Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More from the New York Times Perpetual Stupidity Machine

Through a long chain of tortured "logic", we're supposed to conclude that trace amounts of CO2 "are proving devastating to songbirds"

Songbirds as a Casualty of Warming -
As the United States experiences a snow shortage, researchers have released a study showing that declining snowfall in the mountainous regions of Arizona are causing a cascading series of effects that are proving devastating to songbirds

Dispatch from the real world: Cold weather is a lot more devastating to songbirds than warm weather. Maybe that could help explain why so many of them move toward the Equator during winter?
The massive cold wave of the 1890's devastated bluebird and robin populations. Then again the cold winters in North America in the 1920's, 1940's and early 1960's pretty well wiped out the Eastern Bluebirds across the northeastern states. By the early 1970's Eastern Bluebirds were making a come back across the northeast USA.

Another massive die off in the mid 1970's was really the driving force to create The North American Bluebird Society in the late 1970's in order to save the Eastern Bluebirds mostly. Since the 1980's there have been regional disasters with the bluebird and robin populations but no REALLY cold weather that griped the nation all the way down through the main wintering grounds of the Eastern Bluebirds. It only takes about one week of ice and snow in late January or early February that covers the middle states from Missouri to the Carolinas and then on down into the northern halves of the gulf coast states and we can lose a huge percentage of the Eastern Bluebird population again

SOURCE (See the original for links)

More Green Goblins

Consumer demand for solar products has fallen off. During the last year, for example, German demand fell by 29%.

The Dutch, those clever people, have grasped the fact that land-based wind farms are hideous, costly, unsafe, and noisy, while offshore wind farms are even costlier and harder to maintain.

The Great Green Energy Bust continues to accelerate, with new wrinkles on crony green capitalism showing up almost daily.

Let’s start with the far-from-sunny news regarding the Obama administration’s favorite industry, solar power. The Wall Street Journal reports that the whole solar industry is in trouble. The demand for solar panels is projected to be flat next year, and many of the players in the industry face plummeting stock prices or even bankruptcy.

In the last quarter of 2011, at least seven solar manufacturers hit the wall. These include the German firms Solar Millennium and Solon SE, and of course the notorious American firm Solyndra. Six of the ten biggest solar companies reported losses in the third quarter of 2011; six of the ten also showed corporate debts that exceeded their market capitalizations.

The solar industry as a whole experienced an average stock price drop of 57% during 2011.

Part of the problem is noted in the Journal article: a glut on the market of solar panels and other components, because China has expanded its solar manufacturing industry. Remember, China has the vast majority of known reserves of the rare earth minerals used in solar panels, and it still has relatively inexpensive labor.

But the article also notes that consumer demand for solar products has fallen off. During the last year, for example, German demand fell by 29%.

What the article doesn’t mention are the major reasons for the decline in demand, but these are important to understand.

First, more countries are cutting back on their massive subsidies for solar panels. Solar power requires much more subsidization than nuclear power, and vastly more than for fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Second, there has been a renaissance of fossil fuel energy, driven by the rapid rise of nonconventional fossil fuels — natural gas and oil extracted from shale and tar sand fields by such newer technologies as fracking and horizontal drilling. I have explored this renaissance elsewhere; suffice it to say that it has pushed natural gas in particular to such low prices that it is making green energy seem obviously stupid from any economic standpoint.

Next comes a report out of the Netherlands that the Dutch — for whom windmills have been part of the national ethos — are apparently starting to have regrets about wind as a power source.

Five years ago, in a burst of Green enthusiasm, the Dutch built three dozen huge wind turbines — each the size of a 30-story building — out in the North Sea. However, even the North Sea wind and the Dutch enthusiasm couldn’t change the fact that, like solar power, wind power is grotesquely inefficient, and so requires lavish taxpayer support. The Dutch had to pay $4.5 billion Euros last year to subsidize these windmills.

The government there has just announced that it can no longer afford to pick up the tab. Naturally, it hopes to make consumers and businesses pick it up instead. In 2013, the government will start a billing scheme under which consumers will pay more for wind power, and investors will (supposedly) be lured into supporting it.

