Other Environmental Topics
Note:  The Mass Transit / Car Pooling Section has moved to a page of its own.

Debate Over 'Natural':  Fish Stocking Banned in Washington's Mountain Lakes.  Every summer, Sandy McKean and volunteers lug plastic jugs full of baby trout into the rugged wilderness of North Cascades National Park and plant them in alpine lakes for anglers to catch.  This year, reversing a practice that's been around longer than the park itself, park officials say they'll no longer allow fish stocking in those mountain lakes — and will kill remaining fish — unless Congress tells them otherwise.

Greens see red with Rudd.  Two intriguing facts were revealed this week, thanks to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.  First, it is now obvious that the hardcore environmental movement in Australia is far smaller than even the most dismissive critics would have estimated.  Second, the few who do make up our dedicated green mass are more bound to their cause than previously realised.  Compared to Australian greens, haj pilgrims are a bunch of church-only-for-weddings religious pikers.

Return of the Warm-Monger:  People who do not believe in a Creator are living in a world defined entirely by chance.  As easily as it emerged in randomness, it could disintegrate into chaos.  Their lives are fragile tendrils clinging for support to the slender reed of a world governed by habit rather than purpose.  They are only too easily gulled by the soothsayers, the naysayers, the doomsayers.

Report says food, biofuels could worsen water shortages.  Surging demand for irrigation to produce food and biofuels is likely to aggravate scarcities of water but the world's supply is not running out, an international report said on Monday [8/21/2006].

Hurricane forecasts:  Good headlines, bad science.  Predictions are fraught with inaccuracy.  While there is skill in forecasting whether a particular season will be active overall, there are no definitive scientific methods for predicting the exact number of hurricanes that will form during a particular year.  Despite claims to the contrary, no verified means exist to pinpoint an area or region a hurricane will impact.

Katrina, Rita Actually Helped Wetlands, Study Says.  A new study makes the provocative claim that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita actually helped stabilize coastal wetlands by depositing tons of silt and sediment — even as the storms devastated dozens of square miles of the low-lying areas.

Public Health or Brockovich Wealth?  The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has just announced it's giving its highest honor to Los Angeles paralegal Erin Brockovich, best known for her virtual beatification in the allegedly "based on a true story" film of the same name.  Julia Roberts portrayed her as having the mouth of a hooker but a heart of gold.  Yet the Hollywood Brockovich is bunk, and this is not Harvard's finest hour.

The Case For Thinning Our Forests:  According to a recent study by the USDA Forest Service, there are four factors working together that have resulted in the type of unnatural wildfire we are now regularly seeing:  weather, the abundance of fuel in our forests, lack of moisture and the terrain.  Obviously, humans have no real control over the weather (including the lack of rain) or the terrain.  So, logically, we need to focus on the one factor we do have control over — fuel buildup.

The Editor says...
The next three items are important, because many bad ideas originate in California and then spread to other parts of the country.

Banning fireplaces?  Nights spent by comfy fire may be numbered.  The sound of soft crackling from a fire burning in the fireplace is as comforting as the warmth it generates, but it may also be a sound that will soon become extinct.  If new regulations proposed by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District take effect next year, burning wood may eventually become a thing of the past.

Proposed ban would snuff beach bonfires in San Francisco.  For as long as anyone can remember, building a fire on the beach has been one of the simple pleasures of life by the sea.  But if the Park Service has its way, the tradition will soon be extinguished at Ocean Beach, the last stretch in San Francisco and one of the few beaches statewide where bonfires still burn legally.

Throwing cold water on the cherished tradition of beach bonfires.  Every weekend, hundreds of people stream down Imperial Highway as early as 6 a.m. to grab one of Dockweiler's 60 fire rings, roast marshmallows and listen to the surf as the light fades away.  Bureaucrats and homeowners, however, are robbing us of this romantic legacy.  Of the 108 state parks and beaches in California, only 24 allow fires, and some have early curfews.

Air Conditioning Ruling Puts the Freeze on Consumer Buying Power.  On January 13, a federal appeals court overturned a Bush administration rule that would increase energy efficiency standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps by 20 percent.  The court ordered the Bush rule be replaced by a proposal from the Clinton administration that would require a 30 percent increase in energy efficiency.  Environmentalists and energy conservation obsessives declared the court's ruling "a big victory for consumers."  They also declared up is down, black is white, night is day, and pigs really do fly.  Well, actually they didn't.  But they might as well have.

 Editor's Note:   This is another example of the courts acting as a legislature.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Study's Authors "Surprised" to Find Nearly Half of Earth's Wilderness Intact:  The findings of a new study showing that nearly half of the Earth's surface remains an untouched wilderness came as a surprise to the authors of the report.

The True Path to a Cleaner Environment:  We're in for a litany of woe now that the World Summit on Sustainable Development has begun in Johannesburg, South Africa.  But let's not fret.  Let the doomsayers have their day.  Let them discuss how they meant to say "global warming," not "global cooling" 30 years ago.

On the other hand... why bother?
Rat Study Shows Dirty is Better than Clean.  Gritty rats and mice living in sewers and farms seem to have healthier immune systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy antiseptic labs, two studies indicate.  The lesson for humans:  Clean living may make us sick.  The studies give more weight to a 17-year-old theory that the sanitized Western world may be partly to blame for soaring rates of human allergy and asthma cases and some autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

The space shuttle is a major polluter.  The Shuttle is the largest of the solid fuel rockets, with twin 45 meter boosters.  All solid fuel rockets release large amounts of hydrochloric acid in their exhaust, each Shuttle flight injecting about 75 tons of ozone destroying chlorine into the stratosphere.  Those launched since 1992 inject even more ozone-destroying chlorine, about 187 tons, into the stratosphere (which contains the ozone layer).

