Saturday, April 30, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 16


ACSH welcomes new Director of Publications Today (Thursday 4/28/11) marks the arrival of our new Director of Publications Alyssa Pelish.

Anti-pesticide camps should be the ones accused of lower IQs Just in time for the 41st annual Earth Day last Friday, the news media went wild reporting on a trio of highly flawed studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, a periodical now notorious for reporting on junk science research.

“Save the Frogs” campaign: Follow the money to an anti-pesticide ruse Two recent articles in The American Spectator and the Huffington Post, as well as a posting on JunkScience.com, have pulled back the veil of deception of the current "Save the Frogs" campaign; we'd like to praise Robert James Bidinotto, Jon Entine, and Steve Milloy, respectively, for these editorial contributions.

My Take - For over 40 years I have been hearing the greenies claim that mankind was killing the frogs with some chemical.  For 40 years they have been wrong!  How could that be?  Because everything the greenies tell us a lie; either lies of commission or lies of omission!  We need to "get that"  

Flame retardants pose lifesaving benefit, not risk The headline on a recent article screamed "UC flame-retardant study finds risks for kids." However, the article, written by Marla Cone in SF Gate, makes no such assertion, therefore, whoever wrote the misleading headline needs to be educated.

An indoor, smoke-free America in 2020? Give it another nine years or so and every state will have implemented an indoor smoking ban.

Wakefield to blame for measles outbreak in EU Hopefully the recent whooping cough epidemic in California and now a measles outbreak in Europe will convince anti-vaccine activists that their propaganda is putting thousands of lives at risk.

My Take - Recently one of my posts dealing with this issue was recommended by one of my favorite commentators, Patrice Lewis. One of her readers commented;

"...he doesn't hold back..." well that's putting it nicely…….. I definitely won't be visiting that blog again. He's just about as abrasive as a sandblaster. “
It fascinates me that some are so worried about the sensitivities of those selling death to children.  I absolutely wonder at people’s priorities....and their sanity. I commented back;
“As for being abrasive; how can someone be gentle with those who are promoting things that have such terrible consequences for so many innocent children? Much like the snake oil peddlers of 100 year ago, they are peddling death. If being as “ abrasive as a sandblaster “ will force people to think in order to save the lives of these poor innocent children; not to mention the pain, agony and self incrimination that parents must go through when their children die….then I say thank you. I accept!
Earth to Linn County: Even the FDA is OK with smokeless tobacco products The Linn County, Iowa Board of Supervisors will vote next month on whether to ban the sale of dissolvable tobacco products.

Death rates improved for high blood pressure patients — but still much higher than normal According to a new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, mortality due to hypertension is decreasing, yet it's still greater in people with high blood pressure compared to those without.

Birth interventions: More or less sometimes equals the same In terms of interventions during labor and delivery to improve neonatal (birth) outcomes, today's mantra might be less is more. Or not.

Chernobyl 25 years later: Less cancer than feared –– but more PTSD Twenty-five years ago today, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian SSR in the former Soviet Union - near the Polish border - exploded, causing a global frenzy of fear and panic.

Danes propose restrictions on certain phthalates Denmark's Environmental Protection Agency is calling for the restriction of four phthalates under REACH (the European Union's precautionary chemical regulation protocol).

Activist Attack on Coke’s Use of BPA Fizzles ACSH staffers would like to take our hats off to Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, who announced in an annual company meeting Wednesday in Atlanta that he does not believe there exists sufficient scientific evidence to stop using BPA in the epoxy linings of the company's iconic cans.

Unusual dilemma for Genentech: Competing against itselfThe results from a multicenter trial funded by the National Eye Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) demonstrate that after one year of follow-up, both Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab) had equivalent effects on maintaining or improving visual acuity in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common cause of irreversible blindness among the elderly.

Junk food ads for kids may fall under same restrictions as X-rated content Four governmental agencies - the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - yesterday proposedvoluntary guidelines for the food industry that would limit "junk food" advertisements aimed at children up to the age of 17.

Quitting smoking difficult for all, especially the mentally ill The results of a small study on Pfizer's smoking cessation drug Chantix (varenicline) underscore the difficulties smokers face when attempting to kick the habit for good.

Cleveland misses two birds with one stone ACSH staffers would like to give two thumbs down to the Cleveland City Council for recently passing some "extraordinary" public health bills.

My Take - I talked to one of my restaurateur friends in Cleveland when this passed. He said this was a waste because they weren’t using trans fats anyway, but now it created more paperwork for his to show that he wasn’t using trans fats. We both agreed that this wasn’t their business. I have to wonder how many medical and scientific experts Cleveland has on the City Council. I also wonder who is really behind this measure.

Cleveland is a great town. We have more diversity than any city in the country per ratio…and for whatever problems we may have, we get along better than most others most of the time. Any kind of food from any area of the world you may want can be found in Cleveland, and we have pierogies. We have what is considered one of the great symphonic orchestras of the world, and Severance Hall, where they perform. We have the second largest theatre district in the country. We have the science museum, garden center, natural history museum and a wonderful art museum. And if it is your taste…the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We have some of the most fabulous medical facilities in the world here. We have plenty of great low cost golf courses and if you are into intramural sports we have all that also. We have water and snow skiing. We have plenty of great suburbs with great homes at a fraction of the cost of those in places like California and we are surrounded by a Green Ring of Metro Parks. And we have the Browns, the Indians and the Cavaliers to rally around….with great passion.

This problem In Cleveland is that by the time things like this make it to the local news rag the deal was already struck behind closed doors. I love this town and intend to spend my life here, but the fact remains; nothing has changed. The roads are still in desperate need of repair! That really is their job! I sure wish someone would tell them!

Seniors should take it one step at a time, literally Falls are the leading cause of injury among people over the age of 65, and according to the CDC, it affects one in three adults each year.

Ignore that quacking sound: Thermograms are not the new mammogram, no matter what Dr. Mercola says With his website ranked the 390th most popular, Dr. Joseph Mercola uses his online notoriety to tout thermograms as diagnostic screening tools for early breast cancer detection.

Gene therapy brings new hope for Tay-Sachs disease Tay-Sachs disease, a devastating congenital error in metabolism of central nervous system fats, is caused by a rare genetic mutation.

A heart-y affirmation: Current ICU interventions pump up heart attack survival A new Swedish study confirms the efficacy of current medical interventions for the emergency treatment of symptoms and signs of acute coronary occlusion (i.e. heart attack).

Greenpeace lawsuit could endanger stem cell research A new court ruling in Europe could bring the development of life-saving embryonic stem cell therapies to a halt.

FDA panel unanimously endorses Merck’s boceprevir for Hepatitis CAs most virology experts predicted (including ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom), an FDA advisory panel voted to recommend that Victrelis (boceprivir), the first specific antiviral drug for hepatitis C, be approved by the FDA.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 4-29-11

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“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

The moral relativist, by definition, is bereft of moral clarity. The only thing immoral is to reckon there are things immoral. The only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth. No fixed right or wrong; no black or white; only shades of gray. - J. Matt Barber




Africans Tell the UN to Buzz Off This week’s UN Environment Program meeting on insecticide use will surely be enlivened by the Southern African Development Community’s recent decision to start producing DDT to combat malarial mosquitoes. Two weeks ago the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc of 15 African nations, said it would begin producing the insecticide DDT to combat malarial mosquitoes. This is a necessary reaction to damage caused by the illogical, misguided, and often untruthful campaign against DDT run by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). This disagreement is set to enliven the UNEP meeting on insecticide use this week in Geneva…..


