Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bugged, Literally, By Latest Eco-Hysteria

Post lifted from Cheat Seeking Missiles

Here's the headline from the latest OH MY GOD! story posted on the Society of Environmental Journalist's daily journal of eco-hysterical news coverage:

Lurk! To lie in wait, as in ambush; to sneak; to exist unobserved or unsuspected. What a fabulous choice of words; let's send this headline writer a big fat blue ribbon.

Try as they might, the writers at Environmental Science & Technology just couldn't keep up the hysteria (with my emphasis):
Millions of children get exposed to pesticides while attending daycare, concludes the first nationwide study of insecticide residues in U.S. daycare centers. The study, published today on ES&T’s Research ASAP website (DOI: 10.1021/es061021h), found low levels of organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides. Although the health impacts are unclear, the results raise questions about the risks children face from these chemicals.
What kind of questions are raised? Oh, how about actual concentrations? How about even a remote statistical correlation between any of the compounds detected and any disease? We read on, wondering if there might actually be some kind of point here ....
“We found at least one pesticide in every daycare center,” says lead author Nicolle Tulve, a research scientist with the U.S. EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory. Tulve says that the concentrations were quite low. She did not comment on whether these concentrations might be harmful but notes that no health advisories or national standards currently exist for such exposures.
I'm beginning to wonder if there's a story here ... maybe a "your tax dollars wasted" kind of story ... but it turns out that the story just peters out with a couple of quotes from hand-wringers, never making a single significant point except:
[Paul] Lioy [deputy director of the Enviornmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers University] also notes that pesticides are not all bad. These chemicals kill roaches, which can cause allergies in some children.
Well, about time! Pesticides exist for a reason, and pests are called pests for a reason! Besides cockroaches, pesticides kill spiders, some of which have poisonous bites, fleas (remember bubonic plague?), centipedes, scorpions and all sorts of crawly dangers more real than the fear of very low concentrations of very thoroughly tested chemicals.

Also not mentioned in the story: Moms and dads use pesticides at home; restaurants use them; governments use them; doctors use them. Is there any evidence that day care exposure is any greater than what these kids are experiencing elsewhere ... or is there just this exciting emotional pull with day care that grabs reporters' attention?

Methinks the latter.

Green CEOs Bad for Business

Green CEOs and good business just don’t mix. Witness this past week’s embarrassing examples of Ford Motor Co.’s Bill Ford and BP’s Lord John Browne – with General Electric’s Jeff Immelt warming up in the bull pen.

Bill Ford just announced that he would step down as CEO after a disastrous 5-year reign during which company shares lost two-thirds of their market value. While Ford Motor’s woes can’t entirely be blamed on Ford, you have to wonder what Ford Motor’s board was thinking when it selected him as CEO. Ford appears to have had two major qualifications that impressed the board – he was the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford and he chaired the company’s Environmental and Public Policy Committee. While Ford’s genetics didn’t necessarily doom his leadership, his fancying himself as an environmentalist most likely did.

Ford always appeared more concerned about being green than being profitable. In May 2000, he declared that SUVs – his company’s most profitable product – harmed the environment. He lectured a Greenpeace audience that something needed to be done about global warming. Ford focused on turning the company’s massive Rouge plant into an “icon of lean, green manufacturing” and issued reports about vehicle exhaust contributing to global warming. As the SUV-dependent company headed for a rough and certain reckoning with high gas prices, Ford announced in 2004 his support for higher gas taxes to reduce fuel consumption. While higher gas taxes didn’t happen, higher gas prices did, due to foreseeable supply-and-demand forces. Now the public reduces fuel consumption by not buying Ford SUVs.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that Bill Ford’s green sheen has bought him no peace from environmentalists who, as pointed out previously in this column, ridicule him publicly. The good news for Ford’s shareholders is that he no longer runs the company on a day-to-day basis. The bad news is that he’s still chairman of the board. Shareholders ought to hope that’s only a face-saving move before he transitions to a green activist group where he belongs.

