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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Hertzberg.
As a scientist and life-long liberal Democrat, I find the constant regurgitation of the anecdotal, fear mongering clap-trap about human-caused global warming (the Levi, Borgerson article of 9/24/08) to be a disservice to science, to your readers, and to the quality of the political dialogue leading up to the election. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows that the Gore-IPCC theory that human activity is causing global warming is false. For details see my article, "The Lynching of Carbon Dioxide", in the "guest authors" section of carbon-sense.com.
The difference between a scientist and propagandist is clear. If a scientist has a theory, he searches diligently for data that might contradict it so that he can test it further or refine it. The propagandist carefully selects only the data that agrees with his theory and dutifully ignores any that contradicts it. The global warming alarmists don't even bother with data! All they have are half-baked computer models that are totally out of touch with reality and have already been proven to be false.
Here is some of the latest data. From the El Nino year of 1998 until Jan., 2007, the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere near its surface decreased some 0.25 C. From Jan., 2007 until the Spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping 0.75 C. The National Weather Service just issued a Sea Ice Advisory for the Western and Arctic Alaskan Coastal waters for significant ice developing in the next 10 to 14 days, with sea surface temperatures some 2 to 8 C colder than last year. Such recent data is "just the tip of the iceberg" that is in process of sinking the Gore-IPCC ship of cards.
Green Collar Jobs - Or Con Jobs?
Mr. Paul Driessen has given me permission to reprint his work and below is one of his insightful articles. Mr. Driessen is the author of, Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death. Go to “My Book Reviews” where I have the link to his web site if you wish to order it. RK
by Paul Driessen
The quest to be “green” has spawned countless proposals, programs, laws and advertising campaigns. In Washington, DC a “Green Jobs Advisory Council” is promoting policies for green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, city infrastructure, and lower carbon emissions.
Better sequencing of traffic lights speeds commuters to their workplaces, saves gasoline, cuts pollution, and reduces accidents. Better insulation reduces energy expenditures – and pays back investments in several years. Concentrated juice, laundry detergent and other products reduce packaging, shipping and storage costs.
Redesigned systems and energy-efficient computers and servers mean big savings in power-hungry data centers that facilitate banking, You Tube videos, Internet searches and modern business operations.
Initiatives like these create jobs – “green-collar jobs” in the vernacular of activists, politicians, PR firms and companies. Renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) industries already generate 8.5 million jobs in the United States, claims a 2007 report from the American Solar Energy Society, and could create “as many as 40 million jobs by 2030.”
That may happen, or may be wishful thinking. It depends on how terms are defined – and whether hype and hope are distinguished from reality, practicality and unintended consequences.
The ASES report includes direct and indirect employment associated with retrofitting buildings, installing insulation or solar panels, constructing transmission lines from wind farms, producing biofuels and fuel-efficient vehicles, designing and manufacturing supplies for projects – even accountants, lawyers, salesmen, repairmen, truck drivers, landscapers, bureaucrats and lobbyists.
Many projects represent sound economics. Others would not survive without mandates, renewable energy standards and taxpayer-financed subsidies that the Wall Street Journal says are 100 times greater per unit of energy produced than those enjoyed by oil and gas
Moreover, money and time spent by government and business on green-collar initiatives isn’t available to address critical problems like teenage mothers, absentee fathers, crime, AIDS, drug abuse, dropouts from failing schools, soaring gasoline and heating bills, or dilapidated apartment buildings, roads and bridges.
Some opportunities are limited by the nature of a community’s business sectors. Washington, DC’s government-centered sector, for instance, cannot easily take advantage of new technologies that enable smelters and factories to recycle waste heat to power turbines and generate electricity for the plants and nearby customers – or for power grids, if regulations and equipment permit such hookups.
Other opportunities are more myth than fact. Solar panels to heat water or generate electricity have a maximum lifetime of 30 years – but a century of energy savings is needed to equal the panels’ installation cost, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Wind farms require large swaths of land to generate intermittent electricity – and eco activists often oppose the transmission towers and lines needed to carry their power to distant cities and factories.
Ethanol requires huge amounts of land, water and natural gas, to replace a tiny portion of our gasoline demand with an expensive fuel that drives up the cost of food and gets cars 10% less mileage per tank.
Compressed natural gas vehicles represent only 120,000 of America’s 235,000,000 cars and light trucks. Honda’s CNG-powered Civic costs $7000 more than the regular model, but has half the range. Converting an existing vehicle to run on CNG costs $3000. And opposition to drilling on federal lands means increasing demand for natural gas (for cars, home heating, factories, electricity generation, fertilizers, petrochemicals, wind-power backup and ethanol production) will send prices even higher.
An even bigger problem with the green-collar vision is its ultimate goal: ending our “addiction” to fossil fuels and mandating “sustainable,” hydrocarbon-free lifestyles. This agenda is promoted by Senator Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists, labor unions, civic groups and companies that want the United States to run only on conservation, efficiency and “clean energy,” through government control of energy and economic decisions. Their agenda covers every conceivable facet of our homes, businesses, infrastructure and lives. Its consequences – good and bad, intended and unintended – would affect every sector of society.
Fossil fuels provide 85% of all the energy Americans use; nuclear power an additional 8%; hydroelectric another 3 percent. Wind and solar produce a minuscule 0.5% of total US energy.
Conservation, efficiency and renewables will not bridge this enormous energy gap, certainly not in one decade and probably not in four. To decimate the energy system we have – and claim we can replace it with technologies that don’t yet exist – is delusional and irresponsible.
Creating millions of green-collar jobs, via legislative mandates and taxpayer-funded subsidies, will require trillions of dollars (and vast mineral resources) to dismantle an existing infrastructure that works – and replace it with one that is mostly experimental. It will pink-slip tens of millions of direct and indirect jobs that depend on abundant, reliable, affordable energy from hydrocarbon and nuclear power.
