Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Pest controllers have been hugely hampered by Greenie pseudo-science

Rich Kozlovich is recommending to all his fellow workers in pest control an article by Ron Arnold titled "Putting an end to the EPA’s ‘secret science'"  -- headlined on this blog yesterday

As we approach NPMA Legislative Day we need to keep in mind that we are the hunters that keep the tribe healthy.We stand on the wall telling the world no one will harm you on our watch. Or at least that’s what we should be doing. Because what we do is a mission, not a job.

As we go up to the hill we will focus on positions that will benefit our industry and the nation - especially the nation’s poor, the nation’s infirm and the nation’s weak. In the war for public health we are the front line. However, if we really want to help our people we can't just focus on the symptoms of the problem we face, i.e., the regulatory infection that plagues America.

We need to focus on foundational things that can alter the war forever, and let’s stop deluding ourselves into thinking this isn’t a war. We face an irrational, misanthropic and morally defective movement that has infected the minds of the entire regulatory state with their junk science and outrageous rhetoric.

Society is now suffering from Green Fatigue, and the time is ripe to put a stop to it. This article discusses a foundational problem with the EPA and how to fix it.  The green corruption of science, academia and their scientists who produce studies that can’t be replicated (up 90%), and green activists disguised as government bureaucrats must be dealt with or we’re merely playing Whac-A-Mole with these people. Whac-A-Mole is what we have been left with until now. This is a piece of federal legislation every trade association in America should embrace – and it should also be addressed with our nation's state legislators.

By email

Greens Exploit Widespread Science Ignorance

By Alan Caruba

I frequently have to tell people that I am a science writer, not a scientist. The only science course I took in college was zoology and I passed it only because my paper on Procyon Lotor—raccoons—demonstrated an ability to do some good research and present it cogently.

In the decades since then I have had the opportunity to write about many science-based topics and it became evident that a huge portion of our society and worldwide is ignorant of how science functions and the incredible advances for mankind that it has provided.

It is this ignorance that is constantly exploited by the many environmental groups. Scaring people about the climate has been their bread and butter for decades, but a natural cooling cycle that is approaching two decades in a few years is killing that goose that laid so many golden eggs. The same is occurring for “renewable energy” as Europe is beginning to regret pouring billions into wind energy while multi-million U.S. subsidies are on the chopping block as well.

The “food police” are generating a scare campaign about genetically modified food crops. As Dr. Jay Lehr, the Science Director of The Heartland Institute, pointed out in a December 2013 article, “Not one single human has been harmed by genetically improved food.” So, naturally, some Greens are pushing to have everything made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) subjected to warning labels.

Do you know who the first environmentalists were? Farmers! It is the original “green job” because farmers were among the original users of renewable energy—the solar power—to grow their crops. They used wind power to draw water and grind grain into flour. They built irrigation systems to make more efficient use of water.

When the United States declared its independence the nation was largely composed of farmers. Now less than two percent of the population grows enough food to feed all of us and have plenty left over to export. The current exception to this is California’s central value when farmers have been denied water to save the lives of bait fish, smelt. They’re getting no help from the federal government either.

Throughout the last century the American Farm Bureau Federation and state farm bureaus were leaders in conservation tillage, well-water testing, and many other environmental improvements. As one observer noted, “Long after the current excitement about the green economy has worn off, American farmers and ranchers will remain green collar workers as they have always been—efficient producers of food, fiber, and fuel and stewards of natural resources.

In the meantime, we are subjected to celebrities like Al Gore, Bill Maher, and Daryl Hanna, who have no science degree.  The outspoken actors, Ed Begley and Leonardo Dicaprio only have a high school diploma and many others who opine on environmental issues are literally high school dropouts. A long list of news media personalities has no science degree. They include ABC’s Sam Champion, NBC’s Matt Laurer, and CBS’s Harry Smith. CBS’s Scott Pelley is a college dropout.

Among the scientists, many have degrees in areas that do not reflect meteorology or climatology. They include Bill Nye known as the “science guy” who has a degree in mechanical engineering.

As Dr. Lehr points out, “There is little food on the plate of humans anywhere that has not been genetically improved.” This goes back four thousand years to the creation of wine. In 1862, an Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel began to crossbreed simple garden peas to improve their taste, yield and strength. Thirty years later his work on the subject was published in the journal of the Royal Society of London, “and the new agricultural science of hybridization was born to improve our food.”