BP CEO Lord John Browne also wants to be hailed as an “enlightened” CEO-environmentalist. Under Browne, BP spends more than $100 million annually on its “Beyond Petroleum” campaign – an effort to convince the public that BP is no more an oil company than Greenpeace. BP not only advocates for global warming regulation – including announcing this week that it will help Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger implement California’s new global warming law – but the company also calls its primary profit-producing product (gasoline) a “necessary evil” in television commercials. (Earth to Lord Browne: Gasoline is a miracle product upon which our civilization depends.)

While Lord Browne has distracted himself and BP management with the “Beyond Petroleum” mindset, BP has come under pressure from a series of negligent and possibly criminal actions. A March 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City, Texas, refinery complex killed 15 workers and injured many more. Poor maintenance at BP’s Alaskan oil pipeline caused the largest-ever oil spill on the North Slope in March 2006. A BP oil rig damaged by Hurricane Katrina still leaks one year later. BP traders are under investigation for possibly illegal manipulation of the propane, crude oil and unleaded gasoline markets. Lord Browne has tried to paint BP green, but his distraction from core business needs has given the company a black-eye.

General Electric’s shareholders ought to learn the lessons taught by Ford and Browne. GE’s stock price has gone nowhere since Immelt took over from Jack Welch a few years ago, and he apparently sees being green as GE’s path forward. He’s re-branded GE’s products with the gimmicky name, “Ecomagination,” and is lobbying for greenhouse gas regulation, apparently in hopes of passing laws that force customers to buy Ecomagination products.

Just this week, Immelt announced an Ecomagination “advisory council” that includes the likes of Eileen Claussen (whose Pew Center on Global Climate Change lobbies for global warming regulation), Dan Reicher (a former activist with the anti-nuclear, pro-Kyoto Protocol Natural Resources Defense Council); Jonathan Lash (president of the ultra-green World Resources Institute) and James Cameron (chairman of the Ted Turner-funded, global warming regulation-pushing Carbon Disclosure Project).

Immelt describes these and other like-minded folks on the Ecomagination advisory council as “thought leaders on matters of energy, science and the environment.” But they seem more like hard-line green activists whose agendas probably have little in common with that of the typical GE shareholder. Immelt and his green friends may very well succeed in pressuring politicians to encumber the U.S. economy with greenhouse gas regulation – there is, after all, little if any debate that such regulation will increase the cost, and reduce the availability, of energy for consumers and businesses. But since GE’s business fortunes tend to move with the general economy, it’s difficult to see how hampering the economy won’t also hamper GE’s already lethargic stock price.

Suffering the consequences, of course, will be GE shareholders – not the well-paid Immelt or the Ecomagination advisory council members whose green mission will have been accomplished. GE’s shareholders don’t have to suffer the same fate as Ford Motor’s or BP’s – but they will need to take action before it’s too late.


Australian falcons are no Greenies

Workers at the Caltex oil refinery have more than petrol production on their minds these days after two of the fastest killers in the skies took up residence in the plant. A pair of peregrine falcons has made the Kurnell refinery home, establishing a nest among the flaming chimneys and kilometres of pipes - on the side of a six-storey high furnace which vaporises oil at 500C.

The male of the pair was dubbed Steve, in honour of the first worker he took a surprise dive at a few weeks ago. Since then a warning sign has been placed on the ladder leading to the ledge where Steve and his lady companion have made their nest - and hopefully are incubating eggs which will soon hatch chicks. "Employees ... had sighted a pair of peregrine falcons over the plant for more than a year but not realised until recently that the pair were nesting in a large heating unit," refinery manager Tip Huizenga said. "An employee working in a section of the unit was startled when the male peregrine swooped at him a few times. "Investigations around the unit eventually revealed a nest in the unit and a female nesting."

Steve is a regular sight soaring above the refinery or keeping watch on his nest from a distant tower with eyes that can pick out prey from 3km away. When he does find prey they stand little chance: peregrine falcons can dive at 300km/h to strike and kill instantly with their powerful talons.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh look the falcons are using a oil refinery for nesting shows that the eco-wackos dont know adarn thing proves their all too stupid to tell a pigeion from a eagle