Calling greenies “watermelons” (“reds hiding under a green cloak”) is clearly descriptive and racially irrelevant but labeling indigenous Australians “coconuts” (“brown on the outside, white on the inside”) is racial vilification and intolerable. The antidevelopment crowd must repudiate this slur in the strongest possible terms.
MP Carol Martin’s serve for ‘a mob of bludgers and liars’
TONY BARRASS AND PAIGE TAYLOR
IN typical blunt fashion, Australia’s first female indigenous MP has labelled some of the environmentalists fighting Woodside Petroleum’s $30 billion gas hub in the Kimberley “a lazy mob of bludgers and liars”.
After telling Kimberley Aborigines gathered outside Fitzroy Crossing yesterday that she was retiring at the next West Australian election, Labor MP Carol Martin said the vast majority of Australians concerned about the environment would be appalled by the behaviour of some anti-gas campaigners who had “bullied, lied and abused” indigenous people in a bid to stop the project at James Price Point, 60km north of Broome. As revealed in yesterday’s The Australian, Ms Martin, the member for the Kimberley since 2001, will retire at the next state election due in March 2013.
She said she made her decision to be closer to her family, but being branded a “coconut” – a derogatory term for Aborigines meaning brown on the outside, white on the inside – by opponents of the gas hub was something that “I just don’t want to put up with any more”. (The Australian)
EU ban on bracken pesticide is blasted
A EUROPEAN Union ban on a pesticide to control bracken has been criticised by leading conservation charities.
Millions of pounds has been spent removing bracken from the Lake District fells because it is a haven for disease carrying ticks, which can spread Lyme disease to humans and Louping Ill to grouse and sheep.
Bracken has spread significantly during recent years sometimes at the expense of other plants and wildlife.
The most effective weapon against it has been a pesticide called Asulam, which targets just the bracken, leaving other vegetation free to grow.
It has been used for decades, but was banned by the EU’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health over concerns about its safety when used on spinach and other food crops. The EU has been re-registering pesticides to adhere to higher food standards, and Asulam failed in one of the tests. (Westmorland gazette)
EPA Boosts Water Policing as Farmers Say Worst Fears Realized
Fifth-generation farmer Kenny Watkins ran afoul of the U.S. clean-water police in 2009. His infraction: Planting hay in a pasture.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordered Watkins to stop cultivating a 160-acre (65-hectare) tract in central California because he might destroy seasonal ponds and harm the San Joaquin River. Watkins has defied the decision and the federal government’s control over what he can grow on his farm.
Stories from the health care trenches
Perhaps this will become a frequent category. This time around, I mix in funny with serious, and wouldn’t you know it, statins—specifically Lipitor—are at the center of one of the anecdotes.
I think you’ll like that particular story, since it’s about a guy who somehow qualifies to get free Lipitor, but can afford private health insurance at the same time. Could the broadcast media have blown the details here?
Food for thought. Read the complete article. (Shaw’s Eco-Logic)
CDC Finds Moderate Drinking Leads To Longer Life; Buries Finding
Sometimes, it seems as if the nation’s public health mandarins are the only responsible adults in a country swarming with perpetual teenagers; and, as with teenagers or children, sometimes the adults can’t risk telling the whole truth.
Thus did Thomas Frieden, the director general of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ever so subtly spin the results of a revealing analysis of the impact of four “low risk” lifestyle behaviors on health last month:
“If you want to lead a longer life and feel better, you should adopt healthy behaviors – not smoking, getting regular physical activity, eating healthy, and avoiding excessive alcohol use.”
So did that mean that moderate drinking actually improved your likelihood of living longer? Yes it did, even though Frieden couldn’t quite bring himself to say so. (Forbes)
Breast Cancer Fund Study: Science Or Class Warfare?
As I’ve noted here on Forbes, the mainstream media has a pretty amazing knack for ignoring key research when there’s a controversy. So, this summer, we’ve seen a whole series of important studies on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) come and go with next to no coverage, even though the subject has, up until now, generated hundreds of news stories.
Oh, wait, do you think it might be because the studies found that there was no risk? Hmmh… let me think about that for a moment.
Op-Ed: The ‘current trends’ con
Obesity, like other problems, can’t be solved by hysteria
Trevor Butterworth, SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
If you plan on being around in 2030, be warned: As an American, you will have a one in two chance of being obese.
This prediction comes from a report in one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet. The journal devoted a special issue to obesity in advance of this week’s World Health Organization meeting in New York on noncommunicable diseases, many of which can be attributable to the global surge in weight.
Of course, this is old news: A 2008 study by Johns Hopkins researchers in the journal Obesity warned that by 2030, 51.1 percent of American adults would be obese, and that if the trends behind the numbers continued, every adult American would be overweight or obese by 2048.
Why You Should Trust The FDA (And Not Dr. Oz)
If the reaction in the news media to Dr. Oz’s absurd claims about the dangers of arsenic in apple juice has been enormously heartening (essentially the media’s collective “Dr. Oz says this, but the FDA says that” narrative leaves the celebrity cardiothoracic surgeon looking like an unscrupulous and unethical quack), the disheartening part is that too many people will still choose to believe a television doctor who doesn’t know his ass from his elbow in terms of chemistry, over the massed ranks of PhD’s and toxicologists at the Food and Drug Administration.
This abysmal state of affairs was summed up by some fool on The View mouthing off about how we all should be grateful that Dr. Oz is looking out for our kids – as if the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on a vast array of regulatory agencies simply didn’t occur. (Forbes)
Styrene in the Crosshairs: Competing Standards Confuse Public, Regulators
Jon Entine, September 14, 2011
Science v. Politics—When a popular chemical is in the regulatory crosshairs, the debate invariably passes through advocacy and industry grinders. Crusaders and apologists go head to head. Hysteria builds. Minds fog. Legislators panic. Bad regulations get passed or reasonable ones get shelved. The public loses.
It’s a stale script, but it unfolds time and again. The latest case involves styrene. While it is natural occurring, it’s also produced synthetically. It’s found in many products, including latex paints, carpet backings, bathtubs, shower stalls and most commonly as an ingredient in polystyrene containers that come in contact with food. Think Chinese take-out food.
In June, the Department of Health & Human Services’ National Toxicology Program (NTP) classified styrene as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” in its mandated 12th report to Congress. What this listing means is very different from how it is being framed by advocacy groups and the media—and this knowledge gap threatens to wreck legislative havoc across the country. (STATS)
Weather Is Consistent With Climate Change
Leading scientists revealed today that weather is consistent with climate change. In a stunning vindication of climate models, the scientists have revealed that there is a very high probability that increasing CO2 is causing weather every day. In what is widely seen as a major set-back for climate change denialists, the models give clear and unambiguous results that weather will appear almost every day. (TPC)
Breaking: Farcical CDM swindle sits atop the global warming hoax
Clean-energy credits tarnished : Nature News
As the world gears up for the next round of United Nations climate-change negotiations in Durban, South Africa, in November, evidence has emerged that a cornerstone of the existing global climate agreement, the international greenhouse-gas emissions-trading system, is seriously flawed.
But a diplomatic cable published last month by the WikiLeaks website reveals that most of the CDM projects in India should not have been certified because they did not reduce emissions beyond those that would have been achieved without foreign investment. Indian officials have apparently known about the problem for at least two years.
“What has leaked just confirms our view that in its present form the CDM is basically a farce,” says Eva Filzmoser, programme director of CDM Watch, a Brussels-based watchdog organization. The revelations imply that millions of tonnes of claimed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are mere phantoms, she says, and potentially cast doubt over the principle of carbon trading. “In the face of these comments it is no wonder that the United States has backed away from emission trading,” Filzmoser says.
How Absurd Is Regulating Greenhouse Gases through the Clean Air Act?
by MARLO LEWIS on SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
Pretty darn near the height of absurdity. That’s not just my opinion. It’s a key premise of EPA’s “Tailoring Rule,” which exempts small greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters from regulation under the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction permitting program and Title V operating permits program.
As EPA explains in a brief filed last week with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, once the agency’s GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles took effect on January 2, 2011, “major stationary sources” of GHG emissions became “automatically subject” to PSD and Title V permitting requirements. A facility with a potential to emit 250 tons per year (tpy) of a regulated air pollutant is a “major source” under PSD. A facility with a potential to emit 100 tpy is a “major source” under Title V. Whereas only large industrial facilities emit 100-250 tpy of smog- and soot-forming air pollutants, literally millions of small entities — big box stores, apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools, large houses of worship, Dunkin’ Donut shops – use enough natural gas or oil for heating or cooking to emit 100-250 tpy of carbon dioxide (CO2). (Cooler Heads)
How the WWF Infiltrated the IPCC – Part 2
September 26, 2011
Between 2004 and 2008 the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) persuaded 130 scientists to join its Climate Witness Scientific Advisory Panel. As I explained in Part 1, the Climate Witness campaign has an overtly political purpose. The WWF openly admits it’s trying to increase the public’s sense of urgency about climate change. Fear, alarm, anxiety – that’s what they’re pushing.
The campaign involves collecting testimonials from ordinary people who believe they are witnessing the dire effects of climate change in their own backyards. In an attempt to imbue these beliefs with an aura of scientific respectability, scientists on the WWF advisory panel examine these 1-page testimonials and decide if they are consistent with published research.
When it comes to the big picture the WWF harbours no doubt or uncertainty. It says it is “nearly impossible to overstate the threat of climate change” (see here, backup link here). (No Consensus)
The Broken Planet Fallacy
The Solyndra boondoggle illustrates the folly of treating global warming as an economic blessing.
Jacob Sullum | September 21, 2011
When Solyndra went belly up last month, less than a year after it started making solar arrays in Fremont, California, an Energy Department spokesman insisted that the $535 million the federal government had loaned the company was well spent. “The project that we supported succeeded,” he said. “The facility was producing the product it said it would produce.”
That rather short-sighted definition of success exemplifies the loopy logic of President Obama’s “green jobs” agenda, which justifies subsidies based on good intentions and employment opportunities rather than profitability or cost-effectiveness. This policy is rooted in the broken planet fallacy, which treats global warming not as an environmental threat to be handled as expeditiously as possible but as an economic opportunity to be milked for all the jobs it can provide. (Reason)
Lindzen on Kerry Emanuel’s Climate Alarmism, Non-Sequitur
by Robert Bradley Jr.
September 27, 2011
When I was director of public policy analysis at Enron in the late 1990s, I hired climatologist Gerald North of Texas A&M as a consultant to help me get to the bottom of the raging debate between climate ‘skeptics’ and ‘alarmists.’ I was Ken Lay’s speechwriter, and I was concerned that Enron’s embrace of climate alarmism (we had seven profit centers banking on priced CO2 from government intervention) was intellectually off base and thus violated the honesty plank of corporate responsibility.
It was money well spent. Dr. North was personable and honest, although he had a propensity to default toward alarmism if you did not challenge him. (Such is the neo-Malthusian propensity of most natural scientists who see nature as optimal and the human influence as only downside.) This is why I have called Dr. North, to his chagrin, the non-alarmist alarmist.
North distrusted climate models. He noted time and again the personal relationships and personality traits in driving the scientist’s views. And his own sensitivity estimate was at the bottom end of the IPCC range. (North’s climate sensitivity estimate of about 2ºC for a doubling of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in equilibrium–with a plus/minus of .25ºC I would later find out–was an intuitive number.) (MasterResource)