Saturday, April 29, 2006


But Greenies might block this one too as it could involve the dreaded "Genetic engineering"

What happens to malaria parasites in their wild mosquito vector? Riehle et al. examined wild mosquitoes fed on the blood of naturally infected people in Mali and identified four genes that affect the insects' ability to resist the parasite. The genes act against at least three different species of malaria parasite. One of the genes, which causes parasite melanization in the lab, probably has little effect in natural systems. The three other genes, however closely resemble pattern-recognition resistance genes found in a many plants and animals. A large proportion of wild mosquitoes remained uninfected despite being fed malaria-infected blood.


Environmental Education: School of Crock

If there is anything worse than Americans' knowledge about the environment, it is their perception of it. Ask the experts. "Most Americans believe they know more about the environment than they actually do," the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation concluded from a Roper poll in 2003.

The poll found that:

120 million Americans think spray cans still have CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in them. But CFCs were banned in 1978.

120 million think disposable diapers are the leading problem with landfills. They actually represent about 1 percent of the problem.

130 million believe that hydropower is America's top energy source. In fact, it accounts for just 10 percent of the total.

In spite of this, the foundation concluded that, "The pursuit of environmental literacy in America is widespread and popular." It should have added, "but not effective."

If Americans are confused, it's because they are spoonfed by sources with little information, but with alternative agendas. Consider where the average American gets that "information" on the environment. About 60 percent of respondents in Roper polls cited mostly television and newspapers; about 25 percent credited the government and 33 percent said radio or environmental groups. (More than one source could be chosen.)

Don't be duped into believing that governmental agencies given charge of the environment lack bias in what they share with the public. Consider these examples of selling an agenda:

The Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality in its 2001 Annual Report, "Driving a car is probably the most environmentally damaging activity a Connecticut resident will engage in."

From a journal article by staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "With their vast asphalt parking areas and treeless streets, these (sprawling) cities coddle the automobile while denying children the opportunity to experience the wonder and joy of the natural world."

The environment, like so many other topics, has become a vehicle for cultural and political agendas. Former Greenpeace director Patrick Moore told John Stossel in an ABC-TV program in 2001 that the environmental movement has been hijacked by political activists. "They're using environmental rhetoric to cloak agendas like class warfare and anti-corporatism that, in fact, have almost nothing to do with ecology."

The lack of objective and accurate views characterizes most reports by interest groups, government agencies and even educational enterprises. Visitors to a Duke University Web site on its environmental experts see this: ( "America's Environmental Outlook for 2006 Isn't Sunny. Global warming clouds our future. Pollution degrades our air, soil and water. Environmental toxins compromise the health of our children. Misuse threatens the sustainability of our forests, fisheries, wetlands and coasts, and the health of species that live there." Why such a dreary prospect, when our environment has improved dramatically in the last 30 or 40 years?

Students are often subjected to unwarranted indoctrination. The syllabus for Ecology 1000 at the University of Georgia says, "Finally we ask the students to make an environmentally defensible change in their life style, and to quantify its potential impact on creating a sustainable future." The report makes up 20 percent of the laboratory grade and is discussed in two lab periods. So, it is not enough to educate students about the environment; they must change their lives! Imagine the uproar from such a requirement in religion or political science.

Bias is also obvious in the choice of books for a required report in that course. Of the nine listed for Fall semester 2005, not one told of progress; all were pessimistic about the future. Among the titles: "And the Waters Turned to Blood," "Our Stolen Future," and "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy." Another, "The Boiling Point," about global warming, says "Under the administration of George W. Bush, the White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal ..."

Students need contrasting viewpoints, but where is the contrast? Not in these books. This course is probably not typical, but it is safe to say that most are neither complimentary of environmental progress nor optimistic about future solutions. If professional environmentalists are so negative, how can the public get a balanced view?

Americans' need education about the environment, not distorted pessimism. A Yale University poll in 2005 found that 52 percent of Americans believe the environment in the United States is getting worse and only 15 percent think it is getting better. The majority in the Yale poll surely didn't know that the number of days of unhealthy air has decreased by 60 percent since 1980 (see graph), or that the federal ozone standard was not exceeded a single time in Illinois in 2004, down from thousands of times each year in the mid-1970s. They also couldn't have known that a 2000 EPA study of sewage treatment and restoration of rivers concluded, "tremendous progress has been made in improving water quality, restoring valuable fisheries and other biological resources, and creating extensive recreational opportunities in all nine case study sites."

It is fairly clear why Americans are so pessimistic and know so little of environmental progress. Environmental education in America is misdirected and failing.