Yet, not once have renewable energy proponents explained where that money will come from. How they will compensate workers, families, business owners, investors and pensioners whose stake in our current economy will be shrunk or obliterated. Or how their plans constitute “social justice.”
Producing oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Outer Continental Shelf would slash the $700 billion that America spends annually on foreign oil – and garner $3 trillion in lease bonus, royalty and corporate tax revenues, according to congressional and University of California calculations, plus another half trillion in worker income taxes. But RE&EE activists want to keep these areas locked up, and their resources, revenues and jobs perpetually off limits.
Catastrophic climate change remains the primary justification for this opposition to hydrocarbon fuels. But satellite measurements reveal no global warming since 1998, despite steadily rising CO2 levels. And climate models that predict disaster bear little resemblance to Earth’s actual climate. It’s no wonder hundreds of climate scientists reject the false “consensus” on climate chaos, as Lawrence Solomon’s book The Deniers, a US Senate report and the Heartland Institute’s 2008 conference demonstrate.
Many union leaders nevertheless support the anti-energy agenda. Some see mandates and subsidies as a way to increase government and service sector jobs, or retool some blue collar jobs to RE&EE substitutes. Others want to replenish under-funded union pension plans with revenues from massive taxpayer-funded renewable energy, efficiency and global warming “prevention” projects.
Even before the financial services implosion, the California public employees and teachers unions faced significant pension shortfalls. The Service Employees International Union pension plan covers its officers completely, but is only 75% funded for rank-and-file workers. Their self-serving advocacy of renewables and efficiency raises serious ethical, conflict-of-interest and portfolio risk questions.
As the new Washington-based think tank DC Progress emphasizes, we need more green-collar jobs. But we also need to safeguard existing jobs – and avoid killing the energy we have, before we develop the “new energy” that some keep promising. Otherwise, millions will freeze hungry and jobless in the dark.
Monday, September 22, 2008
ESA Outrages, Part II
By Rich Kozlovich
The environmentalist’s victory regarding DDT gave them unprecedented power and influence, but the decision in TVA v. Hill gave them regulatory authority. Never before have individuals outside of the government been able to “not only advance, but to enforce, wildlife preservation without restraint.”
Under the 5th amendment of the Constitution it is stated that; “ nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Except for one occasion (which was in Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District v. United States where-in the court ruled that this ESA action was a “taking” under the 5th amendment and the government had to pay compensation if they wanted to proceed) no federal court or agency of the federal government has declared that the seizing of private property under ESA is for public use. Unfortunately only appellate decisions carry the weight of precedent.
In September, 2004 Hurricane Ivan struck the Florida Keys. Perdido Key was devastated. Government agents declared the area a critical habited for the Perdido Key beach mouse to all the vacant lots of the displaced people of the island. So did the government help these people to get their lives back in order? No! Government agents want the entire “key as habitat for the Perdido Key Beach Mouse regardless of whether it is actual habitat, potential habitat or even suitable habitat, simply because it is in the vicinity of designated habitat, in spite of the fact that 65% of the key was already designated a critical habitat. This prohibits safer road or building construction of any kind, including recovering their homes.
“Without conducting proper scientific or economic impact studies, USFW has imposed extremely high mitigation fees and time consuming permitting processes (minimum 18 months each) thus requiring private landowners to finance land acquisition and PKBM conservation projects totaling approximately $47 Million.”
What justifies this form of bureaucratic insanity? It is based on a myth. Those who promoted the ESA, and those who continue to stand by this insane and corrupt act, spout blatant nonsense by promoting the idea that there:
“is the “balance of nature,” the idea that nature, undisturbed by man, is perfectly balanced, and operated in universal harmony, constancy, and stability.”
They promote the idea that America was a perfectly balanced environment until European settlers arrived. Untrue.
“But something profoundly important happened among American ecologists during the decade of the 1950’s. With improved biological observations, more extensive experimentation, and more thorough data keeping and analyzes suggesting that nature was not so harmonious, constant, or stable, but rather dynamic, erratic, and volatile, ecologists started to challenge the popular, age-old belief in the balance-of-nature.”
“The lobby that crafted and influenced the passage of the ESA in 1973 firmly believed in and sought to restore the continent’s balance of nature by first protecting, and the preserving, the species for the normal and necessary endeavors of man. “Biologists today understand,” says Randy Simmons, “that there is no balance of nature, there is no ecological stasis, there is only change. Therefore, the Endangered Species Act cannot restore a balance of nature by restoring species.”
However, it can devastate people’s lives and livelihoods. Each week we will expand on this theme.
The information presented and quoted here is from the book Green Gone Wild, by M. David Stirling and the Perdido Property Rights, Inc. web site.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Response to comments
Over the weekend I received a comment from a Southern California pest controller and I wish to respond. Below is his comment to my article Sub-Prime Pest Control. I had expected some comments because the home mortgage issue has so many racial overtones. That is always touchy and difficult in this country and excites the emotions. I chose to go with it anyway; because the underlying principles are the same…we just have to get past race to appreciate it.
Rick, I think you are dead wrong.
Blasting those who seek to prevent environmental damage takes us back decades. I don't know why you bring up the issue of redlining. It really sounds like you are attached to an all-out right wing agenda, ranting about the change for the positive that America has experienced. Do you want to go back to gas guzzling polluting cars and free reign for smokers. I like to breath clean air and I never enjoyed the awful smell of cigarettes on my clothing.
Anyway, getting back to pest control, I have a pest control company in southern California, Hearts Pest Management (www.heartspm.com), that is EcoWise Certified. We are very proud of this designation. We have been proud to help PCOC and NPMA move forward with green pest control alternatives. This movement is more a mentality than a dictate about how to do pest control. I have seen plenty of over application, needless applications and sloppy applications of pesticide that endangers people. The new green approach simply provides a balance to an industry and frankly the average citizen that without conscience dispensed pesticides in a manner that endangered our waterways and airways. You know it, so don't deny it!I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Gerry, but I think that Gerry is so enrapt with going green that he misunderstands what I am saying. First off…in no way did I imply, state or wish for anyone to go back to the days when industry along with municipalities were environmentally irresponsible, polluting the airways, streams, rivers and lakes of this country, and I never discussed cigarettes, although the hypocrisy over this issue is quite remarkable.
These are logical fallacies because they have nothing to do with what is really being discussed and are used as a distraction.
I grew up around the coal mines, coke ovens and steel mills of south western Pennsylvania and the resultant pollution. I know what pollution is and those who stood against that activity are to be commended. Unfortunately, the green movements are now controlled by radicals.
Then we have a fallacy of association.
Gerry comments that, “I don't know why you bring up the issue of redlining. It really sounds like you are attached to an all-out right wing agenda, ranting about the change for the positive that America has experienced.”Why is it that when you say something that those who are green supporters don’t like you are accused of ranting in order to discredit your views, in short these are called ad hominem attacks? Let's do a little dictionary work.
Ad hominem - An ad hominem argument involves replying to an argument or assertion by attacking the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself. It is a logical fallacy. Appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason. Attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.We might as well look up ranting while we are at it and see if that is what I did.
Ranting - “To speak or write in an angry or violent manner; rave.”Throwing out the term “right wing agenda” is an attempt to discredit all that was said without providing any real argument or evidence. Using the term, "right wing", in this manner is also a fallacy, because those who yield it like a pick ax don’t understand the historical frame work of the term.
In the early decades of the last century socialism was becoming extremely popular all over the western world. Progressives, liberals (it didn’t mean the same thing then as it does now) communists and fascist were all part of that socialist family. The “right” wing of the socialist movement was the fascist wing, and the “left” wing were the communists, but they were all socialists. There really wasn’t a conservative movement then as we know it today. As far as an “agenda” goes, my only concern is for that which is factual.
I used the mortgage crisis as a comparison because the comparisons were too obvious to ignore. Redlining was used as a false accusation by activists and then government agents to force banks and other lending institutions to do business that was detrimental to their business (making money off of loans). There was no effort on the part of these institutions to prevent anyone from owning a home if they were qualified. These charges of redlining were false and the end result has been enormously expensive and an economic disaster and the claims that activists make about pesticides are just as false. I wish that Gerry had followed the link I provided.
Gerry goes on to say; This movement is more a mentality than a dictate about how to do pest control.That….we at least agree on. Green is a mentality. It is in reality an ideology and not a methodology. That is what makes it so dangerous. It is indefinable. Actually it is unendingly definable depending on your particular philosophical bent. What is green pest control….In fact, I think that I can reasonably claim to do green pest control because I’m concerned about the environment. I also use the products that have been tested to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars by chemical companies, to be sure that I am protecting the environment. I can say that my programs are in fact all, by definition, green and IPM because I am concerned about the environment! Who is to say otherwise?
Gerry states; I have seen plenty of over application, needless applications and sloppy applications of pesticide that endangers people.Who decides what is a needless or over application; the house holder; the business owner or the technician? Perhaps we should ask the anti-chemical activists when and how much pesticide should be applied? If these applications were so onerous then Gerry should have reported them.
What constitutes a sloppy application? Is it an illegal applicaton? I am sure they occur, but when we consider the tens of millions of applications that professionals make every year in every area of the country there can’t to too many or very serious misapplications, because we are not seeing any sort of devastation caused by these applications.
Pest control operators have always been concerned about the environment going back to the 1850’s, and this reality has only come into question by activists who have a misanthropic agenda. In fact, you might wish to call it a “vast left wing” agenda.
Gerry ends by saying, The new green approach simply provides a balance to an industry and frankly the average citizen that without conscience dispensed pesticides in a manner that endangered our waterways and airways. You know it, so don't deny it!This is actually two separate issues combined to confuse, although I don’t really think Gerry is attempting to do that, I believe that is how he really thinks. The new green approach is in no way a balance to the pesticide application industries. In reality it is nothing more than an effort to confuse, and a step in the direction to the banning of pesticides entirely. If anyone has any doubt about it they merely have to look to Canada.
Going green in the professional application industries is separate from imposing limitations on the public. True, the average citizen is poor about reading label directions and following them. They have clearly misused products over the years, but have they really endangered our waterways and airways?
The only evidence we have of this is the unfounded and misrepresented claims of activists going back to Rachel Carson. With modern testing techniques we will be able to find anything anywhere. That doesn’t make it dangerous or toxic. Presence does not constitute toxicity.
Gerry, I think that you are sincere, but I also think that you, like many of my friends, have lost sight of what is really going on. I would like to encourage you to take a look at My Book Reviews link on this page to choose some different reading material. I also would encourage you to read Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.
I would like to add a quote from Thomas Sowell.
”Fallacies are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical – but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing or ignored factors likely to lead to “unintended consequences,” a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment-Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies”Thank you for your comments and best wishes and I really like your website.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Sub-Prime Pest Control
For all the years that I have been in pest control I have had to defend what we do, how we do it, and the products we use. Okay, so what? Am I any different than anyone else in pest control? If you had asked me that question 27 years ago I could have emphatically said NO! That was a time when we all came from the same paradigm! Do we today? Well now, that is a different story. Let's talk about that!