Writing in the February edition of Wheat Life, a publication for Washington state farmers, John Moffatt, a wheat breeder for Syngenta, noted that “Wheat is not only the largest crop in the world with acreage surpassing that of even corn and soybeans, it is also one of the most complex.” Sygenta is one of North America’s leading wheat genetic research companies, responsible for helping farmers grow profitable wheat with research that begins with seeds that undergo a certification process. Their crop varieties consistently outperform saved seed in yield, quality and test weight.

“If genetic labeling laws are passed throughout the United States,” warns Dr. Lehr, “it will severely set back the scientific and human health benefits of genetic food advances. Billions of people around the world have consumed genetically modified food since it became widespread during recent decades. Billions more will benefit from such foods in the coming decades.”

Meanwhile, the Green liars will continue to wage war on humanity. From Paul Ehrlich who in 1968 forecast global famine to the Club of Rome that in 1972 predicted exhausted resources and famine and then had to recant the forecasts in 1976, to an endless series of “science” lies before and since, it behooves us all to be wary and skeptical of their claims.

We owe a debt of gratitude to those scientists who have greatly enhanced the lives of the seven billion with whom we share planet Earth. We owe a lot to the farmers who, thanks to scientific breakthroughs in genetics, are feeding us.


Energy availability already starting to falter

By Rich Kozlovich

What is the beginning of wisdom? Well, that’s not an easy question to answer since so many factors come into play. However, when it comes to Global Warming and all the ancillary arguments for and against - the beginning of wisdom is the availability and price of energy!

Last night approximately 43 percent of First Energy’s customers in Lake County lost their power starting for sure at 12:00 when I awoke. Of course having lost "my" power it was clear to me - we now have a "really serious” problem!

Actually I can’t complain because my power wasn’t out for much more than two hours, and the temperature in the house didn’t drop all that much, but what happens when the power goes out around Sunday morning at 12:00 AM, and nine hours later it isn't restored?

Originally the outages affected 43 percent of Lake County’s FirstEnergy customers. At 9:00 AM it was closer to 24 percent and with no clear timetable for complete restoration. (Update: According to FirstEnergy's website as of 8:16 PM over 1800 customers are still without power)

What are people supposed to do to protect their families and property? Without electricity there is no heat, even if we're using gas heat. It still takes a fan to push that heat around the house, and that takes electric power. If someone has one of those ventless gas heaters then there's nothing to worry about, but how many have them? I don't know, but I'm willing to bet the number is small.

The EPA now wants to restrict the use of wood burning fireplaces and has done all in its power to restrict drilling and mining, and is attempting to put Clean Air Standards in place that will be doing exactly what President Obama promised during the 2008campaign. Put coal fired power plants out of business. Did everyone think he was just kidding around?

Ohio has now experienced a cold period that has lasted longer and deeper than we have experienced for decades. For or the first time in recorded history the Great Lakes are on the verge of becoming completely ice covered. Lake Ontario is the hold out, but the next few days have been predicted to be ‘cold’.

Alternative energy is a failure!

The German government - which has been the great bastion of arguments for alternative energy and CO2 reduction to prevent Global Warming – hired a consulting firm that has now concluded three things.

“An independent committee of expert advisors to the German government is recommending in a report that the country’s once highly ballyhooed EEG renewable energy feed-in act be scrapped altogether because it is 1) “not doing anything for the climate”, 2) “not promoting innovation”and 3) driving up the cost of energy.”

Although it is expected the green activists will rail against this report and find all sort of excuses to justify their anti-energy positions it is clear “the pressure on the German government to radically scale back the EEG act is mounting as citizens struggle with skyrocketing electricity price.”   The beginning of wisdom!

As for support of renewable energy mandates in Ohio, an article by Travis Fisher February 12, 2014 entitled IER Expert Testifies on Ohio’s Alternative Energy Standard states the following.

“Support for Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs), such as Ohio’s Alternative Energy Standard, are based in large measure on misperceptions. Common misperceptions regarding these mandates include:

* RPSs will create jobs

* RPSs are needed because America is running out of coal, oil, and natural gas

* RPSs are needed because renewable energy is an infant industry in need of help

* RPSs will reduce the cost of electricity

* RPSs are an effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

None of these are true, but what is true is that RPSs raise the cost of electricity, and the states that have RPSs tend to have the most expensive electricity. More expensive electricity hurts people and businesses, and it hurts the long-run competitiveness of local and state economies because it drives energy-intensive industries out of the state. RPSs hurt consumers by shielding producers of renewable energy from market forces that drive reductions in cost and real increases in efficiency through technological progress.”

Inexpensive readily available energy sources are foundational to a modern industrial society.  The availability and price of energy is the beginning of wisdom!

Oh, one more thing! For those who are constantly bleating, "we need to return to nature", I would like to expand on the progress we've made today by linking the article, "In Balance With Nature".


British wind farm earnings hit by plans to freeze carbon tax

Wind farm owners across Britain will earn tens of millions of pounds less than expected because of plans by the Government to freeze the carbon tax.

Solar farm, biomass and nuclear plant owners will also see future earnings cut by the change, widely expected to be announced in the Budget later this month.

The carbon tax was announced in the 2011 Budget and came into effect last year, with the aim of encouraging new green power plants. It sets a “floor” for the price of burning carbon each year.

The tax has the effect of pushing up the wholesale market price for electricity — increasing profits for renewable and nuclear generators who do not have to pay it.

Critics say it has not attracted investment, but has handed windfall profits to green plants built before it was introduced. Most damagingly, they say, it makes UK manufacturers uncompetitive and pushes up consumer energy bills.

Amid political pressure to curb rising energy costs, the Chancellor is widely expected to freeze the tax at 2015-16 levels of about £18 per tonne of carbon, up from about £5 now, and potentially rule out further rises for the rest of the decade.

“Anybody who has either developed or bought a wind farm over the past three years, since the carbon floor was introduced, would have been working on the basis power prices would rise alongside the carbon tax,” said John Musk, analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “Now that that is likely to be frozen, the return they would have hoped for will be diminished.”

He estimates 2020 power prices would be £5 to £6 per megawatt hour lower if the tax is frozen – shaving £300,000 off forecast annual revenues of a typical 20MW wind farm.

With more than 7,000MW of onshore wind installed in the UK, tens of millions of pounds may be wiped off expected earnings.


Australia: Tony Abbott's green army enlisting now

Tony Abbott is Prime Minister of Australia and a conservative

Tony Abbott's federally funded "green army" will enlist 15,000 young people in environmental work, striking young workers from official dole queue figures as youth unemployment soared in the year to January to 12.4 per cent.

But young people who fill the green army's ranks will be paid as little as half the minimum wage, earning between $608.40 and $987.40 a fortnight.

The scheme - the cornerstone of the government's environmental policies - is modelled on John Howard's Green Corps, and will be an alternative to work-for-the-dole programs.

Under the legislation introduced by Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday, green army participants - who will be aged 17-24 - will work up to 30 hours a week. They will be given the chance to undergo formal training as part of their duties, but will lose their Centrelink benefits for taking part in the scheme and fall off official joblessness figures.

The basic rate for a single person getting Newstart (the dole) is $501 a fortnight. But Mr Hunt said the scheme would pay young people "significantly" more than they would receive from Centrelink allowances, and he hoped the skills young people learnt on the job would encourage them to move into full-time work.

"It's giving every young person in Australia the chance to do something for the environment, and it's bizarre that anybody would oppose, at this time, a youth training program that helps the environment and increases, significantly, the youths' wages."

Mr Hunt's office stressed that the green army was "an environmental and training program, not an employment program", although the government has repeatedly described the army as Australia's largest ever "environmental workforce".

The government is aiming the scheme at indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, gap-year students, graduates and the unemployed. Enlistees will do manual labour, including clearing local creeks and waterways, fencing and tree planting.

Green army members will not be covered by Commonwealth workplace laws, including the Work, Health and Safety Act, the Fair Work Act and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.

Despite this, Mr Hunt said all green army members would be covered by workplace protections, including state and territory occupational health and safety laws, insurance provided by the government and by "service providers" paid by the government to recruit, establish and manage green army teams, and federal work, health and safety "compliance orders".

But ACTU president Ged Kearney said the workers should be covered by the appropriate federal workplace protections.

"This is about taking away well-paid, well-protected jobs from people and replacing them with low-paid, unsafe jobs," she said. "This is not about getting people on the margins of the workforce into work, this is about providing a low-paid workforce."

Greens MP Adam Bandt said: "Only Tony Abbott could create a 'workforce' where the workers aren't legally workers and have no workplace rights. If a green army supervisor and a worker under their command get injured while wielding a pick or building a lookout, the supervisor will have the same safety and compensation protections as ordinary employees but the worker won't."


Australia:  Let’s dump Great Barrier Reef dredging myths

Mr Reichelt mentions it obliquely but it deserves pointing out WHY good landfill material is being dumped at sea.  It is because Greenies won't let it be dumped on land!  Dredged material used to be poured directly onto waterfront swamps and mangroves as land reclamation.  Most of the Cairns foreshore was built up that way. I watched the dredge TSS Trinity Bay discharging into polders there when I was a boy.  But littoral swamps and mangroves  are now "wetlands" so must not be touched, even though there are untold miles of them left

AUTHOR:  Russell Reichelt,  Chairman and Chief Executive of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s recent decision to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge material to be disposed of 25 kilometres off Abbot Point in north Queensland has attracted passionate commentary around the world.

Millions of people from Australia and overseas have a fierce desire to protect one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. As the independent body managing the Great Barrier Reef for future generations, all of us at the Authority understand and share that desire: it’s what makes us want to come to work every day.

But the debate about Abbot Point has been marked by considerable misinformation, including claims about “toxic sludge”, dumping coal on the reef and even mining the reef. Late last week, it was confirmed that our decision to allow the dredge disposal will be challenged in court.

So what’s true, and what’s not? I hope with this article, I can clear up some of those misunderstandings on behalf of the Authority, particularly about our role, the nature and scale of the dredge disposal activity, and its likely environmental impacts.

If you still have questions at the end of this article, I and others from our team at the Authority will be reading your comments below and we’ll do our best to reply to further questions on The Conversation.

A sizeable challenge

At 344,400 square kilometres, the Marine Park is roughly the same area as Japan or Italy.

Of this vast and richly diverse expanse, one-third is highly protected; some places are near pristine, while others are feeling the effects of centuries of human uses.

But rather than locking the entire area away, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) role — as set out under Australian law — is to protect the region’s ecosystem, while also ensuring it remains a multiple-use marine park open to sustainable use. This includes tourism, commercial fishing, shipping and other operations.

While there are five major ports in the region, to this day only 1% of the World Heritage Area is set aside for ports. Most of the region’s 12 ports existed long before the Marine Park was created in 1975, and nearly all fall inside the World Heritage Area, but outside the park itself.

Responding to “toxic” claims

Among the many claims made about the Abbot Point decision is the assertion that the “Reef will be dredged” and that “toxic sludge” will be dumped in marine waters.

Both of those claims are simply wrong, as are suggestions that coal waste will be unloaded into the Reef, that this natural wonder is about to be mined, or that Abbot Point is a new coal port.

The reality is that disposal of dredge material of this type in the Marine Park is not new. It has occurred off nearly all major regional centres along the reef’s coastline before now.

It is a highly regulated activity and does not allow material to be placed on coral, seagrass or sensitive marine environments.

The material itself in Abbot Bay is about 60% sand and 40% silt and clay, which is similar to what you would see if you dug up the site where the material is to be relocated.

In addition, testing by accredited laboratories shows the material is not toxic, and is therefore suitable for ocean disposal.

Limiting new port development

As Queensland’s population has grown over the past 150 years, so too have the size and number of ports along the Great Barrier Reef coastline.

We recognise the potential environmental risks posed at a local level by this growth, which is why we have strongly advocated limiting port development to existing major ports — such as Abbot Point — as opposed to developing new sites.

This will produce a far better outcome than a proliferation of many, albeit smaller, ports along the coastline. And that’s not just our view: it’s a view shared by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which oversees the Great Barrier Reef’s listing as one of Australia’s 19 World Heritage sites.

Given Abbot Point has been a major port for the past 30 years, our approval of the dredge disposal permit application from North Queensland Bulk Ports is entirely consistent with this position.

The added benefit of the port is its access to naturally deep waters, meaning it requires less capital dredging than other ports. It also has a much lower need for maintenance dredging.

What’s being done to protect the reef?

With this as our backdrop, we analysed the potential impacts and risks to the Great Barrier Reef from disposing dredge spoil off Abbot Point within the Marine Park.

In this case, we reached the conclusion that with 47 stringent conditions in place, it could be done in a way that makes us confident there will be no significant impact on the reef’s world heritage values.

These safeguards are designed specifically to ensure potential impacts are avoided, mitigated or offset, and to prevent harm to the environmental, cultural or heritage values associated with the nearby Holbourne Island fringing reef, Nares Rock, and the Catalina World War II wreck.

Our conditions are in addition to those already imposed by the federal government in prior approvals.

Again, just to clear up any confusion: the dredge material will not be “dumped on the reef”.

Instead, we are looking at an area within the Marine Park that is about 25 kilometres east-northeast of the port at Abbot Point, and about 40 kilometres from the nearest offshore reef.

When the dredge disposal occurs, the material will only be allowed to be placed in a defined 4 square kilometre site free of hard corals, seagrass beds and other sensitive habitats.

If oceanographic conditions such as tides, winds, waves and currents are likely to produce adverse impacts, the disposal will not be allowed to proceed.

As an added precaution, the activity can only happen between March and June, as this falls outside the coral spawning and seagrass growth periods. As the sand, silt and clay itself will be dredged in stages over three years, the annual disposal volume will be capped at 1.3 million cubic metres.

Compared with other sites in this region, it is much less than has been done in the past. For example, in 2006 there were 8.6 million cubic metres of similar sediments excavated and relocated in one year at Hay Point, near Mackay. Scientific monitoring showed no significant effects on the ecosystem.

The dredge disposal from Abbot Point will be a highly managed activity — and it will not, as some headlines have suggested, mean the Great Barrier Reef will become a sludge repository or that tonnes of mud will be dumped on coral reefs.

This is not Gladstone Harbour all over again

I have often heard during this debate that Abbot Point will become “another Gladstone”.

I can assure you that GBRMPA understands strongly the need to learn the lessons from past port developments, including ones like Gladstone that fall outside of the Marine Park. This is why the recommendations from an independent review into Gladstone Harbour have been factored into our conditions.

Much of the criticism of the development at Gladstone Harbour centred on monitoring and who was doing it. This is why one the most common questions we’ve heard at GBRMPA about Abbot Point is “Who is going to make sure this is all done properly?”

The answer is: there will be multiple layers of independent oversight. Indeed, past authors on The Conversation have used Townsville’s port as a good example of how local impacts can be managed safely through transparent, independent monitoring and reporting, and active on-site management.

This is why we will have a full-time staff member from GBRMPA located at the port to oversee and enforce compliance during dredge disposal operations. This supervisor has the power to stop, suspend or modify works to ensure conditions are met.

In addition, an independent technical advice panel and an independent management response group will be formed. Membership of both these bodies will need the approval of GBRMPA.

Importantly, the management response group will include expert scientists as well as representatives from the tourism and fishing industries, and conservation groups. Together, GBRMPA and those other independent scrutineers will be overseeing the disposal, and will have the final say — not North Queensland Bulk Ports, which operates Abbot Point, or the coal companies that use the port.

Water quality monitoring will take place in real-time to measure factors such as suspended solids, turbidity and light availability. This is in addition to a long-term water quality monitoring program that will run for five years — much longer than what is normally required.

It’s vital that there is utmost transparency and scrutiny of what happens. We believe that with our staff on the job, plus independent oversight that includes the community, it will be a highly transparent process.

What are limits of the Authority’s powers?

It is true to say that despite all these safeguards, placing dredge material on land rather than in the Marine Park remains our preferred choice, providing it does not mean transferring environmental impact to sensitive wetlands connected to the reef ecosystem.

Indeed, land-based disposal is an option that must always be examined under national dredging guidelines.

But we recognise onshore disposal is not always immediately practical. Some of the challenges include finding suitable land, the need for dredge settlement ponds and delivery pipelines, and potential impacts on surrounding environments.

Ultimately, what occurs on land is outside of GBRMPA’s jurisdiction. We do not make decisions about mines, railways and loading facilities, and have never had the power to compel a port authority to place dredged material onshore or to build an extension to existing jetties.

Nor do we have the ability to stop dredge disposal from occurring in port limits that fall inside the World Heritage Area, but outside of the Marine Park.

Our legislative powers simply enable us to approve or reject a permit application for an action in the Marine Park, or to approve it with conditions.

Based on the considerable scientific evidence before us, we approved the application for Abbot Point with conditions, on the basis that potential impacts from offshore disposal were manageable and that there would be no significant or lasting impacts on the reef’s world heritage values.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


No comments: