leak
a. Do the investigation, determine exactly what happened.
2. Determine the extent of the problem
a. Individually sample every water source/home. It is doable, my rational is that the utility companies did this in the Midwest in the mid 2000’s because of mercury spills from the removal of old equipment.
3. Fix the problem.
4. Have a more comprehensive monitoring system in place at the water treatment plants.
5. Install better treatment systems at the public water systems.
Inevitably these costs will be passed along to the consumer and/or the taxpayer no matter what, however it would internalize the costs rather than externalize them to everyone else. Government at the local level caused these issues from lack of oversight, they should be responsible. The operator did the same thing. BTW I feel the same way about many local disasters. Because the federal government pays a lot of the bills, the local governments feel OK with making irresponsible and irrational policy decisions.
January 28, 2013
Desperately trying to derail Canadian oil sands
Radical activists launch more attacks on oil sands, Keystone pipeline, jobs and revenues
Paul Driessen *** January 26, 2013
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved his state’s portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, explaining that its revised route avoids areas that critics had earlier claimed were environmentally sensitive.
The Alberta-to-Texas pipeline would create more than 5,500 Nebraska jobs during its construction period and support 1,000 permanent jobs through 2030. During the project’s lifetime, KXL would generate $950 million in labor income, $130 million in property, sales and other state and local taxes, and $679 million for the state’s gross domestic product, by bringingCanadian oil sands petroleum to Texas refineries.
President Obama’s second term agenda, continued viability of Medicare and Social Security programs, and America’s economy and environment need the pipeline and oil even more than Nebraska does.
The pipeline and Alberta petroleum could mean $45 billion per year by 2035 in increased goods and services, up to 465,000 more jobs in the 2,000 American companies that already support oil sands operations or utilize the hydrocarbons in motor fuel and petrochemical manufacturing – and billions in annual state and federal tax revenues. While all fifty states would realize employment and economic gains, California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Ohio, New York, Montana and Michigan would benefit most (in that order) from this job and economic activity, the Canadian Energy Research Institute calculates.
Canada has an estimated 169 billion barrels of oil sands fuel that can be recovered economically with today’s technology – 20% by mining and 80% via in situ drilling and steam injection. Much of this oil is destined for the United States via the KXL pipeline, to replace similar heavy crude that we now import from Mexico and Venezuela, and oil from other nations that have much lower environmental standards and far worse human rights records than Canada, including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Russia, Iraq and Algeria.
During a recent tour of the mining and in situ operations, I smelled no hydrocarbons, learned that fresh water use is declining and water recycling has risen to 80-95 percent, and hiked through former mine sites that have been restored to beautiful lakes, creeks, forests … and grasslands where wild buffalo roam. Most oil sands will not be mined, however – but produced by drilling wells hundreds of feet deep, injecting steam to melt the bitumen, and collecting it in other pipes several feet below the steam pipes. Multiple wells are drilled from each widely separated site, and each is also reclaimed when the oil is recovered.
Oil sands production contributes only 0.14% of global greenhouse gases, Environment Canada notes, and would add only 0.00001 degrees C per year to global warming. Production-to-automotive-use CO2/GHG emissions for oil sands crude are on par with crude from Nigeria, America’s third biggest supplier.
All this has prompted oil sands and pipeline opponents to generate press releases and new “scientific reports,” in a desperate attempt to derail KXL permits, by raising scary sounding ecological issues.
* Assorted “experts” persist in trying to blame global warming and climate change for forest fires, droughts, floods, heat waves and even Hurricane Sandy – and say oil sands will somehow worsen these problems. But our planet hasn’t warmed in 16 years, US hurricanes are at one of their lowest cyclical ebbs since the Civil War, humanity has confronted forest fires and severe weather events repeatedly throughout our history, and Sandy’s hardly unprecedented pounding of New York City was compounded by numerous ill-considered decisions by its political leaders.
* The anti-hydrocarbon group Oil Change International claims petroleum coke produced in the oil sands process is not fully accounted for in GHG analyses and will hasten global warming. However, “pet coke” burned as fuel in the Alberta oil sands operations is already included in GHG emission analyses. It is a byproduct of all heavy oil refining, so the Canadian variety simply displaces Mexican and Venezuelan pet coke. And most oil sands output is “upgraded” to medium weight oil for pipelining, by removing carbon and adding hydrogen – with the carbon stored onsite for later sale to manufacturers and other users.
* Scientists from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, say aromatic hydrocarbon levels have increased in the sediments of several Alberta lakes since oil sands development began in the 1960s. Various media stories claimed the study is another “blow to the Keystone pipeline.” The media spin is a bit far-fetched.
First, these hydrocarbon levels are rather typical of remote Alberta lakes, and are well below what is found in lakes near Canada’s urban areas. Second, the measured changes are 25 to 50nanograms – parts per billion – the equivalent of 25-50 seconds in 32 years, or up to 50 billionths of a fifth of a teaspoon of water. Survey instruments could not even measure these amounts several decades ago, and even the scientists offered no evidence to suggest that such levels constitute an actual problem.
Third, while the hydrocarbons could have come from airborne pollution from oil sands production, they could also have come from conifer forest fires, or increasing boat and seaplane traffic on the lakes. The reported increases could even have resulted from contaminated samples, collecting gear or lab instruments, due to fuel sheens on the lake surface, oils on upper sediment levels, reused lab equipment, or even sunscreen or lotion on technicians’ hands. “Parts per billion” is tiny, and contamination a constant issue.
Finally, the researchers also noted that algae, photosynthesis and nutrient levels in the lakes have increased since the late 1970s, partly as a result of “climate warming” that began when Earth emerged from its 1942-1976 cooling period. This also increased algae-eating zooplankton populations. The lakes are healthy!
In short, the benefits of the oil sands and Keystone pipeline are clear. The downsides are minimal, exaggerated or imaginary. And the alternatives to oil sands are far worse for people and planet.
As analyst and author Indur Goklany demonstrates in his book, The Improving State of the World, we are living longer, healthier, more comfortable and productive lives – on a cleaner planet – than even kings and queens dreamed of 150 years ago. As he explains in his latest paper, “Humanity Unbound,” a major reason is fossil fuels, which have “saved humanity from nature, and nature from humanity.”
Oil sands are a crucial component of the energy revolution that could generate millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic benefits and tax revenues, resurrect US steel and manufacturing industries, make North American largely energy independent, and enhance our national security.
We cannot afford to turn our backs on this – especially with 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, 47 million on food stamps, 128 million dependent on various government programs, and the nation $16 trillion in debt. This is unsustainable, and driving the USA towardGreece and Europe.
Equally unsustainable are policies advanced in name of preventing climate change. As Austrian film maker and environmentalist Ulrich Eichelmann explains in his new documentary, theseClimate Crimes are “killing nature.” Dams are flooding vast ecological preserves to generate hydroelectric power; corn and other monoculture crops are destroying vital habitats; and German, Greek and other European families that can no longer afford heating oil and electricity are chopping down forests for firewood.
Here in the United States, thousands of monstrous wind turbines are butchering 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 bird and bats every year – including eagles, hawks, whooping cranes and other essential and endangered species. And yet the US Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to investigate or prosecute industrial wind operators for this horrific slaughter, and even assists in the flagrant deception and cover-up.
But the programs continue, thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars poured annually into Solyndraand other “green” schemes and bankruptcies, and despite scandals like miraculous Euro solar panels that generate electricity even at 2:00 am, US programs that turn janitors, bus drivers and paper cup makers into “green job” recipients and, not surprisingly, mafia involvement in Italy’s wind and solar escapades.
President Obama has a perfect opportunity to restore ethics and common sense to America’s energy and environmental policies. Our planet and children hope he makes the right choice and says Yes to Keystone.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.com) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
Against All Energy Anywhere by Alan Caruba
One of the great afflictions of the environmentalists—Greens—everywhere is a profound lack of understanding of the role that energy plays in whether a nation prospers or just limps along, barely keeping the lights on.
A classic case is the communist paradise of North Korea that is almost completely dark at night while just across the 38th parallel, South Korea is ablaze with light, energy, and a thriving economy.
Dedicated Greens don’t really like any kind of energy whether it is nuclear, provided by burning coal, from natural gas, oil or from hydropower. They think that wind power is trouble-free and cost effective when it is neither. They feel the same way about solar power. Both are deemed acceptable because they don’t “emit” anything. This viewpoint is not merely naïve, it is profoundly stupid.
Before we go further, let’s examine the basic facts of U.S. power, give or take a percentage point or two, coal provides over 50% of electrical power. Nuclear provides around 20%, natural gas is just over 20%, hydroelectric is close to 7%, and so-called “renewables” like wind and solar are credited with about 3%. Petroleum generated electricity is 1% and “other sources”, whatever they may be, come in at around 0.3%.
These are figures from 2009 and, suffice to say, are subject to change, but not much.
Friends of the Earth, an international Green organization, (FOE) is no friend to humanity. Hardcore Greens think Earth’s problems would be solved if human beings were not part of its ecology.
Following the Japan earthquake, FOE sent an email to its members and fellow travelers saying, “We must learn from this disaster. Tell your members of Congress that nuclear power should not be part of our energy future.” Ironically, FOE is very unhappy with President Obama and his administration which has been very inclined toward nuclear energy.
The Sierra Club, another ultra-Green organization, put out a newsletter reminding its members that it is “unequivocally opposed to nuclear energy” and has been “for more than three decades.” The same newsletter warned that “politicians who owe their primary allegiance to the fossil-fuel industry (coal, natural gas, and oil) are quick to promote domestic drilling and deregulation, as if that would make the gauge on the gas pump start to run backward.” In point of fact, it would. U.S. domestic oil is always cheaper than imported oil.
The Sierra Club just conjured up a petition “to tell the Obama administration to protect the Arctic Refuge” because “We cannot allow these oil companies to destroy the pristine wilderness of the Arctic Refuge.” Every time you hear the words “pristine wilderness” think of a place no human would ever want to live, let alone visit. And no one is really addressing the economic devastation the Obama administration has visited on the Gulf States because of its refusal to allow oil drilling to resume.
FOE recently was fulminating against the use of coal to light up the homes, businesses and streets of South Africa and was equally unhappy about the effort to install a pipeline from Canada to the U.S. to transmit oil derived from its tar sands. A lot of our “imported” oil comes from Canada. That’s because it has been government policy for decades to make it difficult, if not impossible, to drill, extract, and refine oil here in America.
The March 21-27 edition of Bloomberg Business Week has an article by Brendan Greeley that is a good analysis titled “Facing Up to Nuclear Risk.” When nuclear plants have been built as many safety factors as possible have been built into them, but it is impossible to calculate the impact of an earthquake. The U.S. has its own tectonic fault lines, all well known, but the fact remains nuclear plants have been built near or on them.
“David Okrent, who advised the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on reactor safety for 20 years, points out that reactors are designed for only a set of defined events. ‘The early nuclear reactors weren’t designed for tornadoes,’ he says, ‘until one came along in Arkansas, and then we thought, ‘we gotta design for tornadoes.’ It’s not easy to be all-knowing.”
Were it not for Green propaganda, the U.S. would not be wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on idiotic wind and solar farms that are utterly dependent on government subsidies and mandates that require utilities to use the pitifully small amounts of electricity they produce.
The same can be said of the equally idiotic regulatory mandates for ethanol that drive up the cost of every gallon of gas pumped while, at the same time, reducing the mileage and damaging to your car’s engine. Even Al Gore thinks ethanol is a bad idea.
Ironically, more people have died from wind turbines than nuclear plants. In 2008, there were 41 recorded deaths. The carnage on birds and bats is rarely mentioned by the media. Despite all the blather about Three Mile Island not one person has died from radiation since nuclear plants were first introduced.
It is surely worth noting that coal-burning plants in a nation that is the Saudi Arabia of coal do not have meltdowns causing radiation that can make large areas uninhabitable. That “smoke” you see coming from the smokestacks of such plants is steam. Water vapor. Clouds are made of water vapor.
If we were really serious about safety and the provision of more electrical power, the U.S. would be building a hell of a lot more coal-burning plants right now and into the future.
November 7, 2012
America Commits Suicide
By Alan Caruba
I had hoped that the majority of voters would elect Mitt Romney, but instead of a man of character they chose charisma.
They ignored four years of failure and deception. In advertising, they say “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Romney, sadly, lacked sizzle.
Obama’s victory was one of a long line of Progressives from Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Jimmy Carter. It was not new, but it will likely do more damage on top of what his predecessors have done.
It turned out that there were not enough voters from the faith-based communities. You know—the kind of people Obama said “cling to their religion and guns.” There were not enough from a range of population subsets to make a difference.
Like New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg who thought a marathon run through boroughs devastated by Hurricane Sandy was a really good idea, Obama has never had any real sense of how people feel about things that are important to them. Why should he? He was raised in a communist cocoon in which family, friends, fellow students, teachers, and mentors ensured he would never be exposed to the fundamentals of free market capitalism that has been the bedrock of the nation’s prosperity.
I have written repeatedly that he just does not like Ameica and that this explains his view that our nation is not an exceptional place in which to live.
His mother was attracted first an African and, after being divorced, to an Indonesian, both Muslims. And then she abandoned Obama to the care of his leftist grandparents. His academic life led him from Occidental College to Columbia University, and then onto Harvard Law School, all leftist strongholds and, yet oddly few of his fellow students even remembered him.
On the radio of the 1940s there was a show called “The Shadow” about a man with the “power to cloud men’s minds” who used it to fight crime, but Obama developed the power to so utterly charm people that, like any successful confidence man, he left people impressed with all the exterior aspects of him without few clues about what he stood for, what he believed, and what his true goals are.
Despite four years of his campaign and his first term not enough Americans understood that Barack Obama is as alien to America as if he had come from some very different, very foreign place.
What is most baffling is why a majority of voters looked at the estimated 23 million of their fellow citizens who were out of work or had stopped looking for work, and whose lives along with their own were even further encumbered by the massive debt Obama had run up; currently $16trillion and climbing, and thought that was okay?
In a nation whose citizens pride themselves on their ability to work to meet the needs of their families, it was and is profoundly disturbing that 47 million must use food stamps or that millions have fallen below the poverty level.
Why did the majority of voters not understand the fearful implications of the erosion of the nation’s military power, not knowing that peace can only be maintained by a navy that keeps the sea lanes open, the marines who are skilled at making a quick entry into a battle zone, the army that can subdue an enemy, and an air force that has no comparison? The active military and veterans understood what their Commander-in-Chief was doing to them, but the lies about the Benghazi attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three others were ignored.
Those who voted for Obama were content to believe the cascade of lies Obama told. They ignored the President’s record of failure—the failed “stimulus” that was nothing more than a political slush fund, Obamacare that was forced on the nation by a straight party vote by Democrats in Congress, the bankruptcy of the “clean energy” companies that could not compete even with public funding, and the eruption of Islamic frenzy that saw him abandon friend and foe alike in the Middle East.
It was Obamacare that gave birth to the Tea Party movement. The President, his advisors, the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate never understood what the Tea Party was about. Why would they? The U.S. Constitution was what they wanted to believe it said, not what it really says.
Now Obama has the opportunity to fill seats on the Supreme Court with more progressive judges, thus affecting not just the next four years, but generations of Americans to come.
The abandonment of Israel troubled many, but just as troubling was the Democratic Party convention in which the inclusion of God and Jerusalem in the party platform evoked jeers and derision. It was the same Democratic Party that had, since the end of the Civil War, fought against the calls for equality from America’s black community. Even so, the African-American community continued to support them.
In 2008 Americans voted for Obama in the belief that they could demonstrate to the world that it was post-racial, post-partisan. Instead they got a cold, indifferent, arrogant man who listened only to a small circle of leftist advisors and shadowy, unknown and unseen “czars” in the White House.
Obama was as disinterested in Main Street as he was antagonistic to Wall Street. His constant talk of “millionaires and billionaires” and the need to redistribute wealth may have worried some people, but not enough of those who believe they too can achieve the American dream of wealth and success based on hard work and a measure of risk.
The majority of voters ignored the realities of the nation’s economy. They failed to realize that Obama’s opposition to the vast wealth of America’s energy reserves of coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear will only delay the nation’s way out of debt and dependency.
In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
John Adams, Founding Father and the nation’s second President warned "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
Today, conservatives in America are wondering if the 2012 election was a vote to commit national suicide.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Last Days of the Republic -- No Way Home
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
America made a decision yesterday to turn its back on constitutional government and go voluntarily into slavery.
I had thought better of my country and my countrymen, but I was wrong.
This America is not the America I remember. This is not the America of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, etc. No. This is Obama's America, a mediocre, has been, washed-up, pathetic, pitiful husk of its former self.
America has, indeed, turned a corner, away from freedom and constitutional government and embraced Marxism and communism -- and -- its own death as a nation.
In a commentary at WND Joseph Farah says: "That’s what Obama represents to me – God’s judgment on a people who have turned away from Him and His ways and from everything for which our founders sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor." You should read the entire article here: "http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/america-pronounces-judgment-on-itself/
Dear reader, if you think things have been bad in America in the recent past, just wait 'til after January 20th. We are headed for the worst recession since the Great Depression. It will make the one we have just come out of seem like a Sunday School picnic.
Americans who revere the 2nd Amendment had better gather all the arms and ammunition you can afford -- and hoard it. I suspect you -- and I -- will need it soon.
My country, which had been fighting for its life -- died last night. The eagle is NOT the Phoenix. It cannot rise from the ashes. It is finished.
Maybe it's a generational thing, but I just cannot fathom why anyone would willingly give up their freedom. But that is exactly what America did.
Before Obama, America was a world leader. Today, under the Obama Regime, America has become a doormat upon which all the rogue nations of the world wipe their feet. And it will get worse -- much worse.
Nothing much has changed in the Congress. It will remain deadlocked when next it convenes. That is probably a good thing. See, our national legislature is split between Marxist slave masters and freemen who are trying to protect the constitution.
But why? The constitution is dead. we are truly living in post constitutional America. Obama and his Marxist henchmen shredded it.
Yes, I readily admit to being angry. But more than anger I feel disappointment at my fellow Americans who acted, not as Americans, but as citizens of some third-world banana republic who feel they must continue to swear fealty to their benevolent dictator because he is their meal ticket.
What the hell happened to REAL AMERICANS? Real Americans would have taken their country back yesterday. Have we become a nation of wussies? Apparently, we have. Am I just learning something our enemies have known for a while now? Again, it certainly seems so.
America is going over that cliff we have been warned of for so many months now. There is nothing, now that can prevent that from happening. The economy can only get worse. Business is so intimidated by the Obama Regime they they will not risk their hard earned funds in expanding and hiring employees. In fact, I expect we will see a giant exodus of businesses moving their plants and headquarters out of the US to more business friendly countries and, frankly, I don't blame them. If it were me, I'd have moved my business long ago.
The old America couldn't be beaten. This new America can't win, because they don't know how. There is a distinct shortage of steel spines in America today.
It is sad beyond measure to see what this generation of Americans has done to their country and, by extension, to the world. You have murdered the last best hope of mankind on this planet.
It has been suggested that Obama is God's Judgment on the people of America. I have come to believe that. How else can one explain the "blindness" to self destruction demonstrated by the American electorate yesterday.
As a wee lad I was reminded often on Sunday mornings by my old country preacher that "God will not be mocked." How right he was! America has mocked God with our multiculturalism, our inclusiveness, our tolerance of heinous sins such as the murder of unborn babies and homosexuality, and removing God from the public square, just to name a tiny fraction of our sinful infractions. Did we think God would not notice?
No matter what you may have been taught -- God is not a tolerant God. There is a price to be paid for what America has done. We have only just begun to feel the wrath about to poured out on this nation.
February 28, 2011
Wind power: questionable benefits, concealed impacts
EPA trumpets dubious shale gas risks – but ignores environmental impacts of wind turbines
America is running out of natural gas. Prices will soar, making imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) and T Boone Pickens’ wind farm plan practical, affordable and inevitable. That was then.
Barely two years later, America (and the world) are tapping vast, previously undreamed-of energy riches – as drillers discover how to produce gas from shale, coal and tight sandstone formations, at reasonable cost. They do it by pumping a water, sand and proprietary chemical mixture into rocks under very high pressure, fracturing or “fracking” the formations, and keeping the cracks open, to yield trapped methane.
Within a year, US recoverable shale gas reserves alone rose from 340 trillion cubic feet to 823 tcf, the Energy Department estimates. That’s 36 years’ worth, based on what the USA currently consumes from all gas sources, or the equivalent of 74 years’ of current annual US oil production. The reserves span the continent, from Barnett shale in Texas to Marcellus shale in Eastern and Mid-Atlantic states – to large deposits in western Canada, Colorado, North Dakota, Montana and other states (and around the world).
Instead of importing gas, the United States could become an exporter. The gas can move seamlessly into existing pipeline systems, to fuel homes, factories and electrical generators, serve as a petrochemical feedstock, and replace oil in many applications. States, private citizens and the federal government could reap billions in lease bonuses, rents, royalties and taxes. Millions of high-paying jobs could be “created or saved.” Plentiful gas can also provide essential backup power for wind turbines.
Production of this much gas would reduce oil price shocks and dependence on oil imports from the likes of Gadhafi and Chavez, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Talk about a game changer!
What’s not to like? Plenty, it turns out. The bountiful new supplies make environmentalist dogmas passé: the end of the hydrocarbon era, America as an energy pauper, immutable Club of Rome doctrines of sustainability and imminent resource depletion, the Pickens’ Plan and forests of wind turbines.
What to do? Environmentalists voiced alarm. HBO aired “Gasland,” a slick propaganda film about alleged impacts of fracking on groundwater. Its claims have been roundly debunked(for instance, methane igniting at a water faucet came from a gas deposit encountered by the homeowner’s water well – not from a fracking operation). But a politically motivated Oscar is likely.
The Environmental Protection Agency revealed a multiple personality disorder. Its Drinking Water Protection Division director told Congress there is not a single documented instance of polluted groundwater due to fracking. (Studies by Colorado and Texas regulators drew the same conclusion.)
EPA’s Texas office nevertheless insisted that Range Resources was “endangering” a public aquifer and ordered the company to stop drilling immediately and provide clean water to area homes. EPA officials then failed to show up at the hearing or submit a single page of testimony, to support their claims.
Meanwhile, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced plans to conduct a “life-cycle” or “cradle-to-grave” study of hydraulic fracturing drilling and gas production techniques, to assess possible impacts on groundwater and other ecological values. Depending on whether the study is scientific or politicized, it could lead to national, state-by-state or even city-by-city drilling delays, bans – or booms.
The industry and many states that have long experience with drilling and are confident the needed regulations, practices and testing procedures are already in place. They voice few worries, except over how long a life-cycle study could take or how political it might become. In fact, it’s a very useful tool.
But if a life-cycle study is warranted for hydraulic fracturing, because drilling might pass through subsurface formations containing fresh water, similar studies are certainly called for elsewhere: wind turbine manufacturing, installation and operation, for instance.
Turbines require enormous quantities of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth minerals – all of which involve substantial resource extraction, refining, smelting, manufacturing and shipping. Land and habitat impacts, rock removal and pulverizing, solid waste disposal, burning fossil fuels, air and water pollution, and carbon dioxide emissions occur on large scales during every step of the process.
Over 95% of global rare earth production occurs in China and Mongolia, using their technology, coal-fired electricity generation facilities and environmental rules. Extracting neodymium, praseodymium and other rare earths for wind turbine magnets and rotors involves pumping acid down boreholes, to dissolve and retrieve the minerals. Other acids, chemicals and high heat further process the materials. Millions of tons of toxic waste are generated annually and sent to enormous ponds, rimmed by earthen dams.
Leaks, seepage and noxious air emissions have killed trees, grasses, crops and cattle, polluted lakes and streams, and given thousands of people respiratory and intestinal problems, osteoporosis and cancer.
In 2009, China produced 150,000 tons of rare earth metals – and over 15,000,000 tons of waste. To double current global installed wind capacity, and produce rare earths for photovoltaic solar panels and hybrid and electric cars, China will have to increase those totals significantly – unless Molycorp and other companies can rejuvenate rare earth production in the US and elsewhere, using more modern methods.
Made in China turbines are shipped to the USA, trucked to their final destinations, and installed on huge concrete platforms; new backup gas generating plants are built; and hundreds of miles of new transmission lines are constructed. That means still more steel, copper, concrete, fuel and land. Moreover, the backup power plants generate more pollution and carbon dioxide than if they could simply run at full capacity, because as backups for turbines they must operate constantly but ramp up to full power, and back down, numerous times daily, in response to shifting wind speeds.
Wind farms require roads and 700-1000 ton concrete-and-rebar foundations, which affect water drainage patterns in farm country. The 300-500 foot tall turbines affect scenery, interfere with or prevent crop dusting over hundreds of acres, and kill countless birds and bats. Farmers who lease their land for wind turbines receive substantial royalty payments; neighbors are impacted, but receive no compensation.
Despite these ecological costs, wind farm projects are often fast-tracked through NEPA and other environmental review processes, and are exempted from endangered species and migratory bird laws that can result in multi-million-dollar fines for oil, gas and coal operators, for a fraction of the carnage.
Perhaps worst, all this is supported generously by renewable energy mandates, tax breaks, feed-in tariffs, “prioritized loading orders,” and other subsidies, courtesy of state and federal governments and taxpayers. In fact, wind power gets 90 times more in federal subsidies than do coal and natural gas, per megawatt-hour of electricity actually generated, according to US Energy Information Administration data. And wind-based electricity costs consumers several times more per kilowatt-hour than far more reliable electricity from coal, gas and nuclear power plants.
Simply put, the wind might be free, when it blows. But the rest of the “renewable, green, eco-friendly” wind energy system is anything but.
It might be far better all around to simply build the most efficient, lowest-polluting coal, gas and nuclear generating plants possible, let them run at full capacity 24/7/365 – and just skip the wind power.
Life-cycle studies would be a positive development – for all energy sources. In fact …
“Think globally, act locally” might be a very good motto for EPA and wind energy advocates.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
February 20, 2011
Environmentalist fraud and manslaughter
In the name of banning DDT, GEF bureaucrats are consigning millions to death from malaria
by Paul Driessen
Many chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer have highly unpleasant side effects – hair loss, vomiting, intense joint pain, liver damage and fetal defects, to name just a few. But anyone trying to ban the drugs would be tarred, feathered and run out of town. And rightly so.
The drugs’ benefits vastly outweigh their risks. They save lives. We need to use chemo drugs carefully, but we need to use them.
The same commonsense reasoning should apply to the Third World equivalent of chemotherapy drugs: DDT and other insecticides to combat malaria. Up to half a billion people are infected annually by this vicious disease, nearly a million die, countless survivors are left with permanent brain damage, and 90% of this carnage is in sub-Saharan Africa, the most impoverished region on Earth.
These chemicals don’t cure malaria – they prevent it. Used properly, they are effective, and safe. DDT is particularly important. Sprayed once or twice a year on the inside walls of homes, DDT keeps 80% of mosquitoes from entering, irritates those that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do this.
Even better, DDT has few adverse side effects – except minor, speculative and imaginary “risks” that are trumpeted on anti-pesticide websites. In the interest of saving lives, one would think eco activists would tone down their “ban DDT” disinformation. However, that is unlikely.
Anti-DDT fanaticism built the environmental movement, and gave it funding, power and stature it never had before. No matter how many people get sick and die because health agencies are pressured not to use DDT, or it is totally banned, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, and allied activist groups will never reform or recant.
Government agencies – including the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry – will likewise continue pouring hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into anti-DDT research, in futile attempts to prove DDT causes some sort of meaningful harm. And the malaria death toll will continue to mount.
Worse, they have now been joined by the United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Facility and even World Health Organization Environmental Division – all of whom share the avowed goal of ending all DDT production by 2017, and banning all use of DDT in disease control by 2020.
A recent GEF “study” demonstrates how far they are willing to go, to achieve this goal, no matter how deadly it might be. The study purported to prove DDT is no longer needed and can be replaced by “integrated and environment-friendly” alternatives: for example, mosquito-repelling trees, and non-chemical control of breeding sites and areas around homes that shelter insects.
The $14-million study claimed that these interventions resulted in an unprecedented “63% reduction in the number of people with [malaria], without using DDT or any other type of pesticide.” However, as analyses by malaria and insecticide experts Richard Tren and Dr. Donald Roberts clearly demonstrate (see Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine and AEI Outlooks), the study, conclusions and policy recommendations are not merely wrong. They are deliberately misleading and fraudulent.
GEF did its 2003-2008 study in Mexico and seven Central American countries – all of which had largely ceased using DDT and other pesticides years before the GEF project. Instead of chemical sprays, these countries now employ huge numbers of chloroquine and primaquine (CQ and PQ) pills to prevent and treat malaria: 2,566 pills per diagnosed case in Mexico; 22,802 pills (!) in El Salvador; 50 to 1,319 pills per case in the other countries, according to 2004 health records.
It was these powerful drugs, not the “environment-friendly” GEF interventions, that slashed malaria rates. Indeed, they had begun to do so before GEF even arrived. This terribly inconvenient reality was further underscored by the fact that malaria rates were the same in “study” areas and “control” areas, where GEF did nothing – and that the number of malaria cases increased when the number of pills per case decreased. In other words, GEF could have gotten its same results using one bed net or one larvae-eating fish.
GEF’s fraudulent claims were then compounded by its insistence that the results and conclusions are relevant to other malaria-endemic regions. They are not. Malaria parasites in Latin American countries are Plasmodium vivax; in Africa and Southeast Asia, they are the far more virulent P. falciparum.
CQ and PQ are effective in preventing and treating vivax; they rarely prevent or cure falciparum malaria. Moreover, the eight Latin American countries have 140 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa has 800 million and a woeful medical and transportation infrastructure; Southeast Asia has 600 million people. Both have infinitely more malaria. Getting adequate medicines that work (far more expensive Artemisia-based ACT drugs) to 1.4 billion people would be a budgetary, logistical and medical impossibility.
But apparently none of these facts occurred to the bureaucrats who did this study. That’s hardly surprising, since the project was designed and directed, not by disease control experts, but by the UNEP and radical environmental groups – which also spent millions distributing and promoting the study and other anti-DDT propaganda all over the world, ensuring that they received substantial media attention.
Anti-pesticide fanatics know this “study” is fraudulent. They just have a very high tolerance for how many malaria cases, brain-damaged people and dead babies are “acceptable” or “sustainable.” They just don’t care enough to bother learning basic facts about malaria, CQ versus ACT, vivax versus falciparum. They need to get out of the malaria control policy business and let medical professionals do their jobs.
(To learn more about stopping malaria, see Tren and Roberts’ book The Excellent Powder, Dr. Rutledge Taylor’s documentary film “3 Billion and Counting,” and the website for Africa Fighting Malaria.)
The final report claims its authors submitted manuscripts to prominent peer-reviewed medical journals. However, nothing was ever published. That suggests that they lied, and never submitted any manuscripts; or they did submit papers, but the manuscripts were rejected as being shoddy, unprofessional, unscientific, or even on par with Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent vaccine-and-autism work.
To cap it all off, the bogus GEF project appears to have been conducted using funds diverted from already insufficient malaria control budgets. The GEF, UNEP, Stockholm Convention Secretariat and radical environmental groups are using money intended for malaria control to launch anti-pesticide programs in countries plagued by malaria, and gain control over public health policies, insecticides and programs.
Overall, the GEF has spent over $800 million on efforts to eliminate DDT and other “persistent organic pollutants” (POPs). It budgeted nearly $150 million in 2007 alone on its campaign to ban DDT production and use – but spent a lousy $22 million researching alternatives to DDT for vector control.
Until an equally effective and long-lasting substitute for DDT is developed – one that repels, irritates and kills mosquitoes – this vital weapon needs to remain in the disease control arsenal.
The GEF, UNEP, POPs Secretariat and WHO need to withdraw the study; discipline the people who perpetrated this fraud; retract World Health Assembly Resolution 50.13, calling for malaria-infested countries to slash their use of public health insecticides; and issue a statement making it absolutely clear that this “study” was erroneous and deceptive, and should not be considered in setting malaria policies.
Donors to the GEF and radical groups must be exposed. For activists and agencies to continue promoting this study or demand that malaria-endemic countries stop using DDT and insecticides, and adopt bogus “eco-friendly” GEF “solutions,” is gross medical malpractice – and deliberate manslaughter.
Malaria can be controlled, and even eradicated in many areas. We simply need to use every available weapon – including DDT, pesticides, nets, window screens, drugs and other interventions – in an orderly, coordinated and systematic manner; and ensure that mosquito infestations, disease outbreaks, malaria control successes and problems are monitored and evaluated accurately and honestly.
If we do that – and end the anti-pesticide hysteria – we can get the job done.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death
February 19, 2011
Democrats Flee Conflict in Wisconsin
The Ugly Face of the Unions Unmasked in Wisconsin
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
One of the truest of all truisms is -- when the chips are down it is then that you learn the metal of a man/woman.
In Wisconsin it could not be any clearer. When the “defecation hit the rotary oscillator,” all the democrats in that state’s legislature boarded buses -- and headed for parts unknown.
I rest my case!
What we clearly see here is a demonstration of the kind of courage the democrats bring to an issue. When the pitchforks and torches come out, they “get the hell out of Dodge!” (Actually – Wisconsin)
This is the kind of courage that lands our country in trouble time and time again when the Democratic Party is in power.
As of this moment, America is in serious trouble -- nationally and internationally.Our national leader is of the party, which, in Wisconsin, boarded buses and took off.
It would be funny were it not for the fact that this is serious business.
I am STILL not over the fright Obama threw into me -- and a huge number of Americans by his vacillating, “democrat two-step,” during the early stages of the ongoing Middle East fiasco. He clearly did not know what he was doing. He clearly did not know WHAT TO DO. He clearly did not have a plan of action for the US in the event the Mubarak government in Egypt fell, and he clearly has no idea what to do, even now.
Americans should note one important thing as they observe the furor and rage of the Unions in Wisconsin. Those are OBAMA’S PEOPLE! The Unions threw massive amounts of money and manpower into the election of Obama. It is important to know WHO those people in the streets really are.
I have news for the unions. They are not as powerful as they think they are. What is happening in Wisconsin now will have -- no -- has already had an effect on the American people as they have seen the unions with their façade down.
The more the unions riot, the less support they will have among the American people. And the better America will be as a result.
Another thing of note: The more money the unions spend on the sort of activity we are seeing in Wisconsin, the less they will have to insure their puppet is reelected in 2012. Now – THAT is a GOOD thing!
Come on, America! We all know Obama is a hand puppet for the unions in America.
There may have been a time in America’s past when labor unions were of some help to the working class in America, although you will have a difficult time trying to convince me. Even if that time did exist – it is long since past and today the labor unions are a burden on the workingman and workingwoman, and on the nation as a whole.
Incidents such as the ugly, ugly, demonstrations in Wisconsin simply show America why so many Americans object to labor unions -- and states like mine have “right to work laws.”
It also demonstrates, as clearly as one could possibly hope, the ties between the Democratic Party and the labor unions in America. Take a good look, America. Those rioting unions are the “big club” of the Democratic Party and they will use it to keep YOU in line if we do not purge them from our government.
In November of 2012 we will have another chance to finish the job we began last November. That is to cleanse the US Senate and the Oval Office and put some adults in charge of the government of the United States. It will also give us the opportunity to put the labor unions in their place, which, most definitely, is not in the Oval Office, nor any place in the US government.
Observe how the democrats left town while their muscle covered their backsides as they retreated. There is a huge lesson to be learned from all this ugliness in the streets of Wisconsin. What we are seeing is the left at work.
No matter how the problems with the Wisconsin state budget are finally settled, union members are going to lose. Jobs WILL be lost. When the money is gone it is, well, GONE.
There will be other states in the near future, which will face the same sort of problem as Wisconsin. If the union rioting spreads to other states, look for the taxpayers to take another look, a favorable look this time, at the possibility of states filing bankruptcy. Seems to me that is where this is ultimately headed, anyway.
No. The unions aren’t doing themselves any good, at all, by the actions they are taking in Wisconsin. If anything, in the long run, they are doing damage to themselves that will require decades just for minimal recovery.
So – take a long, hard, look at the “demonstrating” unions in Wisconsin and ask yourself if that is what you want in your state. Because, more than likely, it is coming to your state, and like Wisconsin, it won’t be pretty.
J. D. Longstreet
February 13, 2011
Multicultural Suicide, by Alan Caruba
By Alan Caruba
In his famed poem, Mending Wall, the American poet, Robert Frost chided the rock wall that he and his neighbor would mend each spring, replacing fallen rocks. “He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across and eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
You can see the Great Wall of China from outer space. It is an astonishing piece of work
Begun in the fifth century B.C. and added to by later dynasties, it succeeded in defending China from invasions by northern tribes. In 1600, it helped the Ming dynasty defend against the Manchu, but when the gates at Shanhaiguan were opened in 1644 by a dissident Ming border general, the Manchus quickly seized Beijing and that was the end of the Ming dynasty.
There has been a growing call for a wall on the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Given the way Mexico has fallen into a state of barbaric anarchy by warring narcotics gangs, including increasing murders of Americans foolish enough to go there, it is a very good idea.
There are currently an estimated twelve million Mexicans and “other” illegal aliens residing in the United States, enjoying many benefits. Instead of aggressively dealing with the problem, the government under several administrations and the current one has opted to offer “amnesty” and grant them a citizenship they have not earned and do not deserve in the context of our laws.
The only thing these amnesties managed to accomplish was to encourage more millions of illegal aliens to cross our borders, to stay on beyond their visas, and to otherwise flout our immigration laws. They are not “undocumented”. They are criminals.
Naturally, when British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently gave speeches or expressed their opposition to “multiculturalism”, it made news when it turned out they were appalled by the failure of this idiotic concept. Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had already expressed that opinion.
There was a time when someone was proudly British, French or German. Today, their distinctive cultures are being hollowed out by waves of immigrants who have no desire to assimilate or adopt the values of their new homelands.
All of which raises the question of why, here in America, you have to “press one” to conduct a conversation in English, Islamic foot baths have been installed in the Kansas City airport, why ‘Islamic immersion’ classes have been inflicted on children in a California school district, there was a demand an Arabic public school in New York and a mosque within sight of Ground Zero, and why government documents are often printed in foreign languages.
The victory over Europe that the Muslims could not achieve by invasion and which ended with the defeat of a Muslim army outside of Vienna on September 11, 1683, has been achieved by a constant flow of immigrants from the Middle East and northern Africa as Europe opened its doors because their indigenous populations failed to reproduce in enough numbers to maintain their economies.
It is a principle of demographics that, as a nation becomes more prosperous its population tends to replace itself more slowly. Birthrates in America across the racial spectrum are in decline, reflecting those in Europe By contrast, places like China and India are where you find a billion or more people.
In 2008 Los Angeles County, population 10.2 million, was where 42% of workers were paid cash and did not pay taxes; 90% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles were for illegal aliens; more than two-thirds of all births were to illegal aliens; nearly 40% of all inmates in California were Mexican nationals who were there illegally; and, nationally, while less than 2% of illegal aliens were picking crops, 37% were on welfare.
These and a mountain of other statistics testify to the failure of the American government to enforce its immigration laws and deter an army of illegal immigrants from invading the nation.
The argument will be raised that America is “a nation of immigrants”, but that was then and this is now. The earlier flow of immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany and Russia were needed in the 1800s to provide workers for the nation’s industrial base and as farmers for its expanding land mass. And they were white and Christian.
The importation of Afro-Americans as slaves, starting early in America’s history, led to the Civil War, followed by the horrid “Jim Crow” era until the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. These days they are minority population smaller than Hispanics and, thanks to a variety of liberal welfare programs, are too often a dysfunctional element of American society."
England, France and Germany’s leaders have finally begun to speak out about and against it. It may be too late. America refuses to even acknowledge it.
February 12, 2011
THERE CAN BE NO JUSTICE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS. By Jim Poesl
One repeating theme of the President’s and other so called “progressives” is the need for “justice”. Once an oppressed person is “free” then any action is okay to achieve this “justice” (and justice is never defined). In their pursuit of justice they are able to justify:
- Outrageous reparations for things that happened more than 7 generations ago.
- A transfer of wealth, which does not lead to sustainable success, or the overall betterment of a class of people, but its leaders are better off.
- Government bureaucracies that deliberately do not solve problems, but perpetuate them to guarantee government jobs and contracts.
- Public Health policies that do not respect human life or dignity.
The President’s speech this week on the Military Coup in Egypt talks about justice, and as and as usual, he never define terms, so your definition is projected onto him (that was his 2004 and 2008 campaign strategy). But without the population, forgiving 30 years of oppression, conditions will never improve. Let me be clear this is not a defense of the old regime; they should be prosecuted if any laws were broken. The first priority should be FORGIVENESS by the population, and then build a prosperous future.
We risk another Lebanese situation where “peaceful” Muslim extremists trick peaceful left-wing leaning people, then build a political coalition that leads to a civil war (see Brigitte Gabriel Act For America!, ).
In most people’s life, mine included, lack of Forgiveness prevents people from moving on and prevents success. EGYPT FORGIVE...AMERICA BE VIGILANT.
GOP Still Short a Viable Presidential Contender for 2012, J.D. Longstreet
The Conservative Political Action Conference is in the midst of their three-day meeting in Washington and would-be Republican presidential contenders have been parading in and out the meeting(s).
From the reports I have read those attending have been sort of dipping their toe into the conservative waters checking the temperature and the current of the water, and then -- nervously counting their toes.
To date there has not been a single republican to officially announce he/she is entering the race for the Oval Office. Not one.
According to various polls there is not even a front-runner among those who are thought to be serious contenders -- even though they are holding back any announcement to that effect.
Out here in the swamps of the southern hinterlands we are overly fond of any of the lot who are “not yet running.”
Donald Trump? Give me a break, already!
Romney has about as good a chance as did McCain.
Allow me to dust off my crystal ball and reach deep inside, with my razor sharp mental powers, of course, and prognosticate the republican presidential ticket for 2012.
Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann. There. Feel better? Can’t say that I do, either.
I have to admit to a certain degree of concern, worry even, that conservatives may have bought into the theory that Obama is so badly liked by voters that he has already secured his place in US history as a one-term president. I don’t buy that. And I think anyone who does … is making a huge mistake.
Look. This is the Democratic Party we are talking about here. Never, ever, sell them short when it comes to elections. They will pull out all the stops and they will do whatever it takes to win. Republicans, especially conservative republicans cannot hold a candle to them when it comes to electioneering. Heck, they have been working on Obama’s second term since the Wednesday morning after the election in November of 2008. They have been working at the state levels, especially the office of the various Secretaries of State through out the nation. They have been laying a foundation for as much control of elections at the state level as they possibly can. That is where elections are won and lost. Think not? Remember Florida???
Conservative enthusiasm was heightened when Obama supporters stayed away from the polls in November of 2010. There was a good reason why they stayed away. Obama was not on the ticket. In 2012, he will be – and they will be back with the smashing energy of a tidal wave.
Understanding the Democratic Party is akin to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphics – with a Brooklyn accent. It is darned near impossible. It is an amalgamation of every sort of leftists special interest group in the United States. Heck, there is even a democratic wing of the Democratic Party, small though it is, shoved into a darkened corner by the socialists, the progressives, and a host of “single issue” misfits, as well and those “undocumented democrats” we sometimes refer to as illegal aliens. And we must include the vast majority of the mainstream media in the US who controls so many of the gateways to information the voters need to make informed decisions.
With such an, er, eclectic crowd as that, how is it possible to underestimate their ability to snatch an election even while under the intense gaze of an entire nation?
The plain truth is – conservatives are just not very good at lying, cheating, stealing, being creative in matriculating ballots.
In my years of covering elections at the local levels, I have seen things you would not believe. I have sat in rooms with personnel from the US Justice Department, guns strapped to their hips and recorders in hand overseeing recounts and checking election records. I have witness ballot swapping. I had seen entire ballot boxes disappear only to be “found” days later in someone’s barn -- way out in the boon docks. And that just scratches the surface.
The point is, the Democratic parry is deadly in earnest when it comes to winning an election and whatever it takes is not just a motto, it is a plan of action.
Obama will, in all likelihood, be re-elected as President in 2012.
Why do I say that?
Because it has been my observation that the GOP is not willing to get down in the gutter and wallow in the political mud and mire and sewage where the Democratic Party reigns.
Politics is distasteful to most conservatives. It makes them feel dirty. It makes them want to take a shower to get the stink off. And they don’t like compromising their decency to win an election. The Democratic Party has demonstrated time and again that they have no such problem.
The GOP has a serious problem finding a Presidential candidate, who can stand up to the vicious, take no prisoners attack, sure to come from the leftists.
With that in mind, I predict the dirtiest, most vicious, presidential campaign in history between now and November of 2012.
Strap in. The ride is going to be extremely rough.
Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan February 6, 2011. Jim Poesl
This past week I was asked what my Reagan Memory was.
My favorite speech was his First Inaugural Speech. “Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look……I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your" because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak—you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.”
Why do I remember those words? The 5th teachers in Ross Street School in Woodbridge brought in TV’s so the children could watch the inauguration. This was the part of the speech that I came in on, and it resonated with me, and our homework assignment was writing about what we saw at the inauguration. I always hope that I am deserving of being called one of the heroes President Reagan spoke about.