The government concedes, however, that the new arrangement will cover only about a third of the subsidy. So, as the article gently puts it, “The outlook for Dutch wind power projects seems bleak.”

The Dutch, those clever people — think of their achievements, from those enormous dikes to those quaint wooden shoes — have grasped the fact that land-based wind farms are hideous, costly, unsafe, and noisy, while offshore wind farms are even costlier and harder to maintain.

The Dutch government had planned to increase its current share of renewable energy (as a percentage of all energy used) from the current 4% to 14% by 2020. But that was just a green dream. The government now estimates that it will only be at 8% to 12% renewable energy by then. Of course, if it ended all subsidies, even the ones it passes on to hapless consumers, the industry probably wouldn’t grow at all — or even survive.

Let’s turn to another green energy boondoggle, one often overlooked because the scandals in solar and wind power have been so juicy and so damn numerous. Several recent reports show that the so-called “alternative biofuels” program is also rife with waste and corruption.

By the way, the misleading term “biofuels” refers to alcohol, diesel, or other liquid fuels created from plants. For many years, ethanol has been produced from sugar cane, and more recently from corn. Call that “standard biofuel.” Alternative or “cellulosic” biofuel is derived from other plants, such as switch grass, and plant wastes, such as corncobs. Now you know.

A WSJ article recounts the astonishing history of the whole biofuel program. It started as one of George Bush’s sillier ideas. So eager was he to show that he wasn’t the “oil boy” his critics accused him of being that he signed the Pelosi-crafted bill into law in 2007.

This abominable bill called for (shock and awe!) super subsidies for the super fuel. (Why do all these super energy schemes do that?) The bill provided a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon. Another Pelosi-Bush bill then required oil companies to blend this costly crap with their fossil fuels. The mandate started at 100 million gallons in 2010 and was supposed to hit 250 million in 2011, 500 million in 2012, and 16 billion in 2022. But already this preposterous program has stolen $1.5 billion from the taxpayers. I don’t need to tell you that Obama gave it his Chicago crony capitalist stamp of approval.

Would that Bush and Obama had both been oil boys, real ones. In that event we taxpayers would have been spared the billions of bucks pumped pointlessly into corn ethanol and cellulosic biofuels — not to mention the $70 billion Obama has pumped into the even stupider solar and wind programs.

As anyone could have predicted, cellulosic biofuel program has been a complete fiasco. Despite the billions in pelf that have been purloined from the citizenry to induce companies to produce the government-approved dreck, very little is being produced. The EPA (the agency with the power to revise the mandate) dropped the 2011 requirement from the original 250 million gallons to a risible 6.6 million. The EPA has just announced that it will set the level at 8.65 million gallons in 2012, significantly beneath the 500 million gallons called for, and will allow refiners to use corn ethanol to help meet the requirement. (Of course, corn ethanol is another corrupt boondoggle, as I have remarked elsewhere.)

The EPA thus acknowledges that the real production of cellulosic biofuels is infinitesimal. The feds are requiring refiners to buy a product that isn’t being produced in anywhere near the quantities necessary for them to comply with the requirement, and the EPA has been fining oil companies for not meeting the mandate.

The problem with alternative biofuels — indeed, all biofuels — is the same as that with solar and wind energy. As the National Academy of Science put it in a recent report on this so-called industry, it is cost, “the high cost of producing cellulosic biofuels compared with petroleum-based fuels, and uncertainties in future biofuel markets.” Read: uncertainty about how much longer a nearly bankrupt government will be able to fund such scams.

Scams? Yes, I said scams — “scams” in the sense of unworkable nonsense, at least, and sometimes “scams” in the sense of something worse.

Despite the prospect or reality of subsidies, about a half dozen of the firms that were supposed to produce alternative biofuels never got off the ground. And the company that was supposed to provide 70% of the cellulosic fuel to meet last year’s mandate, Cello Energy, went bankrupt last year.

The Cello story is cute. The company was found guilty in a 2009 civil case of making fraudulent claims. It reportedly overstated its production capabilities to investors, and — this is hilarious! — passed off some ordinary (i.e., petroleum derived) diesel as biodiesel. In fact, the company never produced much biofuel of any kind, standard or alternative.

Then there is the unsurprising news that crony green capitalism extends to biofuels as well as wind and solar energy. A recent story recounts how yet another Obama crony is at the center of yet another massive scam on the taxpayer.

It so happens that the Regime’s highly politicized Agriculture Department — you know, the one that has been waging war on non-conventional fossil fuel production — pushed the Navy to purchase nearly half a million gallons of alternative biofuels for their aircraft. This is the largest federal purchase of biofuel ever.

That’s just the beginning of the story. In an effort to create what it calls — dig this! — “the Great Green Fleet Carrier Strike Force,” the Navy is working with the Agriculture and Energy Departments to buy $510 million in biofuels, so that our seaborne fighting force, which earlier made the transition from diesel to nuclear power, can transition back to diesel fuel — but this time to biodiesel rather than fossil fuel diesel.

If that’s not funny enough, consider this: the biodiesel just purchased costs $16 per gallon, which is four times the price of normal (i.e., fossil fuel derived) diesel.

A key beneficiary of this price gouging of our Navy is a California company called Solazyme. Solazyme’s major “strategic advisor” turns out to be one T.J. Glauthier, who was a member of Obama’s transition team and crafted the energy industry section of the Obama Regime’s notorious 2009 “stimulus” bill.

Oh, and lest I forget, Glauthier made sure that Solazyme got $22 million out of that very bill.

Meanwhile, however, there is hope. The renaissance in fossil fuels, and the growing shortage of government funds to subsidize stupidly inefficient industries, is rapidly putting paid to the whole insane, overhyped, profoundly corrupt green energy program.

Thank God!


One Energy Subsidy Ended on January 1, 2012

A major part of the United States' misguided policy on ethanol usage came to an end as the $6 billion-a-year ethanol subsidy dies
America's corn farmers have been benefiting from annual federal subsidies of around $6 billion in recent years, all in the name of ethanol used as an additive for the nation's vehicles.

That ends on Jan. 1, when the companies making ethanol will lose a tax credit of 46 cents per gallon, and even the ethanol industry is OK with it -- thanks in part to high oil prices that make ethanol competitive.

Subsidized since 1979 as a homegrown fuel cleaner than gasoline, corn ethanol had plenty of opponents, environmentalists among them.

Environmentalists question the cleaner energy premise -- adding factors like tractor diesel emissions and fertilizer runoff make it dirtier, they say.

"Corn ethanol is extremely dirty," Michal Rosenoer, biofuels manager for Friends of the Earth, said in heralding the tax credit's demise. "It leads to more climate pollution than conventional gasoline, and it causes deforestation as well as agricultural runoff that pollutes our water."

Opponents also see corn ethanol, which now takes a larger share of the U.S. corn crop than cattle, hogs and poultry, as a factor in driving food prices higher.

"The end of this giant subsidy for dirty corn ethanol is a win for taxpayers, the environment and people struggling to put food on their tables," Rosenoer added.

But there's a nearer-term battle brewing over corn-based ethanol. A 2005 law requires that 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be produced by 2012 -- 6.25 billion gallons were produced in 2011. A 2007 revision gradually increases that to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

AAA Predicts 4 Cent Rise in Gasoline Prices

Please consider End of ethanol subsidy expected to bring higher gas prices
In January, the federal government is stopping a 45-cent-a-gallon subsidy to ethanol producers, who will pass that extra expense to drivers who buy ethanol-supplemented gas, said AAA Carolinas spokesman Tom Crosby. Extra costs at the pump will amount to about 4 cents, he said.

Not So Fast

The Brazilian Sugar Cane Association reports Congressional recess means the end of three decades of US tariffs on imported ethanol
For the first time in more than three decades of generous US government subsidies for the domestic ethanol industry, coupled with a steep tariff on imports, the United States market will be open to imported ethanol as of January 1st, 2012, without protectionist measures. Today’s adjournment of the 112th Congress means both the US$0,54 per gallon tax on imported ethanol and a corresponding tax credit of US$0,45 per gallon for blenders, the VEETC (Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit), will expire as expected on December 31st.

