Sunday, February 27, 2011

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

By Alan Caruba

This first appeared here in 2007

Enemies of Energy: A November 30 news release from Friends of the Earth announces that this environmental group “has been working behind the scenes to kill a provision in the Democrat’s energy bill that would force taxpayers to underwrite a new generation of nuclear reactors.”

It does not mention that taxpayer’s are forced to underwrite the production of ethanol, a gasoline additive that is (1) driving up the cost of driving your car and all 3,000 products that involve the use of corn, (2) that ethanol generates less energy efficient than gasoline, and (3) provides no savings to the consumer because it requires so much energy to produce it.

However, at a time when all the politicians keep telling us that America must become “energy independent” and “reduce greenhouse emissions”, a leading environmental organization is lobbying hard against subsidies that would encourage the building of nuclear facilities to provide the electricity a nation of 300 million people will need. Nuclear facilities are famously non-polluting.

In a nation in which subsidies to agriculture and all kinds of industrial activities are commonplace, Friends of the Earth is opposed to those which will provide the energy we must have to remain economically competitive and provide for the needs of a growing population.

Nanny Government: We now hear that the Food and Drug Administration wants to regulate the amount of salt (sodium) in our diets. Since when did we cede the right to decide what we eat and how much to the federal government?

Even if it is true that 75% of the salt the average American consumes comes from processed foods and restaurant meals, where is it written in the Constitution that the federal government can and must regulate this? I am all for the FDA protecting Americans against drugs that may harm health and food that may pose a threat, but there’s a big difference between ensuring that meat is not diseased and deciding just how much salt an individual may consume.

There’s a reason there is a high percentage of sodium in packaged foods. Since ancient times it has been known that salt is a preservative, protecting food against spoilage, and it also adds to the taste of food.

I am sure we shall hear numbers cited as to how many people die every year from too much salt in their diet, but one should be suspicious of such statistics as they generally leave out a lot of other factors that may well have also contributed to high blood pressure—such as a genetic inclination in some families towards this—and the fact that many of the people who are said to have died from too much salt may well have died from something else.

Hurricane Hysterics: What do we know as the annual hurricane season comes to an end? We know that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with some meteorologists who have gained recognition for their predictions of how many hurricanes will occur both got the 2007 predictions wrong.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, in a November 30 news release, believes that NOAA “is inflating the count of tropical storms and aiding a political campaign to regulate energy use in the process.” It notes that 2007 is the second year in a row that NOAA got its predictions wrong.

We need to understand that there have always been hurricanes as part of the earth’s bounty of disasters that afflict human beings. There were hurricanes before there even were human beings. They are a natural part of the earth’s climate system, so except for the problems they cause whether there are more or less of them has absolutely nothing to do with global warming because there is no dramatic or unusual global warming. The earth has warmed about one degree Fahrenheit since the end of the last mini ice age around 1850.

And, yes, hurricanes have become politicized in the effort by environmentals to convince everyone the earth is doomed.

I like to tell people that Mother Nature’s message to humans is “Get out of the way! Here comes a hurricane, a tornado, a flood, an earthquake, a blizzard, a wild fire, et cetera.


Alan’s work has a sense of timelessness about it, so anyone perusing these articles in the future will find them equally insightful as they were when originally written. For Alan's latest thoughts go to his blog, Warning Signs. For his past works go to The National Anxiety Center. I would also recommend reading his last book, Right Answers.


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