Friday, May 06, 2005


A plan to provide an alternative form of energy in Wisconsin is pitting two sets of environmentalists against each other. Some favor cleaner air, others want to protect nearby wildlife. Doug Duncan, a Wisconsin farmer who uses windmills to add to his two-turbine farm, said his crop is so good, it's encouraging neighbors to get their own windmills. A Chicago-based energy company wants to build 133 wind turbines like Duncan's that could produce enough energy to power 100,000 homes near the city of Fond du Lac. "Every kilowatt hour of wind actually preserves cleaner air," said Michael Vickerman of RENEW-Wisconsin. "[Wind energy] will have a lowering effect on electricity rates. With this project in place, rates could actually decline or at least not go up as fast."

But wildlife enthusiasts oppose the project. The reason? Birds. The turbines may be as close as a mile and a half from the Horicon Marsh, a federally protected wildlife preserve. "This is a major migratory bird route here, feeding and nesting area for tens of thousands of birds. We strongly fear that lots of birds will be killed by these turbines," said Curt Kindschuh of the Horicon Marsh Systems Advocates

A state environmental impact report has concluded that not enough evidence is available to say what kind of impact wind turbines could have on bird populations. If the project were to go forward, just 1 percent of Wisconsin's energy would be wind-generated.

Opponents say they would feel differently about the endeavor if the project were built elsewhere. "Wind energy is good, but there is a place to put that and you don't put 133 turbines within a mile and a half of a wildlife refuge," Kindschuh said. Farmer Dennis Oechsner said delaying alternative energy is not in order. "It's sad to say that everybody can squawk about it and push it off to someone else, but if we keep moving it elsewhere, sooner or later, we're not going to have it," he said. Farmers will receive more than $4,000 a year for each windmill built on their property. With times not being the best for traditional farmers, those in support of the plan call it a windfall.



The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners such as the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), the World Bank and US donor USAID formed Roll Back Malaria in 1998 with the goal of halving the burden of malaria by 2010. More than halfway through that programme, malaria cases have risen more than 10%. This year's theme for Africa Malaria Day is a typically empty UN-style slogan: Unite Against Malaria - Together we can beat malaria. The WHO is only partly right in asserting that unity will beat malaria - there are successful partnerships against malaria, but most do not include any UN organisation, the World Bank or donor agencies.....

Malaria started to decline in Italy towards the end of the 19th century as Italy became wealthier. It was only eradicated, though, after teams sprayed the insecticide DDT on the inside walls of houses. This indoor residual spraying repels or kills mosquitoes. It is probably the most effective way of controlling malaria and attracted great support from the UN and donor organisations.

Environmentalist campaigns from the 1970s onwards, with pressure from within WHO and Unicef, have meant that support for DDT has dwindled. The result - an ever-increasing number of malaria cases and deaths. However, some countries, such as SA, continue to use DDT and support dedicated malaria control programmes. SA has also introduced effective malaria treatments based on an ancient Chinese herbal remedy.

The result has been a dramatic decline in malaria cases and deaths. So successful has this strategy been that other African countries are following the model. With funding from government, the private sector and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, spraying programmes in Swaziland, Mozambique (which does not use DDT) and Zambia have achieved equally impressive declines in malaria.

The WHO's Afro office in Harare tries to support spraying that actually works, yet is continually frustrated by bureaucrats far removed at the WHO's headquarters in Geneva. They are also undermined by the donors that supposedly fund malaria control in Africa. USAID is particularly inept when it comes to controlling malaria. This leading donor chooses not to spend its $80m malaria budget buying insecticides or drugs that may save lives. Instead, it spends more than 70% of its budget on US consultants.

These consultants could promote effective malaria control if they wanted to - what is working is no secret. Yet funding spraying programmes would mean that the agencies would have to put money directly into health department malaria-control programmes and would have to buy insecticides and drugs. This would mean that there would be less left over for the consultants to run their workshops and to drive about in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Predictably, the agencies and their consultants prefer to promote insecticide-treated mosquito nets as the main method of control, though this strategy has led to the 10% increase in cases.

Many African governments know what has to be done. Uganda wants to restart its malaria control programme using DDT, which worked spectacularly well in the 1960s. Yet the European Union threatened to ban all Ugandan agricultural exports if it did.

Malaria is entirely preventable and curable. It is scandalous that so many people die from it each year and that the leading organisations charged with controlling it continue to fail. There is hope, though. The US senate is debating a neglected diseases bill which will force USAID to support indoor residual spraying, and to support insecticide-treated nets only if it can prove they work. African governments and the private sector owe it to the millions of malaria sufferers to unite against UN and donor politics and to promote effective malaria control

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JP Morgan Chase's chief executive, William Harrison, is a dream come true for Left-wing anti-business activists. Not only did Mr. Harrison announce last week that JP Morgan Chase would fully surrender to their demand that the bank adopt activist approved lending policies - he also announced plans to make the bank an active tool of the radical environmental movement. Following activist demands, JP Morgan will compel its borrowers to embrace the unsubstantiated hysteria about global warming - thus putting their businesses at significant financial risk.

Borrowers will be forced to disclose emissions of greenhouse gases - a practice likely to benefit only trial lawyers eager to sue businesses based on allegations that their greenhouse gas emissions contributed to global warming, which the lawyers hope to link to property damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe weather events. Borrowers will also be pressured to include on their balance sheets liabilities for global warming - essentially imaginary liabilities that will compel borrowers to reserve monies for paying off trial lawyers, Green activists, and their allies in the property and casualty insurance industry.

JP Morgan Chase also agreed to allow the activists to dictate where the bank may lend money. Areas designated by activists as being of "high ecological" value will be "no-go" zones where lending is restricted. Since there are no objective standards for identifying areas of "high ecological value" - thereby leaving the activists in charge of designating those areas - the policy essentially gives the activists a veto over bank lending. The bank will also force borrowers to require that "indigenous peoples" have a say in each stage of project preparation, implementation, and operations. While this may sound reasonable at face value, in real world terms, it simply means that borrowers will be constantly fighting local groups who have been whipped up against them by activists.

As if all this is not bad enough, CEO Harrison went above and beyond activist pressure to announce that JP Morgan Chase will now form and lead a coalition of U.S. banks that will pressure the American government for a national global warming policy.

Although the Senate rejected the international global warming treaty 95-0 in 1997 and President Bush pulled America out of the treaty in 2001, JP Morgan Chase - a bank whose role is to provide financial services to society for a profit - will now become a lobbyist for global warming hysteria, an agenda that has already been rejected through our democratic political process......

Another dismaying aspect of Mr. Harrison's capitulation is that it encourages the activists to continue attacking other law-abiding businesses - RAN is already polling it members about which industry should be besieged next - resulting in an ever worsening domino effect that will adversely impact not only the American economy, but also the developing economies of the most desperately poor regions of the globe. Thanks to the likes of Mr. Harrison and other craven corporate managers, people in the developing world who wish to better their lives through free enterprise will pay the biggest price of all - and there's no one to lobby for them.

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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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