Ohio’s pest control industry has had the good fortune of always having had a few good leaders with a clear vision as to what the industry needs. Not just for what is good for them, or for merely what is good in the here and now, but a vision that goes beyond the horizon! The creation of what became the National Pest Management Association is one such example. Ohio’s pest controllers were among the first national leaders that formed what eventually became the National Pest Management Association. This is probably why Ohio pest controllers have been so involved over the years. They were there early and have remained involved through the generations ever since. Another reason is that Ohio pest controllers are passionate about our industry and the issues that face us. As new people came into the industry that passion became infectious to those who are now two, three and four generation pest controllers. People who weren’t around in the early days, but who were no less willing to reached out and carry the standard of their fallen comrades and predecessors.
In 1933 The Society of Exterminators and Fumigators of New York City elected Bill Buettner. They realized the need for a national association. In that same year The Associated Exterminators and Fumigators of the United States with executive offices in the Old Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland Ohio agreed to have a convention in Cleveland to make a very real attempt to form a national association. There clearly wasn’t room for two national associations and in October of that year the associated Ohio group endorsed the New York group and formed what eventually became the National Pest Control Association. Ohio and New York pest controllers brought this industry together because of the vision of a few good men. There is no doubt that Bill Buettner, the first president of the national association, cast a giant shadow, but that was because he was standing on the shoulders of giants who were willing to put the own interests aside for the good of an entire industry.
Both of the trade journals that service our industry are here in Cleveland. Pest Management Professional was first known as “The Exterminator’s Log”, and originally founded by one of the real leaders of the industry, Al Cossetta. Mr. Cossetta was born in 1896 in Naples, Italy. He was an immigrant whose impact on our industry is still felt today. Although he wasn’t an Ohioan, he inspired many in Ohio’s pest control industry. In order to fully appreciate what he accomplished you have to read his story. The Exterminators Log was later called “Pests and Their Control” and in 1949 the publication moved to Cleveland, Ohio. That magazine became best known as Pest Control magazine and is now called Pest Management Professional (PMP).
Pest Control Technology (PCT) however was an Ohio creation from day one. Now located in Cleveland, PCT was originally founded in Cincinnati, Ohio by the Scherzinger family and has always been called by that name.
Those in leadership positions in modern pest control have the good fortune of having had such men lead the way, and those currently in leadership roles are now standing on the shoulders of all of the giants who passed before. But are our leaders going to be casting a giant shadow that we can take shelter under, or is it a shadow that we must flee. Will that shadow cool and comfort us, or will that shadow bring dread and devastation?
Have we completely wandered into the fever swamps of “green” pest control? Just because it is the conventional wisdom doesn’t mean it is right! Conventional wisdom may be nothing more that the philosophical flavor of the day and may not last as long as the current ladies fashion. And worse yet, it may leave devastation in its wake. Conventional wisdom has yet to do what traditional wisdom has done, and that is having stood the test of time.
Those who are the strongest drivers of IPM or “green” pest control are anti-pesticide activists, government bureaucrats, along with universities and Ph.D’s, who are now bound at the hip with these people because of grant money. This drive for political correctness in pest control may be compared to a very similar situation. The current mortgage crisis! I know that may sound irrational, but let’s look at what really happened in order to see the similarities.
The Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis!
In 1977 the media discovered the word “redlining” and they used it like a whip. Redlining was supposed to be a racist action by the banks who wanted to prevent poor people and minorities, primarily black, from owning houses. Sounds insane doesn’t it? It is! Especially when a study came out showing that there was no redlining, that in fact these people were denied these loans because they were bad credit risks.
Yet redlining is what they had everyone believing, so in 1977 Congress, under the Carter administration, demanded that lending institutions pay attention to the “credit need” of the community and not on their ability to repay the loan and passing the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. Under this act the banks would be graded on how many of these bad loans they gave out. If they did business in this manner they received a high score. The score was directly proportionate to how easy it was to do a merger or an acquisition or even open a new branch and as I understand it…their ability to borrow money from the government. All of which the government controlled! Under this act if some community activists, like the group ACORN, didn’t like the way you did business could cause all sorts of problems.
Stan J. Liebowitz, economics professor at the University of Texas at Dallas writes; "Home mortgages have been a political piñata for many decades. Greedy lenders aren’t the real reason for this mess. “In a nutshell, Liebowitz contends that the federal government over the last 20 years pushed the mortgage industry so hard to get minority homeownership up, that it undermined the country's financial foundation to achieve its goal."Everyone was happy; everyone basked in the blaze of self congratulations. All of these bad loans were now declared to be “innovation lending” and they were praised by the regulators, academics and activists and because so much pressure was put on the lending institutions in the 90’s by the Clinton administration homeownership among minorities surged. The media called this “one of the hidden success stories” of that administration. At one point the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is supposed to have “produced a manual in the early '90s that warned mortgage lenders were to no longer deny urban and lower-income minority applicants on such "outdated" criteria as credit history, down payment or employment income.”
It was a real catch-22. If they continued giving out these bad loans, they would go out of business. If they didn’t comply there were real financial penalties and if they raised interested rates they were accused of “predatory lending”.
Unfortunately this was undermining an entire economic system and the inevitable happened.
Jeff Jacoby notes;“Trapped in a no-win situation entirely of the government's making, lenders could only hope that home prices would continue to rise, staving off the inevitable collapse. But once the housing bubble burst, there was no escape. Mortgage lenders have been bankrupted, thousands of subprime homeowners have been foreclosed on, and countless would-be borrowers can no longer get credit. The financial fallout has hurt investors around the world. And all of it thanks to the government, which was sure it understood the credit industry better than the free market did, and confidently created the conditions that made disaster unavoidable.”The Sub-Prime Pest Control Crisis!
In 1972 the EPA was created as a result of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring with all of its flawed science, misrepresented information and predictions that proved ridiculous. Yet everyone believed then, and millions still believe the mother of junk science, and as a result regulators have imposed layer after layer of regulations, putting “community activists” in a position to cause untold trouble.
In pest control we are under attack from the “media” the “community activists”, the “academics” and the “regulators”. We are told we are treating people unfairly because what we are doing is causing terrible health problems in society and in nature, therefore we have to change. We are told that we much adopt IPM or green pest control. We are told that we will be rewarded for abandoning what has worked for what is politically correct. We are told we will be punished if we don’t. Does it sound familiar yet?
We are told that they know best. We have those who are basking in the radiance of self congratulations when they are praised and given awards from government agencies for adopting IPM or for abandoning traditional pest control methods. They call themselves “global problem solvers” and speak with an air of moral self righteousness. Unfortunately this is undermining one of the best public health service systems in the world.
At this point the similarities end. Why? Because the disaster that abandoning pesticides will undoubtedly cause hasn’t struck yet! We haven’t had our equivalent of a “housing bubble burst” yet. However, just as the pressures by government regulators mounted over time, demanding more and more irrational behavior from the lending institutions, the same thing is happening and will continue to happen in pest control. But if we continue with this sub-prime pest control mentality, which we have so cleverly masked by calling it IMP or green pest control, we can surely expect it.
Knowledgeable pest controllers have, with a great deal of work and dedication, traditionally stood against this foolishness with great success. However, in spite of the facts, in spite of the real science, they find themselves standing alone more and more, except for a handful of equally dedicated individuals around the country. It is unfortunate that we have so many in our own ranks who are adopting these philosophies. What happens when there are no more courageous pest controllers who are willing to reach out and grasp a falling standard out of a fallen comrade’s hand? Who will speak up then? More importantly, who will do the “bailing out” when our public health crisis occurs? I am no longer sure who will fix it. I used to think that we would, but I am no longer sure of that. We no longer think alike.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
ESA Outrages, Part I
Last week I told everyone that I would be running a section dealing with ESA outrages. Here is the first installment. I first want to make sure we had some historical background for what is to come.
Between 1962 and 1972 the U.S. Congress got all wrapped up in passing bills that couldn’t help but make the greenie heart beat fast and furious and take their breaths away.
• Wilderness Act, 1964
• Clean Water Act, 1965
• Endangered Species Act, 1966
• Clean Air Act, 1967
• Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 1968
• Endangered Species Conservation Act, 1969
• Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 1971
• Marine Mammal Protection Act, 1972
Most of us would think that this would satisfy the most jaded greenie. They wanted more, and it was decided that the 1969 ESA was inadequate and in 1972 they “upgraded” ESA with some significant changes. Section 4 and Section 7 contained poisoned pills and no one realized it.
Section 4 required the Secretary of the Interior to list any species that was endangered or threatened and defined species as “fish or wildlife or plants” and further refined that definition as “any mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod or other invertebrate.” This would take on greater significance in following weeks.
Section 7 “prohibited the “take” of any listed species. A “take” means to “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, dill, trap, capture or collect” a listed species. Friends of the Earth stated that the degradation of a listed species habitat would fit the definition of a “take” under the bills.” Everyone seems to have been caught up in the warm and fuzzy feeling because the thinking was clearly fuzzy…no one hardly whispered an objection. One reason is that they were primarily thinking of what is called the “charismatic” species, such as bald eagles, bears, wolves, etc.
Shannon Peterson noted that;
"Few at the time opposed the ESA because no one anticipated how it might
interfere significantly with economic development or personal property
interests. …..The timber industry, other natural resource industries, and
private property groups declined to fight the law in 1973 because they failed to
see how it might affect them."
That lack of insight would come back to haunt every one of these groups, especially the timber industry.
How did the concept of “species first and people last” come into being? The same way that the concept of “whatever the cost” came into being!
The Supreme Court ruling on TVA vs. Hill. The TVA (which is owned by the Federal government) wanted to build a dam across the Little Tennessee River known as the Tellico Project, unfortunately half way through construction a previously unknown species of perch known as the snail darter was found….a lot of them….10 to 15 thousand of them. Is there only one kind of darter? No! There are a lot of darters.
There are a lot of varieties of darters. This one happened to like eating snails. It was also inter-bredable with the other darters. It has been noted that the “snail darter may have been a distinct species, but it wasn’t unique and that new species of darter are discovered in Tennessee at a rate of 1 a year. All told, there are some 130 species of darters, 85 to 90 of which are found in Tennessee and 40 to 45 in the Tennessee River system with 11 in the Little Tennessee itself.”
In 1976 Secretary Andrus declared the area a “critical habitat”.
“Under Section 7 of the ESA, “All Federal agencies must take such actions as is necessary to insure that actions authorized, funded, or carried out by them do not result in the destruction or modification of this critical habitat area.”
This brought construction to a halt. Eventually this made it to the Supreme Court and the court ruled, to the great pleasure of the greenies and dismay of everyone else that, “the plain intent of Congress in enacting [the ESA] was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.”
Eventually Congress exempted the Tellico Project from ESA and construction resumed and the darter was successfully transplanted, at a cost of two million dollars. However, the damage of this “whatever the cost” decision was to be a specter that would haunt businesses, and property owners from that point on.
We have to understand the significance of all of this. Justice Powell, who dissented from the opinion stated;
“the act covers every animal and plant species, subspecies, and population in the world needing protection. There are approximately 1.4 million full species of animals and 600,000 full species of plants in the world. Various authorities calculate as many as 10 percent of them – some 2000,000 – may need to be listed as endangered or threatened. When one counts in subspecies, not to mention individual populations, the total could increase to three to five times that number.”This concept of what constitutes a species and “takes” will be discussed in future postings and we will see how these were utilized by federal agents and academics in future postings.
The information is based on and quoted from the book “Green Gone Wild” by M. David Stirling.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Fascism comes to New Hampshire
.00009 Degrees Cooler; Human Rights Gone
Over in New Hamshire, the rights of our fellow humans have a chance to be seriously infringed upon. The NH Climate Change Policy Task Force, created by Gov. John Lynch, is considering seriously scary government policies.
These include “taxing individuals for each pound of trash they produce; imposing higher automotive registration and insurance rates on individuals who drive more; increasing gasoline taxes; reducing the availability of parking; and establishing ‘Residential Behavior Change Programs’ that would employ community networks to intimidate individuals into ‘making sustained, socially beneficial changes at the household level.’”
Ok, so I’m assuming that this disturbing intrusion into American lives has a cause that justifies the actions. Let’s break this down.
The US, in 2004 was responsible for 22.2% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. China has passed us since then, meaning our percentage has gone down some, so I’ll estimate the number at 20% right now.
In 2005, the New Hampshire produced 21.21 Million Metric Tons of CO2. The entire US made 6,049,235 Thousand Metric Tons of CO2 in 2004. This is where it got tough, but I bore down and put my thinking cap on to figure it out. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that 21.21 Million Metric Tons is 21,210 Thousand Metric Tons.
That would make the percentage of carbon dioxide in the US that New Hampshire creates is a measly .35% of the total amount we produce. But wait, there’s more!
The US makes only 20% of the worlds CO2. So .35% multiplied by 20% equals……. only .07% of the worlds carbon dioxide production. That’s all New Hampshire makes.
We also know that the if every country accepted the Kyoto Protocol, the world's temperature would be reduced by only .06 degrees Celsius. The reductions Kyoto calls for are 5% below 1990 levels.
The worlds carbon emissions are expected to be 28,563 million metric tons in 2012. In 1990 it was 21,563, and 5% below that is 20,485 MMT. So essentially, getting rid of 8,078 MMT (per year) of CO2 will reduce global warming by .06 degrees.
What does that mean for New Hampshire? It means that if the state stoped producing carbon dioxide indefinitely, it would reduce global temperatures by approximately .00016 degrees Celcius by 2050.
Of course, completely halting production of CO2 won’t happen. Let’s say they reduce emission by 60% throught these policy changes, something which almost surely won’t happen, (unless nuclear was used) the temperature reductions would be .00009 degrees Celsius.
So that’s the dilemma. Reduce our emissions, resulting in a lower quality of life and government intrusion and regulation like none seen before in the US, and the result is a temperature reduction that is almost incomprehensibly small.
.00009 degrees Celsius. Human rights and living standards. Which one is more important? That’s up to you to figure out.
The data I used for this post are from these 3 sources:
World Energy Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 1990-2025
List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions
Energy CO2 Emissions by State
Sunday, September 14, 2008
“The Green Paper? Almost Legless.”
11 Sept 2008
For Immediate Release.
The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that Penny Wong’s Green Paper on the Carbon Reduction Scheme had been overtaken by scientific and political developments and was now almost legless.
The Chairman of “Carbon Sense” Mr. Viv Forbes said that of the three pillars of the government’s climate change policy, only one was sensible - “Adapting to Climate change that we cannot avoid”.
Politicians living in the Canberra hot house seem to think that controlling the climate is as simple as adjusting the thermostat in their air-conditioned offices. Man cannot control the weather and the only feasible climate policy is to make sure we have the brains, the freedom, the flexibility, the funds and the machinery to cope with whatever surprises the climate has in store for us. “Adapt or die” has been the guiding rule for every species since life began on this ever-changing earth.
The first pillar of the policy, “reducing greenhouse gas emissions” is based on flawed science and promoted by scare stories with no evidence to support them. The science shows clearly that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cannot be a significant driver of global warming. Moreover, records going back 10,000 years confirm that CO2 does not drive temperature. Thus any attempts to reduce carbon emissions will be “pain for no gain”.
The third pillar of government climate change policy aims to “shape a global solution”. This policy is also flawed and should be abandoned. India, China and Russia do not believe that CO2 drives global temperatures and will only join a global agreement if it costs them nothing or, even better, they get paid “carbon sin dispensation money” by silly western nations. Russia has already banked huge carbon credit receipts and other nations are hoping to jump on this gravy train.
Moreover, anyone with a sensitive political antenna can see that in places like Britain, Germany, Canada and the US, the rising costs of food and energy, and the Green destruction of jobs, are worrying electors far more than a mythical global warming bogey-man that never arrives.
For more comment see: “The One Legged Stool” a response to the Green Paper on the federal government carbon reduction scheme:
This talks about the science, temperature trends and history, IPCC guesses and forecasts, the future of corals, species extinctions, sea level changes, drought forecasts, tipping points, the benefits of warming, the benefits of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, loaves and fishes tricks, and our future in sackcloth and sandals.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Crimes Against Life
Environmentalists, like NASA’s James Hansen, have claimed that people such as oil company executives are committing crimes against humanity and nature by promoting CO2emissions and should be tried. David Suzuki has similarly claimed that politicians “ignoring climate science” (i.e. refusing to act on his alarmist and extremist views of CO2 emissions) should be jailed.
Based on the actual science that we have regarding CO2, the situation ought to be reversed and it is these environmental extremists that should be charged with crimes against humanity and nature. But that would be falling prey to similar ridiculous extremism, wouldn’t it?
It is enough to expose the unprecedented irresponsibility of these alarmists for dumping such distorting information into the public arena. This is the most dangerous form of pollution occurring today- the polluting of human minds with the environmentalist distortion of good science. And this unfounded fear-mongering is having the damaging impact of slowing the human enterprise.