My Take – I have known for some time that pesticide manufacturers and representatives of pesticide producers have been party to this. These actions from industry may not be illegal, but it is certainly amoral, and in my mind is a morally criminal practice. It is high time they were all exposed. There is one question I have rolling around in the back of my mind. Why now? These leaders have known the truth about this for years….so why now? I believe the answer is that the economic situation the EU nations find themselves in means that they are no longer in a financial position to aid these countries, nor hurt them. For years western countries in the EU have bribed and bullied these countries to accept their outrageous greenie demands. With the world economy in the state it is in, and especially the EU, that will no longer work. In short, if they can’t ante up thay can’t sit at the table, they can’t call the hand and they can’t be in the game.


Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Apr. 28th 2011 Posted on April 28, 2011 Greens hate office supplies, the EPA makes ears bleed and in Antarctica, no one can hear you scream. (Daily Bayonet)


The environmentalists need to stop crying wolf A study released this week concludes that government “green-job” programs aren’t the yellow-brick road to happiness in Europe. “Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every job created,” write Kenneth P. Green and Ben Eisen in their paper for the Winnipeg-based think-tank, Frontier Centre, “while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create five new jobs in the general economy.”…….. Italy and Germany, if anything, fare worse. “As with Spain, corruption runs rampant through the renewable-energy sector,” write Green-Eisen. “In Italy, however, rather than having numerous individuals defrauding the government, the Mafia is involved.” As for Germany, utilities are required by law to purchase solar energy at 59 cents per kWh. Conventional electricity costs range from a high of 10 cents to a low of three. Federal subsidies for electricity have risen 300%, and household costs on average by 7.5%. That’s in a country where the Greens are political heavyweights. In the United Kingdom, “for every job created in renewable energy, 3.7 jobs are lost.”……. The wolf isn’t at the door — but there is a wolf. There’s a whole pack of them out there. They’re hungry and they’ve big teeth.


Will A Lizard Stop West Texas Oil? Species: After the harm done by the spotted owl and delta smelt, the listing of a tiny reptile as endangered may be the latest salvo in the war on domestic energy.  As Yogi Berra would say, it's deja vu all over again. If the dunes sagebrush lizard is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species, another key part of the American economy will fall prey to the eco-extremist mantra that every little critter's well-being trumps that of the American people and economy.


Endangered species Buried in the continuing resolution funding the federal government for the remainder of 2011 is a rider that delists the gray wolf as an endangered species in Montana and Idaho……Among environmentalists - and particularly among endangered species advocates - there is outrage that Congress had the temerity to poke this small hole in the Endangered Species Act. How dare Congress inject politics into what is meant to be a purely scientific determination? And even worse, Congress overrode the order of a federal judge and then had the gall to insulate its action from further judicial review. According to an editorial in the New York Times on Friday, all of this constitutes inappropriate “meddling” by Congress…… From the moment Congress undertook to protect endangered species, the matter became political. Certainly, Congress intended that decisions under the Endangered Species Act be informed by science. No doubt, members of Congress are grateful that they can sometimes insulate themselves from controversial species protection decisions by pleading that the scientists, not the politicians, are to blame.


My Take - I love the cry of “It’s Politics” from the greenies and animal rights advocates. It is kind of a reverse accusation. Blame your opponent for what you have been doing right along, and who would not have been in existence if it wasn’t for politics. It has always been politics. As for the Congress “interfering”, this may not be enough. The ESA should be repealed. It was the Congress that finally stepped in to stop advocates suing over the snail darter.


"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."


###

Africans Tell the UN to Buzz Off

(I wish to thank Richard Tren and Roger Bate for allowing me to republish this article which appeared here. RK)

By Roger Bate and Richard Tren

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This week’s UN Environment Program meeting on insecticide use will surely be enlivened by the Southern African Development Community’s recent decision to start producing DDT to combat malarial mosquitoes.

GENEVA—Two weeks ago the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc of 15 African nations, said it would begin producing the insecticide DDT to combat malarial mosquitoes. This is a necessary reaction to damage caused by the illogical, misguided, and often untruthful campaign against DDT run by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). This disagreement is set to enliven the UNEP meeting on insecticide use this week in Geneva.

For the past 15 years SADC, ably supported by Western donors and notably the United States, has significantly reduced the prevalence of malaria. It has done this by deploying medicines to treat patients and bed nets to protect children. But, overwhelmingly, the success is due to indoor insecticide spraying. Several insecticides have been used, but the cheapest, most effective, and most widely deployed insecticide across the region is DDT.

Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of children across Africa, and tens of millions who survive are left with impaired learning due to the disease. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of combating malaria.

Yet while one arm of the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization, struggles with limited budgets to help developing nations eradicate malaria, another branch, UNEP, pushes to eradicate DDT.

UNEP obviously is concerned about environmental contamination, and has every right to remind malaria control entities to limit environmental harm when using insecticides. But UNEP has gone a lot further than that.

Under the mandate of UNEP’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which regulates DDT use, in the past few years UNEP has established experiments to demonstrate that malaria can be controlled without insecticides and then ignored its own results, which failed to provide any evidence supporting their supposedly environmentally sound ideas. Although there are no insecticides with DDT’s unique properties (DDT primarily acts as a repellent and not as a toxic agent), UNEP is pushing ahead with efforts to eliminate DDT by 2020. This arbitrary deadline, dreamt up by UNEP officials, violates the Stockholm Convention itself, which expressly excluded any DDT elimination timeline.

Aside from violating both the letter and spirit of the Stockholm Convention, UNEP has pressured the WHO to discourage DDT use and has pressured India to stop producing the chemical. This has probably lowered demand for DDT from Indian-government owned Hindustan Insecticide Limited (HIL), which is the last producer of DDT on the planet.

UNEP has not acted alone—it has been spurred on by environmental groups. There does not appear to be much difference between militant greens inside or outside of UNEP. But producers of competitor products to DDT, such as the chemical company Bayer, the agrochemical industry lobby group CropLife, and bed net manufacturers, have quietly also egged on UNEP. With a timid malaria and donor community shying away from conflict, wanting everyone to “sing from the same hymn sheet,” UNEP has had a free run at ending DDT use.

For at least the last decade, Southern African nations have been the most active users of DDT. Health ministers from nations like South Africa and Namibia have consistently pointed out the benefits of DDT to their malaria control programs, and African heads of state that are members of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance recently reiterated their support for DDT. But UNEP ignores such strong support for DDT. Africa’s malarial nations have been struggling to source DDT from HIL in India and there have been shortages of the life-saving chemical.

And African leaders have had enough. On April 5, SADC wrote to UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. SADC said “it would be infeasible and highly irresponsible to abandon the use of DDT at any foreseeable date … The SADC Member States therefore reject as premature the efforts of the [Stockholm Convention] Secretariat to eliminate DDT production by 2020, or any other arbitrary deadline, and strenuously protest that the Secretariat undertook this initiative without an express consensus of Stockholm Convention Parties … It is therefore SADC Member States’ firm insistence that the Secretariat suspend all efforts to eliminate DDT production and use.”

With a strident tone unusual for diplomatic correspondence, the letter explains the desire of all SADC member states to have DDT produced within the region, and cleverly asks for assistance of the Stockholm Convention Secretariat, which, under its rules, it is duty-bound to provide: “SADC requests the Secretariat to arrange technical assistance to establish state-of-the-art, bio-secure and eco-secure DDT synthesis and formulating factories in the Region.”

Environmental activists inside and outside UNEP love to hate DDT and will seemingly stop at nothing to ensure it is never produced or used. But there is a macabre irony in their anti-DDT campaigns. With all the technological advancement of the 21st century that now ensures the average person born today will live longer than at any time in human history, SADC will be producing a chemical first synthesized in the 1800s. It is due to decades of anti-insecticides campaigning that there has not been any real investment, public or private, in the search for true replacements of DDT.

SADC is doing the right thing for the health and welfare of its citizens. Let’s hope this move helps change the way the public and the UN thinks about public health insecticides and the life-saving role they play.

Roger Bate is the Legatum Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Richard Tren is the director of Africa Fighting Malaria.


FURTHER READING: Bate and Tren earlier explained how “UN Falsehoods Cost Lives.” Bate praises “The Excellent Powder,” reveals “Theft and Corruption at the Global Fund,” and discusses “Ensuring the Safety of the U.S. Drug Supply.” 

(Go to the original publication for additional links. RK)


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 4-28-11

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“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity. The pain and suffering it is inflicting on families in developing countries must no longer be tolerated. Eco-Imperialism is the first book I’ve seen that tells the truth and lays it on the line. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about people, progress and our planet. – Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder

Dog lovers and baby killers 

A couple months ago, when its dog-sledding business lost customers, a Canadian company had a hundred of its dogs killed. The incident "shocked" and "angered" people. The employee who shot the dogs said he suffered "post traumatic stress" from killing them and wants compensation.

Animal activists used the incident in campaigns against dog sled rides. "I don't think society is willing to accept that animals should be killed just because they are surplus or don't suit the purpose they were born for," said one. "The magnitude of this atrocity is so shocking—our heads are reeling," another said……….

My wife Fiona Kobusingye lost her son, two sisters and four cousins to malaria. Her nephew is permanently brain-damaged because of it. Almost everyone I know has lost at least one child or sibling to this killer disease. Despite millions of bednets, malaria still kills more African children than any other disease. I cannot help thinking it would really be nice if, just once in awhile, animal lovers, environmentalists, journalists and other people would care half as much about African babies, children and families, as about dogs.

A hundred dogs are killed, and activists and newspapers make it a huge story. Last year, almost one hundred thousand Ugandan children and adults were killed by malaria. And yet, nobody seemed to care—certainly not enough to write a story about it, or get outraged that callous anti-pesticide activists lie about DDT risks and prevent the use of DDT and other insecticides that could prevent malaria, yellow fever and other diseases that cause so much suffering, poverty and death on our continent……….

Michael Mann may have something to hide Over the weekend on “The Score” radio show, we followed-up on the story of how Chris Horner, working with the American Tradition Institute, had filed a freedom of information request with the University of Virginia for emails and materials former UVA Prof. Michael Mann generated during his time at the school. What we learned from our interview with Horner is jaw-dropping……..So why are they fighting so hard? Horner said, referring to UVA’s legal bill. “they’ve given us half a million reasons to believe there’s something [in Mann’s emails] to hide.” Horner has been told that Mann’s own lawyer has contacted UVA asking whether the school intended to release the records, indicating that he is worried about what they may reveal if they are made public. We may know soon enough.

Mike Fox with some rational I-131 coverage - Media Hysteria and Radioactivity BY MICHAEL R. FOX PHD – The US media continues to issue 40 year old hysterical scary one-liners about radioactivity, especially as they relate to the Fukushima reactor failures in Japan. It is as if the media have yet to discover natural and man-made radioactivity and that many of these are a natural part of our environment.

Organic Valley identified as secret funder of ‘FrogTV’ pesticide scare campaign Is American agriculture facing yet another major attack on food safety similar to the 1989 Alar scare? At JunkScience.com, we take notice when certain tactics by activists and unscrupulous marketing interests repeat themselves. That is certainly the case right now vis-à-vis conventional crop protection products used by farmers and growing online advocacy and marketing campaigns seeking to tie these products to various human diseases and harms to our ecosystem

Stink Bugs Destroy Crops At Germantown Farm GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA) -- The Red Wiggler Community Farm in Germantown is infested with stink bugs. Founder Woody Woodroof says the stink bugs cause discoloration, changes the texture, and make crops inedible. He says his farm has lost 15 percent of its crops to the bug. It's a loss for the farm and for the people that work there. "We grow and sell vegetables as a framework for training adults with developmental disabilities," Woodroof says. He says they are using a floating row cover to protect crops from stink bugs. "We're a certified organic farm," Woodroof says, "What that means is we don't spray chemical based pesticides or herbicides." Woodroof says nothing else has worked, nor have any other insects prayed on the stink bug. He says other farms are seeing the same thing. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett says he will asking for $3 Million to help fund research to protect crops from the the stink bug.

My Take – Another three million wasted. There may be an upside to this though. Maybe as this problem expands we won’t hear as many pretentious attitudes of moral superiority and general horsepucky from this lot.



"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."

###

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 4-27-11

...
“De Omnibus Dubitandum”
Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. 

EPA Regulations Strangling America by Rep. Ted Poe 04/25/2011

Right now, someone is sitting at a large oak table in the EPA’s marble palace in Washington, D.C., sipping a vanilla latte and dreaming up a new rule to impose. Without fail, the EPA continues to come up with ideas that leave you scratching your head in wonderment because of the questionable science used to justify these regulations. Instead of protecting the environment, these rules dreamed up by the EPA in Washington are destroying American industry and killing job creation, which is just what our economy needs right now. This type of federal meddling is exactly what causes companies to lay off workers, move overseas, and in many cases, fail. The purpose of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect the environment—not to regulate American industry into nonexistence.

My Take –All of this was obvious to the most casual observer years ago, and I have been saying this for years, which usually resulted in rolled eyes, snorts, laughs and shaking heads. Unfortunately there were only a few of us that would quality as “casual observers” for a long time. Now we even have Newt Gingrich calling for their elimination because he believes that the EPA can’t be reformed. The laughter has stopped because reality has finally set in. The EPA in not now, nor has it ever been anything but an anti-chemical, anti-industry, anti-business political entity filled with irrational environmental activists (in both permanent and appointed positions) working to undermine everything that makes modern life possible by disguising itself as a scientific agency.

EPA Shuts Down Drilling in Alaska Shell announced today, for now, it must end a project to drill for oil off the coast of Northern Alaska, because of a decision made by an EPA appeals board to deny permits to acknowledge that Shell will meet air quality requirements. This is not part of ANWR.  Companies that drill for oil must go through extensive permitting processes and invest billions of dollars as payments for leasing the land, exploring for possible oil fields, equipment, etc. This is all done with the understanding that assuming they follow the letter of the law, there is a chance that this investment won’t be flushed down the toilet at the end of the tunnel. It appears that in this case Shell has followed procedure and that emissions will be below any standards required by the EPA:

Sad but true: JunkScience predicts Shell drilling permit fiasco As predicted in print by Steve Milloy more than a year ago, Shell Oil’s Arctic Ocean drilling permits have been blocked by the EPA…… A slipshod EPA permitting process — most likely intentional — set up the credulous Shell for failure. Sad but entirely predictable.


The Last Days of Ethanol? The alternative fuel finds political foes on the far-left and right.


My Take – Another stupid greenie idea.  And another one of their stupid ideas they oppose once it's implemented.  The worst part of this story is that all of the problems being caused by bio-fuel production was easily predictable.  Except to the greenies and the idiots who follow them!

The greenies love technology that doesn’t exist. They hate that self same technology when some poor fool of an industrialist implements it. Ideas that will never fill the void left by the elimination of oil. The greenies are clueless….why don’t we get that?

In this case this stupid idea has caused immense harm. People are paying higher prices for basic food staples and energy everwhere in the world, and in some countries that is a death sentence for many people, especially the children. All of these uprisings in the Middle East are a direct result of this. So much for their claims that what they do is "for the children"! It is more like what they "do to the children".

Question - Has anyone been more responsible for more unnecessary illnesses and deaths of children all over the world than the greenies?


Birds versus windmills again: Birds win one Long live the whooping crane and the piping plover! A couple of major players in wind energy are tangling over the cancellation of a big project in North Dakota. Xcel Energy is pulling out of the wind farm, a step its partner, enXco said it will challenge.  The $400 million, 150-megawatt Merricourt Wind Project is supposed to be built this year in southeast North Dakota, but construction is in doubt now, after Xcel Energy announced that it's rescinded its agreement to be part of the project.

What happens when the great fantasies, like wind power or European Union, collide with reality? It might seem strange to link global warming and the futility of wind farms with the ongoing collapse of the euro. But in several directions at the moment we can see the unfolding of one of the hidden patterns shaping human affairs, which years ago I called “the fantasy cycle”. It is a pattern that recurs in personal lives, in politics, in history – and in storytelling.

Green Technology Needs Capitalism Earth to Washington: The free market offers practical solutions for “going green.” Private entrepreneurs will literally fly to the moon to solve the U.S. technology crisis while government initiatives to support green technology fall flat.

My Take - This is why “green” is doomed. The greenies hate capitalism, hate capitalists and hate technology. They have stated over and over again that the world can only be saved by the elimination of capitalism and all that goes with it. Capitalism and environmentalism, as practiced by modern greenies, are completely antithetical to each other. Greenies want to return to the stone ages and capitalists want economic and industrial growth. How can there possibly be a meeting of the minds under those circumstances?

The primary problem seems to be that so many capitalists just don’t understand that. Capitalists, like most people, are legitimately concerned about the environment, therefore assuming that this is what environmentalism is all about. Unfortunately there is a difference between being concerned about the environment and environmental activism. To be green is to be irrational and misanthropic! We need to ‘get’ that! And then get over it like getting over the flu.




"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."

###

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 4-26-11

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“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

The Bolsheviks have discovered that truth does not matter so long as there is reiteration. They have no difficulty whatever in countering a fact by a lie which, if repeated often enough and loudly enough, becomes accepted by the people.
Winston Churchill, October 4, 1947

Anti-pesticide camps should be the ones accused of lower IQs Just in time for the 41st annual Earth Day last Friday, the news media went wild reporting on a trio of highly flawed studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, a periodical now notorious for reporting on junk science research. In the main study, Brenda Eskenazi and her colleagues from the University of California-Berkeley conducted a birth-cohort study of 400 children, most of whom came from Latino farm worker families in agricultural communities in California. Researchers followed the children’s health — beginning with the mothers during pregnancy, whose urine they analyzed for dialkyl phosphate (DAP), a metabolite of organophosphate (OP) pesticides. IQ tests were performed when the children reached the age of seven.

My Take - I am happy to see the ACSH weigh in on this as much as they have, and while I am happy that the NPMA has addressed this issue to the benefit of our membership, their response fails to address the singularity of this issue. It is junk science and we need to say so! We need to challenge these people! If we all start doing that we won’t have so much horsepucky to deal with in the future. The correct response to fraudulent scares is to attack them with the facts. If they weren’t fraudulent then we need to embrace them. When they are fraudulent we need to challenge them with the utmost vigor.

It has been noted in articles that these particular researchers are “well-known anti-pesticide activists” expecting to “overwhelm the media with their message releasing all three studies at once”. Once again, we see the media being used as a tool to inflame anti-chemical passions. This isn’t an attack on the agricultural industry. This is an attack on chemicals across the board.

The underlying flaws to this study have been identified:

• Even accepting the study results at face value for the sake of argument, the test score deficiencies are insignificant. There is no meaningful developmental difference between a child who scores a 100 on an IQ test vs. one who scores a 101.4.

"• Childhood development is a complex, multifactorial phenomenon, which these researchers have magically reduced down to blood levels of pesticide metabolites. While most reasonable people would point to the children’s general plight in Lower Social-economia as the likely cause of whatever development issues they may have, Eskenazi, Perera and Wolff have conjured up a superficial statistical analyses to advance their personal financial and political agendas as well as the bureaucratic and political agenda of their funding agency, the anti-pesticide EPA.

• There is no known biological mechanism that explains how legal exposures to pesticides might lead to developmental problems. "
This whole business of IQ is another one of those ethereal "findings" from these studies that are conclusions in search of data. The first time I came across this was during the Litulis Kilgore days. Kilgore was operating an illegal pest control business using methyl parathion (MP), one of the most toxic liquid pesticides developed for exclusive use in agriculture. In sunlight it would breakdown within 24 to 48 hours. It was never meant to be used in homes or businesses.

These people have been followed by the Center for Disease Control for years. What did they find? They “think” that MP “may” have caused an IQ problem. Why only a maybe? Because the findings weren’t consistent! It appeared to be true in one group and not in another. There is a reason for that. It isn’t true. IQ is a complicated and subjective thing and trying to pin this on pesticides is another article of faith by the green movement. It was only a short time ago that they were claiming that piperonyl butoxide, a synergist mixed with pesticides also caused it. What pesticide will be responsible next month?

"ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan further points out that the study didn’t even postulate a potential mechanism of action of how pesticide exposure in utero might affect cognition later on. “Actually, there is no plausible biological hypothesis that could explain this association, but we do know that this journal has an environmental agenda that they stick to very closely."
Those who have been reading Green Notes and Paradigms and Demographics know that my underlying philosophy regarding everything we are told is that it should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. The reality is that ,
"the average IQs rose throughout the 20th century. This did puzzle psychologists for a while and it seems likely that many aspects of modernization played some role. Nutrition improved in most places over that period and nutrition can account for about 5 IQ points.

Perinatal care improved (wider use of obstetricians etc.), thus avoiding damage to the fetal and newborn brain. But there is now fairly widespread agreement that improved test sophistication was the major factor. The 20th century saw a huge rise in the number of years that kids spent in the educational system and the educational system has generally featured a lot of testing. So good test-taking strategies were fostered and that helped with doing IQ tests too. But the rise in IQ scores now seems to have peaked in most Western countries so most of the barriers to people realizing their full genetic potential would now seem to have been removed and average levels of IQ should be fairly stable from now on.”

This higher tested IQ rate occurred in those countries with the most pesticide use. If their claims were valid we should have seen a drop of some kind, or at the very least the IQ scores would have remained the same.  Once more we find studies that are nothing more than conclusions in search of data. Merely saying that our industry does not use these products is inadequate. We are deliberately avoiding saying what needs to be said; this is junk science and we need to be addressing this with the media.

In the movie “A Man For All Seasons” Sir Thomas More was accused of being against the king’s divorce and remarriage because he remained silent on this issue. He stated in the trial that this was not evidence because in law “silence denotes agreement”. It does in the real world also.



"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."

###

Monday, April 25, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 4-25-11

...
“De Omnibus Dubitandum”


Climate change is not a scientific problem that found political support; this is about eco-activists and politicians who found a scientific issue they feel can leverage them into power and control. The environment is a great way to advance a political agenda that favors central planning and an intrusive government. What better way to control someone’s property than to subordinate one’s private property rights to environmental concerns. - Dr. Jay Lehr

Vicious Persecution of environmental realist and his children – Political Payback, Oregon Style Confused visitors will be forgiven for thinking Oregon State University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Congressman Pete DeFazio and the “progressive-socialist” wing of the Democratic Party. Or for likening what’s going on there to political retribution as practiced in Third World thugocracies.

My Take - It is my belief that this is a landmark case that can correct so much corruption in the universities. This type of corruption is taking place all over the country, and I have been convinced for some time that the reason this has become epidemic is that the perpetrators are never really held accountable. I believe this can only be resolved by the legislature or the courts....and preferably in the courts as in a civil action, and later as a criminal action.

Not only should the state, the university and the regents be sued, the staff that has perpetrated this should also be sued personally!  In my view, they acted outside their authority granted to them by this state supported university, and that makes this a personal liability case in my opinion.

This should also be presented to federal prosecutors as a potential RICO case. This clearly is a conspiracy. The issue is whether or not this conspiracy involved criminal activity. I think a case can be made that an attempt has been made to steal the work of these students for the benefit of others, or at the very least a case can be made that this was done to in some way give political support to an elected representative, either way this is a conspiracy for corrupt gain. I don't see this as being much different than the Blagojevich case. That makes it a RICO case. In order to send a message someone must be fired, pay restitution or go to jail…..or preferable all three.


World Forests……….The sensible response to such information is to recognize that the human discovery of fossil fuels, and consequent emissions of CO2 (industrialization), has benefited all life. We have contributed significantly to the increase in NPP on earth (and particularly to increased crop yields) and this has ‘saved nature’- both plants and animals. Also, our advances in GM crop research have supported the trend toward using less land to grow more food. This too has helped save nature. We ought then to celebrate and support the human enterprise and industrialization, instead of wrongly demonizing it as a curse on nature. These facts show that the human enterprise is not destroying nature.

Staff bonuses to be linked to recycling Office workers who drive to work, forget to turn off their computers and fail to recycle at work will miss out on pay bonuses under a scheme aimed at getting companies to cut their carbon footprint………The software programme Sustainability Momentum – known as Sumo – is downloaded into each employee's workstation so the company can monitor whether employees are following energy-saving procedures.

The Climate Tort Goes Down - Even liberal Justices can't abide this theory How unconvincing is the green legal doctrine of the climate tort? So much so that not a single Justice seemed persuaded when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments last Tuesday-even some of the liberals questioned the theory with Scalia-like vigor.

The EPA's muddled machinations should not come as a surprise, because the agency long has been a haven for scientifically insupportable policies perpetrated by anti-technology ideologues in career and appointed positions. It has a sordid history of incompetence, duplicity, and pandering to the most extreme factions of the environmental movement, all of which appears to be accelerating.” – Henry Miller and Gilbert Ross.

Gas prices: Lessons from Carter years "People saw in him someone who was not on their side in this fight," Devine says — and that perception is believed to have been a major factor in sinking Carter's re-election campaign………."It's evidence that the president wants to pick sides in this, and the side that he's going to pick is the side of the consumers. Not oil companies, Wall Street speculators," he says. "It's, I think, potentially a very powerful symbol."

My Take – Talk about delusional. Drilling for oil in the jurisdiction of the U.S. and building refineries would be a much more powerful symbol….then again there is a difference between symbolism’s that gives the impression of doing something versus actually doing something. And people know it.

"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."

###

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Political Payback – Oregon Style


By Paul Driessen





Confused visitors will be forgiven for thinking Oregon State University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Congressman Pete DeFazio and the “progressive-socialist” wing of the Democratic Party. Or for likening what’s going on there to political retribution as practiced in Third World thugocracies.

The idea that three outstanding students – PhD candidates at OSU – could face dismissal, and worse, shortly before receiving their degrees, is simply shocking. That this could be happening because their father had the temerity to challenge an entrenched 12-term Democratic congressman (and OSU earmark purveyor) could make people think the university is in Zimbabwe, not America. Dr. Art Robinson is president of the nonprofit Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, located on the family farm in southwestern Oregon, 180 miles from Corvallis. OISM focuses on biochemistry, diagnostic medicine, nutrition, preventive medicine and aging – and improving emergency preparedness and basic education.

After his wife died in 1988, Robinson raised and home-schooled his six children – all of whom became remarkable scholars, collaborating on research and a popular DVD series on math and science for home-schooled students and their parents. Five of the children have BS degrees in chemistry; one a degree in mathematics. Two earned doctorates in veterinary medicine; one a PhD in chemistry.

The three youngest are all at OSU, working on PhDs in nuclear engineering. They entered the field at a young age, helping their father write and publish the “pro-science, pro-technology, pro-free enterprise” newsletter, Access to Energy, which explains and advocates nuclear energy. Dr. Robinson is perhaps best known for the Oregon Petition Project, which states that “there is no convincing scientific evidence” that humans are causing “catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere” or disruption of its climate. It urges Congress to reject the 1997 Kyoto global warming agreement – and has been signed by more than 32,000 Americans with university degrees in physical sciences (including yours truly and over 9,000 PhDs).

The petition, and Robinson’s support for DDT in combating the malaria pandemic, drew anger and outrage from the political Left, climate chaos industry and “mainstream media,” giving him his first brush with the politics of personal destruction. But it did not prepare him for the lengths and depths his opponents would go to “discourage” his political activities.

With our nation drowning in debt, energy prices skyrocketing, and unaccountable pseudo-scientific agencies like EPA and Interior hobbling business and economic growth in endless delays and red tape, Dr. Robinson decided to run for Congress. He was a scientist, with proven math and budgetary skills, a thoughtful, conservative, Christian family man – who could bring much needed skills and perspectives to the House of Representatives.

He challenged DeFazio, who initially figured he would have a cakewalk against this political neophyte. But Robinson raised $1.3 million from over 5,000 individual donors (against DeFazio’s $1.5 million from special interests, MoveOn.org and other contributors), gave numerous speeches and ran a highly effective campaign. With polls showing his lead narrowing, an increasingly desperate DeFazio struck back.

Bristling with a sense of entitlement, the congressman ran print, television and radio ads, painting Robinson as a nutcase who would promote racism, put radioactive wastes in drinking water, end Social Security and Medicare, close schools, repeal taxation of oil companies and destroy Oregon jobs. With help from Rachel Madow and MSNBC, DeFazio claimed Robinson lived off Social Security in a survivalist compound and was funding his campaign with cash from money launderers and drug dealers.

Despite the libelous attacks, Robinson garnered a very respectable 44% of the vote – and promptly announced that he would run for DeFazio’s seat again in 2012. If the soft-spoken family man thought DeFazio’s campaign had been in the sewers, what happened next beggared belief. Now the targets became Robinson’s three youngest children.

