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 ...
April 2, 2008
The Bush Administration has decided that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is too bureaucratic to follow when it comes to building a fence along the border to keep out illegal immigrants. Accordingly, it will waive NEPA for this one project. NEPA allows environmentalists and others to demand environmental reviews of federal activities that might impact the environment. Reviews can take decades and lead to protracted litigation.
"Criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation," Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff is quoted in today's Washington Post. But if the Act is a bureaucratic/litigation nightmare, why don't they consider fixing the law rather than waiving here and there? NEPA is causing lots of problems...
March 6, 2008Environmental activists want to regulate bottled water out of existence because they say that it is a waste of resources because the alternatives--such as filtered tap water placed in refillable containers--are just as good. What they don't consider is where people will be forced to fill those refillable bottles when they are in public places. Most of us don't tote around Britta filters, so when in public places, we are left to consider drinking from a public faucet, like a water fountain and public bathroom tap. No thanks! Even a child can tell you that those places are full of unappetizing germs. One 13 year old conducted a study last year when his school...
March 5, 2008It is ironic that environmentalist hype about global warming and green calls for alternative fuels are undermining some of the greens' very own programs and objectives. A story in Greenwire (3/4/08) details the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposal to use land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to grow and harvest native grasses to support “cellulosic ethanol energy.”
Under CRP, farmers are paid by the federal government not to use 34 million acres of land, leaving habitat for wildlife. The greens are complaining that harvesting the grasses will deprive birds of vital habitat. Perhaps they should have thought about such possibilities before they lobbied for federal control of so much of the nation's...
February 29, 2008In recent months, environmentalists have been saying that bottled water is wasteful and no healthier than tap. They are helping advance bottled water taxes, bans on bottled water in government offices and at public events, along with a host of other silly anti-bottled water policies. Their advice for those of us who want water on the go: use refillable containers. What they don't advertise is the fact that those bottles can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria—which doesn't sound like a healthier alternative to me! Check this story out. It notes that one toxicologist recommends not only washing bottles regularly (remember washing with soap has environmental impacts too!), but swapping them out "as much as possible" to avoid bacterial build up. Sounds like yet another good reason to simply stick with fresh, convenient,...
January 15, 2008
If you are not on Junkscience.com's, daily email, you might want to sign up. This daily dispatch sends along nuggets of good information and telling news items. Today's email links to a Telegraph article on the greens' carbon footprint. A survey of the travel habits of 25,000 people reveals that environmentalists--particularly those who are most likely to work for environmental organizations--have the worst environmental records and biggest carbon footprints. I can't say I am all that surprised!
January 14, 2008A recent article on a garbage crisis in Naples Italy confirms what I've always believed—such trash crises all have roots in government planning. Nations around the world plan for waste disposal the way Soviets used to plan economies, and the results are equally disappointing.
In Naples Italy, government planners failed to ensure the supply of solid waste disposal sites would meet demand, and as a result, trash has been piling up in the city streets since December 20! When have you ever heard of such a catastrophe in a truly free market for a good or service? How often has your supermarket completely run out of food to sell because someone in the marketplace miscalculated supply and demand?
Markets may have their own glitches—which are followed by automatic corrections from time to time. But when governments decide to provide “...
January 14, 2008I never knew there were so many shades to a light bulb! But since Congress has basically banned incandescent light bulbs in favor of "energy-efficient" alternatives--i.e., fluorescents--there's a great deal of talk about the quality of light fluorescents produce. A New York Times home section article on the topic details the many shades of light produced by fluorescents bulbs and why so many people are unhappy with them. Frankly, I don't notice much difference. I am more concerned about how they look in my traditional home and the fact that few work well on dimmer switches. Will I be able to find attractive flame-tip bulbs for my chandeliers that work on my dimmers?
In any case, this situation underscores...