Monday, December 29, 2008

DDT and Chlordane Killed By Politics, Not Science

I would like to thank Harry Katz, who is a legendary defender of our industry and the products we use, for allowing me to re-publish this 1998 article and I hope to use more of his articles. This article was published before many of the new products became available, but his points regarding why these two safe and reliable products were taken off the market are worth reporting and worth repeating. We must keep the history correct; no matter what regulators claim or impose….we must know the history, we must remember the history…correctly. History is the stepping stones to the future. Harry Katz was there and he remembers the events as they occurred….let’s not allow ourselves to be beguiled by the latest philosophical flavor of the day. RK


By Harry Katz
3/1/1998


A lie becomes the truth if it is repeated often enough. This has happened, I believe, with the boomer generation that grew up weaned on the Myth Conception that DDT is carcinogenic. According to Carrol Weil, past president of the Toxicology Society, there have never been any valid scientific tests that prove DDT can cause cancer in test animals or in humans.

Numerous tests were made on animals, mostly mice that were bred to be supersensitive to chemical stress. The mice were given massive doses of DDT long periods of time. Tumors did develop, but they did not metastasize into cancer cells. Many of the mice that were not fed DDT also developed tumors.

This didn’t matter to the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA regulations consider a benign tumor to be a cancer that justifies cancellation of registration. It should be noted that according to EPA regulations, a single positive test by one researcher takes precedence over the negative test results of 100 researchers.

LOW VS. GROSS DOSE. One of the Myth Conceptions that plagues the mindset of the general public, as well as various regulatory communities, is that a low dose of a toxicant is just as bad as a gross dose that can cause a tumor. If this were true, according to Dr. Bruce Ames from the University of California-Berkeley, we should not eat carrots, celery, parsley, mushrooms, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, orange and grapefruit juices, pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, raspberry and pineapple. All these foods contain natural toxicants that cause cancer in rats or mice when they are tested at the same gross levels that are used to test pesticides. Ames further claims that the natural level of toxicants in these foods is far higher than the trace residues on treated foods.

The Myth Conception of the carcinogenicity of DDT has a corollary with chlordane. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when chlordane is used at label rates, there is no valid scientific test that shows carcinogenicity in humans. In 1984, a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed existing data on chlordane and concluded that the evidence of carcinogenicity to experimental animals was indeed limited.

CHLORDANE’S EFFECT ON HUMANS. Many studies were made of chlordane’s effect on humans. The WHO reports about a study in 1981 in which mortality of 782 workers who manufactured chlordane and heptachlor for up to 20 years showed no increase in cancer in comparison to normal death figures. In another study by Wang and MacMahon in1980, all cancer deaths were lower than expected. In a follow-up study in 1982, the two Harvard researchers looked again at the mortality rates of termite control technicians and found there was no significant increase of cancer cases.

As secretary of the Western Pennsylvania Pest Control Association and as a formulator, I was concerned about the safety to PCOs. A Pittsburgh physician, Dr. Cyril Wecht consented to give annual physicals to employees of WPPCA members. In those days, the service technicians used chlordane carelessly. They had it on their hands, clothes, and breathed it in crawlspaces. Dr. Wecht found no effect on the liver or other vital organs, after several years of examinations.

MORE EXPENSIVE, LESS EFFECTIVE. There is much ado about the misapplication of termiticides. The regulators’ preoccupation with spacing of holes has little relationship with the concentration of toxicant in each cubic inch of soil. Backfills are usually a hodgepodge of building debris, hunks of clay and roots from dead foundation plantings. The most conscientious technician who carefully measures the concentrate and calibrates the flow of solution cannot be sure that every cubic inch of soil barrier is properly treated. Termites have nothing else to do but to look for that window of opportunity, an untreated pocket of soil.

In the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, 8th Edition, Dr. Michael Potter claims that liquid dilutions tend to disperse randomly over the subslab fill, resulting in inconsistent coverage, and diversion from target areas.

If government tests of termiticide efficacy were made using the same label procedures mandated for PCOs, we would have no registered termiticides. As tested, the label should call for removal of the backfill to be treated, then mixing it with the termiticide solution in a cement mixer and finally replacing the mixture in the ditch. Fill material to be covered with a slab should also be treated the same way. Further, in testing for the presence of toxicant years later, multiple cores should be mixed and then tested.

The regulatory communities, who are looking for a fall guy to blame for the rash of termite control failures, ignore this double standard. Perhaps the officials should look in the mirror. When they killed relatively innocuous chlordane, they forced the public to pay three or more times the cost for termite control with no increase in safety and with limited residual value.




_____________________________________

ENVIROMENTAL VIEWS - THE WORST CLIMATE PREDICTIONS OF 2008?

.

(I would like to thank Mr. Avery for allowing me to publish his work. I expect to take liberal advantage of his expertise. RK)


Prediction is very difficult…especially about the future. - Niels Bohr, Danish physicist (1885 - 1962)

BY; DENNIS T. AVERY

CHURCHVILLE, VA—“2008 will be the hottest year in a century:” The Old Farmers’ Almanac, September 11, 2008.

We’re now well into the earth’s third straight harsher winter—but in late 2007 it was still hard to forget 22 straight years of global warming from 1976–1998. So the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted 2008 would be the hottest year in the last 100.

But sunspots had been predicting major cooling since 2000, and global temperatures turned downward in early 2007. The sunspots have had a 79 percent correlation with the earth’s thermometers since 1860. Today’s temperatures are about on a par with 1940. For 2008, the Almanac hired a new climatologist, Joe D’Aleo, who says the declining sunspots and the cool phase of the Pacific Ocean predict 25-30 years of cooler temperatures for the planet.

“You could potentially sail, kayak or even swim to the North Pole by the end of the summer. Climate scientists say that the Arctic ice . . . is currently on track to melt sometime in 2008.” Ted Alvarez, Backpacker Magazine Blogs, June, 2008.

Soon after this prediction, a huge Russian icebreaker got trapped in the thick ice of the Northwest Passage for a full week. The Arctic ice hadn’t melted in 2007, it got blown
into warmer southern waters. Now it’s back. (Reference)

Remember too the Arctic has its own 70-year climate cycle. Polish climatologist Rajmund Przbylak says “the highest temperatures since the beginning of instrumental observation occurred clearly in the 1930s” based on more than 40 Arctic temperature stations.

“Australia’s Cities Will Run Out of Drinking Water Due to Global Warming.”

Tim Flannery was named Australia’s Man of the Year in 2007—for predicting that Australian cities will run out of water. He predicted Perth would become the “first 21st century ghost city,’ and that Sydney would be out of water by 2007. Today however, Australia’s city reservoirs are amply filled. Andrew Bolt of the Melbourne Herald-Sun reminds us Australia is truly a land of long droughts and flooding rains.


“Hurricane Effects Will Only Get Worse.” Live Science, September 19, 2008.

So wrote the on-line tech website Live Science, but the number of Atlantic hurricanes 2006–2008 has been 22 percent below average, with insured losses more than 50 percent below average. The British Navy recorded more than twice as many major land-falling Caribbean hurricanes in the last part of the Little Ice Age (1700–1850) as during the much-warmer last half of the 20th century.

“Corals will become increasingly rare on reef systems.” Dr. Hans Hoegh-Guldberg, head of Queensland University (Australia) marine studies.

In 2006, Dr. Hoegh-Guldberg warned that high temperatures might kill 30–40 percent of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef “within a month.” In 2007, he said global warming temperatures were bleaching [potentially killing] the reef.

But, in 2008, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network said climate change had not damaged the “well-managed” reef in the four years since its last report. Veteran diver Ben Cropp said that in 50 years he’d seen no heat damage to the reef at all. “The only change I’ve seen has been the result of over-fishing, pollution, too many tourists or people dropping anchors on the reef,” he said.

No More Skiing? “Climate Change and Aspen,” Aspen, CO city-funded study, June, 2007.

Aspen’s study predicted global warming would change the climate to resemble hot, dry Amarillo, Texas. But in 2008, European ski resorts opened a month early, after Switzerland recorded more October snow than ever before. Would-be skiers in Aspen had lots of winter snow—but a chill factor of 18 below zero F. kept them at their fireplaces instead of on the slopes.

DENNIS T. AVERY is an environmental economist, and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to cgfi@hughes.net


*Sources:

Predictions of 25-30 year cooling due to Pacific Decadal
Oscillation: Scafetta and West, 2006, “Phenomenological Solar Signature in 400
Years of Reconstructed Northern Hemisphere Temperature Record,” Geophysical
Research Letters.

Arctic Warmer in the 1930s: R. Przybylak, 2000,
“Temporal and Spatial Variation of Surface Air Temperature over the Period of
Instrumental Observation in the Arctic,” International Journal of Climatology
20.

British Navy records of Caribbean hurricanes 1700-1850: J.B. Elsner
et al., 2000, “Spatial Variations in Major U.S. Hurricane Activity,” Journal of
Climate 13.
Predictions of coral loss: Hoegh-Guldberg et al., Science, Vol.
318, 2007. Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2008, issued by the Global Coral
Reef Monitoring Network, Nov., 2008.

Aspen climate change study: Climate
Change and Aspen: An Assessment of Potential Impacts and Responses, Aspen Global
Change Institute, June, 2007.





_____________________________________

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Get Your Story Right

by Wendell Krossa

(Note: A new extremist religion/ideology is taking hold in public consciousness across the world. This new religion has a grand myth or narrative with which it hopes to shape human consciousness and thereby enslave the human spirit. This religion exhibits many of the basic themes and drives of previous religious movements- an unchallengeable truth impervious to scientific fact, the demand for a strictly constrained and regulated lifestyle in accordance with the core beliefs, an orientation to fear as a basic motivation, and so on. The material below outlines some of the basic features of this new environmental religion and points to facts that counter its central themes.)



All of us inform our lives with stories and we live our lives as individual stories. Living a story is essential to what it means to be human. And various groups in our societies present us grander stories or narratives that powerfully influence our own personal adventures. Many of us live our lives in terms of some in-group story, whether it be religious, ideological, scientific or other.

Global warming alarmism is perhaps the most prominent public story being that is being embraced across the Earth today. While there has been some effort to place this story within the realm of science, at core it is just the latest version of the same old doom/salvation narratives held by our ancestors. Nonetheless, this story has successfully lodged itself in the public consciousness because it resonates with a number of widely accepted themes that have long been beaten into human consciousness. These would include:

Life and ecosystems are fragile (the “great planetary imperilment myth”, according to www.ecofascism.com ).

Life is heading for some soon-to-arrive calamity (this central apocalyptic theme with its related fear-mongering and despair has an especially long history in human story telling- see, for instance, Mircea Eliade’s History of Religious Ideas).

Human intervention in nature is mainly destructive (this is based on the belief that people are inherently bad) and therefore people need to be strictly regulated and constrained. They cannot be trusted. (This theme of pure nature as victim of evil humanity is perhaps one of the more central ideas to this great warming myth. Evil humanity is destroying pure and delicate nature which must be protected from such a greedy species). Life is static and unchanging, hence any change is evidence of decline and fragility. This distortion is most notable in pop ecology and its endless hysteria over any discovered changes in ecosystems.

Resources are scarce and life is stingy or strictly limited. Hence, severely curtailing consumption (which is essential to human progress) is the one and only way of salvation. Guilt and fear are the primary emotions that are manipulated here.

Various other related themes could be added here such as the primitive tribal view of ‘limited good’ which argues that because resources are limited if some take more than a “fair share” then others will suffer loss. Another theme supporting the alarmist climate warming story is plain old anti-capitalist ideology and the drive to halt economic growth. This anti-capitalist ideology fits well with the limited good or limited resources view of contemporary environmentalism. Many environmentalists view capitalism as built around what they believe to be the fallacy of unlimited resources and endless growth. They believe unfettered (free) capitalism will lead to the exhaustion of resources and breakdown of environmental systems. Wilfred Beckerman (A Poverty of Reason), Huber and Mills (Bottomless Well), and Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource), among others, all deal with this primitive and distorting view of limited resources.

Related to the concept of limits is the religious belief in the moral superiority of a low consumption lifestyle (Julian Simon, a rare voice on this issue, deals thoroughly with the importance of consumption and its benefits to all life in his book Ultimate Resource). This set of anti-economic development themes has coalesced in the crusade to enact centralized control and regulation to constrain and even stop economic growth, which makes it a crusade to halt human progress. The socialist element in this crusade is driven by the old collectivist urge to deny the value and freedom of the individual in favor of some greater good. Closely related to this anti-economic growth ideology is the pagan demonization of humanity along with the sacralization of nature as a greater good. In such nature worship, evil humanity is to be sacrificed on the altar of pure and pristine nature.

Julian Simon notes a variety of other elements in the outlook of the lead narrators of the alarmist story. He points to the arrogant debasement and dismissal of other human beings evident in the comments of leaders promoting the socialist/environmental tale. For instance, Paul Erhlich has said that giving people access to cheap, inexhaustible supplies of energy, “is like giving a machine gun to an idiot child” (Ultimate Resource, p.298). Another theologian of environmental apocalyptic, Garret Hardin, said, “People ask me- don’t you have faith in anything? And I always have the same answer…I have an unshakable faith in the unreliability of man” (p.299). Would he also categorize himself and his own views as unreliable?

And then there is the elitist selfishness of the people who want to conserve pristine nature for their own enjoyment to the exclusion of others. “When some famous conservationist tells us that there should be fewer people so that it is easier for him or her to find a deserted stretch of beach or mountain range or forest, she or he is simply saying…’I enjoy it, and I don’t want to share it’” (p.284). This call to save nature for me and my environmentally enlightened friends demands that others be eliminated. The obvious question that is begged here is who decides who should be removed so some may enjoy more untouched nature? Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said, “The human population is the AIDs of the earth…(and) should be cut by 85%”. The rest should return to a primitive lifestyle and only a very small percentage should be allowed to reproduce (“Send in the assmonkeys”, National Post, May 15/07). Would those 85% cut include him and his family? And would the tiny percentage allowed to reproduce include him and his wife?

Simon also notes the perverse orientation to death and destruction evident in the narration of leading environmentalists. Instead of focusing on things like planting and growth (human creativity, productivity, and inventiveness), environmentalists focus on destruction and death (the supposed loss of species and habitat, which has often been proven to have been based on false claims). While there are areas where loss and destruction are a genuine concern, too often the focus on relatively minor problem areas is extrapolated out to damn all human activity and engagement of nature. In this perverse view of human engagement of nature as harmful, harvesting of nature’s resources is not celebrated but damned as destructive. This is evident, for instance, in the environmental charge that using too much paper destroys forests. But people are not told that trees are planted and forests created in order to make paper. Or that only 5 percent of the world’s forests are required to meet humanity’s demands for wood and paper products (Bjorn Lomberg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, p.115).

With the dismal view of humanity and human activity as destructive is it any wonder that the environmental/socialist response is to advocate for the strict control and restraint of other people? This moralistic urge to tell others how to live their lives is based primarily on the moral and aesthetic preferences of the environmental extremists and not on any sound scientific reasoning. It is a primitive tribal urge to dominate and control others. It has no place in modern human society.

These basic themes and drives, along with others, shape the core of environmental mythology. And they distort the actual nature of life. But they have been effective in reinforcing the current global narrative of fear and despair. They affirm the basic outlook on life that is held by the narrators of this story, an outlook oriented to doom and destruction. To maintain this orientation to disaster the narrators of this story ignore the actual fundamental trends of life to focus too often on aberrations that confirm their addiction to despair (episodes of disease, disaster, and human fallibility).

Nonetheless, this story appeals to many people with its emphasis on looming disaster and promises of salvation. It stirs the urge to heroic action and sacrifice to save something.

But it is a pathological story that has inspired a severe case of denial and, at times, even lunacy among its advocates. The free private property economic system that people have devised over the past three centuries has produced a level of human well being that has never before been attained in the history of the world. Things have never before been so good. We are wealthier, healthier, we live longer with fewer diseases and disabilities, and we are cleaning up and improving our environments as never before. Yet these climate hysterians want to shut down this economic growth and insist on blaming it for all the ills still present in the world. Ills that should more correctly be blamed upon the excessive state interventionism that they advocate.

The promoters of this story of despair are perhaps the most dangerous people on earth. Their hysteria drives them to halt economic growth and development which will only endanger human life and progress as well as undermine our ability to protect the environment. For example, remember the anti-chemical hysteria stirred by Rachel Carson which led to the banning of DDT. That ban led to immeasurable human suffering and the unnecessary deaths of multiple millions of people in some of the poorest regions of the world (see DDT FAQ at JunkScience.com). It has significantly set back the development of regions like Africa.

Contrary to the environmental mythology, the actual story of life is rooted firmly and safely in the following facts:

Life is exceedingly durable and resilient. It possesses incredible self-buffering and self-regulating capacities such as protective and life-enhancing feedback mechanisms/loops. This is especially evident in relation to climate. The Earth has experienced repeated spells of cooling and warming over its history, going through climate changes more sudden and severe than those of today. Yet species have adapted to such changes and life has continued to thrive. Remember that polar bears have survived the repeated entire melting of Arctic ice.
Life has evidenced an amazing creative adaptability in progressing toward something better from the very beginning.

Intelligent human intervention has improved the state of nature and worked well to rescue it from its own dead ends (predation) and deformities (viral, natural disaster- see Craig Easterbrook’s A Moment on the Earth). This affirms the fundamental goodness of conscious humanity and humanity’s valuable contribution in bringing order to the randomness of nature (as Simon notes, we create more than we destroy).

Life has never known an original and static condition that can be called natural, but is ever-changing and often massively and rapidly.
Life encompasses a generous outpouring of energy and resources to be harvested and ‘wasted’ in creating more order, organization, and wealth (see Hard Green and Bottomless Well by Huber and Mills).

