October 15, 2008Americans are well aware of the power of political "spin" during election years. But political spin is nothing compared to "green spin," perpetrated by environmental activists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They issued a report with data showing that bottled water is a safe option for consumers, but the group's hype suggests the opposite.
The EWG-produced data demonstrate only trace levels of certain chemicals, all of which fall below very stringent levels that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration have found safe. Environmentalists, basically condemn the water by demanding absolute purity, something that simply does not exist in the physical world. The real issue should be whether our food and water pose more than negligible risks. This study shows that bottled water risks are...
August 20, 2008According to news reports, New York City's Mayor Bloomberg wants to build a wind farm to meet 10 percent of New York City's energy needs. In addition to the fact that the assumption that he could meet that goal may be more foolish than Don Quixote's battle, the impact of Bloomberg's quest could prove devastating for migratory birds. Windmills can basically make minced meat out of birds that migrate along the same coastal, windy routes that are suitable for wind farms.
Energy expert Robert Bradley Jr. notes that the country's largest wind farm in Contra Costa California, called Altamont Pass, kills hundreds of birds every year. He notes: “On a percentage basis, the mortality rate per year at Altamont...
August 19, 2008
We keep hearing in the news these days that bottled water and tap water are basically the same thing or that that bottled water may not be as good because it is regulated less. In today's Wall Street Journal, one reporter says “experts say tap water is held to more stringent standards by the EPA [the Environmental Protection Agency],” than is bottled water, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If those individuals who keep publishing such claims bothered to check the facts, they'd learn that the unidentified “experts” they cite are simply wrong....
August 13, 2008
Bottled water is supposedly so "wasteful" that the U.S. Conference of Mayors had to issue a resolution calling on governments to stop buying it. But what do they say when government tap water fails to meet safety standards? Drink bottled water! That is one of the recommendations offered by public officials in Pembroke, Massachusetts, which discovered E. coli bacteria in its water supply. Governments often buy, or seek donations of, large amounts of bottled water to use in such emergencies. And they seek bottled water not only during major weather events. Tap water systems periodically have water quality problems for a...
May 27, 2008
The Washington Examiner has an editorial today titled "Environmentalism is not about the Environment." Indeed. The title says it all. When most Americans say they are environmentalists, they express the simple desire for clean air, clean water, and an appreciation for wildlife. But today's environmental movement is much more focused on expanding government controls and bureaucracy than anything else. Much of what they advocate unnecessary and needlessly expensive. The impact on freedom and the economy is far greater than most people realize....
May 9, 2008
Andrew Grossman of the Heritage Foundation recently released an important paper on a Senate bill to create what some might call a product blacklist of allegedly unsafe products. Currently, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports on product recalls based on some level of validated data. This new legislation would mandate that the CPSC develop and maintain what promises to become a sloppy, inaccurate, and confusing list of complaints about products. Essentially, anyone could add to the list— including product competitors—products...
April 30, 2008If you ever thought that governmental economic planning or market manipulation is a useful tool, take a look at this article in today's Washington Post on the impact of ethanol subsidies and mandates. It underscores the fact that governments are much better at making mistakes and serving political interests than they are at solving problems! CEI's energy analysts warned (see here, here and here, for example) about such folly, but politicians apparently are not prone to reason.
April 24, 2008
It's a funny thing about the greens. They support government controls over everything in society in the name of Mother Earth, but after turning over our freedom to regulators they get angry that political decisions at political agencies are affected by politics! As if that was a big surprise! The Union for Concerned Scientists is upset because regulators at EPA have to listen to the concerns raised by lobbyists from industry and elsewhere.
Well, we at CEI are concerned...
April 16, 2008Reading the headline of a Washington Post story today, you would think that government researchers have made a new and major finding on a chemical that should make us all quiver in our boots. The headline reads: "U.S. Cites Fears on Chemical In Plastics." At issue is a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed brief released by the National Toxicology Program that reviewed existing research on the chemical Bisphenol A, which is found in some plastics products. Instead of discovering a problem, the draft brief underscores the fact that researchers have been unable to find any impact on humans from the chemical. The key conclusions in the brief are as follows:
"The NTP has negligible concern that...
April 7, 2008Today, the new green badge of honor appears to be going to people who build and live in "green homes" that meet standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. Under these standards (known as LEED Standards), you apparently can't be green if you have a large home ... unless you have a very large bank account! In order to be called green under the so called LEED green building standards, larger homes must meet higher standards than smaller ones—and the costs can be substantial. Ironically, many of the standards are questionable.
Yet some green liberals are willing to pay for this indulgence. Consider the new community in Connecticut called Windermere on the Lake. According to a story in the ...