During the election campaign, OSU President Edward Ray and other faculty and administrators illegally used the campus to campaign for DeFazio and against Robinson. Almost immediately after the 2010 election, they launched a series of despicable and unprincipled actions designed to ensure that Joshua, Bethany, and Matthew never receive their degrees – regardless of their outstanding academics, examinations and research, or the thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars they had invested.

Even though they have been working on their PhDs for almost five years at OSU, and have about a year to go, Joshua has been forbidden access to the equipment he built for his PhD work, and Bethany has been told she will be dismissed from school. Matthew, who turned down a nearly “full ride” from MIT to go to OSU, has been there for two years – but now is waiting for the ax to fall on his work and his thesis professor, Dr. Jack Higginbotham, who came to the students’ defense.

Nuclear engineering professor Higginbotham has been at OSU 24 years and is president of the OSU Faculty Senate and director of a large NASA program on the campus. His inside knowledge of what the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics deans and certain faculty were doing to railroad the Robinson children made him Public Enemy Number One to the department Torquemadas who are trying to destroy his career and get him fired for his impertinence. Right now, Higginbotham’s salary and career hang by a thread, preserved only by attorneys he has hired to protect himself from OSU attacks. The Robinsons’ studies have been severely disrupted. Meanwhile, however, public outcry in favor of Higginbotham and the students has grown in intensity, especially in Oregon, and a group of prominent alumni donors has offered to pay for the student’s remaining PhD work and legal costs to settle the dispute.

Rather than being chastened, though, President Ray and his staff have refused even to speak with the alumni group. University administrators have become incensed that their actions are now public knowledge, and that alumni and other donors are vocally supporting Higginbotham and the children.

Ray and his entourage have circled the academic wagons and stonewalled public inquiries. They appear to think they “own” the university, and “academic freedom” means they are entitled to deny academic degrees to children of parents whose politics differ from their own. As more alumni join this effort, however, and the university’s reputation becomes increasingly radioactive, OSU appears to be wavering. Perhaps a dose of sanity may yet take center stage. Oregon State is a prime example of what happens when educational institutions fall under progressive-socialist control, and dependency on taxpayer handouts from political overseers in Washington. DeFazio and his fellow congressional Democrats gave OSU a reported $27 million in earmark funding during the last legislative cycle alone. That’s $9 million per Robinson student denied a PhD.

No wonder President Ray and the Nuclear Engineering deans have given new meaning to “payback,” while DeFazio smirks in silence in the congressional office that he seems convinced should be his for life.

In depressing testimony to how far America has strayed from its Constitution and founding principles, we have reached the point where congressmen can lavish key supporters with tax dollars – and in return get votes, campaign contributions, rallies and volunteers on our campuses … and be assured of vicious retribution against the families of anyone rash enough to run against them.

If you want to read all the gory details in this sordid case, visit http://www.oregonstateoutrage.com/. If you thought the last Robinson-DeFazio bout was a humdinger, stick around. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which is sponsoring the All Pain No Gain petition against global-warming hype. He also is a senior policy adviser to the Congress of Racial Equality and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death.

###

Observations From the Back Row: 4-24-11

...
“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS".  A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it or by adiabatic (pressure) effects but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!  John J. Ray

U.N.'s Agenda 21 is in your community Anyone who reads Chapter 7 of Agenda 21 and then reads his local comprehensive land-use plan will immediately recognize that most of the provisions of the local land-use plan come directly from Agenda 21. More often than not, the elected officials who adopt these plans have never read Agenda 21, and many have never even heard of the U.N. document, signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

“Fox News of the North” already has far left in a panic  Once upon a time in the Land of the Maple Leaf in a not-so-long ago chapter, Canadians had absolutely zero access to Fox News. These were the days when Canada had been governed for 13 consecutive years by the the oft-described “Natural Governing Party”, the scandal ridden federal Liberals. In other words, during long, despairing days when Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who blamed 9/11 on Americans and Prime Minister Paul Martin, one time UN Poster Boy Maurice Strong’s employee at Power Corp, were ruling this vast land.

My Take - I always wondered how the greenies managed to impose so many onerous regulations and laws against pesticide use in Canada…..now I know…..
“Canada’s Radio Act requires that a “licenser may not broadcast…any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom.”……..as a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the U.S. airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish the anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non-partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio.
Their broadcasts were marked with “civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism”. Have I asked this before? Has anyone ever read George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Click here to read it online. And does the word “newspeak” mean anything to anyone? If it doesn’t, it should.... and this link needs to be followed.

Progressive Media and the War on the Unborn……….In New Zealand, which also has socialized medicine, the situation is even more dire, as the government promotes the screening and killing of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome. As I noted in a previous column, "The new government policy in New Zealand was preceded by the completion of a report on the `cost effectiveness' of aborting Down syndrome babies. It was determined that it was just too expensive to allow these babies to live."

My Take - Is this a green issue? No, this is a result of accepting “green’. What? I’m I out of my mind? No, I am not! The reality is that ‘green’ is the spear point of a socialist philosophy that wishes to subjugate mankind to the will of an elite who believe that government is the ultimate moral authority in the universe; with them in charge. It isn’t the environment they are concerned with. That is the emotional hook! They desire to alter how people live their lives….and how many will be living, and in what conditions. Once everyone accepts all the impositions the green movement wants to institute these will be followed by the secondary impositions. This will be one such imposition. And it won’t stop there! History is replete with what happens to humanity when despots and tyrants rule. And it ain’t pretty!

Poverty, misery, disease, death and squalor have followed these types all through history, and in spite of everything Hollywood celebrities or the main stream media say about Castro….it is the same in Cuba under Castro.


Very often resource availability is used to explain the poverty and wealth of nations. Why is it then that continents such as Africa and South America, where resources are abundant, “are home to some of the world’s most miserably poor people?” Yet places such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Great Britain, which are seriously resource poor, “rank among the world’s richest places.”


“There is very little either complicated or interesting about poverty.” Please read the rest of this article. Dystopia follows Green like a dirt cloud follows Pigpen.

Blame Game Has the green movement been a miserable flop?  Nisbet, for his part, seems to favor the third camp, those in support of the “we need bold new ideas” theory. He certainly doesn’t believe greens were woefully outmatched by powerful fossil-fuel interests. In his report, Nisbet estimates that green groups and their allies spent $394 million on climate-change activities in 2009—ads, organizing, lobbying—compared with just $259 million from conservative and industry groups. Nor does he think media-assisted denialism was a decisive factor. His research found that the biggest news outlets—The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Politico—tended to reflect mainstream climate science in their coverage. The implication, then, is that environmentalists have no one to blame but themselves for failing to sell their climate policies.

My Take - This article is worth reading because it clearly shows a group of people who have a mindset of never being wrong….just ask them. Nowhere in this article does anyone acknowledge that global warming was based on lies. That is what was wrong, not the strategy they used, or who got elected or anything else they discuss. Cap and trade failed because it was an expensive and economically devastating fix to a non-problem. It also exposed who and what the greenies really are. Irrational misanthropes, and that isn’t going to change. Everyone else is to blame….not their views or their “science”, no matter how tainted. The goal of the green movement is to get the “truth” out and they don’t care how many lies they have to tell to do it! Are they a miserable flop? No, they are just miserable.

"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."

###

Saturday, April 23, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week 15

###

Taken to heart: Calcium supplements may lead to cardiac problems A new meta-analysis warns that when assessing whether to take calcium supplements, you may need to consider that the risks to heart health could outweigh the benefits.