To properly comprehend the nature of life we need to look at the long term trends where we find no reason for fear or despair but rather much evidence for profound hope and optimism. Check the data sources listed at the end and see for yourself what the actual long term trends of life are about. And remember, it was the genius of researchers like Julian Simon to note the long term trends and not to focus on downturns, setbacks, and other aberrations to the fundamental trends of life.

For instance, Bjorn Lomberg gives the example of Professor David Pimentel of Cornell University who ignored the long term trend of improvement in treating tuberculosis and instead focused on a small reversal of this trend in the 1990s. Pimentel then tried to make the argument that TB was getting worse and extrapolated this out to a more general argument that all disease was getting worse (The Skeptical Environmentalist, p.21-26). Ignoring the long term trends to focus on aberrations will lead to such distorting conclusions about life and its fundamental features. This has been a repeated error of the climate hysterians.

The long term rise and progress of life is most evident in the history of humanity and the human engagement of life. Here we find millennia of evidence of creativity, adaptation, development, and progress in health, wealth, peace and order, and general living conditions. This is due to the fundamental human impulse to find and make something better. This basic human impulse has resulted in ongoing improvement to the state of the world. It is an impulse that operates best in a climate of freedom.

Julian Simon said that scares come and go. And it is entirely irresponsible and unscientific to react to each change in life (especially in climate) with schemes of massive government intervention and regulation. Policy choices that are enacted out of fear and that over-react with excessive regulation to prevent imagined catastrophes, such policy choices are detrimental to freedom and progress. History has shown that the state interventionist approach has been the most destructive response to human freedom and progress (note for instance, the devastating impact- on people and the environment- of last century’s grand experiment in socialist intervention and control).

We end up looking real silly when we blow our whole wad, for instance, on each shift in climate. And slowing economic growth will not stop the climate from changing anyway. It has been noted that if Kyoto were fully enacted the impact on climate would amount to a small fraction of one percent which is statistically insignificant and probably not even measurable. It would likely not slow climate change at all. Climate will continue to warm and cool as it has done repeatedly over Earth’s history (remember that just as recently the 1970s we were being warned of climate cooling disaster- that scare crusade was also fueled by an anti-capitalist or anti-industrial ideology).

Recent research now shows that since 1998 no further warming has occurred and this may signal the fact that we are already entering another cooling period (CCNet Dec.20/07). In response to these natural swings in climate it is wiser to promote further economic growth in order that our societies, with increasing wealth, may be able to better assist their populations in adapting to more climate change, whichever direction it takes.

But behind the proposed Salvationism of the global warming alarm story there exists the more fundamental assault on economic freedom and growth by people who want to control others and dictate to them how to live their lives. This drive to dominate is visible in the current widespread endeavor to regulate and constrain economic growth, and to redistribute wealth. It is just more of the same old socialist meddling that destroyed economies and environments across the earth in the last century.

I would suggest that this primitive drive to dominate and control others, to tell others how to live their lives, is one of the core drives behind the global warming alarmist narrative (and it is also behind contemporary Islamic extremist threats, as well as other forms of totalitarianism). It is a perverse drive of people who mistakenly believe that they have a final truth and want to convert all others who lack their level of enlightenment.

This drive to dominate and control assaults the most important human right of all- that of individual freedom. The right of individual freedom has been best stated in the libertarian ideal- that each person is free to live their life as they choose, as long as they grant the same freedom to all others.

Only individual freedom of this type can make a society truly human or humane. As Lanny Ebenstein said in his biography of Milton Friedman, “There is no good of society not found in the good of the individual, just as there is no society apart from the individuals who compose it. In Friedman’s, the libertarian, the classical liberal, and the utilitarian philosophies, all place the individual at the center of the universe and place the individual’s greatest good, happiness and freedom as the summum bonum or ultimate good” (p.141).

Ebenstein continues, noting that what motivated Friedman was his passion for individual human freedom. “Friedman’s philosophy, following the utilitarians, is individualism. ‘The heart of the liberal philosophy is a belief in the dignity of the individual’, Friedman writes. Friedman passionately believes that each individual has value. This is why he so strongly emphasizes human freedom. Only in a condition of freedom can each individual develop himself or herself to the fullest” (p.141). Where individual freedom is protected and promoted, there individuals reach their fullest potential. And this is the primary obligation of any state, to protect and promote individual freedom, not some collective good. When states forget the primacy of individual freedom and interfere to promote some imagined public welfare or greater good then individual freedom suffers. And, as Milton Freidman and others have argued, the promotion of individual freedom will result in the highest collective good in the end, anyway. The highest form of any greater good is the sum of free individual choices or free individual lives, diverse as they may be.

On any scale of human well being it is unacceptable for some people to coercively impose restrictions on other’s lives especially when that coercion is based on beliefs that are simply wrong about the real nature of life. This is an intolerable assault on individual freedom. The outcome of the domination impulse in modern society has been the endless crusade to enact new laws and regulations to cover every conceivable potential ill. This regulatory trend often unnecessarily hinders the freedom of others who will never contribute to any potential ill anyway. And more recently, this drive for regulation has been co-opted by those seeking to prevent economic growth by prohibiting the use of the energy that is vital to such growth. It is an endeavor to criminalize the very economic growth and development that is essential to all human progress and well being.

In recent years, the anti-capitalist narrators have focused their crusade to demonize capitalism in the anti-CO2 or anti-energy campaign and would love to halt it entirely or severely hamper its use with all sorts of regulations, bans and caps. But energy is the life blood of our economies (and remember that carbon is the very basis of all life). The extremists simply will not recognize that our free private property economic system has done more than any other system to lift people out of poverty and to consequently clean up and protect the environment (Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World presents evidence of the ‘environmental transition’ where increasing wealth via economic growth and development has resulted in an improved environment). Add to this the fact that scientific evidence has not yet established the linkage of CO2 to global warming. In fact, the evidence shows that CO2 increases follow warming periods.

In the grand narrative employed by those fighting capitalism there is also the continuing devaluation of people as essentially greedy and selfish. This disparagement of people is entirely wrong-headed. Our history proves that, to the contrary, we have steadily improved life. Our history shows that in net terms we are far more creators than destroyers. Central to a more accurate story of life must be the fact of the essential goodness of people and what Joseph Campbell calls the wonder of being human (The Power of Myth). This basic human goodness requires freedom from any constraining government intervention and regulation in order to reach its fullest potential.

I would add here that Milton Friedman countered the grand narrative of his time- that the supposed failures of capitalism required massive government intervention a la Keynes- with a dogged presentation of facts and eventually convinced people of the need to lessen government intervention. Many of his policy proposals to limit government have become conventional wisdom across the globe (see recent biography ‘Milton Friedman’ by Lanny Ebenstein). His policy proposals have done more to advance freedom than perhaps the work of any other individual over the past few centuries.

But admittedly, many devotees of the environmental religion and its doom narrative will not listen to scientific facts or scientific reason. They are enthralled to the grand Salvationist story they have created, a story that appeals to the basest drives in human psyches- fear of the future and change, the urge to convert and control others, guilt over consumption and the felt need to live simply, and hatred of an economic system that is built around consumption. All of these powerful themes reinforce the grand narrative and render scientific reason and fact of little value in the thinking of the committed devotee of the grand story.

In this current global warming hysteria we are observing the irresponsible terrorizing of public consciousness with an alarmist story of climate apocalyptic. Psychologists have even noted the increased levels of anxiety and fear over this climate alarmism (“Anxiety brings memories of nuclear threat”, National Post, Feb.10/07).

This incredible tale of looming disaster is being promoted to hinder and halt the very economic growth that will lift people out of poverty and enable them to properly adapt to whatever climate challenges the future will bring. But scaring people has always been an effective way to manipulate and control them. Once terrorized, people are all too willing to give up their freedom to those who promise to save them from whatever has been employed to terrorize them in the first place. This is why these climate hysterians, like Al Gore, are the most dangerous people on earth. They pose a threat to freedom that has potential to cause more damage to human progress than any other form of terrorism today.

After more than two centuries of theorizing, practical experimentation, and refinement we now know that the story of human and environmental success is built on such things as freedom of commerce and trade, private property rights, limited government, privatization, protected investment markets (good contract and other law), a scientific approach to problem solving, and modern technology, among other elements.

Understand well the global warming narrative that is being beaten into the public consciousness. Note its underlying themes and check them against the real story of life and humanity and what has worked best to advance life on earth. Some excellent sources of data are listed immediately below to aid in checking the fundamental trends of life and the true nature of life. These will help in the creation of a grand new story based on life as it actually exists and functions. This factually based story of life will unleash hope, human potential, and unlimited progress in all areas. It is a life-affirming and humanity-affirming narrative.

