Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 5-4-11

“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."- Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180).

***Featured Article***
Imagine if an evil business routinely deprived us of products that would help us live longer with less pain and more comfort. We’d be outraged, and lawyers would line up to sue. Yet something similar happens today, thanks to lawsuit abuse. Makers of all kinds of products are afraid to sell them to us because one lawsuit could ruin them. Personal-injury lawyers claim they make America safer, but that’s a myth. It’s easy to see who benefits from those big damage awards we read about. Less obvious — but just as real — are the things we’d all like to have but never will get because of this climate of fear. Here are a few examples.....

Even when new vaccines are discovered, drug companies are sometimes afraid to sell them. The FDA has approved a vaccine against Lyme disease. Want some? Forget about it. No company wants to take the risk. Studies did not show that Bendectin caused birth defects, and Merrell Dow won most of the lawsuits. But after spending $100 million in legal fees and awards, the company gave up selling the drug….. “Within two years of discontinuing Bendectin, the incidence of hospitalization for dehydration during early pregnancy doubled; the incidence of birth defects was unchanged.”…. Those are just some of the life-enhancing products we know we must do without because……..lawyers….pursue extortion — like litigation. What wonderful products will we never even hear about because the lawyers have created a climate of fear?

My Take - We have lost our minds!

New Zealand: Conservative government reverses Leftist ban on incandescent light bulbs Energy and Resources Minister, Gerry Brownlee, has told Parliament today the ban on traditional light bulbs is being lifted. "This government has real concerns about telling people they have to move to energy efficient light bulbs by decree," he said.

My Take – What a novel idea….the government shouldn’t tell people what kind of light bulbs to use. Maybe we can convince the U.S. Congress that they shouldn’t tell people how much water should be flushed in down our toilets.

Energy Independence is a Myth  Answering a question on America’s foreign dependence on oil from a Northern Virginia Community College student at a town hall event on April 19, Barack Obama boldly alleged, “we have actually continually increased U.S. production, so U.S. production is as high as it’s ever been.” It was a claim so false as to be laughable……. President Nixon promised, “Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to provide our jobs, to heat our homes, and to keep our transportation moving.”……… So, with all of the benefits of being energy independent, why is it that politicians like Obama and Nixon only have paid lip service to the idea?

My Take – Nixon sets a goal of energy independence and yet he is responsible for the creation of the EPA and the Endangered Species Act; not to mention a host of other environmental laws that have incrementally destroyed industry in the nation and the country’s ability to drill for oil, and build the refineries we need in order to turn it into gasoline and become energy independent. Does that sound a bit like cognitive dissonance? It’s like a pastor telling his congregation that he believes the Bible is a myth and then expects the church to be full.

There is sufficient oil, gas a coal reserves in the jurisdiction of the U.S. to last past the lives of our grandchildren If we really desire energy independence we must start acting on all of these insane environmental regulations that is preventing it. The Congress must order the courts to stop adjudicating all of these greenie lawsuits. The Congress actually can do that as the Constitution gives Congress the authority to set the jurisdiction of federal courts, including the Supreme Court, and has done so in the past. Let’s start with repealing the ESA and then dismantle the EPA and fire everyone there! After that we can start getting serious.

Obama on Energy: Inconsistent, Incoherent President Barack Obama's policies toward energy in general, and oil in particular, are inconsistent and incoherent. And that approach is costing US consumers dearly. The president’s confused approach to energy was laid bare last month, when the president sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to “eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” The bogeyman of “foreign oil” appears three times in Obama’s two-page letter. And he insists that his approach, which aims to cut $4.4 billion in tax preferences for the oil and gas sector will create an “energy policy that creates jobs and makes our country more secure.” On its face, the president’s position is incoherent.

My Take – This really is a must read article. The lack of consistency in his positions listed here is surreal, and that is being kind. It shouldn’t be a surprise though. One of the biggest common denominators between the lefties and the greenies (the terms are interchangeable) is their lack of concern about consistency…..or truth.

Obama's Other Hand While we were distracted by the president's birth certificate show-and-tell, his EPA releases its guidelines for expanding federal power under the Clean Water Act. America's economy and freedom are at stake. The 1972 Clean Water Act was originally intended to protect the "navigable waters of the United States" — you know, the kind boats travel down. It was broadly and quickly interpreted to any pool of water in America capable of supporting a bathtub-variety boat. The word "navigable" was forgotten and ignored, and the act's scope expanded to the point that water that collected after a rainstorm was considered a "wetland" worthy of environmental protection………Not just agriculture but energy production is affected. The EPA recently revoked the coal mining permit for Arch Coal's Spruce Mine No. 1 in Logan County, W.Va. The permit was issued four years ago and since then Arch Coal, which provides 16% of America's supply, has followed every jot and title of the rules it was told to operate under. It didn't matter.

Wind farms paid £900,000 to switch off for one night Wind farms operators were paid £900,000 by the National Grid to disconnect their turbines for one night because the electricity was not needed. The payments, worth up to 20 times the value of the power they would have produced, raises serious concerns about such subsidies, which are paid for by the customer.

Environmentalism as a Surrogate Religion As we reflect on Earth Day 2011 (April 22) and on passionate appeals that we support environmental initiatives almost too numerous to count, we should also reflect on a fundamental new reality. Environmentalism has replaced religion for many of its adherents……………a careful examination of the basic assumptions shows that environmentalism indeed meets the criteria of a secular religion. In environmentalism, “Mother Earth” (Gaia the Earth Goddess) replaces God as the object of special devotion, causing some of environmentalism’s subsequent assertions to be in direct opposition to fundamental teachings of Christianity and Judaism. Another cornerstone beliefs that mankind is just one species among many; this view opposes the Judeo-Christian belief that God considers mankind to be very special.

Science appears to play a major role in environmentalism, but actually its role is distinctly secondary: Science is used subjectively, not objectively. After a set of beliefs has been established, various fields of science (and scholarly studies within those fields), are carefully sifted to select facts that support those beliefs. Facts and scientific fields that contravene or fail to support core beliefs are rejected or ignored.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax -
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."



Panta Rei said...

Government shouldn’t tell people what kind of light bulbs to use

Certainly not - not even for the energy and environmental reasons they espouse!

Light bulbs don't burn coal and they don't release CO2 gas.
Power plants might!
If there is a problem - deal with the problem.

Simple incandescent light bulbs are safe to use,
there is no shortage of electricity for paying consumers,
and the overall society savings from banning the simple light bulbs is small anyway, using US Dept of Energy own figures

Compare with the fire and health risks with CFLs, with case references
and documentation, also on the website,
not forgetting LEDs, with given research references:
Lead, arsenic and other toxic LED content, home breakage and disposal concerns

There's an irony there somewhere,
banning simple safe known technology in favor of unknown and seemingly unsafe technology
- normally of course products are banned for being unsafe to use (like lead paint).

It is a "ban":
Temporarily allowed (2016 EU, 2020 USA) and unpopular Halogen etc
incandescents are themselves more complex and costly and with a
different whiter light, for marginal savings, compared to the simple, cheap, popular regular incandescent types.

Notice also how major light bulb manufacturers
- surprisingly at first sight -
welcome being told what they can or can't make,
welcome the ban on unprofitable cheap simple types of incandescent light bulbs,
allowing them to make and sell more CFLs or LEDs or Halogens, that
people would not otherwise buy.

How manufacturers and vested interests have pushed for the ban on
simple regular light bulbs, and lobbied for favors:
with documentation and copies of official communications

Rich Kozlovich said...

Panta Rei,

I see that you have created two blogs dealing with this subject. I you publish an article regarding this issue let me know and I will link it.

Rich K.

Panta Rei said...

Thanks Rich,
yes I must get round to that!

Light bulbs are just the start of all the unnecessary energy efficiency regulations affecting the free choice of everything from cars to buildings to washing machines to TV sets and computers, as also on that ceolas website....