The World is Already on a Course Toward Sustainable Development:  Additional policies to promote sustainability are unnecessary as resources have become abundant.

In Search of Climate Problems:  Ross Gelbspan's catalogue of climate problems only seems to stop when he stops listing them or his editors decide they've allocated sufficient space to them, even for an Earth Day.

Environmental Priorities Clash With Growth Objectives:  Environmentalists raise the prospect of humanity defiling the earth —- with natural resources running out, air and water becoming more polluted and species disappearing.  But many experts dispute this view.

PC coffee "brewhaha" spineless in Seattle:  So here I am in Seattle, America's coffee capital, and the flacks at Starbucks won't even talk to me about the measure on Berkeley's November ballot that would require coffeehouses to sell only Fair Trade, organic or shade-grown coffee.

A Really Bad Case of Gas:  After campaigning to restore sound science, reason and responsiveness to the regulatory process, the "Reformer with Results" is now standing by one of the dumbest, top-down environmental edicts on the books.

Global Green Goals:  How Environmentalists Intend to Rule the World.  It's the smoking gun.  Restructuring the Global Economy is a detailed roadmap to a green future ruled by radical elites from new command structures to be created in the United Nations.

Gore's Disastrous Green AgendaWho is the real Al Gore?  An environmental zealot out to shut down our industrial economy.

In Their Own Words:  Quotes from "The Skeptical Environmentalist", among others.

For a dose of eco-humor, visit Eco Enquirer.

Lawns lose luster for some homeowners:  Why slave over a useless crop of grass when you can have an Astroturf putting green?

Enviro-Group Finances Caught on 'Web':  If you've ever wondered from where environmental activists get their money, you're not alone, and a Washington, D.C. think tank is drawing a map to help follow the money.  The Capital Research Center (CRC) is preparing for its Monday [9/10/2001] launch of Green-Watch.com, an online database and information service that monitors "about 500 or so different environmental groups, focusing on their funding — where their money's coming from and what they're doing with it," said CRC Director of Communications Andrew Walker.

How Capitalism Saved the Whales:  Fixation on doomsaying can cause environmentalists to forget that the negative consequences of industrialization are minute compared to the positive developments of the industrial age.  People are healthier, live longer, and are more productive than ever before in history.  But defenders of industrialism can go even further to show that in many cases technological progress has benefited the environment.  This is vividly demonstrated in the case of one of the most emotion-laden symbols of environmentalism, the whales.

Does it count?  Who was responsible for saving the whale from extinction?  Was it Greenpeace?  No, it was multimillionaire David Rockefeller, who successfully marketed kerosene, which took over the illumination market.  Later, Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb ran both whale oil and kerosene out of the illumination market.  Some might say that Rockefeller's and Edison's saving the whale doesn't count because they didn't intend to do it.  They were just greedy capitalists who cared more about profits than saving whales.

How Environmentalism Disdains the Poor:  The irony is that Western environmentalist leaders are cutting off the branch on which they sit.  Environmentalism is distinctly a preoccupation of the wealthy.  Environmental protection increases precisely to the extent that a society becomes wealthy enough to afford it.  To the extent they succeed in slowing economic growth anywhere in the world — in rich and poor nations alike — they delay the progress of environmental protection.

The Worst Polluters:  0pponents of the free economy long have asserted that environmental pollution is caused by the market system, and have claimed that any person concerned about the environment must opt for some form of statism.  If the free market is responsible for pollution, one might reasonably expect that socialist economies would be characterized by an absence of pollution.  The reality, however, is otherwise.

Running Out of Resources:  Environmentalists really hate to admit it, but the worst polluting of the planet takes place in the poorest countries of the world, not the richest.

Litigation central:  A flood of costly lawsuits raises questions about motive.

Did someone mention frivolous lawsuits?

Washington, D.C. is the only city in the nation that can legally dump toxic sludge in its waterways.  The Environmental Protection Agency issues special discharge permits to the Army Corps of Engineers to transport — in the dead of night — chemically treated sludge from the Washington Aqueduct, a water purification facility, to the Potomac River, where it is dumped in violation of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.  The Corps has admitted dumping as much as 241,500 milligrams of suspended solids per liter into the river.  The maximum allowed limit for most states is about 30.  The nation's power elite are content with insisting that everyone else comply with burdensome environmental regulations while they ignore them.
- Wall Street Journal (9/4/2002) 
Quoted in Waste Wire 

See for Yourself:  How the Corps of Engineers treats Endangered Species Habitat in Washington, D.C.  This pollution courtesy of the same people who are charged with enforcing the Clean Water Act.

Potomac sludge vs. the California congressman:  Rep. George Radanovich is beginning to look a little green around the edges.  No, he isn't ill.  But the California Republican, who sees himself as one of the more conservative House lawmakers, has angered some of his East Coast and urban colleagues by trying to stop the dumping of sludge into the Potomac River.

Sludge fight stepped up:  Two Republican members of Congress yesterday [10/03/2002] introduced legislation that would impose strict limits on the amounts of toxic metals and chemicals that can be dumped into the Potomac River.

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Document location http://www.akdart.com/enviro3.html
Updated August 13, 2012.

 Entire contents Copyright 2013 by Andrew K. Dart