The real story of life assures us that we need not fear life or the future. It is critically important that we structure our life and beliefs around the authentic story of life. This will enable us to avoid unnecessary guilt or despair over life and prevent us from taking the wrong actions when engaging life (e.g. the unnecessary demonization and regulation of CO2, which is not a pollutant but is a nutrient of critical importance to life and progress). Embracing the wrong story can lead to much wasted time, resources, and effort. It can severely restrain human potential and progress.

Suggested reading: Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, Bjorn Lomberg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Greg Easterbrook’s A Moment On The Earth, James Payne’s History of Force, Stephen LeBlanc’s Constant Battles, Alston Chase’s In A Dark Wood, and the CCNet archives online.

Wendell Krossa wkrossa@shaw.ca



_____________________________________

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Social Responsibility of Coal

by Paul Driessen

Relying more on coal generates benefits that are too often ignored


They get little credit for their efforts, but most resource extraction, manufacturing and power generation companies strive to be “socially responsible” – by emphasizing energy efficiency, resource conservation, pollution control and worker safety in producing the raw materials, consumer products and electricity that improve, safeguard and enrich our lives.

It’s not easy, due to the nature of their business, public intolerance for any ecological impacts – and the fact that “corporate social responsibility” is often defined and used by activist groups to promote ideological agendas. Above all, activists want to engineer a “wholesale transformation” of our energy and economic system, away from hydrocarbon fuels and into “eco-friendly” renewable resources; reduce our living standards to “sustainable” levels (their definition again); and give them power over the power that sustains our modern society.

This “hard green” version of CSR largely ignores socio-economic considerations, the many benefits of fossil fuel and nuclear power, the significant land and environmental impacts of wind, solar and ethanol – and the oppressive effects of soaring energy prices on jobs and poor families.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed down the House of Representatives on August 1, to avoid an energy vote that Democrats would have lost, and later displayed her acumen on the subject when she opined: “natural gas is a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels.” News flash: Natural gas is a fossil fuel.

An Energy Economics 101 course is clearly needed, so that members of both parties can legislate more astutely … understand why mining and burning coal is a socially responsible component of sound energy policy … and help stanch the unnecessary flow of $700 billion a year in foreign oil payments.

Energy is the master resource, the foundation for everything we eat, use and do. Sound policies ensure that energy is abundant, reliable and affordable. Restricting supplies in the face of rising global demand drives up prices and sends shockwaves through families, industries, communities and nations.

Average total energy costs for a typical American household doubled from $2,400 in 1997 to over $5,000 in 2007. Food prices also soared, while wages remained relatively stagnant. More low and middle income families have been forced to choose between heating, eating, driving, medicines and housing – with little left over for vacations, emergencies, retirement, college or charity.

Thankfully, most electricity bills rose more modestly, because half of all US electricity is generated using coal, and the price for that fossil fuel has risen far less than oil, gasoline and natural gas prices. However, in places like Florida – where coal is verboten, natural gas is promoted but drilling for it is banned, and wind and solar are all the rage – electricity prices continue to climb. Florida Power & Light must pay four times as much for photovoltaic power as for coal power, the Heartland Institute reports, and schools face budget crunches for buses and electricity.

America has centuries’ worth of coal. Our reliance on this resource has tripled since 1970 – but sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions are down 40% and 90% below 1970 levels, respectively, notes air pollution expert Joel Schwartz. New technologies and regulations will reduce coal power plant emissions even further by 2020, but even current emissions (including mercury) pose no significant risks to human health, he emphasizes.

Radical environmentalists worry and wail about speculative health risks, to justify anti-coal campaigns. But their concerns often disappear when the discussion shifts to millions of Africans who die every year from real, preventable lung and intestinal diseases that result from an absence of electricity for cooking, heating, refrigeration, safe drinking water, hospitals and decent living standards. Wind and solar will save few of those lives – and yet green pressure groups stridently oppose fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power for Africa.

US electricity consumption will continue climbing, even with conservation, because our population and technology use are increasing steadily. Meanwhile, 59 coal-fired plants were cancelled in 2007 thanks to eco-activists, who are challenging 50 more.

The US now has virtually no excess capacity, and switching to natural gas as a primary power plant fuel (and fuel for backup generators to support wind farms) means electricity prices could increase “as much as tenfold,” says energy analyst Mark Mills, especially if we continue to ban drilling. “After that we may see forced conservation, or even blackouts in rotation among business and residential customers.”

Energy shortages and price hikes could cost millions of jobs in the automotive, airline, tourism, food and beverage, textiles, paper making, plastics, chemicals, metals and manufacturing industries – especially if Congress also enacts cap-and-trade rules. Most will never be replaced by “green collar” jobs that some claim will be created by intermittent, unreliable wind and solar energy.

Switching to plug-in hybrid cars will only exacerbate the problem. They will need a well-stocked power grid to plug into, and current energy policies virtually ensure that it won’t be there.

In addition to balance of trade issues, over-reliance on imports has major national security implications, as Russia’s invasion of Georgia forcefully reminded Europe. Germany imports 40% of its natural gas from Russia, and six Eastern European countries are entirely dependent on Mr. Putin’s energy. Shackled further by their opposition to nuclear power, fear of climate change Armageddon and fixation on the Kyoto Protocols, the EU has barely protested actions by a rogue bear that has already cut off natural gas supplies to Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic, to impose its will.

That should cause Congress to reflect more soberly on US dependence on oil from Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran and Russia. Coal could be converted into synthetic liquid and gas fuels, to replace the oil and gas we refuse to develop, but legal and regulatory hurdles restrict that option, too.

A key justification for these anti-energy policies is cataclysmic global warming. However, 32,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Petition, saying they see “no convincing evidence” that humans are causing climate change, or that it will be catastrophic. Climate models continue to predict chaos but, as one scientist wryly notes, faith in their predictions is as misplaced as reliance on emails from Nigeria, advising recipients that they have won the Lotto.

Global temperatures have not increased since 1998, despite steadily increasing carbon dioxide levels, and solar scientists like Pal Brekke say the sun’s formerly high activity level is leveling off or abating, which could bring falling global temperatures.

China and India are planning or building 700 coal-fired power plants; European countries plan to build 50 more in five years, to reduce dependence on Russian gas; and other nations are also increasing fossil fuel use for transportation and power generation.

Thus, no matter how much the USA reduces its energy use, driving, heating, air-conditioning and living standards – no matter how much it punishes poor families or commits economic suicide – its actions would not reduce global CO2 levels, or affect Earth’s climate.

We need to conserve, and continue improving renewable energy technologies that currently provide just 0.5% of our energy. But at this time renewables are simply too inefficient, expensive and unreliable to permit a shutdown of hydrocarbon-based systems.

Putting “social responsibility” and “environmental justice” in the hands of eco-activists and liberal Democrats is like giving a machine gun to an idiot child. We need definitions that recognize the full spectrum of societal needs, and energy policies that acknowledge life in the real world


Published with permission from Mr. Driessen.

__________________________

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ESA Outrages, Part III

By Rich Kozlovich


Property owners face a daunting task against government agents and activists if there should be some type of endangered species of plant or animal on their property. Robert J. Smith wrote that these agents “routinely prevent use of their lands or property, including such activities as harvesting trees, planting crops, grazing cattle, irrigating fields, clearing brush along fence lines, discing firebreaks around homes and barns, or building a home.“ Even Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton recognizes that because of the ESA effect “The incentives are wrong here. If I have a rare metal n my property, its value goes up. But if a rare bird occupies the land, its value disappears.”

One such example of what is wrong with ESA is the property owned by Ben Cone, Jr. Cone owns several thousand acres of pine forest in Pender County, North Carolina. Like so many who own undeveloped lands he took pride in maintaining it. They enjoy the wildlife, the outdoor experience and many times they are the ones who create habitat for all sorts of wildlife.

For almost 10 years after inheriting this property “he planted special grasses for wild turkey, selectively logged 30-50 acres on a five years basis to create open areas for wildlife and conducted controlled burns to enhance foraging for quail and deer.” Red-cockaded woodpeckers had been on his land since the 1970’s, but since he wasn’t logging there at the time it was no big deal.

It soon became a big deal when he decided in 1991 that he would start logging his property. FWS informed him that twenty nine ….29….. red-cockaded woodpeckers in 12 colonies were living there and that was now their home. By the time they drew lines around each of these habitats they removed 1,560 acres from his control…this was now designated “critical habitat”. These 29 birds cost him 1,560 acres.

These birds spend their entire life within a few miles of the spot where they hatched and they are quite picky as to where they will live. They will only nest in the cavities of trees in mature pine forests between 60 and 70 years old, and the forest floor has to be open and free of hardwood trees or brush. It turns out that Mr. Cone actually helped to create a wonderful habitat for these birds with his responsible stewardship of the land and now he was going to be punished for it. If ever the phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished”, ever applied; it applied now.

There was only one solution….he immediately stopped his 75 to 80 year rotation plan for his forests and started clear cutting on a 40 year rotation. If they needed trees that were at least 60 years old they were going to have to find someone else’s trees because no tree on any piece of land that he still controlled were ever going to live that long.

After he clear cut 700 acres the FWS realized how stupid their actions were and (get this) offered him a deal. If he stopped cutting for four years and paid….PAID….$45,000 dollars to create a habitat for these birds on government land they would return his land to him….and he took it. What is really sad is that everyone who is aware of what goes on with all of this ESA corruption views this as a good deal. He had to pay the government $45,000 and four years of production to take back what was already his.

There is another caveat regarding this bird’s preferred living conditions. They prefer long-leaf pines; hence, landowners take predictable actions to protect their land from the predation of government officials enforcing the ESA. They simply plant trees that aren’t attractive to endangered species.

The information cited here is based on the book, Green Gone Wild, by M. David Stirling



____________________________

Response to Comments II

By Rich Kozlovich

I wrote the article “Sub-Prime Pest Control” and posted it on September 20th, 2008. Gerry Weitz of Hearts Pest Management in San Diego took umbrage with my views and so I published a Response to Comments". Gerry has responded and here are his comments with my second response.


I believe my observation about you being a sincere individual is a valid one, but I fear that you are under the influence of misinformation and fallacious thinking.

Here are just a few examples I have experienced:
My very first exposure in the industry was with a man who came to my house to do a gopher fumigation in our back yard. He did not have a license to do landscape gopher work! As things turned out, I bought the company from him. I didn't realize the remifications of the practices of the former owner until I tried to expand the business and the former owner told me I couldn't report my chemical usage to the state because our gopher applications were not approved! To solve the problem I had to hire a landscape operator until I got my own landscape operator license.

There are so many egregious issues in this paragraph that If you had sent this piece of information to me privately I would have responded privately, and I would have never published it. I am really surprised at your whole approach to this issue. In Ohio we had Litulis Kilgore, another unlicensed person making illegal applications. This is known as the "Proof by Example" fallacy. Just because they used pesticides for profit doesn’t make them exterminators and it is intellectually irresponsible to use people such as this as examples for why legitimate operators should be all hot and bothered to adopt a philosophy that is antithetical to good pest control and good public health!

You may remember the Kilgore issue of about 15 years ago. He was one of those people applying methyl parathion around homes and businesses. Kilgore was only semi-literate and when asked how did he determined how much was to be used in his mix, he stated that “common sense will tell you that”. Methyl parathion is one of the most toxic liquid pesticides developed; so what was the impact on the health of the population that was so heavily exposed? What did the CDC find? In spite of the fact that the level of breakdown product from MP in the children’s urine was startling, they couldn’t find any difference in health problems between them and others of the same socio-economic group, and that also included the comparisons for the adults that hadn’t been exposed. Eventually they decided that those children who were exposed “may” have an IQ problem.

Why is it a “maybe”? Because this problem did not occur in all those exposed. Some seemed to be effected and others were not. Since IQ is highly subjective anyway, they have nothing! Believe me, if there was even the slightest potential for some malady as a result of this issue, they would have been screaming it to the heavens….but because the worst….the worst…..they can come up with is that “MAYBE” it impacts IQ for one of the most toxic materials available nothing is being said.

If any legitimate applicator in Ohio would have known about it we would have called the Ohio Department of Agriculture post haste and reported him. Under no circumstances would we have bought his business. Forgive me for being unkind, but I have to ask…did you report this man to the officials responsible for those illegal pesticide applications in your state?

Another example was finding Delta-Dust totally engulfing a kitchen countertop.

Clearly that was a misapplication, but easily remedied and I have to ask….what terrible things happened as a result? Just because someone does something stupid, doesn’t mean that it was really dangerous and that the whole rest of the world has to change. Fifty thousand people die on our highways every year. Do we need to get rid of cars because there as so many stupid drivers doing stupid things on the highways? We live in a risk versus benefit world and we base our decisions on what is the overall good.

We must remember that DDT was used to dust people all over Europe at the end of WWII with no ill effects. I have an elderly Hungarian lady as an account who calls herself one of the “DP’s” of the 1950’s who made a point of telling me that being dusted with DDT was the best thing they could have done to her and all the others who were “treated”. That procedure saved countless lives, preventing a typhus epidemic in Italy and probably over much of Europe. Although I don’t condone the misapplication you mention, I have to still ask; what terrible thing happened?

The activists and their acolytes at EPA make claims that have no basis in science or reality. A case in point is the endocrine disruption clause in the Food Quality Protection Act. The primary study that this was based on was the Tulane study which turned out to be fraudulent. They were exposed and Tulane pulled the study and the lead researcher was prohibited from applying for federal grants for five years, a punishment which I deem to be seriously flawed since he perpetrated fraud on the public with the public’s money and we are now stuck with the regulation as a result of that fraud.

As for EPA’s view of this study! Lynn Goldman, assistant administrator of the Office of Prevention, Pesticides & Toxic Substances at the Environmental Protection Agency under Carol Browner during the Clinton administration, stated that this was the cleanest science she had seen. Hogwash….how can something be science if it hasn’t been peer reviewed…and it hadn’t. Peer review was what exposed the fraud and she has a degree in medicine….she HAS to know better, yet that didn’t prevent her and the rest of the activists at EPA from plowing ahead.

I hear of technicians who use Termidor to treat bees.
I assume that you are also meaning wasps when you say bees, and although California and New York may not allow it, Termidor is labeled for wasps in the world of the sane. http://www.cdms.net/LDat/ld3DR020.pdf
The EPA has mounds of documented evidence of pesticides in our water and evidence that it is killing off marine life. It is a known fact on our chemical labels that most pesticides are highly toxic to aquatic life. There is so much that can and is reported.

These are two separate issues. Yes the labels clearly state the dangers to marine life. However, I have serious misgivings about EPA have “mounds” of information regarding chemical pesticides causing devastation to marine life through normal and legal use. If this were true EPA would be free to eliminate these products…and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. EPA is notorious for making claims that bear no resemblance to reality and when you take out the weasel words; there isn’t much left. To say that the thinkers at EPA wallow in a sinkhole of poor reasoning is being kind.
We really should do our best to get on board with the environmental movement. As I mentioned, Hearts Pest Management is an EcoWise Certified company and there is nothing in our certification that states we can not use pesticides.  
I have no beef with any pest control program that a company wishes to use, whether they call it IPM, Green, Organic or anything else they wish to use as a promotion to attract customers. I do however have a beef with those who make false claims about pesticides, pesticide applicators and the effect they have on society and the environment. The reality is that as a direct result of pesticides we are living longer, healthier, better fed lives than ever in human history.

As far as getting on board with the green activists?

The green movement is irrational and misanthropic. Everywhere in the world where their programs hold sway dystopia is rampant. They oppose pesticides, genetically modified foods, roads, dams, hydroelectric plants, electric plants of other types, chlorine in the water, and a host of other modern conveniences that make life so much better for so many people. They want everyone to go back to the primitive, yet they all live in the modern world with its conveniences. Why don't they move to those areas of the world that are primitive? If that is paradise; why aren't they living there? Why would I want to get on board with those who have shown such a massive disregard for human life?

They constantly harp how their programs are “for the children”, but children are dying because of them to the tune of hundreds of thousands each year. Tens of thousands of children in Southeast Asia go blind each year because their diets lack sufficient vitamin A. Golden Rice is a genetically modified food that would correct this immediately. They have thrown road block after road block in front of this product to keep it off the market. If they are so concerned about the health of children in the first world; why then do they distain the health, welfare and lives of children in the third world so badly?
No reasonable government will ever elliminate the use of pesticides as it could lead to uncontrollable epidemics, but we who use pesticides should be concerned about using them in a way that develops resistance in insect species, such as we have now with cockroaches.
These are also two separate issues. I take it then that you believe that Canada has a unreasonable government? I concur, because they are actively working for the elimination of pesticides, and I don’t consider California or New York much better.

As far as resistance goes….that will occur because it is the pattern of nature. Plants cannot run, they can’t hide, they don’t have teeth, claws, tough hides covered in fur and so the only way they can defend themselves is though a barrage of chemical defenses. As pests become resistant to one of these defenses; the plants develop another. It is already programmed in each of their genetic codes.

One more point. The vast majority of chemical pesticides people will consume are naturally occurring in the food we eat and over 90% of all carcinogens we consume are naturally occurring chemicals in the food we eat. There are 11 different carcinogens in coffee. In one cup of coffee you will consume more carcinogens than from the entire amount of synthetic pesticide residue from all the food you consume in one year.

Before we have any more discussions, I must insist that you first read Paul Driessen’s book, Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death. You can find it in my home page link to “My Book Reviews” where I have provided a link to order it.

I won’t be attending National. Best wishes. RK

____________________________
Rick, thank you for reposting my comment in its' original form.

If you are going to the NPMA convention, I would be happy to discuss these issues more with you.

Here are just a few examples I have experienced: 
My very first exposure in the industry was with a man who came to my house to do a gopher fumigation in our back yard. He did not have a license to do landscape gopher work! As things turned out, I bought the company from him. I didn't realize the remifications of the practices of the former owner until I tried to expand the business and the former owner told me I couldn't report my chemical usage to the state because our gopher applications were not approved! To solve the problem I had to hire a landscape operator until I got my own landscape operator license.

Another example was finding Delta-Dust totally engulfing a kitchen countertop. I hear of technicians who use Termidor to treat bees. The EPA has mounds of documented evidence of pesticides in our water and evidence that it is killing off marine life. It is a known fact on our chemical labels that most pesticides are highly toxic to aquatic life. There is so much that can and is reported.

We really should do our best to get on board with the environmental movement. As I mentioned, Hearts Pest Management is an EcoWise Certified company and there is nothing in our certification that states we can not use pesticides. No reasonable government will ever elliminate the use of pesticides as it could lead to uncontrollable epidemics, but we who use pesticides should be concerned about using them in a way that develops resistance in insect species, such as we have now with cockroaches.

Web Sites Worth Exploring

-

This was an email from James Marusek to Benny Peiser at CCNet - Cambridge Conference Network, that appeared on the blog “Greenie Watch”. I asked for and received permission to reprint it by Mr. Marusek, a retired Department of the Navy Nuclear Physicist & Engineer. I have also linked his web sites, The Legacy of the Environmental Movement and IMPACT in my blog roll. I would like to thank Mr. Marusek for his consideration. RK

In the beginning of April, after almost 4 decades of service to my government, I have retired to a quiet life or at least so I thought. On the 3rd of June, a large tornado ripped through my property. Fortunately it jumped over the house but there was still significant damage requiring a major cleanup effort. (Btw. the tornado was the plain vanilla kind, 100% natural - a normal weather phenomena, uncontaminated by mankind) There is probably a bright side to all this. I now have over a 6-year supply of firewood to heat my home and I am better fit as a result. Its a fallout of cutting up large trees and picking up and tossing the pieces, some weighing over a hundred pounds. Sometimes I feel like I have been run over by a train locomotive. So much for the quiet life!

I have heated my home solely with firewood for the past 30 years. Firewood is an unappreciated plentiful source of renewable energy and it's oldest source. The use of wood to produce heat dates back almost 250,000 years. It is interesting to note that there were 196 wood burning electricity plants in the United States as of January 2007, including 72 with 40 megawatt capacity or larger. Last year wood generated more net electricity in the U.S. than solar cells and wind turbines combined.

In my spare time I have been expanding one of my web-pages called "The Legacy of the Environmental Movement" that I introduced in April. I think it is important to understand the intent of the environmental movement over the past 3 decades and their roadmap into the future. The current global warming scare is only one piece of a much broader picture, like a single piece in a child's puzzle. From my viewpoint, it felt right to put some of this puzzle together and this web-page was my tool for accomplishing that. My original web-page has now expanded into 90 web-pages. These web-pages currently link to over 1,500 articles and books. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information available.



____________________________

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Killing Malarial Mosquitos Now!

by Paul Driessen


I would like to thank Mr. Driessen for allowing me to reprint his work. RK

Not long ago, most Americans thought malaria had disappeared from Planet Earth. Few remembered that it had killed thousands every year in the United States, into the 1940s – or that it was once prevalent in New Jersey, Ohio, California and the South, as well as in Europe and even Siberia.

All but a handful knew this preventable disease was killing an African child every 30 seconds – a million every year. Almost none realized malaria was still a global problem largely because of strident environmentalist opposition to insecticides and DDT to control mosquitoes that spread the disease.

While billions were being spent on cancer and HIV/AIDS, the 2003 US Agency for International Development budget for fighting malaria was $30 million – and almost 90% of it was being spent in the Washington, DC area, on contractors, conferences, educational materials and “capacity building.”

The New York Times, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal and many others took exception, arguing that DDT and modern insecticides were essential in combating malaria. The Congress of Racial Equality and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons implored President Bush to support renewed DDT use.

No other chemical in existence, they pointed out, does what DDT does, at a fraction of the cost of supposed “alternatives.” Sprayed in small amounts on the walls of mud and thatch huts, this powerful spatial repellant keeps mosquitoes from entering homes for six months or more, irritates the few that do enter so they don’t bite, kills any that land, and slashes malaria rates by 70% or more.

President Bush responded to the outrage and launched the President’s Malaria Initiative in June 2005.

Several months later, the Kill Malarial Mosquitoes Now coalition presented the President, USAID and Congress with a strongly worded declaration, signed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Desmond Tutu, Norman Borlaug and FW DeKlerk, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, and hundreds of physicians, clergy, civil rights leaders and other “people of conscience.” Malaria funds must be spent saving lives, not hosting conferences, they insisted. America must support DDT, bednets and drug therapies.
In response, Senator Tom Coburn led a bipartisan House-Senate-White House-USAID effort that increased malaria funding to over $100 million for FY-2006, with most of it to be spent on nets, drugs and sprays. President Bush pledged $1.2 billion for the PMI over a five-year period.

In October 2006, Dr. Arata Kochi announced that the World Health Organization would reinstitute DDT use for indoor household spraying, in conjunction with nets, other insecticides and combination drug therapies. “Help us protect the environment,” he urged world leaders, “while we save African babies.”

Since then, financial commitments by nations, agencies and corporations have increased exponentially, and there has been real progress in controlling malaria – as opposed to hollow claims of progress in the past.

As a follow-up to net distribution efforts, a survey by the Mali health ministry found that 51% of young children had “slept under a net the previous night.” In Kenya officials distributed 11,000,000 long-lasting, insecticide-impregnated nets. PMI director Tim Ziemer noted that two nets per family and 50-70% regular use reduced infant and under-five childhood malaria mortality by up to a third.

Homes were sprayed and millions of nets and drug therapies distributed in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Zanzibar. In several Ugandan districts, the prevalence of malaria parasites in blood samples fell from 30% to 3% after houses were sprayed with the insecticide Icon, according to former Uganda malaria manager Dr. John Rwakimari. Mozambique’s seven-year insecticide, bednet and drug treatment program reduced malaria rates by 88% among children. Zambia’s multi-pronged program has also been successful.

But enormous challenges remain.

Half of the world’s people are still at risk of getting malaria, the WHO noted in September, and the disease killed another million people in 2006. Nearly 250,000,000 people were infected, and access to treatment is still inadequate, the agency admits – without acknowledging why that is so, and how malaria could be reduced dramatically if officials would abandon their politically correct policies.

It is impossible to treat a quarter billion victims a year, especially in impoverished countries where medical facilities are primitive, at best. However, reducing patient loads is stymied by political forces that refuse to permit comprehensive strategies to control mosquitoes and prevent infection.

The operative policy is right out of the National Basketball Association: Nothing but nets. But “without continual reminders, people just stop using their nets, and malaria surges again,” says Africa Fighting Malaria board member Dr. Donald Roberts, who has studied DDT and malaria for 30 years.

“Even when every child in a village got a net, half of them were re-infected in three weeks,” Rwakimari told me. Worse, net programs focus mainly on babies, small children and pregnant women, leaving other family members unprotected “Spraying a house with DDT eliminates behavior as a consideration. It protects everyone in the house 24 hours a day.”

Eradicating malaria requires nets, insecticides and spatial repellants to keep infected mosquitoes away from healthy people, and infected people away from non-malarial mosquitoes – plus artemisinin combination therapies (ACT drugs) to eliminate plasmodium parasites from people who still get infected.

Most insecticides for killing mosquitoes are also used in agriculture, which raises resistance issues; DDT is our only long-lasting spatial repellant; and no one is doing research to find equally effective replacements.

In fact, Pesticide Action Network, World Wildlife Fund and other activists stridently oppose all spraying. They claim DDT causes testicular tumors, lactation failure in nursing mothers and reduced biodiversity. Ill-informed UN and WHO bureaucrats make the same arguments – though “the claims are not supported by real world data,” says Roberts. And these speculative to phony risks are trivial compared to malaria.

Compounding these problem are a growing inflow of substandard and counterfeit drugs, and high import duties that price quality foreign medications out of reach for many victims. In addition, too many patients stop taking their prescriptions as soon as they feel better, sell the remaining pills, and then relapse, notes University of Alabama at Birmingham medical researcher Dr. Robert Novak.

Another huge problem is the “near total absence” of monitoring and data gathering and analysis, says Novak, who also co-chairs the Integrated Malaria Management Consortium. “Except on rare occasions, the only things people are measuring are how much money is being spent, how many nets have been distributed, how much effort is being exerted. They’re not measuring reductions in disease and deaths, or analyzing whether a strategy is actually working – often because that’s harder to assess, or the results would be too embarrassing.”

Available data suggest that, used without spraying, a $10 bednet has only a 20% chance of saving a life.

We would never tolerate a 20% efficacy in saving American lives, and we shouldn’t tolerate it for African, Asian or Latin American lives either. Yet without truly comprehensive programs that combine insecticides, larvacides, spatial repellants, nets, combination drugs and careful monitoring of results – along with fully transparent programs and accountability for success or failure – even a multi-billion-dollar program will simply perpetuate malaria at levels that developed country bureaucrats deem “acceptable.”

The carnage must end. We did it in Panama, the United States, Europe and elsewhere, long ago, using methods that were primitive compared to what are available today. It’s time to demand nothing less for Africa – and for governments and people in malaria-afflicted nations to take charge of their future, stop making excuses, root out incompetence, and employ comprehensive strategies to eradicate this disease.



________________________________

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Skeptic

Dr. Martin Hertzberg, a retired Navy meteorologist with a PhD in physical chemistry in a letter to USA Today.

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Hertzberg.

As a scientist and life-long liberal Democrat, I find the constant regurgitation of the anecdotal, fear mongering clap-trap about human-caused global warming (the Levi, Borgerson article of 9/24/08) to be a disservice to science, to your readers, and to the quality of the political dialogue leading up to the election. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows that the Gore-IPCC theory that human activity is causing global warming is false. For details see my article, "The Lynching of Carbon Dioxide", in the "guest authors" section of carbon-sense.com.

The difference between a scientist and propagandist is clear. If a scientist has a theory, he searches diligently for data that might contradict it so that he can test it further or refine it. The propagandist carefully selects only the data that agrees with his theory and dutifully ignores any that contradicts it. The global warming alarmists don't even bother with data! All they have are half-baked computer models that are totally out of touch with reality and have already been proven to be false.

Here is some of the latest data. From the El Nino year of 1998 until Jan., 2007, the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere near its surface decreased some 0.25 C. From Jan., 2007 until the Spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping 0.75 C. The National Weather Service just issued a Sea Ice Advisory for the Western and Arctic Alaskan Coastal waters for significant ice developing in the next 10 to 14 days, with sea surface temperatures some 2 to 8 C colder than last year. Such recent data is "just the tip of the iceberg" that is in process of sinking the Gore-IPCC ship of cards.


__________________________

Green Collar Jobs - Or Con Jobs?

It always amazes me that I keep hearing these outrageous claims about how many jobs will be created by “going green”. What is the criteria they use for this stuff? Most of the ideas that get used are merely old ideas repackaged as “green” ideas; new windows, better energy management, etc. They adopt these practices because they save money. These aren’t “green” practices, they are economic practices. Make no mistake about it….businesses and individuals will do what makes or saves them money and “green” has nothing to do with it and by calling good business practices “green” (whatever that means) isn’t going to make it so. So when I read that millions of “new green jobs” will be created, I keep asking myself if these are “green jobs” or “green delusions” that are being foisted and imposed on a misinformed public. I keep finding that the facts show that they are more than green delusions; they are green deceptions.

Mr. Paul Driessen has given me permission to reprint his work and below is one of his insightful articles. Mr. Driessen is the author of, Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death. Go to “My Book Reviews” where I have the link to his web site if you wish to order it. RK




by Paul Driessen

The quest to be “green” has spawned countless proposals, programs, laws and advertising campaigns. In Washington, DC a “Green Jobs Advisory Council” is promoting policies for green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, city infrastructure, and lower carbon emissions.

Better sequencing of traffic lights speeds commuters to their workplaces, saves gasoline, cuts pollution, and reduces accidents. Better insulation reduces energy expenditures – and pays back investments in several years. Concentrated juice, laundry detergent and other products reduce packaging, shipping and storage costs.
Redesigned systems and energy-efficient computers and servers mean big savings in power-hungry data centers that facilitate banking, You Tube videos, Internet searches and modern business operations.

Initiatives like these create jobs – “green-collar jobs” in the vernacular of activists, politicians, PR firms and companies. Renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) industries already generate 8.5 million jobs in the United States, claims a 2007
report from the American Solar Energy Society, and could create “as many as 40 million jobs by 2030.”

That may happen, or may be wishful thinking. It depends on how terms are defined – and whether hype and hope are distinguished from reality, practicality and unintended consequences.

The ASES report includes direct and indirect employment associated with retrofitting buildings, installing insulation or solar panels, constructing transmission lines from wind farms, producing biofuels and fuel-efficient vehicles, designing and manufacturing supplies for projects – even accountants, lawyers, salesmen, repairmen, truck drivers, landscapers, bureaucrats and lobbyists.

Many projects represent sound economics. Others would not survive without mandates, renewable energy standards and taxpayer-financed subsidies that the Wall Street Journal says are 100 times greater per unit of energy produced than those enjoyed by oil and gas

Moreover, money and time spent by government and business on green-collar initiatives isn’t available to address critical problems like teenage mothers, absentee fathers, crime, AIDS, drug abuse, dropouts from failing schools, soaring gasoline and heating bills, or dilapidated apartment buildings, roads and bridges.

Some opportunities are limited by the nature of a community’s business sectors. Washington, DC’s government-centered sector, for instance, cannot easily take advantage of new technologies that enable smelters and factories to recycle waste heat to power turbines and generate electricity for the plants and nearby customers – or for power grids, if regulations and equipment permit such hookups.

Other opportunities are more myth than fact. Solar panels to heat water or generate electricity have a maximum lifetime of 30 years – but a century of energy savings is needed to equal the panels’ installation cost, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Wind farms require large swaths of land to generate intermittent electricity – and eco activists often oppose the transmission towers and lines needed to carry their power to distant cities and factories.

Ethanol requires huge amounts of land, water and natural gas, to replace a tiny portion of our gasoline demand with an expensive fuel that drives up the cost of food and gets cars 10% less mileage per tank.

Compressed natural gas vehicles represent only 120,000 of America’s 235,000,000 cars and light trucks. Honda’s CNG-powered Civic costs $7000 more than the regular model, but has half the range. Converting an existing vehicle to run on CNG costs $3000. And opposition to drilling on federal lands means increasing demand for natural gas (for cars, home heating, factories, electricity generation, fertilizers, petrochemicals, wind-power backup and ethanol production) will send prices even higher.

An even bigger problem with the green-collar vision is its ultimate goal: ending our “addiction” to fossil fuels and mandating “sustainable,” hydrocarbon-free lifestyles. This agenda is promoted by Senator Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists, labor unions, civic groups and companies that want the United States to run only on conservation, efficiency and “clean energy,” through government control of energy and economic decisions.
Their agenda covers every conceivable facet of our homes, businesses, infrastructure and lives. Its consequences – good and bad, intended and unintended – would affect every sector of society.

Fossil fuels provide 85% of all the energy Americans use; nuclear power an additional 8%; hydroelectric another 3 percent. Wind and solar produce a minuscule 0.5% of total US energy.

Conservation, efficiency and renewables will not bridge this enormous energy gap, certainly not in one decade and probably not in four. To decimate the energy system we have – and claim we can replace it with technologies that don’t yet exist – is delusional and irresponsible.

Creating millions of green-collar jobs, via legislative mandates and taxpayer-funded subsidies, will require trillions of dollars (and vast mineral resources) to dismantle an existing infrastructure that works – and replace it with one that is mostly experimental. It will pink-slip tens of millions of direct and indirect jobs that depend on abundant, reliable, affordable energy from hydrocarbon and nuclear power.

Yet, not once have renewable energy proponents explained where that money will come from. How they will compensate workers, families, business owners, investors and pensioners whose stake in our current economy will be shrunk or obliterated. Or how their plans constitute “social justice.”

Producing oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Outer Continental Shelf would slash the $700 billion that America spends annually on foreign oil – and garner $3 trillion in lease bonus, royalty and corporate tax revenues, according to congressional and University of California calculations, plus another half trillion in worker income taxes. But RE&EE activists want to keep these areas locked up, and their resources, revenues and jobs perpetually off limits.

Catastrophic climate change remains the primary justification for this opposition to hydrocarbon fuels. But satellite measurements reveal no global warming since 1998, despite steadily rising CO2 levels. And climate models that predict disaster bear little resemblance to Earth’s actual climate. It’s no wonder hundreds of climate scientists reject the false “consensus” on climate chaos, as Lawrence Solomon’s book The Deniers, a US Senate
report and the Heartland Institute’s 2008 conference demonstrate.

Many union leaders nevertheless support the anti-energy agenda. Some see mandates and subsidies as a way to increase government and service sector jobs, or retool some blue collar jobs to RE&EE substitutes. Others want to replenish under-funded union pension plans with revenues from massive taxpayer-funded renewable energy, efficiency and global warming “prevention” projects.

Even before the financial services implosion, the California public employees and teachers unions faced significant pension shortfalls. The Service Employees International Union pension plan covers its officers completely, but is only 75% funded for rank-and-file workers. Their self-serving advocacy of renewables and efficiency raises serious ethical, conflict-of-interest and portfolio
risk questions.

As the new Washington-based think tank DC Progress emphasizes, we need more green-collar jobs. But we also need to safeguard existing jobs – and avoid killing the energy we have, before we develop the “new energy” that some keep promising. Otherwise, millions will freeze hungry and jobless in the dark.