Environmental extremists have whipped up populations with fear over one of the greatest non-existent problems ever- increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the supposedly harmful impact of energy-driven economic development and growth. Scared citizens have then been polled by survey organizations and their concerns have in turn been employed by politicians as reason to enact policies that are distorting normal healthy market processes (e.g. cap and trade, carbon tax). These policies are now hindering economic growth and development. They are having devastating consequences for the poorest people as well as for the environment (the bio-fuels fiasco is notable here- it was an attempt to avoid more CO2 emissions and it has had an adverse impact in causing food prices to rise for the poorest people, along with the cutting of more rainforest to grow palm oil). The interrelated complex of environmentalist fear-mongering, public stress, and political reaction has become a self-reinforcing cycle of insanity.
David Suzuki has been a key figure in this environmental irresponsibility and unfounded alarmism. He has referred to CO2 as a poison. His foundation website refers to CO2 as “harmful, heat-trapping emissions”. But as many other scientists have pointed out CO2 is not harmful to humanity or nature. More CO2 in the atmosphere is actually good for life. It creates a greener, healthier planet with more abundant life. The 32,000 scientists who signed the protest petition against global warming alarmism have included the following statement affirming the importance of CO2: “This treaty (Kyoto) is, in our opinion, based on flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful”
There is no clear evidence that CO2 causes dangerous global warming. It has been merely hypothesized that it adds a small effect at the margins of natural warming trends (about as much as a few farts in a hurricane, according to one scientist) but this has been hard to actually detect among the many other natural variables in climate. Others point out that atmospheric increases of CO2 follow warming trends by several centuries and do not precede them (i.e. do not ‘cause’ them). This is established paleo-climatology fact that undermines the CO2/warming hypothesis. We also have our own experience over this past century where CO2 increased significantly while climate cooled from 1940 to 1975. And Earth is now again cooling and yet CO2 continues to rise. Where then is the causal relationship of CO2 to harmful warming?
This is not to deny that CO2 has a small radiative effect (greenhouse effect) but just to place this effect in proper perspective to much larger natural effects such as that of water vapor. Among other natural effects there are the varied negative feedback mechanisms in the climate system that continually bring temperatures back into ranges suitable to life (see Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer). And when you focus in on the tiny human contribution to CO2 cycles then you can understand why our contribution to any greenhouse effect is, as scientists say, “undetectable” or “statistically insignificant”.
Some people have argued that we must halt further emissions and get CO2 levels back to about 350 ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere. But why pick that particular number? CO2 levels have varied significantly over history and such ongoing variation is natural. CO2 levels have never been static just as no other part of nature has ever remained static. Why then such hysteria today over these changes? And why pick a level that is historically low and arguably insufficient for sustaining a more healthy level of plant life?
Evidence reveals that more CO2 in the atmosphere is beneficial to plant life, animal life and humanity. The authors of "Welcome to the Greening Issue: The Good Side of Carbon Dioxide” have noted, “The biggest confusion is that people talk of CO2 as fertilizer. Fertilizer is to plants what vitamins are to people. CO2 is not fertilizer, it is food, the principal food of plants”. And more food means that plants grow more and become more healthy. They are able to adapt to more severe growing conditions such as in drier areas. More CO2 in the atmosphere over the past few decades has resulted in a presently greener world. And with more plant life, animal populations have increased. Also, more CO2 has meant that human crop growth has benefited and this means that more CO2 has contributed to feeding the world. The authors ask then, “How much of this benefit will be lost if the CO2 increase is slowed or halted?”
“Alarmists fail to incorporate the known ecological benefits of rising CO2 levels in their models. Scores of laboratory and field studies show that higher CO2 concentrations help most plants grow faster, stronger, and more profusely, utilize water more efficiently, and resist pollution and other environmental stresses. Needless to say, all animals directly or indirectly depend on plants as a food source.
”Based on numerous empirical studies,(actually observable, not models) the 100ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 content over the past 150 years has increased mean crop yields by the following amounts:
wheat, 60 percent;
other C3 cereals, 70 percent;
C4 cereals, 28 percent;
fruits and melons, 33 percent;
legumes, 62 percent;
root and tuber crops, 67 percent;
and vegetables, 51 percent.
”Were it not for the extra CO2 put into the atmosphere by fossil fuel combustion, either many people now living would not exist, or many forests now standing would have been cleared and turned into farmland—or both. CO2 emissions are literally greening the planet, enhancing biodiversity and global food availability. Continuing CO2 enrichment of the atmosphere will be necessary to feed a global population expected to increase by 3.3 billion over the next 50 years—and limit pressures to convert forests and wetlands into cropland.” As John Carlisle notes in his commentary "Carbon Dioxide is Good for the Environment", “With little evidence that carbon dioxide triggers dangerous global warming but lots of evidence showing how carbon dioxide helps the environment, environmentalists should be extolling the virtues of this benign greenhouse gas”.
Add further this insightful comment from “Welcome to the Greening Issue: The Good Side of Carbon Dioxide” which points out that “Each plant's body, and therefore all bodies of living things, are built primarily from CO2. Most people do not understand this. It is one thing to say that CO2 is essential for life, which every biology book does. It is quite another to actually get people to understand that when they eat a steak they are eating processed CO2. That when they watch the leaves come out, they are watching CO2 being processed. That when they watch their child grow, they are watching processed CO2 being further processed. Plus that CO2 is a rare gas, therefore not to be blithely curtailed”.
Others have noted that “Carbon dioxide is not the dreaded greenhouse gas that the global warmers crack it up to be. It is in fact the most important airborne fertiliser in the world and without it there would be no green plants at all. In fact, a doubling of the levels of this gas in the atmosphere would bring about a marked rise in plant production -- good news for everyone, especially those malnourished millions who can't afford chemical fertilisers. Perhaps the time is ripe to really start worrying (again) about the fact that for the last 200 million years the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has been falling. Indeed it dropped to dangerously low levels during recent ice ages. The Plant Kingdom responded to this potentially catastrophic (no carbon no food) situation by producing the so-called C4 plants that can survive low CO2 by using sunlight more efficiently”
I could quote so much more but you get the drift. More CO2 in our atmosphere is good for all life. Hindering the increase of CO2 could have dangerous consequences for humanity and life.
With all this confirmed research on the benefits of more CO2 in our atmosphere I again ask: Why then all this current hysteria over increasing CO2 levels? Why fear something that is natural and good for life? One answer I would suggest here relates to the practice of the ancient shaman of the Paleolithic era who used exaggerated myths to scare their fellow tribesmen into submission. They blatantly used fear-mongering to control others. And similarly today we have anti-growth, anti-humanity (they want to severely reduce the human population), anti-progress, anti-technology (see The Origins of Modern Environmental Thought by J.E. de Steiguer for detail), anti-free enterprise zealots who have demonized CO2 which is a key output of our energy-based industrial societies. CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are at the very heart of our modern progress and improved standards of living. By demonizing the essential basis of our society and progress, environmental extremists hope to halt the free enterprise endeavor and impose instead their preferred solution of socialism reborn in environmentalism with a new worldwide system of central planning (Kyoto) and accompanying highly regulated and constrained economic activity. They actually want us to return to a more primitive way of living (e.g. David Suzuki touts the wonders of Cuban ox-driven agriculture as preferable to modern mechanized agriculture). This is their preferred utopian vision. An earth covered in wilderness with a radically reduced human population “living in harmony with nature” (read- “living as primitives once lived”).
One of the esteemed environmental leaders, Arne Naess, said that green fits best with red, that is, communism or socialism. Hence, the re-emergence of socialism in environmentalism. It is this contemporary merging of neo-socialism with environmentalism that is proving to be the greatest threat to freedom, human well being, and to the environment today.
So while too many of us were not watching carefully a minority of extremists like Suzuki have successfully hijacked environmental concern (a good thing espoused by most of us) and used this concern to push a destructive anti-life program on humanity. This new extremist and unscientific environmentalism may prove to be the most destructive of all the mass hysteria movements of past history. It has already had impacts in slowing economic growth in places like Europe and its offspring, the bio-fuels fiasco, has harmed immense numbers of poor across the world. It has sent multiple tens of millions of people back into poverty. This is the true crime against humanity and life.
And most disturbing is that these extremists have pressured governments across the world to enact green policies that are distorting free market mechanisms and seriously constraining human freedom and choice. Oil companies are being hindered from exploring for new sources of energy and widespread environmental guilt-mongering is making it hard for many people to freely choose less expensive energy options. These extremists are trying to change human behavior and freedom of choice on a massive scale across the globe. They now comprise the greatest assault on human freedom of the past few centuries.
Surely, the example of Rachel Carson ought to serve as a warning regarding all these extremist bouts of hysteria and scare-mongering. Her excessive alarm over chemicals led to a ban on DDT and the resultant impact may have led to the deaths of tens of millions of people (see DDT FAQ at Junkscience.com). Did we not learn anything from past scares over global cooling, the ozone layer, forest harvesting, species loss, and so many others? While we should rightly be concerned about all aspects of our environment, environmental extremists have repeatedly presented these issues to the public in such exaggerated and distorting manner as to make all reasonable discussion or debate next to impossible. And their environmental scares have repeatedly come to little or nothing and yet they continue to irresponsibly spew them into the public realm and equally irresponsible media grant them ever more coverage, adding to the exaggeration and hysteria of the extremists. The consequences have been exceedingly costly to humanity and to all life, especially in terms of slowing human progress.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
A new hockeystick?
After years of headscratching, Michael Mann thinks he has finally devised a new set of statistical procedures that will revive his discredited "hockeystick" graph. An email about it from John A [email@example.com] below:
The BBC in their traditional position of custodian of climate science orthodoxy, have announced that Michael Mann has produced yet another Hockey Stick:
A new study by climate scientists behind the controversial 1998 "hockey stick" graph suggests their earlier analysis was broadly correct. Michael Mann's team analysed data for the last 2,000 years, and concluded that Northern Hemisphere temperatures now are "anomalously warm".Yep, all the omens are good.
In their latest study, Dr Mann's group collated more than 1,200 proxy records - the majority from the Northern Hemisphere - and used different statistical methods to analyse their cumulative message. We used two different methods that are quite complementary in the assumptions they make about data, so that provides a test of the sensitivity of data to the methods used," he told BBC News. "We also made use of a far wider network of proxy data than previously available. "Ten years ago, the availability of data became quite sparse by the time you got back to 1,000 AD, and what we had then was weighted towards tree-ring data; but now you can go back 1,300 years without using tree-ring data at all and still get a verifiable conclusion."Of course Dr Mann made this claim of robustness to the removal of dendroclimatic records last time, which turned out to be a flat out lie: The Hockey Stick shape disappeared when the bristlecone pines of Western Colorado were removed as Mann himself knows because he tested for their removal and then failed to report that salient and inconvenient truth (ie the CENSORED directories).
The same basic pattern emerged when tree-ring data - whose reliability has been questioned - was excluded from the analysis. "I think that having this extra data and using more methods to analyse it makes the conclusions more robust," commented Gabi Hegerl from the University of Edinburgh, UK, who was not involved in the research.Yep. Of course Gabi Hegerl was involved in making her own proxy reconstruction of past climate using Michael Mann's same flawed method and incorporating Mann's PC1 as a proxy within her own limited set of proxies (where of course, it dominated the result). See here for this. Not exactly an unbiased observer, is she?
Editor's Note: As you follow these links, follow the comments...they are as enlightening as the articles. Two of the things I have learned about modeling are the terms "smoothing" and "proxy data" and that is where the snakes "lie" in the grass. If decisions are to be made as a result of "modeling" we are in real trouble. Science's holy grail is grant money...not truth. RK