Forty years later NEJM reflects on DES, an actual endocrine disruptor Forty years after publishing the groundbreaking study linking in utero diethylsilbestrol (DES) exposure to a rare vaginal cancer - clear-cell adenocarcinoma (CCA) - the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has come out with a historical perspective piece on this incredible story.

2010: Smallest increase in drug spending The seemingly immutable rise of prescription drug spending in America is slowing, according to a new report released Tuesday by the consulting firm IMS Health.

Controlling painkilling drug abuse: A double-edged sword The fact that generic vicodin has topped the list of most commonly prescribed drugs reflects a growing national drug abuse problem. To combat this worrisome public health trend, President Obama has proposed an "unprecedented" initiative, instituting a government-wide approach to counter prescription drug abuse.

Obama blames coal for kids’ asthma President Obama claimed Tuesday that air pollution from coal can cause asthma in children.

New Alzheimer’s guidelines focus on much earlier detection The National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association are issuing new medical guidelines today that divide Alzheimer's disease into three stages.

Good and bad plastic news In a comprehensive review of bisphenol A (BPA) published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, the German Society of Toxicology (GST) analyzed about 5,000 studies and concluded that, "[BPA] exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies."

Organ donors should not face insurance hurdles — yet they do! ACSH staffers were taken aback this morning when we read that certain insurance companies have been denying applications or offering coverage with steep premiums to healthy organ donors.

Smoking ill effects know no gender — and no boundaries for harm Two new studies should give you two more reasons to quit smoking or even better, never to start in the first place.

Chemophobia might fracture natural gas initiatives As an unscientific follow-up to last week's interminable "toxic sugar" story is another chemophobic rant from The New York Times. This time it's about chemicals involved in the hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) process used to release natural gas from shale deposits deep underground.

Overkill: Radioactive iodine for early, low-risk thyroid cancer According to a new study published in the journal Cancer, patients with early stage, low-risk thyroid cancers should think twice before allowing their doctors to prescribe standard radioactive iodine-131 (RAI) treatment.

“Get up and shake that thing!” Prolonged sitting poses health threat New studies supply some confirmation that whether you're overweight or in shape, a sedentary lifestyle can cut years off your life, even if you work out multiple times a week, and whether you're overweight or trim.

Vancouver clean needle program: Another plus for harm reduction In February, ACSH commended the efforts of North America's only "safe injection site" - Insite - for successfully reducing the number of new HIV infections in Vancouver, B.C. by 52 percent since 1996. Now a new study published in The Lancet shows that Insite is also contributing another form of harm reduction: decreasing the number of deaths from drug overdoses.

Big pharma backs flu data-sharing deal for developing countries Diplomats from the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Saturday that the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has officially committed to providing sufficient and affordable supplies of flu vaccine to developing countries in exchange for the global sharing of virus samples with WHO's laboratories in order to make the most effective, targeted vaccine possible.

There’s beef over new skewed study on staph bacteria in meat and poultry The results of a study released last week conducted by researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix found that 47 percent of beef, chicken, pork and turkey samples were contaminated withStaphylcoccus aureus (S. aureus), a bacteria linked to illnesses ranging from mild skin infections to life-threatening diseases.

More of the same: EWG and Sen. Lautenberg promote precautionary principle  Much to the delight of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) continues to trumpet scientifically senseless and burdensome regulation to "protect" children from so-called toxic chemicals.

TNF Blockers get an added warning The FDA is requiring drug makers of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers to include an additional warning to their product label, cautioning of an increased risk for Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma (HSTCL), a type of blood cancer primarily reported in adolescents and young adults on TNF blockers.

Drink up: Diet soda consumption not linked to diabetes In a classic example of mixing up cause and effect, Harvard University researchers exonerated diet sodas and other artificially-sweetened beverages from previous studies linking their consumption to diabetes.

Dr. Wolfe’s message: Stay fat America Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizens' Health Research Group, has never met a drug he didn't hate.


###

Observations From the Back Row: 4-23-11

...
“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age. - Kenneth Watt, Ecologist - 1970

Earth Day Predictions of 1970. For the next 24 hours, the media will assault us with tales of imminent disaster that always accompany the annual Earth Day Doom Gloom Extravaganza.

My Take - Fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice shame on me! The greenies have been wrong from Malthus to Ehrlich. In fact...they almost have a monopoly on wrong.

In the early years of the green movement it is understandable that we should all buy into environmental concerns....they were valid. Let's face it. The fish were dying in Lake Erie by the tens of thousand, the Monongahela River (the Monongahela and the Allegheny meet in Pittsburgh to form the Ohio) was pretty much deviod of life and tasted like surfur, and it is a big river. Those were before the movement was taken over by socialists. That was when a clean environment was what they were really concerned about. Those days are gone!

We now have a track record for their claims, their scares and the outcome of their policies. Their record in the early years may have been laudable, but that doesn't give them a buy on the rest of their life.  Its what I call the "Hitler made the trains run on time" logical falllacy.  So what!   Everything since then has been irrational and misanthropic. Dystopia follows green like a cloud of dirt follows Pigpen.


Going Green by Starving America of Oil The most suicidal energy policies a nation has ever imposed on itself. A gallon of regular gas in Caracus,Venezuella, costs 12 cents. In Saudi Arabia, gas is at 91 cents a gallon. So, why, when we have more fossil fuel deposits in America on shore and off shore than either of those countries, are we paying $4.00 a gallon or higher? Could it be unbounded politics?

As an op-ed piece in the Wall Street journal put it: “For decades—going back to Jimmy Carter—politicians have been peddling an America free of fossil fuels…” President Obama has raised the anti-petroleum ghost to a new level of fear linked to the misguided theory of global warming.

To satisfy his left-wing base of narrow-minded environmentalists, along with his own twisted ideals, Obama’s administration has blocked drilling for oil and gas, proposed new taxes on oil companies, and called for costly restraints on carbon emissions while persistently touting the ethereal promise of green energy……. They claim companies are sitting on scores of leases that could be used to search for oil. Obama said in a speech that the industry “holds tens of millions of acres where its not producing a drop.” But the problem is not with leases. It’s with permits. Permits have been tied up with over-burdensome regulations. Again, Obama speaks with a forked tongue.

Adding a spit in the face to industry, the Administration saw fit to lend $2.84 billion to Columbia for an oil refinery, it was revealed April 19. According to reports, the money would go to Reficar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ecopetrol, the Columbian national oil company. This is part of a $5 billion refinery upgrade project supplying petroleum, products for domestic and export purposes. Who knows what energy misdeeds lie ahead?

Sterilizing Those Pesky Humans: Earth Day with Paul Ehrlich The dark, hateful and racist world of a living symbol of Earth Day……..That brings me to a living symbol of Earth Day: Paul Ehrlich. Dr. Ehrlich’s explosive bestseller, The Population Bomb, inspired the freshman class that first Earth Day, embodying the wildest fears of apocalypse mongers. The great Johnny Carson was, sadly, one of Ehrlich’s dupes, giving him a platform on “The Tonight Show” dozens of times.

Much has been said about Ehrlich’s book. But as author John Berlau reports, one item has been conveniently sunk into a land-fill. “He [Ehrlich] flirted with a proposal to require adding contraceptive material to all food items in the United States,” writes Berlau in Eco-Freaks.

My Take – Over the years I have said that the green movement is irrational and misanthropic. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I say this….people just don’t get it. The greenies believe that mankind is a virus, just as Lenin believed people were “harmful insects” and disposable. By their actions and policies we have to see that all parts of the left hate humanity while declaring themselves the greatest of humanitarians. Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. We have to see past the rhetoric and he lies of a corrupt media.

Three More Attacks on Civilization....Most consumers are clueless as to how sometime in the last year, their dishwashers stopped working properly. They call in the repairman, who fiddles with things and announces a fix. But it is not fixed. The glasses are gritty and the plates often need to be rinsed again after washing. Many households have bought new machines or resorted to just running the dishes through twice. The creation of phosphorous-free detergent is the real reason…… Now, it is clear that the law's proponents knew exactly what the results would be. It would increase dishwasher use and even end up leading people to abandon dishwashers altogether, and either solution leads to much more water and energy use. In other words, even by the goofy environmentalists' own standards, this is no savings. It might end up in the reverse.

Studies since the ban have even shown that phosphorous reduction in the Washington State river is entirely due to a new filtering system and, further, that it turns out that the phosphorous in the river was not even a problem in the first place!

Trying to Avoid Greenie Regulations? The Department of Energy is Not Amused" efficiency standards" tend to upset people, as it usually leads to products being outlawed that people really like.  What happened was that certain showerhead manufacturers were taking a bit of creative license in interpreting the definition of a "showerhead," and selling showerheads that (by the DOE's standards) exceeded the maximum allowable 2.5 gallons per minute.


My Take – Another good reason for dumping an expensive, unnecessary and incompetent department of the government.  Why incompetent?  Their job originally was to find alternative energy sources that really worked.  I don't remember a thing about their need to regulate shower heads.  Then again....I have yet to figure out why the federal government believed they had the right to regulate how much water was used in a toilet.  Now if we can just get them to believe that one of their real jobs is to fix the bridges and raods.  By the way…..Jimmy Carter created the Department of Energy.  Nuf Ced?

"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."

###

Friday, April 22, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 4-22-11

...
“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

We live in a time when great efforts have been made, and continue to be made, to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda; when governments, religious movements, political parties, and sectional groups of every kind are busy rewriting history as they wish it to have been, as they would like their followers to believe that it was. - Islam Bernard Lewis', historian

Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals' Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals. …..Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on. The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year.

The Department for the Environment insists the bulbs are safe, despite the fact that they contain small amounts of mercury which would leak out if the glass was broken.

My Take – Whoa….Safe in spite of the “small amounts of mercury”. I thought there was “no safe level of mercury”. What we have here is another stupid greenie idea imposed on the public by a bunch of stupid bureaucrats given unbridled authority by a bunch of unprincipled politicians. So…..why isn’t the Precautionary Principle being applied here? In the E.U. the (PP) has become almost sacrosanct. Why no outrage from the greenies and their acolytes in government and the media? Viv Forbes really is right. The green movement really is “an unholy alliance of environmental scaremongers, funds-seeking academics, sensation-seeking media, vote-seeking politicians and profit-seeking vested interests.” Besides….the stupid really are dangerous.

Genetic breakthrough may stop spread of malaria The development is seen as a potential breakthrough in preventing the spread of one of the world's most dangerous diseases. Malaria kills up to a million people a year, mostly children living in Africa where the disease is endemic, and strikes down a further 500 million victims who fall seriously ill.

A decade ago, scientists created the first GM mosquitoes but their potential use in stemming the transmission of malaria has been stymied by the theoretical inability of the engineered insects to out-compete the non-GM mosquitoes living in the wild that actually harbour the blood parasite.

However, a new study has shown that it is possible for GM mosquitoes to rapidly pass on malaria-blocking genes to wild mosquitoes with the help of a second gene that spreads the GM trait within the sperm-producing cells of male mosquitoes.

The plan is to physically attach the synthetic gene, called the homing endonuclease gene, to an anti-malaria gene and insert the entire genetic construct into male GM mosquitoes released into the wild. The endonuclease gene should then ensure that nearly all the sperm cells produced by these GM males will carry the anti-malaria trait into the next generation of mosquitoes.

Malaria in numbers
• 500 million new cases of malaria are reported worldwide each year.
• 1 million deaths are caused by malaria each year, the majority in Africa.
• 57 countries are registered as 'malaria-endemic', with the disease posing a threat to human life.
• 200,000 people die of malaria each year in India.
• 2 million cases of malaria were reported in Pakistan after last October's floods.
• 1.3 per cent rate at which malariacan decrease gross domestic product in countries with high disease rates.
• 765 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are said to be at risk from malaria, according to the World Health Organisation.
My Take - First off…..if bed nets by themselves were so great this wouldn’t be happening. Secondly, if bed nets and pyrethroidal pesticides were so great together this would be happening. Thirdly, if this can really be done in the wild this will be a major blessing for humanity. The problem with all of these types of solutions is the delivery system. Can this take place in the wild? We can only hope.

Now…..what will the greenies do? They hate anything that is GM. If everything they stand for and promote is “for the children”, as they claim, they will wholeheartedly support this? If they do however, this will completely undermine all of their arguments about genetic modification. If they stand against this it will expose them for the irrational misanthropic people they really are. This will be interesting to watch.


Anti-pesticide activists exploit poor kids While it’s not surprising that children from the inner city and Latino farmworker communities might perform slightly less well than average American children on development tests, anti-pesticide activists can make it news if they can link that performance to pesticides. And so they have tried.

Environmental Health Perspectives published three studies today purporting to link prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides with substandard performance on development tests by the aforementioned groups of children.
I’m sure than the well-known anti-pesticide activist-researchers involved (Brenda Eskenazi, Frederica Perera and Mary Wolff) expect to overwhelm the media with their message by releasing all three studies at once, but here are the underlying fatal flaws common to all three studies:
• Even accepting the study results at face value for the sake of argument, the test score deficiencies are insignificant. There is no meaningful developmental difference between a child who scores a 100 on an IQ test vs. one who scores a 101.4.
• Childhood development is a complex, multifactorial phenomenon, which these researchers have magically reduced down to blood levels of pesticide metabolites. While most reasonable people would point to the children’s general plight in Lower Social-economia as the likely cause of whatever development issues they may have, Eskenazi, Perera and Wolff have conjured up a superficial statistical analyses to advance their personal financial and political agendas as well as the bureaucratic and political agenda of their funding agency, the anti-pesticide EPA.
• There is no known biological mechanism that explains how legal exposures to pesticides might lead to developmental problems.

My Take - This whole business of IQ is another one of those ethereal "findings" from these studies that are conclusions in search of data. The first time I came across this was during the Litulis Kilgore days. Kilgore was operating an illegal pest control business using methyl parathion (MP), one of the most toxic liquid pesticides developed for exclusive use in agriculture. In sunlight it would breakdown within 24 to 48 hours. It was never meant to be used in homes or businesses.

These people have been followed by the Center for Disease Control for years. What did they find? They “think” that MP “may” have caused an IQ problem. Why only a maybe? Because the findings weren’t consistent! It appeared to be true in one group and not in another. There is a reason for that. It isn’t true. IQ is a complicated and subjective thing and trying to pin this on pesticides is another article of faith by the green movement. It was only two months ago that they were claiming that piperonyl butoxide, a synergist mixed with pesticides also caused it.

We need to get this. These studies are all conclusions in search of data.


"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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