Reducing Emissions Without Signing Treaties

Post lifted from Blogger News

If it was proposed that the United States reduce the following pollutants (based on 1970 levels)...
  • Carbon monoxide by half
  • Particulate emissions by 80%
  • Sulfur dioxide emissions by half
  • and virtually eliminate lead emissions

...would you consider that a reasonable proposal and ask the government to sign it? If we didn't sign it, would you consider it proof that we don't care about the environment? Do you believe that the free market or our own legislation couldn't possibly do this without an international treaty?

You'd be surprised. That's exactly what we have done, all without the Kyoto Protocol. The Wall St. Journal covered the "Index of Leading Environmental Indicators", which is published annually around Earth Day and it has its own web site as well.

The WSJ reminds us that the dire predictions of today are coming from the same people and groups that have a poor track record.
This year, for example, Vanity Fair has inaugurated an "Earth Issue," comprising 246 glossy, non-recycled pages of fashion ads, celebrity worship and environmental apocalypse. Highlights include computer-generated images of New York City underwater and the Washington mall as one big reflecting pool. The magazine also includes a breathless essay by U.S. environmental conscience-in-chief Al Gore. The message is that we are headed for an environmental catastrophe of the first order, and only drastic changes to the way we live can possibly prevent it.

If arguments were won through the use of italics, Mr. Gore would prevail in a knockout. But as Mr. Hayward notes in his "Index," the environmental movement as a whole has developed a credibility problem since the first Earth Day 36 years ago. In the 1970s, prominent greens were issuing dire predictions about mass starvation, overpopulation and--of all things--global cooling. Since then, population-growth estimates have come way down, biotechnology advances have found ways to feed more people than the doomsayers believed possible, and the global-cooling crisis has become the global-warming crisis without missing a beat.

The democratic process, the free market and scientific advancement really don't get enough credit in all of this. Treaties from on high that try to micromanage the process are a type of environmental socialism that has been shown not to work so many times in other ares of human behavior.


Feds going cold on windfarms (Hooray!)

Environment Minister Ian Campbell's campaign against unpopular wind farms will include a national code giving him new powers to veto any project facing community opposition. As Senator Campbell used the death of an endangered wedge-tail eagle to support claims that wind farms threatened birds, he vowed to defy threats of a constitutional challenge from Labor states to forge ahead with plans for the code. It would give him new powers to block any wind farm based on community opposition, not just on environmental grounds. Senator Campbell said he was close to securing a national agreement with the states, with the exception of Victoria and Western Australia. If he could not win their backing, he warned last night he would unilaterally extend federal powers as a "last resort". Senator Campbell last month infuriated the Victorian Government by stopping the Bald Hills wind farm project in Gippsland to "save" the endangered orange-bellied parrot. This week, he froze funding for a similar wind farm project on the south coast of Western Australia, which won state government approval but faced opposition from members of the local community. His hardline position came as it emerged yesterday that the rare wedge-tail eagle died after colliding with wind turbines at the Woolnorth Wind Farm in Tasmania's northwest in wind gusts of 140km/h. According to a report, it appears the eagle's wings were severed and the bird was decapitated by the turbines. Senator Campbell said the death sent a message to "those who sneer about me making a decision based on killing birds". "Wind farms kill birds very regularly," he said. "I think all those who snigger about environment ministers trying to protect threatened species - hopefully, this will be a bit of a wake-up call."

More here

Some Australian Greenies applaud Feds on windfarms

For a good part of his life, licensed surveyor Peter Mortimer has plied the waves of the pristine beaches around the idyllic West Australian town of Denmark. "It's one of those special places where you are isolated from anything man-made. It's a totally natural environment," he said. Mr Mortimer surfs one beach in the summer when the wind dies down and another, more sheltered, beach in winter when the fierce gusts blast their way over the southern Indian Ocean. Between the two beaches lies a local landmark, Wilson's Head, and it is there that a group of Denmark locals want to plant two or three turbines to harness the same strong winds. Mr Mortimer does not like the idea of having such machines, with their huge blades spinning away, overlooking him as he's trying to catch a wave. In Denmark, population 5000, it's the battle of who's greenest. Mr Mortimer say he is not against wind farms per se, he just thinks it is idiotic to put such an eyesore in one of the few spots on the state's southeast coast that has not been developed. He says that principle applies not just for locals, but for Perth types who go to Denmark to "wash away the pressures of the built environment". Mr Mortimer is outraged that the state Government overrode the views of the local council and rezoned Wilson's Head to accommodate the proposed wind farm. He is delighted that federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell has said he will block any further federal funding of the project, which received $240,000 for a feasibility study.

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.

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

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


No comments: