Thursday, December 16, 2004


A forgotten old nursery rhyme is having more meaning for Americans these days. "Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite." But they are biting in all 50 states as they haven't bitten since the 1940s, say pest control companies, scientists and health officials. And, indeed, it is making sleep more difficult for Americans of all walks of life -- from denizens of homeless shelters to those visiting the swankiest five-star hotels. Outbreaks of bedbug infestations have been reported from coast to coast, north and south and among rich and poor.

Experts attribute the plague largely to two factors: increased travel and the banning of DDT and other effective pesticides that virtually wiped out "Cimex lectularious," the Latin name for the pest. A November newsletter from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness made the link between the rise of bedbug infestations and the U.S. banning in 1972 of the potent pesticide DDT. "No chemical in history has saved more lives than DDT, and few if any have a better safety record," the organization decried. Dozens of other experts made the connection with DDT and increased travel. The banning of DDT has also been linked worldwide to the major increase in malaria, which annually took the lives of millions before DDT nearly wiped out the mosquito-borne plague. Many countries have reintroduced the use of DDT to fight malaria.

More here


The renewable-energy lobby is just another oinker with its snout in the trough -- a special interest group slavering after corporate welfare subsidies, special tax breaks, and market rigging rules.

Geman begins by observing that, "Renewable energy advocates are launching a major effort to steer federal and state policies towards far greater utilization of renewable technologies, arguing that decades of research and development have generated mature technologies poised for wider adoption." Now, wait a minute. If those technologies are "mature" and "poised for wider adoption"-wind turbines, after all, have been around for centuries-then why is government intervention needed to ensure their "utilization"? If renewable energy technologies cannot succeed on their own despite "decades of research and development," why should we taxpayers be compelled to keep subsidizing them?

According to an ACORE paper distributed prior to the conference, "It is time to declare an interim success on the 30-year, $14 billion investment in renewable energy technologies, and chart a new course for widespread utilization ('Phase II') of renewable energy in America." But hold on again. When environmentalists enthuse about "renewable energy technologies," they refer chiefly to wind and solar power and biomass fuels, which together supply only 3 percent of all the electricity Americans use-with wind and solar providing less than two-tenths of one percent. If that is all 30 years and $14 billion have accomplished, then isn't it time declare failure and abolish coerced taxpayer support for such techno-underachievers? Not according to the renewable energy industry luminaries Geman cites.

Steve Zwolinski, president of GE Wind Energy, laments that U.S. policy lags behind that of Europe in growing the renewable energy sector: "U.S. policy is not conducive to developing the industry." Yes, and a good thing, too! In America, it is the job of industry to develop itself, not the job of government. What Zwolinski really wants is a government-guaranteed market share for wind-generated electricity, regardless of performance, cost, or efficiency. That may be the European way; it is not the American way.

ACORE President Michael Eckhart advocates federal funding for state renewable energy programs and repeal of the sunset provisions in the current crop of renewable energy tax breaks: "We want renewable energy to be in the tax code." What a noble agenda for the environmental movement! Hide the cost of uneconomic wind farms from local ratepayers (the inevitable effect of federal funding), and, at the same time, further convolute a federal tax code already overloaded with special-interest preferences and loopholes....

"The experience of the 1970s and 1980s taught us that if a technology is commercially viable, then government support is not needed and if a technology is not commercially viable, no amount of government support will make it so." [emphasis added]

Absent special political privileges-federal research and development subsidies, tax breaks, and state RPS programs-today's renewable-energy industry, or most of it, would not even exist. Three decades and $14 billion in direct federal support and untold billions in state taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies have failed to make "green" energy economically self-sustaining. Enough is enough. Congress should terminate, not expand, its patronage of this boondoggle.

More here


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.

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