“With Congress in recess, there are no opportunities for further attempts to prolong the tax credit or the tariff, so we can confidently say these support mechanisms will be gone at the end of 2011,” said the Washington Representative for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Leticia Phillips. This means that in 2012, the world’s largest fuel consuming market will be open to imports of less costly and more efficient ethanol, including sugarcane ethanol produced in Brazil, recognized since 2010 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an advanced biofuel because of its verified reduction of up to 90% in greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline.

If attempts in Congress to prolong the tax credit had been successful, the subsidy package now about to expire would continue to cost American taxpayers about US$6 billion per year. As for the tariff, meant primarily to keep Brazilian sugarcane ethanol out of the US market, its demise should reinforce fact-based assessments about the various feedstocks used around the world to produce ethanol, according to UNICA President Marcos Jank.

45 Cent Subsidy Ends, So Does 54 Cent Tariff

With the tariff ending, price of imported ethanol should drop by 54 cents per gallon. The net effect of the end of expiring bill, all thing being equal (which they won't be), should be a 9 cent drop in price of ethanol.

Federal and State Ethanol and Biodiesel Requirements

Please consider Federal and State Ethanol and Biodiesel Requirements
Minnesota, a major producer of ethanol, has required all gasoline to contain at least 7.7 percent ethanol since 1997. Hawaii requires 85 percent of its gasoline to contain 10 percent ethanol, effective on April 2, 2006. The intention of the law is to spur local production of ethanol from sugar, but the ethanol could also come from the U.S. mainland or from Brazil.

Minnesota was also the first State to require biodiesel blending into diesel fuel, at 2 percent by volume. The requirement became effective in mid-2005, when two new biodiesel plants, each with 30 million gallons per year capacity, began operation in the State. The law was waived several times because of quality problems with the biodiesel, but it is again in effect.

Washington requires 2 percent ethanol in gasoline and 2 percent biodiesel in diesel fuel no later than November 30, 2008. The requirement will increase to 5 percent once the State can produce biodiesel equal to 3 percent of its diesel demand.

Louisiana enacted a requirement for 2 percent ethanol in gasoline and 2 percent biodiesel in diesel fuel, once sufficient capacity is built in-State. Assuming that Louisiana’s 2-percent and Washington’s 5-percent requirements are triggered, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington will require 102 million gallons of biodiesel in 2012 and 146 million gallons in 2030.

State Mandated Ethanol Usage

As noted above, some states mandate its usage, others don't. Mandating various blends adds to the price, due to inefficiencies. Moreover, given that ethanol from corn makes no environmental sense, promoting the idea is absurd.

The California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center states
Most ethanol used for fuel is being blended into gasoline at concentrations of 5 to 10 percent. In California, ethanol has replaced methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as a gasoline component. More than 95 percent of the gasoline supplied in the state today contains 6 percent ethanol. There is a small but growing market for E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), several million of which have been produced by U.S. automakers. But E85 is primarily found in the Midwest in corn-producing states. Ethanol is also being used to formulate a blend with diesel fuel, known as "E-Diesel", and as a replacement for leaded aviation gasoline in small aircraft.

All gasoline vehicles in use in the U.S. today can accept gasoline blended with up to 10 percent ethanol (sometimes called gasohol). Flexible Fuel Vehicles (VVFs) are cars and trucks that can use any level of ethanol up to 85 percent. They're built with special fuel system components designed to be compatible with higher ethanol concentrations.

Calculating the Savings

For California then, assuming Brazil supplies the ethanol 9 cents cheaper, and the ethanol content of gasoline is 6%, California prices might drop about a half-cent per gallon. In states where the ethanol content is 10%, the price should drop nine-tenths of a cent per gallon.

However, this assumes Brazil supplies 100% of US ethanol and that is not a realistic assumption even if it makes good environmental and economic sense.

More than likely costs go up a couple pennies rather than the 4 cents calculated by the AAA. However, any price hikes on gasoline would be more than made up for by the drop in corn prices which in turn will pass through to grain-fed beef, corn flakes, etc.

Regardless of what happens to prices, ending all tariffs and letting the free market set prices is a very good thing in and of itself. Unfortunately, inane state rules and still intact federal rules mandating ever-increasing amounts of biofuels in gasoline formulations are still in control even though the subsidies ended.


Colony Collapse Disorder: Cause - All Natural!

By Rich Kozlovich

Starting in 2007 the world became inundated with articles about something called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Every newspaper in the country had headlines such as, “Are GM Crops Killing Bees?”; “As Bees Go Missing”; “Why the Honey Bee Decline?”; “Who Killed the Honey Bees?”; “Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons!”

What was worse was the rhetoric used in these articles such as; “If the tireless apian workers didn't fly from one flower to the next, depositing pollen grains so that fruit trees can bloom, America could well be asking where its next meal would come from.” Then there were articles quoting Einstein as saying; “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” While it is true that Einstein was a brilliant physicist, he turned out to be a zero as an entomologist. We have to understand that the European honey bee is an introduced species. How did all the plants, fruits, vegetables and grain crops get fertilized in the America’s before that?

This became an issue in 2007, but CCD was already going on for some time and it appears that we aren’t all dead. I will admit that I haven’t been feeling well lately, but since my wife insists that I get up and go to work every day, I think that clearly settles it…I’m definitely alive and so are seven billion other people on the planet. I don’t want to be hasty mind you, but I would really like to take a speculative stab at this and say; these claims of agriculture disasters are being promoted by greenie scaremongers and scientific fraudsters, and might be ……just might be……a bit premature!

The ‘theory’ I liked best was from the Devic Kingdom. Never heard of that? Here, let me fill you in. There was this lady who was capable of channeling “intuitive information on the microcosm and the macrocosm [regarding] world events, natural disasters, public figures…..and more”; and she was in direct psychic communication with the Devic Kingdom of bees. She says; “What is necessary to sustain the life of the bees is recognition of their role and appreciation of their work and the necessary factors to support their life.”

She went on to say that the bees are in “trauma due to the mistreatment of their species”; explaining that all of these missing bees is a result of a revolt by the bees in “protest they are being captured and made to work for humans”, “and the bees are angry’ and ‘will not remain where they are being mistreated in so many different ways.’”

She reports that they are also upset about Genetically Modified plants and pesticides and will not return to their hives until these “injustices” are fixed, and only those who “support organic, natural and gentle methods will be allowed visits from the bees”. Furthermore, we must appeal “to the angelic rulers of [their] kingdom; the Devic forces who control the comings and goings of various species on this planet. And [they] must have strong assurance that immediate changes are forthcoming.” Isn’t it fortunate that they speak English too?

I also thought it interesting that they were going to stay away from their colonies until they got what they wanted. Isn’t that sort of ….well…..suicidal on their part? So, according to this woman it appears their plan for straightening everyone out is to eliminate themselves from the planet? Wow…..good plan! Now we know who is molding the thinking of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Angels from the Devic Kingdom!

I would imagine that some might think that she might be a bit of a loon, but how can someone question this woman who claims to be in psychic communication with the Delvic Kingdom any more than one questions the sanity of the entire green movement? When you read the greenies demands as to how we need to become one with the biosphere and abandon all that has made our modern well fed lives possible you have to admit; they both are saying the same kind of insane things, only one of them disguises it better.

Colony Collapse Disorder is the official nomenclature for something that is going on in honey bee colonies in many parts of the world; and at the beginning there was a great deal of speculation, but no consistent or verifiable scientific explanation for this.

What was causing bees to simple start dying or disappearing from their colonies? First of all we have to understand that CCD isn’t anything new or unusual. We have had regular occurrences of this forever. This may have been the worst, but it still isn’t unique and there are some common descriptions as to what happens.

Initially the finger of blame was pointed at things being done by and created by…..people! As one “expert” panel stated; this was “The faltering dance between honeybees and trees is symptomatic of industrial disease.”

The reality? This was entirely speculative, and even those who attempted to be open minded on this couldn’t help but throw in the idea that pesticides were a component. After all….we can’t leave those evil pesticides out of any finger pointing. As an example;
“German government researchers have concluded that a bestselling Bayer pesticide is responsible for the recent massive die-off of honeybees across the country's Baden-W├╝rttemberg region. In response, the government has banned an entire family of pesticides, fueling accusations that pesticides may be responsible for the current worldwide epidemic of honeybee die-offs.”
Yet in areas of the world where these products were banned the die-offs continued. One ‘expert’ jokingly said;
“My favorite theory, which I throw out, is that the bees are out there creating their own crop circles, working very hard, physically pushing the crops down with their little legs. It fits. It explains the loss of bees and crop circles at the same time. At taxpayers' expense. I want credit for it."
He was joking, but his joke wasn’t much dumber than some things stated seriously by ‘scientists’ and others; including the theory that this was a “plot by Osama bin Laden to destroy American agriculture”. However he went on to say;
“We're the ultimate cause in that we've changed the planet to suit our needs. We're running it to suit our needs and not to the benefit of all the organisms around us.”
I wonder if he has been in contact with the Devic Kingdom also?

We need to get this. Every species that lives and thrives changes the environment around them. The only difference is that when mankind makes changes he can choose the changes; and he can correct any of those changes if necessary; and that is the problem. Who decides what needs changed? My personal view is that we need to give that choice over to the land owners. People who own land and property try to maintain it because it is theirs, and overall they will make the right decisions. This ownership of the commons mentality has always been disastrous.

There were genetically modified food scares, cell phone scares, immune response deficiencies, emotional madness, transportation stress, poor diet causing starvation, global warming and climate change (all attributed to mankind of course), pathogens and parasites. All of these except pathogens and parasites eventually proved to be nonsense as a cause of CCD, but it was all reported as serious “potentials” in various news sources.

This bring us to pathogens and parasites. The wild bee population was suffering as badly as the domestic populations from Varroa mites and tracheal mites. As for pathogens; it was reported “that analysis of honeybee samples collected between 2002 to 2007 showed that the virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus, had been circulating in the US for at least five years.” And in fact one researcher found two kinds of viruses that transformed the shape of wings or caused a disease only affecting queen bee larvae.
“First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. Lawrence D. Harder from the department of biology at the University of Calgary and Marcelo Aizen from Buenos Aires set about pinning down a couple of myths…….The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data which is far too regional to take seriously and ‘not representative of global trends’. The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever. They go on to say; ‘It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees.’ While some 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few indeed rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods — wheat, rice and corn — do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating. If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent..... ‘Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.’
It appears that in spite of the fact that bees have probably been to most intensely studied insect in the history of mankind someone just happened to notice that a phorid fly, Apocephalus borealis, was parasitizing bees causing them to become disoriented and abandon the hives; a primary symptom of CCD.
Three years ago, [a]biology professor looked for something to feed a praying mantis. He found some bees outside his classroom, placed them in a vial and forgot about them. When he looked at the vial a week later, he found dead bees surrounded by small fly pupae. A parasitic fly was feeding on the bees and had killed them.”
This fly places its eggs into the bee’s abdomen. Later as the larvae grow inside the bees and they begin to lose control of their ability to “think and walk….. exhibiting zombie-like behavior by walking around in circles with no apparent sense of direction. Bees will leave “the hive at night flying blindly toward light…..It eventually dies and the fly larvae emerge.”

One research team"found evidence of the fly in 77 percent of the hives they sampled in the Bay Area of California, as well as in some hives in the state’s agricultural Central Valley and in South Dakota”.

It is clear that CCD has been going of forever. It is clear that pesticides can kill some bees, but that number is insignificant and cannot possibly explain the symptoms displayed by honey bee colonies suffering from this disorder. It is clear that fungi and disease are playing a major role. It is now clear that parasites are the number one major component in their demise, and they execrate the disease problem.

In conclusion it is clear that most of the scare tactics used are meaningless; we won’t starve; pesticides are our friend; the bees will return; the cause is most assuredly ‘all natural’ and the scaremongers will look for another reason to condemn humanity. I just hope we will have the good sense to ignore them.


Irrational Greenie hatred of "chemicals" kills people

Deadly cantaloupe listeria outbreak blamed on non-chlorinated wash

The enviro war against chlorine claims more victims. From the House Energy and Commerce report about the 2011 outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe:
… According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 146 people in 28 states have been infected, 30 people have died, and one person has miscarried as a result of this outbreak. It was the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in over 25 years…

On [sic] precaution that Jensen Farms took in 2010, which it dropped in 2011, was to use an antimicrobial solution, such as chlorine, in the cantaloupe wash water. The front page of the August 2010 audit stated, “[t]his facility packs fresh cantaloupes from their own fields into cartons. The melons are washed and then run through a hydro cooler which has chlorine added to the water. Once the product is dried and packed into cartons it is placed into coolers”…

FDA officials emphasized to Committee staff that the new processing equipment and the decision to use a packing and washing technique involving non-chlorinated water were two probable causes of the outbreak. Both of these significant changes were implemented at the packing facility in 2011.

Here’s another example of the enviros’ deadly war against chlorine. As Michael Fumento And Michelle Malkin pointed out in “Rachel’s Folly: The End of Chlorine” (March 1996):
There is no plainer example of the health benefits of chlorine, and the health risks of its absence, than the cholera epidemic in Latin America. In February 1991, the first cholera outbreak to hit Peru since the turn of the century was reported. According to the journal Nature, U.S. and international health officials blamed the occurrence on Peruvian government officials who made a “gross miscalculation” in not chlorinating the water supply.

Local water officials in Lima had decided to stop chlorinating many of the wells because U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies conducted in the mid-1 980s showed an increased hypothetical cancer risk from trihalomethanes (THM), a chlorination byproduct. One of those studies (based on high-dose experiments on animals exposed over their lifetimes) estimated a risk of up to 700 additional cancer cases per year in the U.S. from THMs; by contrast, however, the Latin American cholera epidemic claimed nearly 4,000 lives in 1991 alone.

EPA administrators denied that risk communication failures on their part could be faulted for touching off the epidemic. Many researchers, however, questioned whether EPA should have given more emphasis to the disaster potential of not disinfecting municipal water supplies. Whatever the actual impact EPA calculations had in Lima, a follow-up study in Peru’s second largest city, Trujillo, pointed to the two bottom-line causes of the outbreak and its rapid spread. Plain and simple, they were lack of chlorinators and a shortage of funds to buy them.

Preliminary data examined by Mintz et al. suggest that intervention costs for point-of-use disinfection in developing countries is low: “The annual cost per family for both a special water storage vessel and (chlorinated) disinfectant, for the shortest estimated useful life of the vessel and the highest cost of hypochlorite, would be between $1.17 and $1.62, an amount affordable almost anywhere in the world.” In the March 1995 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers endorsed the expanded use of sodium and calcium hypochlorite – deemed “relatively safe, easy to distribute and use, inexpensive, and effective against most bacterial and viral pathogens” – to prevent persistent waterborne disease. In addition to cholera, these infectious diseases include typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, bacterial gastroenteritis, shigellosis, salmonellosis, Campylobacter eteritis, Yersina enteritis, Pseudomonas infections, schistosomiasis, giardiasis and various viral afflictions, such as hepatitis A.

In a campaign to increase access to potable water in poor countries, the World Health Organization declared the 1 980s the “Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation” decade. Access to proper chlorination, however, remains a major barrier and efforts to improve both municipal water treatment and home storage techniques continue. At last count, the WHO estimated that 25 million people – 70,000 per day, mostly children under five – die around the world each year from dirty drinking water. While nonchlorine disinfectants like iodine, ozone and short-lived free radicals have been used to treat water on a limited basis, none has demonstrated the safety and cost-effectiveness of chlorination.

As the Latin American cholera epidemic escalated, environmental activists a world away were building their arsenal against chlorine. Greenpeace, the international environmental advocacy group, launched the first salvo in early 1991 with its call to phase out completely “the use, export, and import of all organochlorines, elemental chlorine, and chlorinated oxidizing agents (e.g. chlorine dioxide and sodium hypochlorite).” As Greenpeace’s Joe Thornton concluded, “There are no uses of chlorine which we regard as safe.”

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Why Doing Nothing Will Save the Environment

Former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus’s conclusion to his book Blue Planet in Green Shackles at first doesn’t seem like it directly pertains to environmental or energy issues at all, but most profoundly does. His argument strikes at the heart of environmentalist arguments for energy regulation, rationing, public planning, and other environmentalist agendas. While he doesn’t deny that environmental problems exist, he answers the question “What to do?” much differently than an environmentalist would.

Blue Planet in Green Shackles was published by CEI in 2008
What to do? The first, and in fact, the only reasonable answer to the question is “nothing,” or rather “nothing special.” It is necessary to let the spontaneity of human activity—unrestrained by any missionaries of absolute truths—take its course, or else everything will get worse. The aggregate outcome of independent actions of millions of informed and rational individuals—unorganized by any genius or dictator—is infinitely better than any deliberate attempt to design the development of human society.

Communism demonstrated that megalomaniac human ambitions, immodesty, and lack of humility always have a bad end. Although the system of human society is to some extent robust, although it has its natural defense mechanisms and can bear a lot (just as nature itself can), every attempt to command the wind and the rain has so far always turned out to be very costly and ineffective in the long term and to have devastating effects on freedom. The attempts of environmentalists cannot lead to different ends. In any complex system (such as human society, economy, language, legal system, nature, or climate), every such attempt is doomed to failure. Humankind has already had this experience and—together with the various “revolts of the masses”—again and again has tried to forget it.

Socialists and environmentalists have usually believed that the more complex a system, the less it can be left to itself and the more it has to be masterminded, regulated, planned, and designed. That belief is not true. Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek, and the whole Austrian school of economics have—for some, perhaps a bit counterintuitively—demonstrated that just the opposite is the case. It is possible to control and design only simple systems, no complex ones.

A complex system cannot be effectively organized through any deliberate human plan (or “human design,” to use Misesian terminology). The only way to build it properly, without tragic mistakes, is through truly free “human action” (the title of von Mises’s most important book)—that is, through aggregation of the behavior of millions or billions of individuals. This basic conceptual guideline also applies to environmental issues, including global warming.

I mentioned “free human action,” that is, freedom. This is not just an empty phrase or an obligatory declaration of faith on my part. I have repeatedly stressed that it is all about freedom, not about nature (or climate). There are deliberate attempts to shut down debate about this. Environmentalists constantly keep imposing the term “environment,” yet nobody speaks about human freedom. A few years ago, I suggested discussing the “environment for life” instead, which would—at least to a certain extent—shift this issues from the exclusive focus on nature toward a focus on society and its organization. I more than agree with William Dennis from the Liberty Fun, who argued that “the best environment for man is the environment of liberty.” I insist it is the only true standard against which all environmental concepts and categorical requests should be measured. Today’s debate about global warming is therefore essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.…

It is not necessary to forcefully limit or prohibit everything from above or—seemingly more liberally—to raise prices prohibitively. It is plain wrong to slow down economic growth, because only economic growth can deal with emerging ecological problems, and in the long run solve them. Through technological progress and possibilities resulting from treating nature more considerately leads to the shift in demand from subsistence goods to luxury goods, among which environmental protection ranks at the top of the list….

So what to do? Instead of striving for the environment, let us strive for freedom. Let us not put climate change before fundamental questions of freedom, democracy, and human wellbeing. Instead of organizing people from above, let us allow everyone to live his or her own life. Let us not succumb to fashionable trends. Let us not allow the politicization of science and let us not accept the illusion of “scientific consensus,” which is always achieved by a loud minority, never by a silent majority.

Let us be sensitive and attentive toward nature, and demand the same from those who speak about the environment most loudly. Let us be humble but confident in the spontaneous evolution of human society. Let us trust in its implicit rationality, and let us not make efforts to slow it down or divert it in any direction. Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions into human lives.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here



slktac said...

I had clicked on the link for the source of the green myths and landed on the Liberty page, which lead to a reading of an article by Szasz (link) and then a short piece on Dr. Semmelweis' fate when he tried to implement antiseptic procedures in the 1800's using chlorine. Then, further down, on Greenie Watch, there appears the story on listeria and chlorine washes. So we have come full circle to the unenlighted people we were over a century ago......The things I learn here!

Joseph said...

I thought Colony Collapse Disorder was due to the bee equivalent of Occupy Wall Street. The bees were protesting instead of maintaining the colonies.