Monday, May 9, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 5-9-11

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“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

Dr. Bruce Ames (a biochemistry professor at the University of California) pointed out in 1987 that we ingest in our diet about 1.5 grams per day of {natural} pesticides. Those foods contain 10,000 times more, by weight, of {natural} pesticides than of man-made pesticide residues. More than 90% of the pesticides in plants are produced {naturally} by the plants, which help protect them from insects, mites, nematodes, bacteria, and fungi. Those natural pesticides may make up 5% to 10% of a plant's dry weight, and nearly half of them that were tested on experimental animals were carcinogenic. Americans should therefore feel unconcerned about the harmless, infinitesimal traces of synthetic chemicals to which they may be exposed. The highly publicized traces of synthetic pesticides on fruits and vegetables worried some people so much that they began to favor ``organically produced'' foods, thinking that they would not contain any pesticides. Most people are not aware that organic gardeners can legally use a great many pesticides, so long as they are not man-made. They can use nicotine sulfate, rotenone, and pyrethrum (derived from plants), or any poisons that occur naturally, such as lime, sulfur, borax, cyanide, arsenic, and fluorine.


Light Bulb Clarity: New Electric Politics Someone from Ireland named Panta Rei (this is his nom de plume, which I think is a take on the Greek meaning “everything flows”) posted a comment last week on this site regarding the governments of the world losing their minds regarding light bulbs and used the above link. I find this site difficult to read because of their sentence construction, but this site has a lot to offer and is worth the exploration. RK

Oregon Trails: Bucket Brigade Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of what many say is the biggest act of civil disobedience ever in Southern Oregon, and perhaps in the state itself. It was the 2001 "Bucket Brigade" in Klamath Falls, protesting a federal cutoff of irrigation water to Basin farmers in a year of severe water shortage. Ten years ago, veteran Klamath Basin farmer John Prosser dipped water from Klamath Lake as part of a massive protest against what many in the Basin felt was criminal mis-application of the Endangered Species Act. Thousands passed those 51 buckets through town to the "A" Canal, one for each state and the District of Columbia, to symbolize disdain for a shutoff of irrigation water a few weeks earlier. It happened just as many were planting crops.

Thompson, Wolk agree with delta panel Two Yolo County-area politicians agree with a panel of national scientists who reported this past week that a sweeping plan to restore California's ailing freshwater delta and build a pipeline or canal to carry water to the south is missing critical information. The National Academy of Sciences found in its review that the draft plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta lacks clear goals and a scientific analysis of the plan's potential impact on the delta's diverse plant and animal species. ….. Estimates for building a canal around the delta range as high as $9 billion, while an underground pipeline/tunnel could cost as much as $11.7 billion, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Environmental groups said Thursday the review confirmed problems with the planning process. To date, about $150 million has been spent in developing the plan, a process which started in 2006 and has involved hundreds of meetings among state and federal agencies, local water districts, and environmental and conservation groups.

My Take - All for a bunch of smelt that as far as I can tell vary only slightly from other smelt….and live in the Delta. Is this the only species of smelt in the world? The answer is; there are a lot of smelt in the world. So since there are a lot of smelt, then I still want to know this; what is so different from this smelt and any other smelt? If they are so biologically incompetent that this delta is the only place in the world they can survive?   Then that can only mean one of two things; either they don’t matter because they are biologically incompetent and will disappear anyway, or the difference between them and other smelt is genetically meaningless except to those who embrace the irrational concepts of the ESA.  In the meanwhile farmers will go out of business and food will cost more.

This seems to be much like the issue regarding the snail darter. They only difference between them and the other darters in that river were that they liked eating snails. I have one more point. What did they have against snails anyway? Since the only darter in the river the greenies wanted to protect was the one that ate snails, I have to ask; did anyone ever ask the snails how they felt about it? After all, there was a lady that talked to the honeybees to try and determine why the nests were dying, do I am surprised they didn’t find someone to try and contact the snails to see if they wanted protection from the snail darter. As for the delta smelt; I think that is an inappropriate name. I think bait would be more appropriate.


House looks at Endangered Species Review By National Association of Wheat Growers, A bureaucratic process meant to ensure pesticides will not harm endangered species is broken and in need of reform, witnesses and Members of Congress concluded at a Tuesday hearing. The hearing was held jointly by the House Agriculture Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee, prompted by concern over pending lawsuits that allege the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t properly consult on pesticide registrations with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), EPA is required to complete a consultation process with wildlife agencies in addition to its review under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which itself takes seven to 10 years and considers the effects of new chemistries on wildlife. EPA hasn’t completed a consultation since 1999, because, while NMF is completing biological opinions, its scientists and EPA’s can’t agree on the underlying scientific data needed to reach the standard for a full consultation. This has created an opening in which pesticide opponents can sue based on the consultation process itself versus alleging harm to the endangered species.


"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."

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