_____________________________

Monday, September 22, 2008

ESA Outrages, Part II

By Rich Kozlovich
The environmentalist’s victory regarding DDT gave them unprecedented power and influence, but the decision in TVA v. Hill gave them regulatory authority. Never before have individuals outside of the government been able to “not only advance, but to enforce, wildlife preservation without restraint.”

Under the 5th amendment of the Constitution it is stated that; “ nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Except for one occasion (which was in Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District v. United States where-in the court ruled that this ESA action was a “taking” under the 5th amendment and the government had to pay compensation if they wanted to proceed) no federal court or agency of the federal government has declared that the seizing of private property under ESA is for public use. Unfortunately only appellate decisions carry the weight of precedent.

In September, 2004 Hurricane Ivan struck the Florida Keys. Perdido Key was devastated. Government agents declared the area a critical habited for the Perdido Key beach mouse to all the vacant lots of the displaced people of the island. So did the government help these people to get their lives back in order? No! Government agents want the entire “key as habitat for the Perdido Key Beach Mouse regardless of whether it is actual habitat, potential habitat or even suitable habitat, simply because it is in the vicinity of designated habitat, in spite of the fact that 65% of the key was already designated a critical habitat. This prohibits safer road or building construction of any kind, including recovering their homes.

“Without conducting proper scientific or economic impact studies, USFW has imposed extremely high mitigation fees and time consuming permitting processes (minimum 18 months each) thus requiring private landowners to finance land acquisition and PKBM conservation projects totaling approximately $47 Million.”
What justifies this form of bureaucratic insanity? It is based on a myth. Those who promoted the ESA and those who continue to stand by this insane and corrupt act promote the idea that there “is the “balance of nature,” the idea that nature, undisturbed by man, is perfectly balanced, and operated in universal harmony, constancy, and stability.” And they promote the idea that America was a perfectly balanced environment until European settlers arrived.

“But something profoundly important happened among American ecologists during the decade of the 1950’s. With improved biological observations, more extensive experimentation, and more thorough data keeping and analyzes suggesting that nature was not so harmonious, constant, or stable, but rather dynamic, erratic, and volatile, ecologists started to challenge the popular, age-old belief in the balance-of-nature.”

“The lobby that crafted and influenced the passage of the ESA in1973 firmly believed in and sought to restore the continent’s balance of nature by first protecting, and the preserving, the species for the normal and necessary endeavors of man. “Biologists today understand,” says Randy Simmons, “that there is no balance of nature, there is no ecological stasis, there is only change. Therefore, the Endangered Species Act cannot restore a balance of nature by restoring species.”
However, it can devastate people’s lives and livelihoods. Each week we will expand on this theme.


The information presented and quoted here is from the book Green Gone Wild, by M. David Stirling and the Perdido Property Rights, Inc. web site.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Response to comments

Over the weekend I received a comment from a Southern California pest controller and I wish to respond. Below is his comment to my article Sub-Prime Pest Control. I had expected some comments because the home mortgage issue has so many racial overtones. That is always touchy and difficult in this country and excites the emotions. I chose to go with it anyway; because the underlying principles are the same…we just have to get past race to appreciate it.

Rick, I think you are dead wrong.
Blasting those who seek to prevent environmental damage takes us back decades. I don't know why you bring up the issue of redlining. It really sounds like you are attached to an all-out right wing agenda, ranting about the change for the positive that America has experienced. Do you want to go back to gas guzzling polluting cars and free reign for smokers. I like to breath clean air and I never enjoyed the awful smell of cigarettes on my clothing.

Anyway, getting back to pest control, I have a pest control company in southern California, Hearts Pest Management (www.heartspm.com), that is EcoWise Certified. We are very proud of this designation. We have been proud to help PCOC and NPMA move forward with green pest control alternatives. This movement is more a mentality than a dictate about how to do pest control. I have seen plenty of over application, needless applications and sloppy applications of pesticide that endangers people. The new green approach simply provides a balance to an industry and frankly the average citizen that without conscience dispensed pesticides in a manner that endangered our waterways and airways. You know it, so don't deny it!

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Gerry, but I think that Gerry is so enrapt with going green that he misunderstands what I am saying. First off…in no way did I imply, state or wish for anyone to go back to the days when industry along with municipalities were environmentally irresponsible, polluting the airways, streams, rivers and lakes of this country, and I never discussed cigarettes, although the hypocrisy over this issue is quite remarkable. These are logical fallacies because they have nothing to do with what is really being discussed and are used as a distraction.

I grew up around the coal mines, coke ovens and steel mills of south western Pennsylvania and the resultant pollution. I know what pollution is and those who stood against that activity are to be commended. Unfortunately, the green movements are now controlled by radicals.

Then we have a fallacy of association.
Gerry comments that, “I don't know why you bring up the issue of redlining. It really sounds like you are attached to an all-out right wing agenda, ranting about the change for the positive that America has experienced.”

Why is it that when you say something that those who are green supporters don’t like you are accused of ranting in order to discredit your views, in short these are called ad hominem attacks? Let's do a little dictionary work.

Ad hominem - An ad hominem argument involves replying to an argument or assertion by attacking the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself. It is a logical fallacy. Appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason. Attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.


We might as well look up ranting while we are at it and see if that is what I did.

Ranting - “To speak or write in an angry or violent manner; rave.”


Throwing out the term “right wing agenda” is an attempt to discredit all that was said without providing any real argument or evidence. Using the term, "right wing", in this manner is also a fallacy, because those who yield it like a pick ax don’t understand the historical frame work of the term.

In the early decades of the last century socialism was becoming extremely popular all over the western world. Progressives, liberals (it didn’t mean the same thing then as it does now) communists and fascist were all part of that socialist family. The “right” wing of the socialist movement was the fascist wing, and the “left” wing were the communists, but they were all socialists. There really wasn’t a conservative movement then as we know it today. As far as an “agenda” goes, my only concern is for that which is factual.

I used the mortgage crisis as a comparison because the comparisons were too obvious to ignore. Redlining was used as a false accusation by activists and then government agents to force banks and other lending institutions to do business that was detrimental to their business (making money off of loans). There was no effort on the part of these institutions to prevent anyone from owning a home if they were qualified. These charges of redlining were false and the end result has been enormously expensive and an economic disaster and the claims that activists make about pesticides are just as false. I wish that Gerry had followed the link I provided.
Gerry goes on to say; This movement is more a mentality than a dictate about how to do pest control.

That….we at least agree on. Green is a mentality. It is in reality an ideology and not a methodology. That is what makes it so dangerous. It is indefinable. Actually it is unendingly definable depending on your particular philosophical bent. What is green pest control….In fact, I think that I can reasonably claim to do green pest control because I’m concerned about the environment. I also use the products that have been tested to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars by chemical companies, to be sure that I am protecting the environment. I can say that my programs are in fact all, by definition, green and IPM because I am concerned about the environment! Who is to say otherwise?
Gerry states; I have seen plenty of over application, needless applications and sloppy applications of pesticide that endangers people.

Who decides what is a needless or over application; the house holder; the business owner or the technician? Perhaps we should ask the anti-chemical activists when and how much pesticide should be applied? If these applications were so onerous then Gerry should have reported them.

What constitutes a sloppy application? Is it an illegal applicaton? I am sure they occur, but when we consider the tens of millions of applications that professionals make every year in every area of the country there can’t to too many or very serious misapplications, because we are not seeing any sort of devastation caused by these applications. Pest control operators have always been concerned about the environment going back to the 1850’s, and this reality has only come into question by activists who have a misanthropic agenda. In fact, you might wish to call it a “vast left wing” agenda.
Gerry ends by saying, The new green approach simply provides a balance to an industry and frankly the average citizen that without conscience dispensed pesticides in a manner that endangered our waterways and airways. You know it, so don't deny it!

This is actually two separate issues combined to confuse, although I don’t really think Gerry is attempting to do that, I believe that is how he really thinks. The new green approach is in no way a balance to the pesticide application industries. In reality it is nothing more than an effort to confuse and a step in the direction to the banning of pesticides entirely. If anyone has any doubt about it they merely have to look to Canada.

Going green in the professional application industries is separate from imposing limitations on the public. True, the average citizen is poor about reading label directions and following them. They have clearly misused products over the years, but have they really endangered our waterways and airways? The only evidence we have of this is the unfounded and misrepresented claims of activists going back to Rachel Carson. With modern testing techniques we will be able to find anything anywhere. That doesn’t make it dangerous or toxic. Presence does not constitute toxicity.

Gerry, I think that you are sincere, but I also think that you, like many of my friends, have lost sight of what is really going on. I would like to encourage you to take a look at My Book Reviews link on this page to choose some different reading material. I also would encourage you to read Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

I would like to add a quote from Thomas Sowell.
”Fallacies are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical – but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing or ignored factors likely to lead to “unintended consequences,” a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment-Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies”
Thank you for your comments and best wishes and I really like your website. RK