Aside from the bad environmental news you may have heard about the items
and here, you
may also have heard good things (from the government and from TV "news" programs) about
things that aren't necessarily harmless, beneficial, feasible or affordable, such as
the items listed below.
The information about ethanol has been moved
here, because there was
so much of it. Ethanol is a prime example of an environmental fad that
has become a "sacred cow" that no politician dares to oppose, even though it has failed
to live up to the hype, and it comes with its own set of adverse unintended consequences.
Somewhere around here, there are two pages about compact
fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, a real environmental boondoggle, and an outstanding
example of what this page is all about.
The second of those two pages shows a handy
cost analysis: Ordinary incandescent bulbs are much more economical. But
unfortunately the ordinary incandescent light bulb is being phased out, and the CFLs
will be mandatory soon, along with 1.6 gallon toilets.
Note: This list of supposedly good ideas has now produced a series of spin-off pages:
The Automotive Low Flush Toilet.
You may recall. The government decided that people were using "too much" water in the bathroom. The solution was
a fatwa outlawing toilets as they had been and requiring that new toilets be designed to use less water (1.6 gallons,
about half the volume of water used in the old, "wasteful" toilets). Everyone knows what the result was. It now
took two or more flushes to get the job done — which ended up using twice the water. Sometimes the job
didn't get done at all. Eventually, the problems caused by the low-flow toilets was fixed by modifying the toilet
to operate at higher pressure, so as to make more effective use of less water. These toilets, of course, cost more than
the old "water waster" toilets, now outlawed. Instead, people waste money.
Imposes Tough New Rules For Efficient Toilets, Faucets. State officials took emergency action on the drought
Wednesday [4/8/2015], imposing tough new standards for toilets, urinals and faucets sold in California starting January
1st. In an unprecedented move by the California Energy Commission, made possible by the Gov. Jerry Brown's
executive action last week, retailers won't be allowed to sell any of their remaining less efficient models after that date.
toilets force recall of pressure-assisted flushing system. A pressure-assisted flushing system is being
recalled because it can burst and cause the toilet tank to shatter. According to the Consumer Product Safety
Commission, the recall affects the Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system that was installed in 1.4 million
toilet tanks between 1996 and 2013. The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure.
This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazards to consumers and property damage.
Seven Inferior Products,
Courtesy of the Green Movement. The Green Movement's worship of scarcity has changed the consumer landscape for the
worse. Instead of big, powerful, and, most importantly, effective products, in 2012 consumers must suffer with pansy products.
Sure, they are designed to save energy and make you feel good. But they just don't work as well as the old, and usually cheaper,
The EPA's War on Home Appliances.
The 1992 Energy Policy Act states that all toilets sold in the United States use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
These water restrictions are the reason why we have to use plungers far more often than we used to. As strange as it may seem,
there used to be a thriving black market for Canadian toilets that actually flush. As the executive editor of Laissez-Faire Books
Jeffrey Tucker writes, "What we have in these regulations passed since the 1990s is therefore a step backwards from a central aspiration
of mankind to dispose of human waste in the best possible way. We have here an instance of government having forced society into a
lower stage of existence."
cause a stink in SF. San Francisco's big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a
multimillion-dollar plumbing stink. Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up
inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has
created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.
San Francisco's Crapper Control Goes Foul.
This summer, as the San Francisco Giants were steaming toward winning the World Series, there was a noticeable
stench surrounding their home field, AT&T Park. The Giant's ballyard hugs the San Francisco Bay.
During low tide, as the bay water ebbs, and microscopic organisms in the mud are exposed to air and rapidly
begin to decay, creating a rotten smell. During past baseball seasons, fans continually complained of the
low-tide stink. However, the sulfur-like scent wasn't the result of the ways of the sea. It was
caused by environmentalists having their way with Mr. Crapper's invention — the flush toilet.
Planet Parenthood. People on the
leftward side of the political spectrum say they want to "keep government out of your bedroom," by which they
usually mean they oppose restrictions on abortion. … But it's an oddity of today's politics that abortion
proponents tend to be allied with environmentalists, and environmentalists want government in every room in your
house, from the bathroom (mandatory low-flow toilets) to the kitchen (energy saving appliances) to the garage
(fuel-economy standards) to — well, any room with artificial lighting (the bulbs had better be the
compact fluorescent variety).
content to turn the bathrooms of the western world into chambers of low-flushing horrors,
some environmentalists have a new target: toilets as such. They want to make
sure they "save water" by preventing developing countries from installing any flush
toilets at all.
Paul and the 19-Year Libertarian War on Low-Flow Toilets. [Scroll down] The low-flow
(1.6 gallon) limit on toilets was instituted with the 1992 Energy Policy Act, signed into law by
George H.W. Bush. Prior to that, toilets used anywhere from 3.5 to 5 gallons,
according to major toilet manufacturer American Standard. In 1999, then-Rep. Joe Knollenberg
(R-Mich.) introduced a law to repeal the restriction, along with other efficiency standards for faucets,
showerheads and urinals instituted in the 1992 bill.
Somewhat related... Trying
to Avoid Regulations? The Department of Energy is Not Amused. Last month, the Department of
Energy issued a "Showerhead Enforcement Guidance" related to flow standards through consumer showerheads.
You see, it turns out that "efficiency standards" tend to upset people, as it usually leads to products being
outlawed that people really like. What happened was that certain showerhead manufacturers were taking a
bit of creative license in interpreting the definition of a "showerhead," and selling showerheads that (by the
DOE's standards) exceeded the maximum allowable 2.5 gallons per minute.
Banning Toilet Paper:
Going Back In Time. What sort of
future are green groups pushing us toward? If they get their way, it will be one that won't look much different than the
world our great-grandparents were born into. While some want to put an end to soft toilet paper, the Brits are moving
toward a regime in which workers who discharge "more than their fair share of carbon emissions" will have their pay
docked. Meanwhile, in California, regulators are hoping to ban big-screen TVs.
Seek to Wipe Out Plush Toilet Paper. There is a battle for America's behinds. It is a fight over
toilet paper... The reason, they say, is that plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding
up trees that were decades or even a century old. They want Americans, like Europeans, to wipe with tissue made
from recycled paper goods.
The March Of The New Luddites:
Global-warming alarmists now want to limit our use of toilet paper. What's next, one-room shacks with
bamboo fences? Don't laugh. That's also on their list of recommendations.
Live Green, Die Green.
The media have been all over stories of eccentric families' toilet paperless lifestyles and their green weddings,
but now CNN has pushed the peripheries of ecological awareness to the end of life by making the case for a green
Absurdity of Using the Biosphere to Power the Technosphere. There are two main types of biofuel, bioethanol and
biodiesel. The primary sources of bioethanol are corn and sugarcane; the primary source of biodiesel is palm oil.
In both cases, the spread of plantations to grow these crops has devastated some of the most fragile ecosystems on the
planet. From cane ethanol in Brazil, to palm oil in Indonesia, thousands of square miles of rainforest are lost every
year to new plantations. In 2016, for a few brief weeks, the world paid attention to the problems being caused by
biofuel production. That was when forest fires raged across Indonesia, sending a toxic haze across thousands of miles,
making the air barely breathable for millions of people in Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Singapore and Malaysia. The cause of
these fires? Land owners burning rainforests to make room for palm oil plantations. The idea that achieving
alleged "carbon neutrality" is a sufficient benefit to offset the replacement of rainforest with monocrop plantations of palm
trees and sugar cane is ridiculous.
DOC Targets Biodiesel
Dumping. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced the affirmative final determinations in the
antidumping duty investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. The Commerce Department
determined that exporters from these countries sold biodiesel in the United States at more than 60 percent less than
fair value. As a result of the decisions, the DOC will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash
deposits from importers based on these final rates. In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were
valued at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million, respectively. The petitioner is the National Biodiesel
Fair Trade Coalition, which is composed of the National Biodiesel Board and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.
worse for the environment than fossil fuels, warn green campaigners. Instead of reducing them, using biodiesel
in transport will increase polluting emissions by 4%, the same as putting an extra 12 million cars on the road in 2020, green
campaigners have said. Biodiesel is touted as one way to decarbonise the EU's transport sector. But, according to NGO
Transport and Environment (T&E), using it is actually worse for the environment than traditional fossil fuels.
gets 20 years for 'huge' biofuels scam. Joseph Furando also will have to pay restitution of $56 million and
give up a million-dollar home, a Ferrari, artwork and two biodiesel-powered motorcycles under the sentence imposed Thursday [1/7/2016]
by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indiana's Southern District. According to the Department of Justice, from 2007 through
2012, Furando and Tracy Pattison, a 27-year-old Ridgewood resident, worked with a company called E-Biofuels to falsely label their
products as high market, pure biodiesel, according to authorities.
Sec. Tom Vilsack announces $91 million in support for biomass plant. Tom Vilsack, the
secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced a $91 million loan guarantee from the
federal government to help build a biomass fuel plant in Louisiana. Vilsack traveled to Baton
Rouge on Friday [10/3/2014] to make the announcement. He said the plant could have a "profound
impact" on agriculture in America.
A World Turning
Against Biofuels. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has
suddenly reversed its support for biofuels. The panel now admits growing crops for fuel "poses
risks to ecosystems and biodiversity."
You Can Do About Climate Change. [#4] Reduce Emissions In Transit: The key thing here is to avoid electric
cars. [...] Avoid also using bio-fuels, one of the most environmentally damaging forms of energy available. In Asia and
Africa, the demand in the West for mandated bio-fuels has led to the replacement of rainforest with plantations of industrial
palm oil; it has also driven up food prices by diverting agricultural land for food production, thus harming the world's poor
who are especially vulnerable to starvation.
Navy Captain Guns Down Biofuels. [Scroll
down] Now comes one of the Navy's best and brightest, Captain T.A. Ike Keifer. In March, Keifer, an aviator who has been
deployed seven times and spent 21 months in Iraq, published a scathing indictment of the biofuels sector in Strategic Studies
Quarterly, the U.S. Air Force's most-prestigious journal.
EPA's fuel folly. [Scroll down]
In 2010, the first year of the mandate, EPA projected that 5 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels would be available.
In fact, there were none. In 2011, EPA increased the mandate to 6.5 million gallons. Again, the actual amount
available was zero. Undeterred, in 2012, EPA increased the required amount to 8.5 million gallons. The actual
available amount was 25,000 gallons. Since it is impossible to comply with the mandate to use this phantom fuel, EPA is
effectively taxing the industry. This tax is passed to consumers in the form of higher gas prices. EPA's overestimates
are part of an intentional strategy.
Made Up Mandate on Energy that Doesn't Exist. The dream to "achieve" is cellulosic biofuel or ethanol — which
has an admirable goal of producing a renewable transportation fuel without impacting the world's food supply. Different from corn- or
sugar-based ethanol — which is technologically achievable (with questionable benefits) — cellulosic ethanol is
made from wood chips, switchgrass, and agricultural waste, such as corn cobs. The problem is the dream doesn't match reality.
Judge rules EPA can't mandate
use of nonexistent biofuels. The court sided with the country's chief oil and gas lobby, the American Petroleum Institute,
in striking down the 2012 EPA mandate that would have forced refineries to purchase more than $8 million in credits for 8.65 million
of gallons of the cellulosic biofuel. However, none of the biofuel is commercially available.
Biofuels benefit billionaires. Biofuels will serve the
interests of large industrial groups rather than helping to cut carbon emissions and ward off climate change, according to research to be published
in the International Journal of Environment and Health this month.
U.S. Navy Sails the Ocean Green.
On Friday June 29 a U.S. Navy carrier strike group set sail from Puget Sound to participate in "Rim of the Pacific" maneuvers.
More than 20 nations are involved in the six-week maneuvers, which featured a key difference for the American fleet. The
carriers had filled up on biofuel at a cost of nearly $27 a gallon, more than seven times as high as the usual $3.60 a gallon of
conventional fuel. The massive cost increase is the result of President Obama linking the national security of the United
States to his own environmental agenda.
The Navy offers a rebuttal: Navy: We'll Never, Ever Overpay for Biofuels. Last
week, [Wired magazine's] Danger Room published a critical look at the Navy's efforts to launch a renewable-powered "Great Green
Fleet" — and kickstart the market for biofuels in the process. Not surprisingly, the Navy's leadership had all sorts of
objections to the piece. But they took particular exception to the section about the price of the biofuel. A Pentagon-sponsored
study says that the Navy could spend as much as $1.76 billion annually for all the biofuel they've promised to use by 2020.
In this exclusive op-ed, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Tom Hicks says the Navy will never pay that kind of premium.
Greens Bicker as EPA Frowns on Palm
Oil Fuel. Environmental activists are in disarray over a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision that transportation fuel
made from palm oil does not produce sufficient environmental benefit to qualify as a renewable fuel under the 2007 Energy Independence and
Fraud Case Shows Holes in
Exchange of Fuel Credits. Gary L. Miller knew something was afoot in the garage rented out behind his auto equipment business.
Through an open door, Mr. Miller glimpsed piles of pipes, polyethylene tanks and pumps. But nothing was hooked up. Nothing was
being made. So it came as a surprise — to say the least — when he learned that the tenant, Rodney R. Hailey,
had told a federal agency that he would produce millions of gallons of biodiesel fuel there.
Getting burned by biofuels. The
Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implement a Renewable Fuel Standard forcing fuel
refiners to dilute their petroleum products with vegetable oil, corn, algae and animal fat so companies that label themselves "green"
would reap a financial windfall. [...] As this is an entirely artificial market that serves no purpose other than to make politicians
and their political donors happy, it's rife with fraud.
Derided as fraud, Baldwin alternative energy company draws interest
from Canadian investor. A trial in Mobile's federal court in 2009 appeared to expose a Baldwin County company's alternative
energy operation as a fraud, but that has not stopped investors' interest in the Bay Minette-area plant. A bankruptcy plan approved
by a judge this month hinges on a Canadian company's ability to borrow millions of dollars to buy the plant built by Cello Energy. If
successful, most Cello creditors would get paid. If not, the judge could dismiss the bankruptcies of the company and the estate of
Cello's founder, the late Jack W. Boykin.
Obama's latest: airport biofields. John Deere combines will be landing at the nation's 15,079 airports
soon if President Obama and his green energy team get their way. Seemingly dead set against drilling for more fossil
fuels, the administration is eyeing an unusual idea of turning airports into biofuel producers, planting grasses that can be
brewed into ethanol. But there's a hitch: they first have to figure out which grasses won't attract deer and
birds that could get in the way of fast-moving aircraft.
The Editor says...
Once again, the tree-hugging earth-worshiping big-government environmentalists apparently haven't considered the potential unintended
consequences: Grass doesn't attract birds, but bugs do. Suppose the birds show up to feast on the bugs, an airplane makes a
noisy takeoff, the birds take flight right into the engines, and the plane crashes. Then what have you gained? America
has no shortage of wide-open spaces (on government property or elsewhere) on which to perform such experiments. Only a fool
would think that an airport is a good place to grow crops.
sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending. The Navy's push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of
planes and warships could devolve into a "Solyndra situation" for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today
[3/15/2012]. During Tuesday's [3/13/2012] hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, ranking member John
McCain (R-Ariz.) compared the now-bankrupt solar energy company, into which the White House sank $535 million in
loan guarantees, to Navy-led efforts in alternative energy.
Sapphire in the Rough: $100M in federal money; 36 jobs created.
The federal government awarded Sapphire Energy, a green energy concern, more than $100 million for a project that
is behind schedule, has only created a fraction of its expected jobs, and is, according to some experts, at least a
decade away from creating a viable product. Founded in 2007, Sapphire is working to develop algal
biofuel — a replacement to crude oil made from algae and able to be refined into gasoline, diesel,
or jet fuel.
EPA report: Biofuels threaten habitat, water quality. A draft Environmental Protection
Agency report concludes that expanded production of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel carries an
array of ecological risks in the U.S. and other nations, and calls for improved policies to mitigate these
harms. The report is required under a 2007 energy law that vastly increased the national biofuels
mandate but also called for new analysis of the ecological effects of expanded development.
The Biofuels Scam.
Since 2007 the price of food around the world has just about doubled. Bad harvests, inflation, or George
Bush didn't cause this price increase. According to a secret report from the World Bank, reported in the
UK's Guardian, 75% of the increase in price has one source: "Biofuels." This contrasts with US
claims of only a 3% biofuels-caused increase. The World Bank also says that rising food prices have
pushed 100 million people worldwide below the poverty line. Riots have been sparked from
Bangladesh to Egypt. Where is the outrage? Where are the MSNBC stories on food riots?
It Doesn't Take a Rocket
Scientist…. [Here]'s what has been happening in the fuel tanks of trucks
across Minnesota because of the biodiesel mandate that was put into effect last year. Over 60% of
the diesel trucks in the state have had their fuel tanks and fuel filters gummed up by the soybean oil
that the government forced into the fuel tanks.
destroyed for bio-diesel. The Orang-utans of Borneo are facing an unprecedented threat as their
habitat is destroyed to satisfy increasing global demands for bio-fuel. As jungles are rapidly replaced
by palm oil plantations, the great apes starve and are hunted, mutilated, burnt and snared by workers
protecting their crops. At a rehabilitation centre run by the charity Borneo Orang-utan Survival, there
are more than 600, mostly orphaned babies.
Green Tech Defined:
Remember the local news headline where the science teacher converted his '82 Volvo wagon to run on the grease
from McDonald's? The press, fellow teachers, and students swooned at how green-conscious and forward-looking
the teacher was. Not surprisingly, no student asked if there were enough burger joints to power a lot of
cars and, if there were, whether or not the infrastructure (e.g., gas stations) to distribute French Fry Fuel
exists. [This is an example of] technology that seems visionary but whose "Green" value is illusory
because the real environmental or financial costs are concealed, or the widespread adoption of the technology
is impossible, or because it is financially unavailable to most Americans.
Biofuel: Bad for the
Environment? Two new studies released Thursday [4/10/2008] call into question the global
movement toward biofuel. According to these researchers, production of biofuel actually contributes
to global warming, doing more harm than good.
Biofuels may harm more than help. Biofuels,
championed for reducing energy reliance, boosting farm revenues and helping fight climate change, may in fact
hurt the environment and push up food prices, a study suggested on Tuesday [9/11/2007]. In a report on
the impact of biofuels, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said biofuels may
"offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal".
New 'Green' Body Count Begins. Biofuels have turned out to be a lose-lose-lose proposition.
Once touted by the greens and the biofuel industry as being able to reduce the demand for oil and lower
greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels have accomplished neither goal and have no prospect for accomplishing
either in the foreseeable future.
Chinese Demand Sends Christmas
Tree Prices Soaring. Demand for Christmas trees is rising due to increasing exports and the
growing number of single-person households. Meanwhile the supply of trees has decreased because several
thousand hectares of tree plantations in Germany have been given over to more profitable uses, such as
lucrative biofuel crops.
Is Called a Byproduct of a 'Clean' Fuel. After residents of the Riverbend Farms subdivision
noticed that an oily, fetid substance had begun fouling the Black Warrior River, which runs through their
backyards, Mark Storey, a retired petroleum plant worker, hopped into his boat to follow it upstream to its
source. It turned out to be an old chemical factory that had been converted into Alabama's first
biodiesel plant, a refinery that intended to turn soybean oil into earth-friendly fuel.
D1 Oils says
US subsidies have forced it to shut UK refineries. The enormous damage being done by "splash-and-dash"
imports of American biodiesel was highlighted yesterday when one of the UK's leading operators, D1 Oils, said
it was closing down all its refining operations in Britain after running up a £46m annual loss.
Biofuels under fire at
International Energy Forum. Biofuels, once seen as a key factor in curbing greenhouse gas
emissions, are behind the current global food crisis, major oil producers and consumers charged at an
energy forum here on Monday [4/21/2008].
Rush to biofuels leaves a world of emptier plates.
In early 2007, two University of Minnesota economists forecast that biofuels would sharply increase food prices by 2020, leading
to a steep rise in the number of empty bellies in the world. How wrong they were. Soaring rates of hunger didn't take a
generation. It took a year.
Gore Ducks, as a Backlash Builds Against Biofuel.
In an interview last year, Mr. Gore expressed his support for corn-based ethanol, but endorsed moving to what he called
a "third generation" of so-called cellulosic ethanol production, which is still in laboratory research. "It doesn't
compete with food crops, so it doesn't put pressure on food prices," the former vice president told Popular Mechanics
Feeling blue over trying to be
green: Two papers, in the journal Science, rocked the biofuels world by claiming that plant-based fuels cause
more greenhouse-gas emissions than dirty, evil old oil. The reason is that it takes land to grow fuel. That
inevitably leads to the destruction of forests and grasslands, the studies say.
the MN Biodiesel Mandate — Do It for the (Frostbitten) Children!!. All schools in the
Bloomington School District will be closed today after state-required biodiesel fuel clogged in school buses
Thursday morning and left dozens of students stranded in frigid weather, the district said late Thursday.
Rick Kaufman, the district's spokesman, said elements in the biodiesel fuel that turn into a gel-like
substance at temperatures below 10 degrees clogged about a dozen district buses Thursday morning.
Botches Biofuels. Biofuels were originally conceived as the fuel of choice for automobiles when
the internal combustion engine was first developed. Biofuels later re-emerged as a possible alternative
to petroleum for our liquid fuel needs. Proponents touted biofuels as carbon neutral, and possible to
generate not only from crops like corn and sugar cane, but also from agricultural or industrial waste like wood
chips and bagasse, leftover material from sugar-cane production in southern Gulf states like Louisiana.
Medvedev slams biofuel producers at grain
summit. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has urged countries to switch to non-food sources of biofuel
to prevent the spread of hunger in a world where every sixth person is malnourished. "We are advocating production of
biofuel from other, non-food sources," Mr Medvedev said in a speech inaugurating the launch of a global grain summit in his
native Saint Petersburg.
fraud kills millions. Scientific fraud often ends up killing people. ... The medical truth about
the AIDS epidemic, that it was communicated by anal intercourse, especially among men, was suppressed for
decades, causing thousands of more young men to die. And now it seems that the global warming fraud,
just one aspect of broader EcoFraud, is killing people in the Third World. The proximate cause? A
doubling of food prices. Why? Because of the diversion of food crops to biofuels.
EU Analysis: Biofuels Can Produce More CO2 Emissions Than Fossil Fuels. Reuters reports that
it used freedom of information laws to obtain a copy of text that was stripped from a December 2009 European Union
study on biofuels. The hidden portion of the study found that biodiesel fuel made from North American soybeans
has an indirect carbon footprint of 339.9 kilograms of CO2 per gigajoule — about four times larger than
standard diesel from petroleum.
unaccounted for in biodiesel fraud case. A federal prosecutor said Thursday that the government
has recovered only a third of the $9 million that authorities charge a Perry Hall businessman with taking
from his customers in a massive biofuel fraud scheme. The businessman, Rodney R. Hailey, president of
the now-shuttered Clean Green Fuel, appeared in U.S. District Court for what had been scheduled as an arraignment.
But Hailey surprised prosecutors by not going through with a guilty plea that they said he had agreed to before
case puts industry under scrutiny. On its website, Clean Green Fuel offered customers "a unique
blend of biodiesel" made from vegetable oil that would produce less air pollution and help reduce the nation's
dependence on petroleum. But according to federal charging documents, company owner Rodney R.
Hailey didn't produce any biodiesel. Instead, prosecutors charge, he generated and sold more than
$9 million worth of credits for nonexistent renewable fuel, using the proceeds to buy a five-bedroom house
in Perry Hall, diamond jewelry and more than two dozen cars and trucks, including a Rolls Royce, a pair of
Bentleys and a Lamborghini.
Opposing viewpoint regarding biodiesel: Olive Biodiesel Biofuel Bioenergy. Olive Trees live 200-400 years,
sometimes more; the oldest olive tree on Earth is nearly 5000 years old. The oil can be catalyzed cold or processed hot
into Bio-Diesel. The remaining pulp can be fermented into ethyl alcohol. The wood chips of the pruned limbs can be
turned into methanol.
in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn scientists. Fluoride
could be causing depression and weight gain and councils should stop adding it to drinking water to
prevent tooth decay, scientists have warned. A study of 98 percent of GP practices in England
found that high rates of underactive thyroid were 30 per cent more likely in areas of the greatest
fluoridation. It could mean that up to 15,000 people are suffering needlessly from thyroid
problems which can cause depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles.
Tooth and Nail: Fluoride Fight Cracks Portland's Left.
In the 1950s, after health authorities began fluoridating U.S. water supplies, they faced opposition from groups like the John Birch Society, which
called it "an unconstitutional mass medication of the public." [...] The debate has prompted something of an existential crisis in this self-consciously
liberal city, which votes Tuesday on whether to overturn the city council's 2012 decision to fluoridate. Citizens who pride themselves on tolerance
are divided on the appropriately progressive response to fluoridated water: Is it an intrusion into personal liberty, or a compassionate
public health measure?
Pinellas County Removes Fluoride
from Tap Water. Pinellas County, Florida county commissioners voted 4-3 to stop fluoridating tap
water for some of the county's residents. The decision is expected to save the county approximately
$205 million per year, but it has angered health advocates who claim the lack of fluoridation will
harm dental health and cost county residents far more in higher dental bills.
Fluoride: Friend or Foe?
Fluoride is a known toxin, slightly less toxic than arsenic and more poisonous than lead. The industrial
chemicals used to fluoridate over 90 percent of fluoridated water in the United States, (fluorosilicate
acid and sodium silicofluoride), are by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry and have never been tested
for safety or effectiveness.
The Fluoride Deception. In a
society where asbestos, lead, silica, beryllium and many other carcinogens have found their way into the
marketplace and then been recalled, one has to wonder why fluoride, so toxic it is used as a rat poison and
pesticide, is embraced so thoroughly and so blindly.
Citizens uniting against fluoride.
A group of private citizens in San Diego County is planning to file a large-scale lawsuit in federal court against
public water districts and challenge the constitutionality of using industrial-grade hydrofluosilicic acid to
fluoridate drinking water.
Fluoride: Miracle drug or toxic-waste
killer? While few would argue that topical application of minute amounts of fluoride on teeth
would reduce cavities, deliberately ingesting it — even in trace amounts — is risky. The
fluoride added to public drinking water is actually fluorosilic acid. It is described by critics
as an industrial waste product. Supporters prefer to call it an industry byproduct. Most of it
has come from Florida's phosphate fertilizer industry.
Fluoridation: Mind Control of the
Masses. "At the end of the Second World War, the United States Government sent Charles Eliot
Perkins, a research worker in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology, to take charge of the vast
Farben chemical plants in Germany. "While there he was told by the German chemists of a scheme which had
been worked out by them during the war and adopted by the German General Staff. "This was to control the
population in any given area through mass medication of drinking water. In this scheme, sodium fluoride
occupied a prominent place. "Repeated doses of infinitesimal amounts of fluoride will in time reduce an
individual's power to resist domination by slowly poisoning and narcotising a certain area of the brain and
will thus make him submissive to the will of those who wish to govern him. "Both the Germans and the
Russians added sodium fluoride to the drinking water of prisoners of war to make them stupid and docile."
Why I Changed My Mind About Water Fluoridation:
Large-scale surveys from United States, from Missouri and Arizona, have since revealed the same picture:
no real benefit to teeth from fluoride in drinking water. For example, Professor Steelink in Tucson,
AZ, ... found: "When we plotted the incidence of tooth decay versus fluoride content in a child's
neighborhood drinking water, a positive correlation was revealed. In other words, the more fluoride a
child drank, the more cavities appeared in the teeth". From other lands — Australia, Britain, Canada,
Sri Lanka, Greece, Malta, Spain, Hungary, and India — a similar situation has been revealed: either
little or no relation between water fluoride and tooth decay, or a positive one (more fluoride, more decay).
Speaks to Us About Environmentalism. The emotional core of the belief [in global warming] is fear of modern
technology. Global warming is only the latest of a string of, doomsday scenarios, justified by dubious scientific
claims, dating back as far as the 1940's. [...] These scares have in common the theme that modern technology is
backfiring. The scares play to and promote this emotional belief. To many people, technology is an object of
suspicion and fear. There is romantic nostalgia for an idealized simpler time in the past. For example, the
organic food movement basically advocates growing food by restricting technology to that used prior to about 1930. This is
based on the idea that pesticides and synthetic fertilizer is harmful, a belief that is scientifically not supportable.
Plants don't care whether they get nitrogen from synthetic fertilizer or chicken manure. Pesticides used to kill
insects are not passed into the food product except in microscopic, harmless quantities. The advocates of organic
farming don't mention that half the world population would starve if their less productive farming schemes were universally adopted.
The organic industry is built
upon a gigantic lie. The majority of American believe that organic foods are healthier than food grown using
conventional methods. Two systematic reviews turned up no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or lead to
better health-related outcomes for consumers. A landmark study published in 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine by
researchers at Stanford University's Center for Health Policy aggregated and analyzed data from 237 studies to determine
whether organic foods are safer or healthier than non-organic foods. They concluded that fruits and vegetables that met
the criteria for 'organic' were on average no more nutritious than their far cheaper conventional counterparts, nor were
those foods less likely to be contaminated by pathogenic bacteria. A report on how the US Department of Agriculture
actually markets the organic label without any standard of certification doesn't do any field testing and, through its
bureaucracy grew exponentially during the Obama administration, is driving up imports from China, Turkey, and other countries
with disastrous safety records.
On Science: Gluten-Free Madness Needs to End. Trump appointees to head the Department of Energy and the
Environmental Protection Agency to the contrary, the war on science isn't limited to conservatives. Liberals have their
own anti-science biases. Where conservatives often reject science based on their literal interpretation of the Bible or
due to an abhorrence of federal regulations, liberals appear to be motivated by a belief that all things natural are good,
anything with a chemical name is bad, and everything that profits an industry is really bad (unless that industry
makes dietary supplements).
Junk Science. Some junk science lacks scientific support but catches the public imagination and is used
by special interests to make money. An example is organic food. Organic food is food grown by methods popular
prior to 1930. The theory is that the old ways were somehow more pure and noble than modern methods. This is
only carried so far. The shoppers at Whole Foods aren't wearing homespun clothes. The government has
generated regulations defining organic food and thus has bestowed legitimacy on a fad with little scientific basis.
Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture. Consumers of organic foods are getting both more
and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it's not good. Many people who pay the huge
premium — often more than a hundred percent — for organic foods do so because they're
afraid of pesticides. If that's their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture.
Although it's true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of
exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most "natural" ones are permitted. However,
"organic" pesticides can be toxic.
Your BS Detector Isn't Shrieking, It's Broken. We now inhabit a world where virtually
everything is a con. That "organic" produce from some other country — did anyone test the
soil the produce grew in? It could be loaded with heavy metals and be certified "organic" because no
pesticides were used during production. But what about last year? And the year before?
What's in the water used to irrigate the crops?
Whole Foods: America's Temple of
Pseudoscience. Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole
Foods. It's all pseudoscience — so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others?
Shmorganic. When my son was a baby, organic was a synonym for edible. [...] Fast-forward two years and my son is eating
Shoprite strawberries for breakfast. I support the principles of organic farming, for sure, but it can be hard to consistently pay $7 for a pint
of something he'll go through in two days. Plus, I can't help but wonder whether giving my son organic food really makes a difference to his
health, considering that he's been known to lick the bottom of his shoes, kiss my poop-sniffing dog, and eat crackers — someone
else's — off of the preschool floor.
The myth that organically grown foods are better for you and the environment.
Repeated, sound testing has shown that there is no substantial difference between organically grown food and conventionally grown food. While it is
always more expensive, organically grown food is not safer or healthier. It is more expensive — often twice as expensive as conventionally
grown food. To those who see something moral in this earlier form of agriculture, it is worth noting that it requires more land — that is, [it]
takes it away from other uses like housing and forest land for wildlife — it uses more labor and it takes more conventional energy if grown on
smaller plots of land than does conventionally grown food grown on large plots. There are, moreover, hidden health dangers in organically grown food.
Pediatricians raise doubts about the
benefits of organic foods. While organic fruits, vegetables and meats do offer less exposure to potentially harmful pesticides and
drug-resistant bacteria, the American Academy of Pediatrics found no evidence that proves those foods are safer to eat than conventional offerings.
Organic Illusions. A recent study by a group of
scientists at Stanford University found that the nutritional benefits of organic food have, to say the least, been oversold.
The Whole Foods Hustle. There is no discernible nutritional
difference between food from the farmer's market and food from the supermarket, scientists report. But there is a dramatic price variation, and
that status separation was the point all along. People don't pay for better-for-you. They pay for better-than-you.
E.Coli in Organic Food
Leads to 50 Dead in Germany. As everyone knows, Mother Nature not only knows best but means us
no harm: and therefore, the less we mess around with her and her products, the better. Although many
people may have remarked, more in sorrow than in anger, how small and shriveled organic vegetables often appear
by comparison with those that have been treated with chemicals, it is obvious that they (the organic ones) must
be better for us because they are nearer to what Mother Nature intended. This item of faith took something
of a knock recently with the outbreak of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli food poisoning in Germany. It
was no small matter: more than 4000 people suffered from it and more than 50 died.
On The Farm. Aren't organic fruits and vegetables superior to conventionally grown food?
Shouldn't consumers always choose organic when given a choice? Not necessarily, says a Scientific
the Manure in 'Organic' Farming. Where are the mass protests by "Greens" in Germany over the proven
deadly "organic farming" industry? The answer, of course, is that Organic Farming — which relies
upon animal fecal-matter as natural fertilizer — is a politically-correct enterprise akin to
environmentalism and therefore ipso-facto above reproach by liberals and the mainstream press. But
facts are facts, and the present practice of organic farming — wherein deadly-germs present in
untreated manure can contaminate the food produce — is proven to be massively deleterious to
Food Is Much Safer
Than You Think. It appears increasingly clear that the E. coli outbreak, which as of
June 12 has killed 35 people and made another 3,250 or so extremely sick, originated with bean
sprouts grown on an organic farm in the north of Germany. There has been a huge amount written about
the outbreak, particularly about the government's feckless response. And yet —
curiously — I haven't heard any of the critics calling for draconian regulations on organics,
much less for the dismantling of this still small, and thus readily terminable, component of the food
The Organic Food Scam. Once, years
ago, I was in a Midwestern State talking with a farmer. I raised the question of how much pesticide he used
on his crop to ward off or kill insect predators or, in the case of weeds, how much herbicide. "Look, my
family and I eat a part of what I grow," he said. "Do you think I am going to put anything on the crop that
would endanger them?" Good answer.
Organic farming 'no better for the
environment'. Organic food may be no better for the environment than conventional produce and in
some cases is contributing more to global warming than intensive agriculture, according to a government report.
The first comprehensive study of the environmental impact of food production found there was "insufficient
evidence" to say organic produce has fewer ecological side-effects than other farming methods.
bug 'more likely to be found in organic chickens'. Organic chickens sold by leading supermarkets
have been labelled a health threat by a damning investigation. Researchers claim they are more likely to
carry the deadly food poisoning bug campylobacter than factory farmed chicken. As many as nine in ten of
the organic chickens showed up positive for the bug.
Reasons you should buy regular goods:
Companies marketing organic products, and your local grocery chain, want you to think organic food is safer and
healthier, because their profit margins are vastly higher on organic foods. The USDA Organic label does
not mean that there is any difference between organic and regular food products. Organic farms simply
employ different methods of food production.
Activism Disguised As Science.
A new study published in an alternative agriculture journal has gained widespread attention by claiming that
organic farming not only could adequately feed the world, it might even yield more food and require less
farmland. It is a truly sensational claim. In science, the more sensational the claim, the more
robust the evidence needed to support it. This time, the evidence doesn't stack up.
The Problem With Organic Food:
Organic food has garnered an extraordinary amount of attention from the media and, along with "local" food, is a darling of
foodies and environmentalists, who talk up its civic virtues and benefits to the environment. There's just one problem
with this: agriculture has moved away from small-scale, local, and organic farming because these types of farms are
land- and labor-intensive and don't do a very good job of feeding lots of people. In addition, they are not
definitively better for the environment, and their growth would lead to higher food prices than most Americans are willing
Organic Failure. Henry Waxman is at it
again. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade-climate change bill, which has been called the largest tax bill in history
because it would levy a national tax on energy use, narrowly passed the House in late June and is still pending in the
Senate, but the California Democrat has already moved on to his next bad idea: trying to save the nation's
populace by making farmlands sterile, so that only organic foods can be grown.
Worse than global warming.
Go on, eat organic food if you like, spend more than you would on ordinary food and dream that it somehow makes you
healthier than you would be and the world more ecologically sound, but find time to pray that not too many others
emulate you. It would be an incredible catastrophe if everyone went organic. ... Growing organic food is
supposedly kinder to land than growing food by ordinary means, but it consumes enormously more land per unit
produced. One reported estimate is that no forests would be left if you tried to supply total human food
needs this way, and that, even then, many would starve.
Organic food is
just a tax on the gullible. A few years ago my wife decided we should have an entirely organic vegetable
garden. To this end she refused all man-made fertilisers and ordered a truckload of pigeon droppings. What could be more
natural? Neither was there anything unnatural in the germs I inhaled through the spores of our organic manure,
thereby contracting psittacosis. This developed into "atypical" pneumonia, which was of course resistant to all
standard antibiotics. Had a hospital doctor not guessed the cause and put me on a drip with the appropriate
drugs — ooh, chemicals! — I could have become a fatal casualty of the organic movement. Obviously
my wife might have ordered cow manure rather than pigeon poo; then I could have been felled by E coli instead.
Wheat, Yes, Wheat! Dr. David
Bragg, Ph.D., an extension entomologist, recently enumerated the insect pests that can be depended upon to
attack wheat. They include the Russian Wheat Aphid, the Ladybird Beetle, the English Grain Aphid
and Rosy Grass Aphid. Then there's the Haanchen Barley Mealybug and Wireworm Beetle Larvae, as well as
the False Wireworm, the Cereal Leaf Beetle, Cutworms and Armyworms. By no means should we leave out the
Wheat Stem Maggot, the Wheat Stem Saw Fly, and the Wheat Joint Worm. I want you to think about this army
of insect predators the next time some environmental group is demanding that all pesticides be banned and that
all grains and vegetables be grown "organically."
of organic food a 'myth'. In a result that will provoke dismay and anger in the organics industry, the
study's authors found that food grown without pesticides or herbicides should not be promoted as healthier because
there was no evidence to show that it contained more nutrients than normal food.
The Editor says...
Recycling will stop as soon as it is a money-losing activity. Curbside recycling will become more and more
selective over the next few years: Your city will gladly recycle your aluminum cans and newspapers, but
they don't want glass, pizza boxes, or old computers.
smart way for post-coronavirus pandemic NYC to save money: Stop recycling. The financial pressure of the
coronavirus pandemic has led Mayor de Blasio to do what he's never done before: propose reductions in New York City's
sprawling $93 billion budget. A good place to start would be the city's recycling collection program. That may
seem like eco-sacrilege but in extraordinary times nothing should be sacrosanct. For recycling, the numbers don't add
up. By sending recyclables to safe landfills — and avoiding the cost of separate collection — the
city could save nearly $200 million. At a time when COVID-19 puts frontline workers, including the city's 7,000
uniformed Sanitation workers (New York's fabled "Strongest"), at risk and may make staffing more difficult, simplifying
garbage collection makes sense — and would save taxpayer dollars.
Good Riddance to Recycling
Trucks. Good news seems to be in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was pleasantly surprised to
learn that April 8 was the final local recycling pickup for a while. As surprising as it may seem, I think this is
actually a (small) step toward a (slightly) healthier society, a (slightly) more robust economy, and (surprisingly) a cleaner
environment. Holding everything else constant, I expect a slight improvement in public health with the suspension of
curbside recycling for several reasons. First, there are the emissions associated with curbside recycling. Fewer
recycling trucks on the roads mean fewer emissions from those trucks and smoother traffic — though of course this
might be canceled out if enough people drive their recyclables to recycling locations. Second, recyclables themselves
are disease vectors.
Stop the Virus Now, Save
the Planet Later. Consumers face some risk when they gather their items for curbside bins or take them to
drop-off sites, but the biggest danger is to the workers who haul the stuff away or sort it by hand as it moves along
conveyor belts at processing facilities. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has warned that the virus poses a
"serious and unique risk" to its members in the recycling industry, which already had some of the highest rates of injuries
and illness among all sectors. The recycling trade press has been steadily chronicling its new woes. Dalton,
Georgia, one of many towns to suspend its curbside collections, explained that "recycling pickup requires sorting by hand and
there are many unknowns about how the virus spreads from surface to surface." [...] Yes, recycling does make people feel like
they're helping the planet, but at what cost? Given the minimal environmental benefits — as well as some
environmental harms — from recycling, couldn't local governments find more productive uses for their money?
The Perverse Panic
over Plastic. The recycling movement had a superficial logic, at least at the outset. Municipal officials
expected to save money by recycling trash instead of burying or burning it. Now that recycling has turned out to be
ruinously expensive while achieving little or no environmental benefit, some local officials — the pragmatic ones,
anyway — are once again sending trash straight to landfills and incinerators. The plastic panic has never
made any sense, and it's intensifying even as evidence mounts that it's not only a waste of money but also harmful to the
environment, not to mention humans. It's been a movement in search of a rationale for half a century.
County Admits It Hasn't Been Recycling Glass for 7 Years. It Still Encourages Residents to Recycle Glass.
Baltimore County residents' have had their perceptions about where their glass ends up shattered. Over the weekend,
news broke that the county — which does not include the City of Baltimore — has not been recycling the
glass it's been collecting as part of its recycling program. For the past seven years, the jars and bottles that
residents dutifully placed in their blue bins have been being junked instead. "There are numerous issues with glass
recycling, including increased presence of shredded paper in recycling streams which contaminates materials and is difficult
to separate from broken glass fragments, in addition to other limitations on providing quality material," county spokesperson
Sean Naron told The Baltimore Sun.
rolls out mandatory composting. Food scraps can't go in Vermont landfills beginning July 1. Residents will have
four ways to handle rotten leftovers and items such as peels, eggshells, seeds, pits, coffee grounds and oils, according to
the state's environmental conservation department. Vermonters can use a household compost bin, buy a Green Cone solar
digester to break down the scraps, feed scraps to pigs or leave it to the composting professionals. The universal
recycling law will require trucking companies to provide food scrap collection services to nonresidential customers and
multi-unit apartment complexes, the Burlington Free Press reported. Restaurants, supermarkets and cafeterias must also
comply with the law, which is the first state law of its kind. The state hopes to reach a 60% recycling rate through
Things Wrong With Electric Cars Millennials Choose To Ignore. [#22] Battery recycling: As it stands
today, the electric car industry is expected to boom by the year 2025. And according to a report from Auto Evolution,
20 years after that, we will have a battery recycling issue from these cars. After all, you can't expect a car to keep
running on the same battery for too long. Sure, both lithium-ion and Ni-Mh batteries can be recycled. However, the
market for these is currently not significant. If there is no development in the coming years, it's likely that we will
have used batteries just dumped wherever possible because nobody would be willing to go through the hassle of recycling them.
targets 'very dangerous dump' after trash pile grows to 22 million pounds. The owners of a recycling center on
the southern edge of Boyle Heights landed in hot water this week with City Attorney Mike Feuer, who accused the facility's
operator of improperly storing a two-story-high trash heap that went up in flames in September. Feuer filed criminal
and civil complaints Wednesday against the owners and operators of Clean Up America, a facility at 2900 E. Lugo St.,
near the Vernon border, that alleges the facility had become a safety and health risk. He said the "aggressive" action was
necessary after multiple violations at the site went unresolved over the past two years. "What should have been a recycling
center became a very dangerous dump," Feuer said Thursday [10/10/2019] during a news conference at L.A. City Hall.
China, Big Brother is watching you even as you sort your trash. The Chinese state is taking surveillance to the
next level. Vast networks of cameras are not just aimed at reducing crime but also enforcing recycling laws, encouraging
civic behaviour. Privacy concerns aside, the tools are reshaping the relationship between government and citizen.
America's False Religion. Before climate change became a belief system in which humans are expected to perform
penance for their sins against Gaia, recycling was the religion of many in the modern world. Those who didn't reduce,
reuse, and recycle were, and still are, considered heretics. Nearly a quarter century ago, John Tierney wrote in the
New York Times Magazine that "Recycling Is Garbage." In an article that produced the greatest volume of hate mail in
the magazine's history, Tierney said that rather than recycling, "the simplest and cheapest option is usually to bury garbage
in an environmentally safe landfill." With the exception of a few items — aluminum cans, cardboard, office
paper — the cost of the recycling equipment plus the process itself exceeded the value of the products created by
recycling. Though recycling rarely makes economic sense and often burns up more fresh resources than would have been
used in making new items, Americans recycled. And recycled. And recycle still. Are we better off for
it? It can easily be argued we are worse off.
Exposes the Recycling Scam's Dirty Secret. The huge dirty secret of recycling was also one of the world's worst
polluters. Every branch of government from Washington D.C. to your local town council had spent a fortune convincing
people that recycling is a magical process that turns your old pizza boxes into new pizza boxes while creating those
imaginary "green jobs" in the community. The reality was a lot dirtier. All of America's industries, including
trash sorting, had been outsourced to China. And recycling is just a fancy lefty way of saying "trash." All that
recycling, which children in progressive communities are taught to sort as the closest thing to a religious ritual, was
really being dumped by the ton on dirty ships and sent over to China. We weren't recycling it. The Chinese
were. But now China is banning foreign recycling because it's bad for the environment. Even the Communists got
tired of sorting through the trash of American socialists. The recycling scam shipped garbage on dirty ships for dirty
industries while pretending that they're clean and green. There was never anything clean about it. And only the
money it brought in was green.
Another environmental scam goes bust. Anyone who has ever been to a recycling plant is invariably surprised at
how dirty and nasty America's favorite green activity really is. Trucks dump the material on a long conveyor belt,
where a few dozen people pick through by hand what is supposed to be recyclable material but more and more often is just
plain old dirty trash. The recyclables used to be worth something more than bragging rights about liberal moral
superiority. Plastic bottles, newspapers, and cardboard were just a few of the favorites you could ship to China by the
ton and make a few bucks along the way. No more: Last year, the Chinese were happy to pay us $100 a ton
for newsprint. Today, $5 a ton is the going rate.
Inconvenient Truths About Recycling. It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good
thing. But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud.
of Recycling. Despite decades of exhortations and mandates, it's still typically more expensive for municipalities
to recycle household waste than to send it to a landfill. Prices for recyclable materials have plummeted because of lower
oil prices and reduced demand for them overseas. The slump has forced some recycling companies to shut plants and cancel
plans for new technologies. The mood is so gloomy that one industry veteran tried to cheer up her colleagues this
summer  with an article in a trade journal titled, "Recycling Is Not Dead!"
Your resume stinks! Instead
of Using Trees, Scientists Are Making Sustainable Paper Out of Manure. Paper is a material that we use
ubiquitously-for printing, books, and advertisements. Over 40% of the world's cut timber is used for paper production,
and it requires millions of trees to be cut down and uses a lot of water. A research group from the University of
Vienna has created a more environmental friendly way to produce paper — from animal poop.
Recycling is a scam —
These Canadian cities throw it into landfills. Environmentalism is a step backwards in terms of civilization
and culture. Isn't part of social progress that we spend less time — and less mental energy —
dealing with gross things, like garbage? Which brings us to the news of the day: ["]Calgary has 5,000 tonnes
of recyclables and no one to take them["] They used to ship it to China. (How on earth did that
make sense, environmentally or economically?) But now China is banning it.
'I Say: We Let the Planet Die'.
That hilarious and politically incorrect line was spoken by Liz Torres' character on the old John Laroquette show. She
was showing her frustration after doing due diligence recycling and separating her trash into paper and plastic only to watch
sanitation crews dump it all together in one truck. I recycle because in NYC you will get fined by inspectors if they
find recyclables in regular trash but I also know that these efforts will do absolutely nothing to save the planet.
Warrantless Garbage Searches Unconstitutional. King County Judge Beth Andrus ruled Seattle's warrantless
searches of garbage violate Washington State's constitution, banning Seattle sanitation workers from looking in residents'
trash for possible violations of the city's composting law. The ruling in Bonesteel, et al. v. City of
Seattle shows states are able to grant rights beyond those guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. It was handed down
on April 27. According to the Washington State Constitution, "No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs,
or his home invaded, without authority of law." "By authorizing garbage collectors to pry through people's garbage
without a warrant, the city has promoted a policy of massive and persistent snooping," said Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF)
attorney Ethan Blevins in a statement. Blevins was one of the PLF lawyers who represented the eight plaintiffs.
of California recycling centers shut down. More closures may follow, as the state's subsidy payment program, meant to help centers
survive market fluctuations, has failed to keep up with rapid decreases in the value of plastic, glass and aluminum.
Rules Seattle's Warrantless Garbage Search Unconstitutional. King County Judge Beth Andrus ruled Seattle's
warrantless searches of garbage violates Washington State's constitution, banning Seattle sanitation workers from looking for
possible violations of the city's composting law in residents' trash. The April 27, 2016, ruling in Bonesteel,
et al. v. City of Seattle shows states are able to grant rights beyond those guaranteed in the U.S.
constitution. According to the Washington State Constitution, "No person shall be disturbed in his private
affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."
Recycling Makes Greens Go Gaga, but It's a Real Burden for the Rest of
Us. On the surface, the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" may seem like a sensible call to action for those who want to limit carbon
emissions or reduce the amount of waste left behind for future generations. The reality, however, is that the costs associated with the
process of recycling almost always outweigh the benefits. [...] Paper mills pay for the trees they process. If it was cost-effective to
recycle scrap paper, producers would be beating down your door to buy it. But they aren't. That means it's more expensive and more
resource-intensive to recycle old paper than to cut and pulp pine trees and then replant seedlings for processing when mature.
The Urban Religion of
Recycling. [Scroll down] "If you believe recycling is good for the planet and that we need to do more of it,
then there's a crisis to confront. Trying to turn garbage into gold costs a lot more than expected. We need to ask
ourselves: What is the goal here?" says David P. Steiner, the CEO of Waste Management, the largest recycler of household
trash in the United States. Others have wondered about recycling even on the basic, common sense level. On the one hand,
you're doing it to save the environment. On the other hand, you're employing the services, time, fuel, energy and potentially
wasteful activities of the recycling trucks, plants, and all other carbon-based activity involved in the practice of recycling.
Why are we so quick to worry about (and even condemn) the alleged wastefulness of carbon-based activity in one context, while
blanking out its possible or actual effects in the context of recycling only?
The Reign of Recycling. If you
live in the United States, you probably do some form of recycling. It's likely that you separate paper from plastic and glass and
metal. You rinse the bottles and cans, and you might put food scraps in a container destined for a composting facility. As you
sort everything into the right bins, you probably assume that recycling is helping your community and protecting the environment. But
is it? Are you in fact wasting your time?
Recycling is now mandatory. Seattle sued over recycling
inspectors keeping tabs on residents' trash. When it comes to garbage, the city of Seattle has launched a
waste war. Nine full-time solid waste inspectors have been hired as part of a controversial program to check city
trash to make sure people are recycling. Additionally, contracted waste haulers have been effectively deputized as
trash police, given the authority to tag bins when people fail to recycle and compost enough. The program is now
the subject of a lawsuit, as residents fume over what some call an intrusive government program.
Industry Created Its Own Mess. [Scroll down] Thanks to the Internet, the actual
volume of newspapers that has ended up in bins declined during that 20-year period, from 15.81 million
tons to 7.89 tons. In other words, the U.S. recycling industry has been spending a lot more
money to collect a lot less paper. Unfortunately, the industry failed to change its infrastructure
in response to America's changing reading habits. The high-tech Municipal Recycling Facilities that many
recycling companies built during the recycling boom of the 1990s and 2000s were designed to handle —
and profit from — lots and lots of paper. The recycling industry managed to ignore the
hollowing out of its business model for a few years because China's commodity boom drove up the price
of most recyclables, including paper. But once the commodity boom went bust in the early 2010s, U.S.
recyclers lost their cover.
Trash Man Is Watching You. Saving the planet can be a messy proposition. This is
indelibly clear to Ron Zanazzo, who spends mornings rifling through garbage bags, looking for
envelopes or documents that can identify to whom the trash belongs. "In the summer, it can be
pretty disgusting," he told me, matter-of-factly. "In the winter it's not as bad because it's not
maggot-infested and all of that." Zanazzo is a city employee in Malden, Massachusetts, which, as
a part of a drive to be more environmentally friendly, now charges residents for their trash (one of
many approaches that cities are trying out in order to cut down on trash).
Garbage Police Ticketing Those Who Throw Away Food. Seattle residents, beware: The
garbage police are on the prowl. If you put too much food — as defined by the Seattle
City Council — into your trash, you will be publicly shamed. And if you keep doing it,
you will be fined. Last September, the city council, in a move the Seattle Times said did not
require a public hearing, made formerly voluntary composting and recycling guidelines mandatory for
all Seattle residents. As of January 1, anyone caught with a trash can containing more than
10 percent food or recyclables gets a big red tag stuck on his can and, beginning in July, an extra
dollar added to his garbage bill.
government now going through citizens' trash for public shaming, revenue. Sure, the
incentive to compost is the putative reason for this regulation, but exactly how is it
enforced? In order for city officials and trash collectors to know you have committed the civic
sin of disposing of leftover food in your trashcan, they have to examine the contents of your
trashcan. Let's hope the citizens of Seattle and trash collectors can come to some kind of
silent truce over this.
there shouldn't be a law. [Scroll down] How on Earth are they going to enforce this on any kind
of consistent basis? Will garbage collectors be trained by some sort of trash removal Obi-Wan Kenobi, using
the Force to sense if residents slipped some leftover tofu in the wrong trash container? It's not enough that
city employees have to collect our disgusting trash, we are going to make them collect tax revenue too?
Recycling is State-Endorsed Slavery. Recycling is authoritarian, demeaning and an
unutterable waste of time, energy and money. No surprise, then, that the European Union is
planning to force its vassal states to do much, much more of it. Last week, the European
Commission proposed its most draconian waste disposal legislation yet: a plan requiring
70 percent of all municipal waste and 80 percent of packaging waste to be recycled by
2030; a total ban of the landfill of recyclable waste by 2025, aiming "to virtually eliminate
landfill" by 2030. As even the Guardian quietly concedes, this is an impossible ambition.
got to separate everything: EU forces us to get up to 7 different bins by 2015. Local councils across the country have been told they will
have to follow EU rules from 2015 which mean paper, metal, glass and plastic will have to be collected separately. Some authorities had previously
allowed homeowners to mix their recycling waste but under the new plans all recyclables will have to be split alongside garden, general waste and food
compostables — leading to many households having up to seven different boxes, bins and bags.
MA Loses $4-6M Per Year Thanks to
Fraudulent Recycling. The state of Massachusetts is experiencing millions of dollars in loss thanks to entrepreneurial can and
bottle collectors from other states carpetbagging in their wares to turn them in for $0.05 a piece. According to CBS Local Boston, trucks
from Rhode Island are traveling into Massachusetts loaded up with bottles and cans, which bring no return in Rhode Island, and handing them over
for cash in the Bay State.
Now The European
Union Starts To Ban Recycling. No, it's not a spoof. It really is true that those tasked with running an entire
continent, the bureaucrats in Brussels, think that putting home made jam (jelly to you perhaps) in used jam jars should be and is a
crime. With serious penalties too.
Rampant recycling fraud is draining California cash.
Just over 8.5 billion recyclable cans were sold in California last year. The number redeemed for a nickel under California's recycling law:
8.3 billion. That's a return rate of nearly 100%. That kind of success isn't just impressive, it's unbelievable. But the recycling
rate for certain plastic containers was even higher: 104%. California's generous recycling redemption program has led to rampant fraud.
Crafty entrepreneurs are driving semi-trailers full of cans from Nevada or Arizona, which don't have deposit laws, across the border and transforming
their cargo into truckfuls of nickels.
Sweden may have to import garbage.
A Swedish industry association said the country may have to start importing waste from other countries to keep its power plant incinerators in
operation. Swedish Waste Management said the 30 waste-to-energy incinerators in the country currently burn about 6.06 million
tons of garbage each year, and planned expansions indicate the country would have to start importing 1.76 million tons of garbage from
other countries each year to keep them in operation, The Local.se reported Thursday [6/7/2012].
Food sold in recycled cardboard packaging 'poses risk'.
Leading food manufacturers are changing their packaging because of health concerns about boxes made from
recycled cardboard, the BBC has learned. Researchers found toxic chemicals from recycled newspapers
had contaminated food sold in many cardboard cartons.
much green? Millions spent on recycling. Governments across the Washington region spend
millions of dollars on recycling each year, but national recycling experts say a lot of that taxpayer cash is
going to waste. Maryland, Virginia and the District [of Columbia] require residents and businesses to
recycle, and localities pay millions of dollars to enforce those laws and hit recycling targets.
Compost Conserved, Lifetime
Wasted. A more intrusive regime for the simple act of discarding something could hardly be devised.
There will be — count 'em — three color-coded bins into which garbage must be classified, as it is
assessed for compostability and recyclability. ... This government-in-your-garbage ordinance is in response to a
self-inflicted wound. It is deemed necessary in order to comply with the city's self-imposed goal of 75% recycling
by 2010, as a waypoint to zero waste by 2020. It would be much cheaper to just dig a hole.
Mandatory Recycling Wastes Resources and Harms
the Environment. "In mid-December 2003, the Seattle City Council decided to make curbside
recycling mandatory. The measure, which goes into effect in January 2005, is a misguided step that will
burden taxpayers, antagonize residents, and waste resources. As an economist who has been studying
recycling for nearly 15 years, I long ago learned that the desire for curbside recycling is based
mostly on misconceptions."
Many studies have shown that the environmental benefits from household recycling are minimal or at least
highly exaggerated (because it uses a lot of energy and those recycling trucks emit a lot of greenhouse
gases). America is not in danger of ever running out of landfill to store our garbage. For example,
a study by Daniel Benjamin, an economist at Clemson, finds that we could store all of America's garbage for
the next century within the property of Ted Turner's ranch in Montana, with 50,000 acres undisturbed for
the horse and bison.
Recycling — righteous or rubbish?
The economics suggest a middle road. Careful cost-benefit analysis shows that recycling often isn't
cost-effective: Many programs try too hard, in a sense, by recycling products that cost more to reprocess
than is warranted by the associated environmental and economic benefits — essentially going too far
in the cause of environmental protection. But economists also suggest that some level of recycling is
entirely sensible from an economic standpoint.
Recycling is 'Like Throwing Money
Away'. Curbside recycling is one of the most wasteful endeavors practiced by local
governments, concluded an investigation by an Orlando, Florida television news station. According
to WFTV Channel 9, recycling programs typically fail to pay for themselves and can cost taxpayers
tremendous amounts of money — while providing very negligible benefits.
Eight Great Myths About Waste Disposal: Since
the 1980s, many have claimed that the United States faces a landfill crisis. In fact, the United States
today has more landfill capacity than ever before. In 2001, the nation's landfills could accommodate
18 years' worth of rubbish, an amount 25 percent greater than a decade before.
a bad idea in New York. New York is but the latest of a growing number of
cities that have found the cost of recycling garbage is far, far greater than the costs
of simply dumping it. Despite flowery promises and earnest intentions, mandatory
municipal recycling programs across the United States have proven an expensive economic
and environmental flop. Little sustains this odd brand of civic religion beyond the
quasi-religious devotion of the Green faithful.
It's OK to Throw it
Away: Tell Your Kids. Rule number one, don't be intimidated by
your kids. They have a misplaced sense of moral superiority on environmental
issues. Polls show that most information adults get about the environment comes
from their kids, who in turn get their views from school and children's television. One
poll concluded that 63 percent of school children have lobbied their parents to
recycle. Don't roll over. The kids, their teachers, and Captain Planet are wrong.
A Consumer's Guide To Environmental Myths and
Realities. MYTH #1: We are running out of landfill space. All of the garbage
America produces in the next 1,000 years would fit in a landfill that occupies less than one-tenth of
1 percent of the continental United States. … MYTH #6: Recycling is always good.
Recycling itself can cause environmental harm, e.g., more fuel consumption and more air pollution. As
a result, the environmental costs of recycling may exceed any possible environmental benefits. …
MYTH #8: Recycling paper saves trees. Since most of the trees used to make paper are grown
explicitly for that purpose, if we use less paper, fewer trees will be planted and grown by commercial
harvesters. Recycling paper doesn't save trees, it reduces incentives to plant them.
Time to recycle recycling?
What ... Al Gore and many other environmentalists may not appreciate is that recycling paper is actually a
carbon positive process. ... Contrary to received wisdom, paper is one of the least recyclable materials
Rethinking Recycling: Doesn't it go
without saying that businesses should recycle paper? No, answers Ken Braun, cofounder and chairman of
Pepper's, a retail chain of natural-ingredient personal-care products, and an avid conservationist who has
much to say — and do — about recycling. Braun's concerns once dictated buying only
recycled paper for his company's office supplies. He's changed his mind. Not because recycled paper
is more expensive than virgin (though it is) or less well finished (that, too), but because in talking to
suppliers he determined that the chemicals employed in recovering old paper did more harm to the environment
than chopping down new trees did.
Markets are Better than
Mandates at Determining Recycling Levels. As conditions become less favorable
to the use of recycled materials, the cost of doing so rises, resulting in net social
losses. For instance, under worst-case conditions, requiring 30 percent
recycled content in all glass packaging can cost, on average, $119/ton more than using
virgin material. Mandating 30 percent recycled content in all paper packaging
can increase costs by an average of $80/ton.
There is a clear reason why recycling participation is so low: Recycling makes no economic
sense. If the value of recycled goods was as much as or more than the cost of collecting
the goods, recyclers would pay people for them. The fact that recyclers don't pay for used
goods tells us a government-financed program is an economic loser.
Regarding the environmental impacts of recycling, sending large, polluting
garbage-collection trucks on an additional trip to every house in a municipality
worsens air quality and wastes gasoline. Moreover, the recycling facilities
themselves are notoriously harmful to the environment, with recycling facilities
at times representing more than 25 percent of EPA's worst superfund
Recycling: Your Time
Can Be Better Spent! Many people believe recycling either pays for itself
or is worth the cost. Both positions are wrong. Every community recycling
program in America today costs more than the revenue it generates. The value of
recycled materials on the open market has declined dramatically in recent years, and
in many cases there is no market at all.
Time for a New Look at
Recycling. Recycling, originally sold as virtually a cure-all for solid
waste problems and as an environmental feel-good to boot, has been greatly oversold.
The Utter Waste of Recycling. Ask
yourself about the utility of recycling. Glass is made from sand. The Earth is not running out of
sand. Newspapers, when buried, stay intact for decades and, when burned, become mere ashes. Recycling
plastic requires as much or more energy than to produce it. Its uses, however, are extraordinary,
contributing to a healthier lifestyle for everyone. So, why recycle?
Recycling is a Waste. Much of the impetus
for mandatory recycling programs came from a 1980s Environmental Protection Agency study showing that the number of landfills
was decreasing. While this was true, the landfills themselves were getting bigger, and the total capacity was increasing!
Indeed, the U.S. currently has 18 years worth of landfill even if no new landfills are built. And at current rates of
disposal, a single landfill just 100 yards deep and 35 miles square could contain all the garbage generated in the
U.S. for the next 1,000 years.
from boom to bust as economy stalls. Just months after riding an incredible high, the recycling market
has tanked almost in lockstep with the global economic meltdown. As consumer demand for autos, appliances and
new homes dropped, so did the steel and pulp mills' demand for scrap, paper and other recyclables.
Our Widespread Faith In Recycling
Is Misplaced. A decade ago a wandering garbage barge set off a political
crisis: Where will we put our trash? The media inflamed people's fears of
mounting piles of garbage. A variety of interest groups - particularly "public
relations consultants, environmental organizations, waste-handling corporations," according
to journalist John Tierney - lobbied to line their pockets. Politicians seeking
to win votes enacted a spate of laws and regulations to encourage and often
[To make the average German feel superior at a time when, objectively, his
life was getting worse] recycling measures were introduced, ostensibly to push Germany along the
road to economic self-sufficiency. This device, adopted in World War I, as well as
World War II, certainly had no particular economic impact. Its real purpose was
psychological: to create a sense of community of shared participation in the war effort.
Even today, elderly Germans, some of whom stuff their cupboards with old string as they were told to
do in the Third Reich, still remember warmly the recycling, fuel-saving, and housekeeping aspects of
the Nazi era. It was one of the hidden links that subtly connected the regime with its citizens.
— Adam LeBor
and Roger Boyes: "Seduced by Hitler", page 30.
Why The Trash You
Sort Isn't Recycled: My neighbors are unhappy to learn that the trash they've
carefully sorted for years into brown bottles, green bottles, cans, and paper is being dumped
back into one pile at the local landfill. Except for aluminum cans, no one wants the
sorted trash items. Is this bad for the environment? Probably not.
Mountains of recycled rubbish spring up across UK. Experts
estimate that up to 15 percent of all recycling is now being stored in warehouses and ports, waiting for a
buyer. Some of the waste could be stuck there for a year. ... Prices have now fallen so far that the cost
of making new plastic is cheaper than reusing the recycled material.
UK's growing waste paper mountain as market collapses.
Taxpayers are facing a multi-million-pound bill to store 100,000 tons of waste paper and cardboard as the
British recycling industry plunges into crisis. Rubbish carefully sorted by householders is piling up in
vast warehouses as the market for waste paper collapses, and experts have warned that the mountain of garbage
could double in the next three months.
Is Garbage. Recycling could be America's most wasteful activity. … The obvious
temptation is to blame journalists, who did a remarkable job of creating the garbage crisis,
often at considerable expense to their own employers. Newspaper and magazine publishers,
whose products are a major component of municipal landfills, nobly led the crusade against
trash, and they're paying for it now through regulations that force them to buy recycled
paper - a costly handicap in their struggle against electronic rivals.
Recycling program costs Austin
$900K. The City of Austin said its new single stream recycling program is not a big "waste" despite a
near $900,000 shortfall. The environmental group, Ecology Action of Texas, said the program caused the city to
lose that amount after going into effect last fall.
However… What to Do with Three
Billion Abandoned Tires? Cement kiln recyclers put them to good use. Few
things are more unsightly than a pile of discarded tires. Unfortunately, America has
quite a few such piles. There are about 3 billion abandoned tires in the U.S.,
with another 200 million being added each year.
recycling bins with tracking chips coming to Alexandria. Alexandria residents soon will have to
pay for larger home recycling bins featuring built-in monitoring devices. The City Council added a
mandatory $9 charge to its residents' annual waste collection fee. That cash — roughly
$180,000 collected from 19,000 residents — will pay for new larger recycling carts equipped with
computer microchips, which will allow the city to keep tabs on its bins and track resident participation in
the city's recycling program.
blow up Boris's hydrogen pipe dream. Major concerns were mounting today over whether Britain will be ready for
Boris Johnson's 'ambitious' plans to ban gas boilers in all new-build homes by 2023, after the target was brought forward by
two years. The proposal was branded 'impossible' because just two hydrogen boiler prototypes exist, a fifth of the pipe
network still needs to be relaid and every engineer will be retrained. The ban on methane gas boilers means new homes
must have low-carbon alternatives, such as electric heat pumps or hydrogen boilers — but it has surprised many homebuilders
who had been working towards a deadline of 2025. And 20 percent of the UK's pipe network is not yet ready to safely
carry hydrogen — while not a single hydrogen boiler is yet on sale for consumers, with only two prototypes currently being tested.
Johnson's green plan brings ban on petrol cars forward to 2030 and promises UK's first hydrogen-powered town.
Boris Johnson has set out plans for green investment over the coming decade, including a target to generate enough offshore
wind to power every home in the UK and a ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030. The prime minister's
long-awaited 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution" also promised the UK's first hydrogen-powered town, four
carbon capture "clusters" to suck 10 megatons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and a new generation of advanced
nuclear reactors. But green campaigners warned that the £12bn in public funding promised by Mr Johnson fell well
short of the scale of ambition needed, while there was dismay at his inclusion of "pie-in-the-sky" plans for zero-emission
The Editor says...
How would you like to live in a hydrogen-powered city during a thunderstorm? Maybe they could name the place Hindenburg. No smoking, please!
touted as fuel of the future. Hydrogen will transform the transport industry and could eventually replace
natural gas, Arup's environment and resources leader Mike Straughton says. Speaking at the Australian Financial
Review's National Energy Summit, Mr Straughton outlined the increasing importance of hydrogen as a future energy
source, saying it had "moved beyond the Hindenburg".
Hydrogen produces only water when it burns. So naturally people would like to see
automobiles use hydrogen as fuel. But unfortunately there just isn't enough energy
available from a gallon of liquid hydrogen to justify the cost. And liquid hydrogen
would require a highly specialized gas tank. Then there is the problem of hydrogen
production. Hydrogen doesn't gush out of the ground in West Texas. You can make
hydrogen at home with a 9-volt battery and a glass of water ... but not enough to
start your car.
California's alternative-energy program under scrutiny.
California is spending nearly $15 million to build 10 hydrogen fueling stations, even though just 227 hydrogen-powered vehicles exist in the state
today. It's a hefty bet on the future, given that government officials have been trying for nine years, with little success, to get automakers to
build more hydrogen cars. The project is part of a sprawling but little-known state program that packs a powerful financial punch: It spent
$1.6 billion last year on a myriad of energy-efficiency and alternative-energy projects.
Conundrum. Hyundai has just released a new hydrogen-powered car in New Zealand — the ix35 Fuel Cell SUV.
It emits water from its tail pipe, so why isn't it on the front burner for environmentalists? [...] Hyundai indicated the fuel cell pack
used in the ix35 Fuel Cell SUV, costs $100,000, although many believe it costs more. Hyundai expects to bring the cost of the fuel
cell pack down to $50,000 by 2015. This is still several times the cost of an internal combustion engine and five times the cost
of the Li-ion battery used in GM's Volt.
Fuel Cells May Have Environmental Drawback: Researchers have issued a report saying that if
hydrogen replaced fossil fuels, large amounts of hydrogen would drift into the stratosphere as a result of
leakage and indirectly cause increased depletion of the ozone.
happened to the hydrogen economy? Even in Iceland, whose grand ambitions for a renewable hydrogen economy
once earned it the title Bahrain of the north, visible progress has been modest. After years of research, the country
now boasts one hydrogen filling station, a handful of hydrogen cars, and one whale-watching boat with a fuel cell for
auxiliary power. ... In California, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised a "hydrogen highway" with
200 hydrogen filling stations by 2010, there are just five open to the public.
The Realities of a Hydrogen
Economy. Among other things, (1) It costs about $5 to produce enough hydrogen equivalent to the
energy potential of one gallon of gasoline. (2) Hydrogen's low density would require 21 tanker
trucks to haul the amount of energy delivered by a single gasoline truck today, and a hydrogen tanker traveling
500 kilometers would use an amount of hydrogen equaling 40 percent of its cargo. (3) At room
temperature, hydrogen takes up 3,000 times more space as an energy-equivalent of amount gasoline, therefore,
compressed or liquefied gas must be used in vehicle tanks; but tanks on today's hydrogen vehicles take up to
eight times as much space as a normal gas tank to store an equivalent amount of fuel.
The Great Hydrogen Myth:
Hydrogen is held out as a clean-burning, virtually inexhaustible source of energy, but as a Washington
Times editorial pointed out in November , others "suggest it is a gaseous dream rising on the
rhetoric of environmental windbags." If enough billions are spent, it seems reasonable to expect
hydrogen to become an energy source, but like most environmental pipe dreams, this one has a silent agenda of
eliminating petroleum as an energy source, nor can we reasonably expect a dramatic breakthrough.
Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for
40 Years. President Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the big automakers agree on this much:
They love hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology and its promise of a zero-emission, petroleum-free future.
Unfortunately, experts say it will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline
consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long. In the meantime, fuel cells are
diverting resources from more immediate solutions.
Hydrogen cars and hot air:
Would you buy a car that costs 10 times as much as a hybrid gasoline-electric one, like the Toyota Prius?
What if I told you it had half the range of the hybrid? What if I told you most cities didn't have a single
hydrogen fuelling station? Not interested yet? This should be the deal closer: what if I told
you it wouldn't have lower greenhouse-gas emissions than the hybrid? ... Nobody should get terribly excited
when a car company rolls out its wildly impractical next-generation hydrogen car.
LA gas station gets hydrogen fuel pump. The
Shell station near Interstate 405, which was charging $4.59 per gallon of regular gas Thursday [6/26/2008],
features one pump with a bright blue "Hydrogen" label above a video monitor that dispenses the fuel by the
kilogram. Hydrogen is made and stored in a tank above the dispenser. For now, the fuel is available to
roughly 100 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road in California, all of them being used in demonstration
programs by motor companies, said Roy Kim, a spokesman with the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Because
all the cars are in those programs, drivers won't be charged for filling up at the station.
The Editor says...
Notice that hydrogen is dispensed by the kilogram, but there is no mention of the price per
kilogram, if someone were to try to make a purchase. Notice also that hydrogen is considered safe in cars
but not in blimps.
US govt hydrogen highway
runs out of road. The original hydrogen plan was announced by then President Bush in 2003 and,
to date, the US government has spent around $500m (£328m/€367m) on the project. There's not
much to show for it other than some Honda FCX Claritys and Chevrolet Equinoxes running around California, and
70-odd hydrogen filling stations nationwide. Not so much a case of hydrogen tech being put on the back
burner but rather being wrapped in cling film and shoved to the rear of the freezer.
DOE to slash fuel cell vehicle research.
The Department of Energy's proposed budget boosts research on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources
but makes cuts in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles because the technology is many years from being practical.
The DOE published details of its $26.4 billion fiscal 2010 budget request on Thursday [5/7/2009], and Energy
Secretary Steven Chu held a news briefing to cover the highlights.
Report: DC's green-approved
buildings using more energy. Washington, D.C. may have the highest number of certified green buildings in the country,
but research by Environmental Policy Alliance suggests it might not be doing much good. The free-market group analyzed the first
round of energy usage data released by city officials Friday [2/28/2014] and found that large, privately-owned buildings that received
the green energy certification Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) actually use more energy than buildings that didn't receive this
green stamp of approval. LEED is the brainchild of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a private environmental group.
opened just three years ago is already leaking. When it opened its timber doors three years ago, this £7million 'eco primary school' was applauded for
its environmentally friendly credentials. It was heated by solar power and its plumbing system relied on rain collected from the roof, which was made of locally grown
sweet chestnut. Sadly, the zero-carbon building is not quite as sustainable as the designers had hoped.
building in Melbourne named among world's ugliest. The Pixel building in Melbourne has been named among the world's top 10
building eyesores by travel website Trippy.com and Reuters. An architectural guinea pig in carbon neutral designs, the building stands
out with its quirky design featuring what appears to be shards of glass in bright colours.
'falling asleep in stuffy eco-classrooms'. Children are falling asleep in class because
new eco-friendly schools have appalling ventilation, experts warned today. Builders have created
air-tight classrooms which are intended to reduce heat loss but also stop carbon dioxide escaping.
Higher CO2 levels in newly-built schools are leaving children drowsy and less able to concentrate,
researchers from University College London and Reading University found.
Change department keep air-conditioning rather than open windows. Plans to switch off the
air-conditioning and instead open windows at the Department for Energy and Climate Change have been scrapped
after staff complained about the noise. ... The trial was abandoned after three days because staff at the
department complained about noise from construction works, "the wrong kind of breeze" and the potential
Green Math Is Bad Math.
[Scroll down] The entire renovation costs $133 million. The plants are only one component, but
the G.S.A. admits that the renovation is being undertaken for the purpose of making the building "green."
Done as a project of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, the renovation is Oregon's
largest federal stimulus project.
Nancy Pelosi's taxpayer-funded, exorbitantly expensive, eco-friendly
office space. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently moved into a new district
office, located in the San Francisco Federal Building. All sorts of reasons were cited for the
move — she'd been in the old office for twenty years; the new office's location is more accessible
for her constituents; she needed more space; the new office is in a "green" building. These
explanations seem reasonable, until you find out how much she's paying for them. ... Speaker Pelosi is
paying $18,736 a month for her lovely new workspace.
How I (Almost) Saved
the Earth. When I started researching the field of green building, as part of the planning for
our own home, I learned that, in many cases, you can't get there from here. Allow me to share some of
the things we learned. It's California-centric, but I think you can generalize from my experience.
As a rule, the greener the home, the uglier it will be.
Day Overshadowed This Year By An Actual Crisis. Today [4/22/2020] is Earth Day, a celebration conceived by
then-U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and first held in 1970 as a "symbol of environmental responsibility and
stewardship." In the spirit of the time, it was a touchy-feely, consciousness-raising, New Age experience. Most
activities were organized at the grassroots level. In recent years, however, Earth Day has devolved into an occasion
for professional environmental activists and alarmists to warn of apocalypse, dish anti-technology dirt, and proselytize.
hysteria linking climate change and species extinction mindlessly parroted by media. Then there were all those
looming disasters projected by scientists on the first Earth Day almost fifty years ago. A quick summary: We
would all be dead by 1985 to 2000. (I would ask Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez what she thinks of that one.) We would
be out of food either in the 1970s or 1980s. During the 1980s, four billion people would die, including 65 million
in the U.S. By 1980, urban dwellers would have to wear gas masks to survive. Soon, none of our land will be
usable because of too much nitrogen. The rivers will be out of oxygen, and freshwater fish will all be gone. By
1995, 75% to 80% of species will be gone. And ecologist Kenneth Watt said, because we were going into an ice age, that
the Earth would be four degrees cooler by 1990 and eleven degrees colder by 2000. I thought CO2, humans, and fossil
fuels caused warming and it was a consensus, so how did anyone predict a coming ice age?
Earth Day Predictions Go Predictably Wrong. As activists around the world recently celebrated Earth Day with
warnings about the awful state of our planet, now seems like the right time to share the good news that actually —
contrary to countless dire predictions — we're not running out of resources. In fact, the late economist and
scholar Julian Simon was right: People again and again have innovated "their way out of resource shortages."
spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year. In
the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled
"Earth Day, Then and Now" to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article,
Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a "torrent of apocalyptic
predictions" and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it's now the 46th anniversary of
Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 16 years ago: How accurate were the predictions
made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: "The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but
spectacularly wrong," according to Bailey. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made
around 1970 when the "green holy day" (aka Earth Day) started: [...]
Day: Opposing Progress Trumps Protecting the Planet. By injecting a toxic mix of politics and junk
science into Earth Day, its organizers forfeit an opportunity to promote the kind of environmental awareness that might lead
to worthwhile initiatives. They turn genuine environmentalists (like us) into Earth Day skeptics. The Earth Day
campaign itself isn't about saving species; it's about limiting or ending the benefits of science and technology that spur
progress on so many fronts.
is Earth Hour: A celebration of ignorance and poverty. We are quickly approaching the annual one-hour
event in energy self-flagellation and green nitwittery known as Earth Hour, which takes place tonight on Saturday, March 30,
at 8:30 p.m (local time). Our friends at Earth Hour are asking people around the world to "set aside an hour to host events,
switch off their lights, and make noise for the Earth Hour movement."
Earth Day Yawn. Wait — yesterday was Earth Day! I must have yawned right through it.
Like most Americans, if you go by the surveys showing increasing public indifference toward environmentalism. I used to
make a big deal out of Earth Day, pointing out for years that the data in rich countries showed an almost unbroken record of
significant environmental improvement is just about every major category.
Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970. In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated — okay,
"celebrated" doesn't capture the funereal tone of the event. The events (organized in part by then hippie and now
convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.
it "lights out" for Earth Hour? Power usage spikes on Canada's "Left Coast". Ten years ago, Earth Hour seemed like
a good idea on paper but in practice, the notion people would turn off their lights and electrical gadgets for 60 minutes was
farcical and did absolutely nothing tangible. And now in 2018, it seems more people were celebrating Human Achievement Hour
(HAH) than Earth Hour. Coincidentally, HAH takes place on the same day and time but is all about celebrating technology by
turning everything on for 60 minutes. According to CTV, power usage in British Columbia spiked during Earth Hour so even
on Canada's left coast in an NDP-led province with the nation's only elected Green Party MP, it would appear they're no longer
buying into Earth Hour propaganda.
failed civil war. While tearing down American monuments, such leftists also try to build their own shrines in
time or space to celebrate the destruction of capitalism. They deliberately set April 22 as Earth Day, for example,
because its 1970 founding was the 100th birthday of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin. The left, having made Lenin's
birthday an American holiday, has resisted all attempts to change this green-outside, red-inside watermelon day to a natural
event, such as the spring equinox, or to a convenient day such as the third Saturday of April.
Earth Day Co-Founder Killed, Composted His Girlfriend. Here's an inconvenient truth about the self-described
founder of Earth Day: He murdered and composted his girlfriend. Environmental activist and self-proclaimed Earth
Day co-founder Ira Einhorn had a dark side. NBC News reported in 2011 that Einhorn was found guilty of murdering his
ex-girlfriend and stuffing her "composted" body inside a trunk. After five years of being together, Helen Maddux broke
up with Einhorn. Enraged, he threatened to throw Maddux's belongings onto the street if she didn't come by to get
them. She went to Einhorn's apartment to retrieve them on Sept. 9, 1977 but was never seen again.
Earth Day Co-Founder Composted His Girlfriend. You're currently reading this, which means you have Internet
access, which means I don't have to tell you that today is Earth Day. You've been bombarded with it already. But
here's a little something your moral, ethical, and intellectual betters won't tell you, as they're haranguing you about
killing the planet by showering too much and leaving your cellphone charger plugged in: One of the founders of Earth
Day is an insane murderer.
Day Roots Include Participation by Convicted Murderer. Earth Day, originally founded
in 1970 by then-U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), is an annual event in which municipalities and
communities express their support for preserving the environment in the form of fairs, festivals,
and similar events. Among the festivals and feel-good events that took place this past Earth Day,
however, there was no mention of one of the high-profile figures who claimed to have inspired —
and to take full credit for the idea — one Ira Einhorn.
getting buried in Earth Day trash talk. Earth Day, the highest of holy days for the
Church of Climate Hysteria, has come and, mercifully, gone. Imagine if it were anything like the Old
World's 12 days of Christmas. We'd never get the National Mall out from beneath the garbage heap
sacrificed to Mother Gaia by the climate-change faithful. Then again, how different are those
celebrants' trashy proclivities from a president who burns more than 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to
haul Air Force One to the Everglades for a politicized speech he could as easily have delivered from
the Rose Garden?
Earth Day: Kwanzaa for
liberals. Earth Day is attractive for a particular variety of liberal. Young, desiring
to be upwardly mobile but maybe finding out now that $250K in student loans and a master's degree in jazz
clarinet isn't the ticket, reflexively liberal, lacking in ambition, and, need I say it, white. At
its essence, though, Earth Day is a politico-religious festival much like Kwanzaa. It was invented
out of whole cloth based on pseudo-science. If one looks at the elements one finds in religions (i.e.
creation, fall from grace, redemption, salvation) it is easy to see how Earth Day fits into the religion
of environmentalism as easily as the Beatitudes fit into Christianity.
Earth Day Co-Founder Killed and Composted His Girlfriend. It's Earth Day and millions
of people across the world are celebrating with events about global warming. President Obama will
travel to Florida via fossil fuel powered Air Force One to give a speech in the Everglades and last
weekend people in Washington D.C. celebrated early by trashing the National Mall. But like many
far-left movements, Earth Day has a dark past and was co-founded by a guy who killed and composted
Administrator to Appear at Broccoli Festival with Willow and Jaden Smith. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy will attend an "environmental justice" Broccoli festival that features performances by
Willow and Jaden Smith, who do not believe in school or the concept of time. "On Saturday, April 25, EPA
Administrator Gina McCarthy will give remarks at the Third Annual Broccoli City Festival's Earth Day celebration,"
an EPA press release stated.
honors Earth Day by using 9,180 gallons of jet fuel — that's just the start. President
Obama is celebrating Earth Day by flying in his jumbo jet down to Florida so he can tour the Everglades.
The 1,836-mile roundtrip will consume 9,180 gallons of fuel on Air Force One, according to CBS White House
reporter Mark Knoller. And that's just the president's plane. There will a half-dozen support planes
along for the trip, Marine One helicopters, and a 25- to 30-vehicle motorcade belching exhaust into the air.
Things You're Not Likely to Hear About on Earth Day. President Obama flew down to
Florida this Earth Day [4/22/2015] to give his umpteenth speech on climate change. That means he'll
have added something like 94 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere on his round-trip 747 flight to
decry CO2 emissions. In any case, as with every Earth Day, the public gets an annual dose of fear
and loathing about the environmental dangers facing our planet. Well, here are some inconvenient
facts environmentalists aren't likely to tell anyone.
Mall Trashed After Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Concert. Yesterday [4/18/2015] was
Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, which was celebrated with a concert and other festivities on the
National Mall. While the concert itself was powered by solar energy, the attendees could
have learned a lesson or two about taking care of planet Earth.
Rise And Fall Of Earth Day, A Day No One Notices Anymore. The decline of Earth Day is in part an
unintended consequence of its success. The older among us remember the stinging ozone-laden smog of southern
California and the opaque air of Pittsburgh. These, along with countless other environmental horrors, were
pretty much everywhere, and everyone agreed we had tremendous problems. The EPA was started not by lefty
democrats but by Richard Nixon. People were literally sick and very tired of the obvious pollution of so
many of the nation's urban airsheds.
Liberals Litter on Earth Day.
There are many things about liberals that are infuriating, but one of the most aggravating is their unabashed hypocrisy. From
the President of the United States to Earth Day revelers in a San Francisco park, what sets liberals apart from sane people is that
they rarely do what they demand from everyone else.
Earth Day co-founder written out of
history. Like many liberal causes that have gone mainstream, powered by partisan media, Earth Day had some very radical
beginnings. First, it's on April 22, the birthday of the ruthless Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin. If you
think that's a coincidence, and it might be, let's learn more about one of Earth Day's founders, Ira Einhorn. Einhorn was a
leftist leader who cheered on the Viet Cong in the 1960s, hoping for a United States defeat. Then he adopted environmentalism
and in 1970 hosted one of the very first Earth Day rallies. Thereafter, he claimed to be co-founder of Earth Day.
Earth Daze! This Earth Day, we have more to fear from rising gas and food prices than from rising
sea levels. We have long argued that wealthier societies are healthier societies and that reducing emission
levels to those desired by such entities as the U.N.'s International Panel on Climate Change and treaties like
Kyoto was a recipe for global poverty. Consider that a 2008 MIT study showed that even the carbon footprint
of a homeless person in the United States is more than four times the U.N. recommendation.
Earth Day Denigrates Capitalism — and
Humans. Environmentalists have always admired Lenin. He was the first disciple of Karl
Marx to capture control of a country, and the opening act of his seven-year reign commenced with the
abolition of all private property — a Marxist priority. Despite overseeing a bloody civil war,
a devastated economy, and a citizenry without hope, Lenin made it a priority to implement his signature decree,
"On Land." In it he declared that all forests, waters, and minerals to be the exclusive property of the
state, and he demanded these resources be protected from use by the public and private enterprise.
Selling timber or firewood, mining minerals, or diverting water for farming was strictly prohibited.
Earth Day and Environmental
Insanity: Anyone who has been paying any attention to the environmental movement has got to have
concluded it is insane. ... Environmentalism, worldwide and in the United States of America, is devoted to the
collapse of every scientific and technological advance of the past century, along with the capitalist
system that made them possible.
Your Non-Plastic Bags Are
Killing the Earth, Hippies. Ah, it's Earth Day: the day when millions of unwitting schoolchildren across this country will
be brainwashed into believing there really are 50 simple things that can save the Earth from the devastating effects of modern
industry, and where high schoolers will be force-fed copies of An Inconvenient Truth while being excoriated on their rampant
embraces of consumerism, right before they drive their gas-guzzling SUVs out of the parking lot and to their jobs at rainforest-depleting
fast food restaurants.
The True and Ugly Story of
Earth Day. While Christians across the world marked Easter and Jews marked Passover, liberals marked their annual ode to
neo-paganism with hippy-dippy exercises in green self-righteousness. Of course, they neglected to mention that Gaia herself was a
Greek hussy who mythologically created the oceans and the depths by an incestuous relationship with her son, Uranus. They also
neglected to mention that one original co-founder of Earth Day was a murderer, that its first backers were tie-dyed socialists who hated
capitalism, and that Earth Day itself was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin.
Earth Day's dark side. Sunday was
Earth Day, the annual jamboree of the green movement held worldwide since 1970. Unfortunately, a review of the accomplishments
of the advocates of environmentalism and population control since that spectacular debut shows very little reason to celebrate.
and Ugly Story of Earth Day. While Christians across the world marked Easter and Jews marked
Passover, liberals marked their annual ode to neo-paganism with hippy-dippy exercises in green self-righteousness.
Of course, they neglected to mention that Gaia herself was a Greek hussy who mythologically created the oceans
and the depths by an incestuous relationship with her son, Uranus. They also neglected to mention that
one original co-founder of Earth Day was a murderer, that its first backers were tie-dyed socialists who hated
capitalism, and that Earth Day itself was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of
Earth Day Denigrates Capitalism — and
Humans. On this date in 1970, a trio of radical dreamers established Earth Day, an annual event
designed to assault capitalism, free markets, and mankind. The initial concept was conceived by then-Sen.
Gaylord Nelson (D.-Wis.). Nelson was Congress' leading environmentalist, a sort of pre-incarnate Sen.
Barbara Boxer in drag. He was also the mastermind behind those ridiculous teach-ins that were vogue in
the '60s and early '70s. During the teach-ins, mutinous school instructors would scrap the day's assigned
curriculum, pressure their students to sit cross-legged on the floor, and "rap" about how America was an
imperialist nation, and converse about why communism really wasn't such a bad form of government —
it just needed to be implemented properly.
Earth Day instead of Easter?
Some Catholics are concerned with what they see as an attempt by environmentalists to hijack Easter for their
own Earth Day purposes. In a letter dated April 1 to churches across the country, the environmentalist
group Earth Day Network encourages priests to remember Earth Day Sunday, even though Easter is that same Sunday.
"This year we again invite you to celebrate Earth Day Sunday and share with your parishioners a story of creation
care that will impart to them the importance of protecting a nurturing the planet that was provided to us,"
the letter reads.
Earth Day —
a national establishment of religion. Friday, April 22, is the 41st anniversary of Earth
Day. The theme this year is "A Billion Acts of Green" and we're asked, like recovering sinners, to
reform our ways: take our baths with less water, turn off the lights, spend less time on the computer,
watch less TV, reduce our toilet paper consumption, and make a donation. Getting an early start, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) observed Earth Day this past weekend (April 16-17) on the
National Mall, with 40 exhibits. As all this suggests, environmentalism has become our newest
The hippie holiday.
Earth Day has become inextricably linked with global-warming mania. Al Gore — a man with
one of the largest carbon footprints in the world — recently likened the struggle to reduce emissions
to the civil-rights movement. This is in keeping with the sanctimonious tone that usually accompanies
Earth Day proclamations. To the radical greens, it's a day for humanity to engage in self-abasement, bow
before the altar of Gaia and apologize for the offense against nature of simply being alive. It's a day to
conjure fears, preach limits and condemn the capitalist system that created a country wealthy enough to indulge
these shiftless hippies in the first place.
Progressives Against Progress.
[Scroll down] If one were to pick a point at which liberalism's extraordinary reversal began, it might
be the celebration of the first Earth Day, in April 1970. Some 20 million Americans at 2,000 college
campuses and 10,000 elementary and secondary schools took part in what was the largest nationwide demonstration
ever held in the United States. The event brought together disparate conservationist, antinuclear, and
back-to-the-land groups into what became the church of environmentalism, complete with warnings of hellfire and
damnation. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the founder of Earth Day, invoked "responsible scientists"
to warn that "accelerating rates of air pollution could become so serious by the 1980s that many people may be
forced on the worst days to wear breathing helmets to survive outdoors.
The Annual Green Orgy: Earth Day. On
Earth Day we will have been engulfed by the avalanche of "Green" propaganda that preceded it, fills the day, and then
continues relentlessly thereafter. When I say "propaganda", I am being polite. Much of the foundation of
the environmental movement is pure lies, mind boggling distortions of questionable "science", and a thin veneer for
the entire purpose of environmentalism, the imposing of a one-world agenda for the enrichment of a few who dream
of a monopolistic control of the world's resources and its human work force.
Environmentalism: Freedom's Foe. At
the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, some young people,
intimidated by the pace and complexity of modern life, were looking either to rebel or to
retreat — to tear down "the System," or to withdraw to nature for a "Colorado Rocky Mountain
high." ... [T]hey preached the inherent goodness of untouched nature and undisciplined emotion; the
corrupting influence of reason, culture, and civilization; economic egalitarianism and small-scale
participatory democracy; the mystical infallibility of the collective will and the sacrifice of the
individual to the group. And they were united in their hatred of a common enemy: modern
American, capitalistic society.
Earth Day Is a Holiday For Liars. I have
followed the apocalyptic claims and the legislated mandates of the environmental movement since the 1970s and their
single unifying factor has been the lies told to achieve various elements the Green agenda. ... By blocking access to
energy such as the ban on oil extraction in ANWR or off the coasts of the United States, by lobbying against the building
of coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation plants, by arguing for inefficient, highly subsidized solar and wind
alternatives, Greens are creating a national energy crisis.
Earth Day before yesterday: "Earth Day" [was founded] by former Wisconsin
Senator Gaylord Nelson. It's also V.I. Lenin's birthday — which is no
coincidence. Nelson modeled his anti-capitalist protests after anti-Vietnam War
demonstrations of that era. Today, the so-called "environmental movement" he
helped spawn has devolved from a gaggle of unwashed adolescent peaceniks into a
slick cadre of leftists, lobbyists and lawyers.
The Naked Communism of Earth Day.
It is no accident that April 22, Earth Day, is also the birth date of Vladimir Lenin, an acolyte of Karl
Marx, the lunatic who invented communism as an alternative to capitalism. Earth Day is naked communism.
To begin, it substitutes a worship of the Earth, Gaia, for the worship of God, creator of the universe and the
instructor of moral behavior for mankind. The Earth does not demand a moral code of personal behavior.
Indeed, the lesson it teaches is "the survival of the fittest" and an indifference to suffering.
Earth Day: A Pro-Nature Movement or An Anti-Industrial Religion?
It's been 40 years since the first Earth Day protestors donned their bell bottoms and took over the streets
to protest airplane exhaust, traffic, pollution, and litter. These rallies on April 22, 1970 kicked
off the modern environmental movement. But, when did this quest to lend a hand to mother nature turn into
a crusade against modern industry?
Dump Doomsday Dogma. Earth
Day turns 40 today, April 22, a good time for scientists, politicians, journalists and the public to
dump climate-change orthodoxy. Too many facts are interfering with the familiar story line. The
earth is getting warmer and the cause is modern industry. Unless we curtail industry, and much other
human activity, disaster is at hand in the form of catastrophic storms, sea-level rise, and global chaos.
This all comes billed as a matter of settled science, and alarmists have been comparing skeptics to Holocaust
deniers. But as the recent "Climategate" scandal revealed, the alarmists have problems of their own.
Earth Hour: A Dissent.
I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every
material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity. Giving women the
freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores.
Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting
for reading. Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of
our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and
have a steady indoor supply of hot water. Many of the world's poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because
of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of
smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases. [...] The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that,
instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness.
'Earth Hour': a
celebration of ignorance, poverty, and backwardness. All you have to do to participate in this annual self-imposed energy blackout is
"Switch off your lights for an hour on Saturday, March 27, 2021, at 8:30 pm your local time." Among the "20+ things you can do
from the comfort of your home!" to celebrate Earth Hour tonight include:
• Switch off your lights. This is the DNA of the Earth Hour movement and the easiest way to participate this Earth
Hour. Simply switch off all non-essential lights for an hour! [What if you have essential lights?]
• Dinner-in-the-dark. Get some candles ready and whip up healthy and delicious meals that will make your taste buds tingle!
• Have a night of board games or book readings in candle-light
• Try taking portraits of your family and friends in low-light or candle-light!
• Challenge your artistic side with a candle-lit paint night
There's just one problem with these candle-based activities to call attention to climate change, your carbon footprint, and fossil fuel
dependency — most candles are made from paraffin wax, a byproduct of petroleum refining. So turning off your electricity that was
produced primarily by fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) and burning candles just substitutes one form of fossil fuel-based lighting for
another one. For Earth Hour purists, I recommend NO candle burning tonight!
The Editor says...
You should also refrain from using your cell phone for "candle" light, or for something to do during the hour of darkness,
because you'll have to recharge your phone later, so you will save nothing.
Lights-out 'Earth Hour' is
60 minutes wasted. Few cries for attention are less effective than turning off the lights and sitting
in the dark for an hour. Who can watch if they cannot see? Nevertheless, the World Wide Fund for Nature
is encouraging people around the world to honor, or celebrate, or mourn, or whatever, during "Earth Hour," Saturday
night between 8:30 and 9:30. The idea is to persuade everybody to renounce technology with the flick of a
switch, raising "awareness" of the need for big government to rescue the globe, indeed even the universe, from
the scourge of global warming. A surprising number of businesses and organizations have bought into the scheme.
An Hour of Darkness. Or Light!
Earth Hour is a protest against the use of electricity — energy — to light our lives in countless ways. Anyone
who has gone through an outage as I did in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will tell you that life without electricity is an immediate return to
primitive times. Mine lasted a week and included the loss of access to the Internet and the ability to use my computer and every other
piece of equipment in the apartment. It was not fun.
The Darkness of Earth Hour.
Earth Hour shows how far we have come from celebrating human accomplishment to celebrating the lack of accomplishment as an
accomplishment. For all the pretense of activism, environmentalism celebrates inaction. Don't build, don't create and
don't do — are its mandates. Turn off the lights and feel good about how much you aren't doing right now.
Environmentalism has degenerated into a conviction that all human activity is destructive because the species of man is the greatest
threat to the planet and all life on it.
Hour Is a Colossal Waste of Time — And Energy. The organizers say that they are providing a way to demonstrate
one's desire to "do something" about global warming. But the reality is that Earth Hour teaches all the wrong lessens, and it actually
increases CO2 emissions. Its vain symbolism reveals exactly what is wrong with today's feel-good environmentalism.
right things for the wrong reasons is a serious mistake. Earth Hour is yet another symbol of how
climate activists have hijacked the environmental movement," said Tom Harris, executive director of the International
Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) which is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. "Most people do not realize that,
when they turn out their lights for sixty minutes on March 31, they are not supporting science-based environmental
protection. Participants in Earth Hour are unwittingly helping prop up one of the most threatening scientific
hoaxes in history — the idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities are known to be causing
dangerous global warming and other problematic climate change."
Hour challenged by Human Achievement Hour. Earth Hour, the annual event that turns off lights as a statement for
cleaner energy, marks its fifth year this Saturday [3/31/2012]. But a free-market think tank is trying to get some traction
with its alternative: the Human Achievement Hour, when people are encouraged to leave lights on to show their appreciation for
inventions "and the recognition that future solutions require individual freedom not government coercion."
Al Gore's seawater
swindle. [Scroll down] According to the Montreal Gazette, power usage in Edmonton,
Canada, actually increased by 1.01 percent during Earth Hour. Power usage did drop in Calgary, but as
a power company spokesman explained, the drop "was so minuscule that it couldn't even be attributed to that
particular event." As more of the cataclysmic predictions of the global-warming charlatans fail to pan out,
these feel-good stunts will become more and more irrelevant. That's good news because Earth Hour is
about hating automobiles and electricity, two of mankind's most important technological developments.
Sitting in the Dark. Forget the World's
Fair, we now have a new way to celebrate human accomplishment. Instead of going to see a vision of the future,
we turn off the lights and sit in the dark for an hour. Earth Hour shows how far we have come from celebrating
human accomplishment to celebrating the lack of accomplishment. For all its pretentious activism, environmentalism
is a movement that promotes inaction. Don't build, don't create and don't do — are its commandments.
Hour of no power increases
emissions. When asked to extinguish electricity, people turn to candlelight. Candles seem natural,
but are almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light globes, and more than 300 times less
efficient than fluorescent lights. If you use one candle for each extinguished globe, you're essentially
not cutting CO2 at all, and with two candles you'll emit more CO2. Moreover, candles produce indoor air
pollution 10 to 100 times the level of pollution caused by all cars, industry and electricity production.
No Drop in
Electricity Usage in NY and CA at Earth Hour. The Greenies did not convince the average
liberal New Yorkers and Californians to turn off their lights at the appointed Earth Hour of 8:30 PM
local time. By looking at real time data in New York and California, there was no drop in electric
lighting candles for Earth Hour defeat the purpose? During Earth Hour, what will most
participants use for illumination? Candles. ... All these burning wicks raise the question: Are
the emissions from these candles worse for the climate than simply leaving the lights on? After
all, candles emit carbon dioxide too.
Stupidity, Futility, and Fantasy of "Earth Hour": Let us forget, for a moment, that "Earth Hour"
is a pointless exercise serving only to make environmentalists feel better about themselves by marginally
reducing electrical demand for 0.01% of the year. Let us disregard, for a moment, that the basic reason
for having an "Earth Hour" in the first place is fatuous, because global warming alarmism has as much to do
with actual science as alchemy does. ... Indeed, a sober analysis suggests that "Earth Hour" doesn't do
anything to save a planet that doesn't need saving and that it may in fact rather increase air pollution
instead of reducing it.
Earth Hour: Verging on the Occult.
If previous Earth Hours are any indication, this Saturday's annual ritual will possess a curious blend of
contradictory properties. Switching off the lights for an hour will have little effect on climate change,
practical or symbolic, yet it will likely follow the established trend of growing participation each year.
All good contradictions deserve an explanation, but the most likely ones in this case don't bode well for our
Western liberal Enlightenment tradition.
questions: With the fourth global Earth Hour put to bed last night, today let's ask some inconvenient
questions of the global warmists. First, does the real-world failure of virtually all of your ideas ever give
you a moment's pause? From the fiasco in Copenhagen, to the collapse of the UN's Kyoto accord, with its absurd,
unrealistic, centrally-mandated, carbon dioxide-reduction diktats, mindful of the old Soviet Union? Does it never
occur to you you've barked up the wrong tree rings? What about the humiliation of Climategate?
of ooga-booga Earth Hour. Switch off your lights ... and you've saved the planet. Have a dance,
and you've made poverty history. Walk over a bridge, and you've ended Aboriginal suffering. Or, you can
do all three at once — dance on a dark bridge — and usher in Paradise itself.
The "smart" power grid:
demand problem that software can't fix. In the energy world, one of the most vexing problems is in optimally
matching electricity supply and demand. [Chart] Here the data show that society and the electricity-consuming services
that people like are generating a growing gap between peaks and valleys of demand. The net effect for a hydrocarbon-free
grid will be to increase the need for batteries to meet those peaks.
Biggest Junk Science of 2018. [#9] Electricity Customers Complain About Dangers From Wireless "Smart Meters."
Utilities across the country are installing "smart meters" in millions of homes in order to futurize America's aging electrical
grid, but in North Carolina, thousands of people claimed "sensitivity" to radio-frequency waves was giving them headaches,
ear-ringing, and "brain fog." Such sensitivity to smart meters is not realistic according to the laws of physics, a fact
recognized by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration,
and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. Nevertheless, North Carolinians are now permitted to
opt out of their smart meters thanks to a decision made this summer by the N.C. Utilities Commission.
of smart irrigation systems can deplete a city's water supply. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev cyber
security researchers warn of a potential distributed attack against urban water services that uses a botnet of smart
irrigation systems that water simultaneously. The researchers analyzed and found vulnerabilities in a number of
commercial smart irrigation systems, which enable attackers to remotely turn watering systems on and off at will.
Meters are 4th Amendment 'Search'. Privacy and health activists long have raised opposition to smart
meters — the technological wizards that monitor power usage in a home, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis, and
report it to the utility that owns them. And sometimes others. Now an appeals court has affirmed that their
readings constitute a "search" under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which establishes "the right of the people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." But the judges also
found that the "search" that was done by the devices was "reasonable." Whether the judgment is rendered in future cases
regarding the use of the meters, oftentimes mandated by the utility, remains to be seen.
Wants to Reinvent the Power Grid. So What Could Go Wrong? Two decades ago, when California deregulated
the delivery of electric power, lawmakers, regulators and even some environmentalists hailed the decision as a way to lower
consumers' bills. The strategy proved disastrous. The plan resulted in an energy crisis that sent power bills
soaring, prompted billions in penalties against utilities and banks for manipulating the new electricity market, and led
Congress to enact laws to help prevent it all from happening again. Now the state's leaders have a new proposal for an
energy makeover, this time to create a single authority to manage the electric grid for most or all of the West. This
plan, too, promises to cut costs for consumers — by as much as $1.5 billion a year — while helping
to bolster use of carbon-free power sources.
The core characteristic of wind and solar is that they are erratic sources of electricity. The supply is randomly
intermittent. [...] The wind and solar promoters, in order to accommodate their dumb energy, demand that the electric grid be
re-engineered to become a "smart" grid. Perhaps the idea is that if the grid is smart enough, the dumb energy will be
canceled by the smart grid. That's actually what the smart grid people have in mind. The smart grid is supposed
to be agile enough to fill in the gaps when the wind or solar is playing hooky.
The smart grid has its drawbacks: Automatic
Circuit Reclosers Probed as Potential Cause of California Fires. Wind-swept fires that killed more than 40 people
in California in recent months have also jolted the state's biggest utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California
Edison (SCE). The utilities have had to work around the clock to keep power flowing to fire-afflicted communities, even as their
equipment and policies face scrutiny as potential contributors to the deadly fires. California regulators, politicians and trial
lawyers are querying SCE and PG&E's tree trimming and line maintenance — common culprits in prior California fires —
but they are also examining a utility device that produces sparks by design: automatic circuit reclosers. Automatic reclosers are
pole-mounted circuit breakers that can quickly restore power after outages, but they can also multiply the fire risk from damaged lines.
and resistance' slows down UK smart meter rollout. Lack of consumer engagement, insufficient information, and
inadequate attention to vulnerability has slowed down the UK rollout of energy smart meters, according to a new study by
researchers at the University of Sussex. The £11 billion smart meter programme, which is supported by a
£100-million marketing campaign, has not met its targets due to consumer apathy and confusion, especially in the case
of vulnerable people, say the researchers. The UK government planned to install smart meters in every home by 2020 to
reduce national household energy consumption by 5-15%, and thereby help meet the UK's climate change targets.
Has Little To Show For His Lavish Spending On Roads, Green Energy And E-Cars. Obama pushed aggressively for a "smart electric grid," that
could better manage electricity use. But a 2016 report from the Manhattan Institute finds that this push has also made the nation's power grid more
vulnerable to cyberattack. "The push for 'greener' and 'smarter' grids requires far greater grid-Internet connectivity to ensure the continuous
delivery of electricity," notes the report's author, Mark Mills. "These greener, smarter grids will involve a vast expansion of the Internet of
Things that greatly increases the cyberattack surface available to malicious hackers and hostile nation-state entities."
Your smart meter
is very secure (against you) and very insecure (against hackers). The meters are designed to treat their owners
as attackers: you are your smart meter's adversary, because if you could control it, you could use it to defraud the
power company about your electricity usage. As a result, the physical security of smart meters is very good.
But the corollary of this adversarial relationship is that your meter's networked insecurities are, by design, impossible
for you to remedy or override.
Why Light Bulbs May Be the Next Hacker Target.
Researchers report in a paper that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home
devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed "smart home" of the
future. The researchers focused on the Philips Hue smart light bulb and found that the wireless flaw could allow
hackers to take control of the light bulbs, according to researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science near Tel Aviv and
Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.
Smart Meter Con. In the cross hairs of an attack are smart meters, digital devices that replace traditional
automated utility meters at individual homes and businesses. Like their conventional cousins, smart meters measure
electric power usage, and some record gas and/or water use, too. [...] But the other side of the coin, opponents say, is that
government can spy on and ration your energy use by means of these digital meters. During the 2015 California drought,
for example, bureaucrats used them "to catch citizens consuming more than their government-approved water rations," as Alex
Newman reported for The New American. In what amounted to warrantless search and collection of data, Long Beach
Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier bragged, "We are using it specifically for an enforcement tool to go after
those customers who we've gotten lots of complaints about," and to fine them for using more than their "fair share" of water.
could throw off our power grid by manipulating our AC units. Ingenuity isn't exactly a quality you want in hackers, unless of course,
they're on your side. In a rather terrifying discovery, researchers have found an alarming vulnerability in our security system, and it's one
that can be found in most American homes and offices — the air conditioner. Power grid failures, a topic of great consternation in
movies and in real life, would pose a serious problem on a large scale, and as computer hacking and digital warfare grow more advanced, security
personnel are looking into some unconventional methods by which certain breaches might occur.
The Editor says...
Hijacking every air conditioner in town in order to cripple the power grid is not a problem. Keep your air conditioner (and your
refrigerator) disconnected from the internet. Or hide it behind a firewall. The grid can be overloaded, but this isn't a way to do it.
Meters Used as Law Enforcement Tools. Opponents of Smart Meters have argued for years
that they are monitoring devices that can be used to control home appliances. Finally, in 2012, NBC
ran a report admitting that Smart Meters can indeed spy on households and their activities. While
this article referred to a German manufacturer, similar uses are being reported. Perhaps what is
most disturbing is the ready sacceptance the media and many individuals have to being monitored.
"Smart Meters" are really all about. "Smart meters" aren't about saving power; they're
about government control. Witness the latest from Johannesburg, South Africa where authorities are
pleading with residents "not to panic" when power is shut off to households that are consuming more than
their fair share of electricity.
Power pleads with residents not to panic. "City Power has started to roll out a solution called
load limiting in its areas of supply in Johannesburg and households have been advised to reduce their consumption
by switching off non-essential items such as geysers, stoves and pool pumps when they experience disconnections to
ensure a steady supply," City Power said in a statement issued on Sunday [7/19/2015]. Load Limiting is a
technology that enables City Power to accurately identify and ascertain household consumption in real time in
relation to the available generating capacity.
Governor Moonbeam Regulates Bathroom Activities.
Changing behavior is what liberal fascists are all about. For them change — specifically,
coerced change — is an end in itself. Stalin figured it out long ago: control food,
control people. But Democrats are doing him one better. Control water, control food production
and people. How will the authorities know if you took too long in the shower? One way is if your
neighbors rat you out, just as in any other police state. Another is the smart meter: [...]
Green Energy Subsidies — some of what we know. We know industrial wind
energy developers were given lucrative 20-year contracts and paid to produce electricity
guaranteeing 13.5[¢]/kWh no matter the time of day power was generated. We know that
industrial wind energy developers were given 20-year contracts that included a cost of living
benefit up to 20%. We know industrial solar under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program paid
contracted parties, e.g., IKEA, the Township of Markham, etc., over 70 cents/kWh for generation,
while those same companies/municipalities purchased power for their use at the same rate as the rest
of us. We ordinary customers pick up the tab for the difference. We know that the Office of the
Auditor General (AG) on two different occasions clearly noted the Ontario government failed to conduct a
cost/benefit analysis for just about everything associated with the Ministry of Energy's portfolio.
We know "smart meters" cost us about $2 billion but failed to produce any meaningful benefit other
than allowing local distribution companies to bill us on a time-of-use basis. We know energy costs
have doubled since 2003.
grid powers up privacy worries. The next Big Data threat to our privacy may come from
the electricity we consume in our homes. "Smart" online power meters are tracking energy
use — and that data may soon be worth more than the electricity they distribute.
Threat To U.S. Power Grid Closer Than Thought. As severe as U.S. national security
problems are with the militarily resurgent Russia and China, an unguarded southern border and an
increasingly barbarous, terrorist Middle East, the stealthy speeding shark under the water's surface
may well be the Chinese cyberthreat. Rogers warned the House Intelligence Committee this week
that China and "one or two other nations," after performing constant "reconnaissance" missions on
U.S. utility companies, were now in a position to blow out our power grid. It would be an act
of war that would leave the U.S. powerless to retaliate and, worse still, powerless to identify the
60 new state privacy laws in last 12
months. Utilities in California are restricted in secondary uses of customer data in
so-called smart grid technology, which allows precise pricing based on usage. This is the first
such law in the nation.
management": Blackouts by another name. In a recent speech Ed Davey announced that
energy intensive companies would be paid to switch off their machinery during times of high demand.
As many have noted, this not what happens in healthy energy markets. Although this policy is called
'demand-side management', jargon does not disguise what is still a blackout.
Future Electric Grid. It was only a little more than ten years ago that a National
Academy of Engineering report ranked the invention of the electric grid at the top of a list of the
20 greatest inventions of the 20th century. Not just one of the great engineering achievements, but
first amongst them. The Academy ranked the Internet 13th. Now we hear increasingly that
technology is making today's electric utility model "obsolete" and will put its companies into a
"death spiral." Is it possible that so much has changed so quickly? Post-utility advocates point
to three technologies as disrupters: photovoltaics (PV), batteries, and smart or micro grids.
Ed's Smart Meters Poke Holes In Privacy Walls. With the failure of Cap-and-Trade
legislation, so-called smart meters (representing a power takeover), are being forced upon
consumers by electric utilities, including Illinois' ComEd, as just another technology that will
achieve government-sponsored extortion of American citizens. It was in 2009 that the U.S.
government allocated $11B of taxpayer funds from the 2009 bailout package to develop a "smart"
grid, including "smart" meters for every home's electricity, gas and water. Accordingly, smart
meters have now become an integral part of the infrastructure to implement U.N. Agenda 21, the
resulting document of the 1992 Rio Conference in Brazil (Informal name: The Earth Summit),
whose principal themes are the environment and sustainable development.
Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get 'Smart Meters' or Pay
Fine. [Scroll down] The New York Times reported in December 2009 that many customers in California were in "open revolt" over
the nearly 4 million new meters already installed by the utility company Pacific Gas & Electric because they claimed the meters were running too fast
and charging them for energy they hadn't used. One meticulous customer interviewed by the Times compared her usage for the month July 2008, before
the meter was installed, to July 2009. She found her recorded usage jumped from 474 kilowatt-hours to 646 kilowatt-hours. Her bill was
more than $20 higher. Another customer saw an even bigger jump in 2009, from 236 kilowatt-hours to 791 kilowatt-hours.
EPA Wants Gov't To
Control How Cold Your Beer Can Be. In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced
June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an "optional" requirement for a "smart-grid" connection for customers to
electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider. The feature lets the utility provider regulate the
appliances' power consumption, "including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times." So far, manufacturers
are not required to include the feature, only "encouraged," and consumers must still give permission to turn it on.
Arrests Mothers for Refusing Energy Meters. In Naperville, IL, two mothers were arrested last week for refusing to allow utility
workers to install controversial smart meters on their homes. The city's new Naperville Smart Grid Initiative requires new controversial
smart meters to be installed in every home. Residents opposed to the smart meters have been fighting the initiative for over two years.
Insight Into Smart Meters.
The hype surrounding the smart grid has resulted in smart meters being equated with the smart grid. Smart
meters can improve certain aspects of the distribution system, and can play a very limited role in efficiently managing the grid,
but they do not comprise the major components of, what is referred to as the smart grid. The mystique surrounding
the smart grid is being used to entice the public into supporting expensive modifications to the grid, many of which are
unnecessary except for integrating intermittent, unreliable renewables.
National power-grid tech blueprints 'stolen by Chinese hackers'.
An espionage attack on Telvent — the maker of power-grid control systems and smart meters — has been linked to
a prolific Chinese hacking crew. Telvent, a division of Schneider Electric, has admitted hackers breached its corporate
network, implanted malicious software and lifted sensitive project files. The raid spanned Telvent systems in the US,
Canada and Spain according to a letter sent to the company's customers this month. Criminals can now study the documents
for vulnerabilities in the systems, and potentially devise attacks to sabotage nations' electricity distribution networks.
or no power at all. [Scroll down] Doesn't Nevada have an 'opt out' choice? Angel says "Nevada residents only won the right
to be placed on the 'delay list', not a full 'opt out'." In other words, if you wised up before the installation trucks came and still have your
analog, NVE has a 'delay list' you can sign to 'delay' your installation date. But if the power company managed to sneak on your property and
install a smart meter — even without permission — then your choice is a smart meter or no power at all, as Mona discovered.
Even if you have a letter from your doctor, the power company apparently thinks it knows best what's good for you.
We Are All Being
Exposed [To An] Avoidable Health Hazard . The powerlines were designed to transmit electricity. They are using
broadband, Dsl, Wi-Fi, wired, unwired, Sat, cell; whatever they choose to use because they have many options on how to operate the
Smart Grid Network. The noise is a by-product of the Radio Frequency interference, radiation and dirty power riding on the
wires and radiating through every outlet in to your home, school and workplace.
Meter" Hearing in Texas Draws Crowds Seeking Opt-out. Hundreds of activists showed up at a hearing about so-called "smart
meters" held by the Texas Public Utility Commission this week, with most of them seeking a way to opt-out from receiving one of the
controversial electricity meters that critics link to serious privacy and health concerns. A Republican member of the state
legislature even promised that if the PUC refused to allow consumers a choice, he would introduce legislation to force its hand.
The federally backed meters have long been a source of controversy and criticism in Texas, which has rolled out millions of the devices
in recent years and is reportedly almost 90 percent finished with its state-wide installation scheme.
In Australia: Smart meter data shared far and
wide. Detailed information about electricity customers' power usage, which gives insights into when a house is occupied, is being shared
with third parties including mail houses, debt collectors, data processing analysts and government agencies.
Smart Meters: A Dumb Idea. Smart meters are expensive devices that allow electric companies to
track and control electricity usage in an individual household. Consumers are skeptical that they are worth the $5.4 billion California utilities
are charging for them. Are the meters supposed to save electricity? No. Smart meters merely track electric usage, just like their older,
Smart Meter Privacy. Smart meters are designed to collect — and
transmit — "real time" energy usage, meaning they update your utility constantly, like a Facebook or Twitter page about how much power you use.
Smart meter collect and transmit an enormous amount of your personal information, with few protections to keep your private information private.
I do not like this, Uncle Sam, I do not like the GO GREEN Scam.
[Scroll down] What most people have avoided discussing is the fact that the power grid is very vulnerable to disruptions
and "catastrophic failure," particularly the Smart Grid. Currently, not everyone is attached to the Smart Grid because the
Smart Meters installation has not been completed. Some citizens who know what Smart Meters are and do, reject them on the
basis of intrusion into their lives without a search warrant; health issues from constant radiation, and loss of control to the power
company to shut off electricity during peaks of consumption, usually very hot and very cold days. The federal government has
given utilities hundreds of billions of dollars to install Smart Meters.
The Death of Privacy by Bits and Bytes.
"The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them" is attributed to V. Lenin. Fast-forward to the "digital everything"
age, and the 21st-century equivalent is coming to us via the "smart meter" and "smart grid" of your electrical energy provider. In this case,
your personal privacy is going to be hung out and left twisting in the wind via the invasion of smart-chip-equipped appliances into your home
communicating with your smart meter and beyond. These chips never sleep and are able to note your usage of electrical power moment-to-moment,
be it via your computer, washing machine, dish washer, heat pump, or electric toothbrush.
Smart Meters and Energy Efficiency. Smart meters are being
promoted as a key part of a strategy for improving energy efficiency. Some utilities, such as Commonwealth Edison, have sold state legislatures a bill
of goods so that utilities can charge customers for installing smart meters. Whether smart meters can improve energy efficiency is questionable, but
they do save utilities money.
What is a Smart Meter? A smart meter is an advanced meter that can
identify consumption of a utility product and communicates this information to a utility for monitoring and billing. Transmitting smart meters
are being installed nationwide on gas, water, and electrical services, driven in part by funding for the Smart Grid Program approved as part of the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Smart meters enable consumers to go online and see how their energy consumption changes as they
turn off lights, turn down their heat or make other energy saving measures. They can operate with wireless microwave radiation, broadband over
powerlines, or wired communications. Most smart meters deployed in the United States are wireless.
Electric Power Grid for 'Clean Energy'. In a Mar. 16 memorandum, Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined
plans to change the long-standing public-private management of the nation's hydroelectric distribution operations in an
effort to advance the Obama administration's green energy agenda, critics charged on Thursday [4/26/2012]. The memo
was the focus of a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources to examine Chu's plan, which includes centralizing
oversight of the electric power grid to the federal government and setting rates based on criteria that would benefit wind,
solar and other "renewable" energies.
Our rights, metered. Power
companies in Vermont have officially declared war on the privacy and wellbeing of their customers. In a
rollout largely funded by a massive Department of Energy stimulus grant, Vermont's electricity utilities have
begun replacing standard, analog meters with wireless models known as "smart meters." While such a
technological upgrade may at first glance seem benign, these new meters in fact threaten our health, our privacy
and the very values on which this country was founded. Once your home's analog meters have been replaced,
these new, wireless-enabled meters begin tracking your electricity usage in granular detail.
Smart Meters: The Big Brother of Our Day.
Smart meters are designed to decrease peak demand for electricity by turning off electricity to customers by
remote. Remotely controlled thermostats will also turn off air conditioning units. HVAC contractors
are required to install programmable thermostats on all systems in areas where city officials have inspection
authority created by city councils. Thermostats can be overridden by the smart meter so that a home's
temperature can also be remotely controlled. RFID tracking tags will be gradually installed in all items
purchased, including digital thermostats. Non-digital thermostats cannot be tracked and will thus be
American Academy of Environmental
Medicine's position on Smart Meters. The Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine
opposes the installation of wireless "smart meters" in homes and schools based on a scientific assessment of
the current medical literature. Chronic exposure to wireless radio frequency radiation is a preventable
environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.
The Editor says...
I doubt if smart meters transmit RF signals over the air, since they are obviously connected to the power company's
facilities by wires. Even if they do transmit data through radio signals, those signals are most likely
triggered by a meter reader out in the street, and the duration is just long enough to send the current kWh total
and peak demand numbers. I don't have any inside knowledge of the electric power industry, but based on
my experience in RF communications, that would be my guess. And in any event, most of the people who
seem to be so upset about the issue of RF exposure are probably carrying cell phones wherever they go.
Do President Obama and his fellow
Democrats seriously believe that "government should not intrude on private family matters?" Let us
count the ways! Obama's
Government vs. Your Family: [Scroll down] If you have a large family, or one with a lot of
computers and other electronic equipment, you probably use more electricity than your neighbors, and are willing
to pay for it. But in many communities, there is a sliding scale for usage, so that if you consume, say,
20% more electricity than your neighbors, you pay a 40% higher bill. This is because liberals believe it
is their business how we live, and how much power we consume.
Electricity Bills Skyrocket. Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal
from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity.
Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above
the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data found. The jump has added about $300 a year
to what households pay for electricity.
Smart Meter Removal Has Begun.
California's Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) has quietly begun replacing Smart Meters with analog meters for
citizens reporting adverse health effects. Consumer rights and other groups demanded immediately that
their wireless devices be removed from their homes. Joshua Hart of stopsmartmeters.org reported the
good news just as PG&E deploys the last phase of its smart meters in California. The Department of
Energy's promise that the smart grid and smart meters will lower electricity costs has proven incorrect;
on the contrary, the utility costs have skyrocketed.
Beware the Smart Electric Meter —
It's Coming for YOU! Many electric companies have installed "Smart Meters" on homes all over the
country, and they plan to do the same with every house in America, including yours. These nifty little
electronic wonders track when you turn something on or off, and how many watts your appliances pull. ... The
data they collect shows the electric company a variety of things like when you're at home, sleeping, on vacation,
or have visitors. They can see when you turn on your computer, have a cake in the oven, or if you may be
running a business out of your home. In short, it gets inside your home and monitors your living patterns.
The Non-Energy Generating Department of Energy
and the Smart Grid. Smart Meters are digital electricity consumption readers that are installed
under the guise that the old ones are either cracked or not reading properly. Most people acquiesce,
without realizing that they have just allowed the installation of a personal surveillance device. This
device will tell a distant data server to whom they do not have access, how many watts they consume, when they
turn off and on every lamp in their home, how many computers they have, electric gadgets, when they sleep,
when they are on vacation, when they are not home, their living pattern in general, basically a search of
their life and home without a warrant.
Big Brother Has Arrived. I've heard of these Marxist monitoring devices and was wondering when
they'd begin arriving in my town. So, I stepped outside last night to take a look. I was quite
surprised at what I found attached to the side of my home. First thing in the morning I was shooting
video of what I found. I suggest you take a look around your home as well.
The "Smart" Meters Cometh. The last
thing I really want is someone, sitting in a remote room somewhere, deciding if and when I have used too much.
While some would chalk up such fear on my part to paranoia, I would like to remind those foolish enough to do so that
over the past century many, many things people feared government and their agents might indeed do to strip us of our
liberties have indeed come to pass. Not all, but many. I would really like to keep my current,
"dumb" meter if you do not mind.
Grid: The Second Biggest Rip-Off in Contemporary Energy Policy. Ask anyone what a "smart
grid" is, and you'll get a different answer every time. In Boulder, it's a fiber optical network. In
Baltimore, it's a "ZigBee" local area network. In Oklahoma City, it's GE Smart Meters. They all were
spawned of the stimulus, which showered more than $3 billion to utilities across the country to subsidize
any boondoggle that called itself "smart grid." This is the sort of social policy that makes regulated
utilities salivate. It's ill-defined and capital intensive.
Smart meters are
a dumb idea. Homeowners from coast to coast are growing upset over the "smart meter" devices
that utilities are foisting on them by the millions, with the full backing of the administration. ... Smart
meters also give the highly regulated utilities the ability to adjust and restrict the flow of electricity
to customers. Some residents are wary that the ability to measure their energy consumption could be
used to create a profile of their activities. Patterns of garage door opening, for example, could
indicate when a home is empty and unprotected from burglary. In California and Texas, other consumers
have seen their electric bills rise rather than fall after smart meter installation, belying the promise
Set to Control Your Light Switch. Smart Grid sounds harmless and modern, but it will be incredibly
intrusive. Appliances in the future will have microchips installed; when you plug them in, they will
handshake with the grid, and a central authority will determine whether that appliance deserves to get power
or not. If a bureaucrat in Washington decides that it's not hot enough for you to put on the air conditioner,
your air conditioner will not work. If the Fed decides that Margaritas lead to too much trouble on Cinco
de Mayo, all blenders can be disabled for the day. They can also turn off radios, televisions and
computers. In the era of electronic information, restricting the freedom of the press is as easy as
turning off the light. The idea is to conserve power, but a Smart Government will be able to use the
technology to retain power as well.
What's so smart about 'smart
meters?' Maybe it's just me, but there is something unsettling about having a smart meter tracking
my power consumption. Will there come a day when excessive power usage will be treated as a crime? Who
will determine what is excessive? ... Finding ways for more and more people to use less energy doesn't seem very
smart to me. Why not expand our energy production to meet our growing needs[?]
Nashville Residents' Energy Bills Could Rise
Soon. Older meters are getting replaced one by one with newer digital meters. NES said
the digital ones are more efficient, but some customers who already have the new meter say it isn't as
efficient for their bottom line.
Smart-grid hackers could cause blackouts.
Deployments of smart grids should be slowed until security vulnerabilities are addressed, according to some cybersecurity experts,
citing tests showing that a hacker can cause a major blackout after breaking into a smart-grid system.
Grids" & Monitoring Your Power Use. [Scroll down] The "Smart Grid" is, for the most part,
not about getting power to consumers, but about monitoring and controlling that power once it reaches its
destination. ... Whereas present electric meters simply measure the total power consumption of a home or
business, "smart" meters will collect far more specific information on power usage. As Bob Sullivan at
the Red Tape Chronicles observed regarding the "Smart Grid," the tale your new electric meter will be able to
tell about your life and habits may be of interest to criminals and other people with an inclination to snoop
will talking power meters say about you? Would you sign up for a discount with your power
company in exchange for surrendering control of your thermostat? What if it means that, one day, your
auto insurance company will know that you regularly arrive home on weekends at 2:15 a.m., just after the
bars close? Welcome to the complex world of the Smart Grid, which may very well pit environmental
concerns against thorny privacy issues.
official has ties to firms that stand to benefit. A top Obama administration official who's
helping lead a campaign for energy conservation has a major financial interest in two companies that are
poised to benefit from the government's spending. Cathy Zoi, the assistant secretary of energy for
energy efficiency and renewable energy, owns between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of stock in Landis+Gyr, a
Swiss-based manufacturer of special electric meters that are used to create an efficient "smart" grid of
Related material: Time-Of-Day Electricity Pricing: Most
consumers don't know it, but the overnight price for electricity at wholesale can be practically zero.
Utilities and other power producers are sometimes actually forced to pay industrial consumers to use
electricity in the early-morning hours — because it's too expensive to shut down power plants at night.
With time-of-day pricing, consumers would be encouraged to alter their habits — running the dishwasher at
night, for example — and pounce on such bargains, while evening out demand.
Dallas may be among the first cities to get "smart" electric meters. Broadband
over power lines plan is dead in Dallas. An ambitious plan for using power lines to deliver fast Internet service
to 2 million Dallas-area homes collapsed Thursday [5/8/2008], when Oncor agreed to buy the system. Current
Communications said it will sell its so-called smart grid of networking equipment to the utility for
$90 million. ... Here in Dallas, residents should still be among the first in the nation to see
how much smart grids can improve power networks.
Power to the People.
Using taxpayer-subsidized solar power panels as a backdrop, President Obama recently announced another $3.4B in
taxpayer subsidies to help upgrade the nation's electrical power grid. The spending includes "smart meters"
that theoretically could be used by bribable government officials to throttle back power to the homes of unsupportive
constituents. Not that they actually would engage in such despicable extortion, of course... Okay,
maybe in Chicago. And Detroit.
Meters prove not so
smart. They promised smart would be cheap, but so far it's proving more expensive. Most
Toronto Hydro customers who've been on smart meters and time-of-use (TOU) pricing the longest have actually
seen an increase of up to $3 per month. The cost of the meter itself also adds an extra $3-$4 a month
to local utility bills.
National Smart Grid To Transition To More Green Energy
Use. The National Broadband Plan, recently published by the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC), would lay the groundwork for the federal government to establish a nationwide "smart" electrical grid
that would change how Americans use and pay for electricity, affecting such things as homes and transportation
with battery-powered cars.
PG&E details technical problems with
SmartMeters. After months of denying any technical problems with its SmartMeter program, PG&E
publicly detailed a range of glitches Monday [4/26/2010] affecting tens of thousands of the digital meters.
But the San Francisco-based utility said it had found just eight meters that inaccurately reported a customer's
energy use, despite thousands of complaints from customers who say the new meters have overcharged them.
The Smart Grid Trojan
Horse. [Scroll down] In truth, the [Smart Grid] initiative is but a collection of
programs captured in the form of federal standards that separately and jointly advance the Green agenda
without raising many eyebrows. The first effort involves replacing conventional electric meters with
Smart Meters. Smart Meters are key, because they can be programmed to total your energy consumption by
time-of-day (among other sophisticated capabilities). This feature facilitates the application of
Time-of-Use (TOU) billing tariffs, euphemistically called "dynamic pricing" in marketing circles.
SmartGridCity pilot project in Boulder won't be
repeated or expanded. SmartGridCity — the $45 million Boulder-based smart-grid
experiment — will not be repeated or expanded, David Eves, chief executive of Xcel Energy's Public
Service Co. of Colorado, said Monday [8/23/2010]. In the past two years, the projected cost of SmartGridCity, a
pilot program designed to better manage electricity distribution and give consumers detailed information
about their usage, nearly tripled to $44.8 million.
Probes Find Energy
Meters Accurate, Service Lacking. A four-month investigation spurred by a surge in energy-bill
complaints found new smart meters installed in Northern California by PG&E Corp. are accurately measuring
energy use. But the probe found that some utilities are falling down in the way they handle customer
complaints and monitor data transmitted by the new digital meters.
County Votes to Ban Smart Meters. Smart meters allow electric companies to monitor
electricity use remotely on an hour-by-hour basis. This allows the electric company to more
efficiently match production with real-time demand and set electricity prices that respond to demand
patterns. Power companies and some environmental groups have long been intrigued by the potential
for smart meters to induce people to use less power during peak demand hours.
Nest Thermostat Is Part HAL.
Without going into the hyperbole surrounding the device, the simple explanation is that it is the home heating
and cooling thermostat-equivalent of a smartphone.
Could A Volcano Power America? An
ambitious experiment is underway to harness the heat of a volcano in central Oregon. The process is green, efficient... and causes
and Geo-thermal energy sources. [Scroll down] Some of the Greens already hate
hydroelectric and for certain they would hate geothermal if they knew the type of facilities that it would
entail. But even with the more radical characters aside hydroelectric and geothermal are very site
specific. One cannot generate new mountains laden with running water nor can a geothermal anomaly with
prolific hot water or steam reservoirs can be made to order. There is absolutely nothing wrong with
either hydroelectric or geothermal but they happen where they happen and cannot be manufactured anywhere
else. Regarding tidal energy, this has been just talk for at least forty years, an academic exercise
with little relation to implementation reality.
Lights go dim on another energy project.
A geothermal energy company with a $98.5 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration for an alternative energy project in Nevada —
which received hearty endorsements from Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — faces financial problems, and
the company's auditors have questioned whether it can stay in business. Much like Solyndra LLC, a California solar-panel manufacturer with a
$535 million federal loan guarantee that went bankrupt, Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) has incurred $98 million in net losses over the past
several years, has substantial debts and does not generate enough cash from its current operations after debt-service costs, an internal audit said.
Seismic risk of fracking has been
wildly overstated. Hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and gas has become closely associated in the public mind with the risk
of triggering man-made earthquakes. But the risk is not high and it is not confined to fracking. There may be greater danger
from geothermal energy production and pumping carbon dioxide underground as part of carbon capture and storage projects.
"Sustainable growth," "green buildings" and "net zero" construction:
know I'm making a difference here.' University of St. Thomas builds a residence hall where sustainability is
key. Tommie East Hall, at the University of St. Thomas, is probably unlike any other student housing
you've ever seen. It's a 'smart building,' with COVID-precautions and a green zone, all rolled into one. "Their
number one goal was the embracement of sustainability," says Eric Engh, Senior Vice President of Ryan Companies. "This
will be a great example to see how good can you be. So it'll be fun to watch." The University has a lofty goal:
to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.
The Editor says...
Carbon dioxide is not carbon, nor is it a pollutant, nor is it the most influential greenhouse gas. "Carbon neutrality" is probably
unattainable, and certainly unsustainable.
"Smart" Homes Turn Stupid: Google Users Literally "Left In The Dark" During Monday Outage. By now,
Monday's [12/14/2020] massive Google outage is history for most people. While it was a minor inconvenience for some,
with most Google services being down for hours on end, it was a much larger pain [...] for the tragically hip who have
surrendered their "smart" homes to Google. In fact, of the services that went down, it was Google Home users who
were literally left in the dark during the outage on Monday, RT notes. As a result, "smart home" users were
complaining about not being able to perform once-simple tasks at their homes — like turning on the lights. "I'm sitting
here in the dark in my toddler's room because the light is controlled by @Google Drive Home. Rethinking... a lot
right now," one Twitter user tweeted in the midst of the "blackout". Another user from the U.K. said that connecting his
lights to Google Home now "feels like a fatal error."
& Indoctrination. The World Economic Forum (WEF), through its corporate partnerships, has a plan to
indoctrinate every citizen on its Great Reset agenda. According to the WEF, we must all live sustainable lives, with
equality in all aspects of life, and that as a result, life will be much better for all. What isn't mentioned is that
it will be corporations, elitists, and most importantly technocrats who will be making the decisions on exactly how this
utopian world will work. Corporate propaganda and indoctrination have been prepping the common people on this for
years, enough to the point where the masses have bought into this group think about sustainability. [...] There are eighteen
WEF platforms covering every aspect it intends to change in the world, one of which is Shaping the Future of Media,
Entertainment and Sport. This is the platform used for propaganda on sustainability, how society needs to reset their
lives and what needs to change for sustainable living, and what WEF predicts for the future.
Cheap insulation in green-compliant
new cladding helped spread Grenfell Tower blaze that killed 72. The inquiry into the 2017 fire at Grenfell
Tower in London has revealed how the styrofoam thermal insulation layer in newly-fitted wall cladding enabled a small
domestic fire to rapidly engulf most of the building, resulting in the loss of 72 lives. The type of cladding installed
complied with advice given to local authorities in 2010 by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to reduce emissions through
installing new boilers and insulation in apartment blocks. [...] The Guardian reports that when insulated cladding was
installed at the building to reduce its carbon footprint, the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) put
cost above safety. Despite residents having voted for fire-retardant zinc cladding to be used, KCTMO chose a cheaper
alternative — aluminum composite material (ACM) with flammable plastic insulation.
Emissions [is] a Suicide Pact. [Scroll down] And for what? "To avoid the worst climate impacts,
global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will not only need to drop by half in the next 10 years, they will then have to reach
net-zero around mid-century." This is typical global Leftism: assert a counter-factual ("we're all gonna die"), invent a
phantom problem (we are carbon-based life forms, therefore we pollute by our very existence"), come up with a ruinously
expensive solution, with the ultimate goal of erasing mankind from the planet.
Ideology Will Destroy America. If you're searching for an organizing principle that unites the Left, density
ideology should be at or near the top of your list. Far from being a sideshow, density ideology is behind the leftist
drive to cram America's rising population into the footprint of existing cities. It fulfills the agenda of every big
player on the Left. Environmentalists get to preserve open space. Social justice warriors get to experiment with
forced ethnic and economic integration via mandatory "inclusionary zoning," and investors — and this, above all,
is critical — get to make a killing as the price of real estate skyrockets inside the areas where building is
still allowed. Every premise that the densification gang advocates is flawed.
Under my administration, no new houses or buildings unless they're carbon neutral. Democratic presidential
candidate Elizabeth Warren made the striking claim on Wednesday that her administration would mandate that any house or
building constructed after 2028 would have to be carbon-neutral. Claiming on MSNBC's Morning Joe that current
climate change science indicates "it's worse than we thought and we have less time" to avert environmental disaster, Warren
pledged to institute a zero-carbon-footprint rule for any new construction in the country. The candidate pledged
carbon-neutral mandates for vehicles and a ban on any new drilling offshore or on federally owned lands. Warren also
promised to pour a trillion dollars into cleaning up natural areas devastated by industry.
The Editor says...
Please define "carbon-neutral" construction. Does that mean the buildings must contain no carbon? (I'd like
to see that, from the outside and from a safe distance.) Whatever it means, it most likely pertains to carbon dioxide,
which is not carbon.
Socialist-Libertarian Feudalism. Densification, also known as in-fill, or "smart growth," will never provide
sufficient new housing to make homes affordable unless it is balanced by similarly relaxed approval processes for
homebuilding on open land. The topic of "smart growth" exposes another special interest favoring densification, the
Silicon Valley high tech industry. California's Silicon Valley is an epicenter not only of concentrated political and
economic power, but it is also one of the world's largest ideological fermentation tanks containing potent strains of
socialism, progressivism, and libertarianism. And in this "do no evil" caldron of visions, plans, and stupefying power,
innovators are building the "internet of things," so that not only shall we live in stack-and-pack housing, we will survive
on algorithmically managed micro sips of water and energy. And depending on what time we run our clothes dryer, we will
pay a bit more or a bit less depending on the spot market price for electricity and water — such a libertarian concept!
Welcome to California.
Building homes in California requires a significant investment of time, money, and other resources, leading many developers
to avoid construction projects. But in northwest Los Angeles County, one builder has stayed the course since 1994. On
completion in 2021, the 15,000-acre Newhall Ranch — billed as one of the world's first large-scale planned
communities — will feature roughly 22,000 homes that follow the curves of the Santa Clara River in the Santa
Clarita Valley. Owned by Orange County's FivePoint Communities, Newhall Ranch is expected "to be 'net-zero,' meaning no
greenhouse gas emissions, by implementing several mitigation efforts including solar panels and open space," according to
local radio reports.
Arizona 'futuristic hippie commune' has a problem. In the middle of Arizona's desert lies something unexpected:
a rather strange, unfinished "city of the future." [...] A nonprofit group called the Cosanti Foundation has been working for decades
to create a city that would inspire the future of urban design by incorporating a range of environmentally-friendly features to
reduce sprawl and minimize the need for cars while harnessing solar power and natural vegetation to energy reduce costs. [...]
Construction began in 1970, but a new building has not been completed since 1989, Vice reports.
NYC goes stone-age Green.
New York City politicians intend to "lead the way" to combat "climate change." Last week, the City Council voted almost
unanimously for a package of six bills that comprise the "Climate Mobilization Act" for the nation's largest city. Of
the 44 council members voting, only two opposed this legislation. What will happen that is predictable is the immediate
cost. The centerpiece of this legislation is the $4 billion energy efficiency mandate on the City's largest buildings,
on top of the already substantial property taxes and construction costs. But that is just the beginning of Mayor Bill
de Blasio's estimated $14 billion strategic plan — his own "Green New Deal" — unveiled on Earth Day
to reduce the City's "carbon footprint... before it's too late."
Stop Trying to
Get Workers Out of Their Cars. If you hate urban sprawl, you're probably familiar with the complaints of the
"smart growth" movement: Roadways blight cities. Traffic congestion is the worst. Suburbanization harms the
environment. Fortunately, say these smart growthers, there is an alternative: By piling on regulations and
reallocating transportation-related tax money, we can "densify" our urban communities, allowing virtually everyone to live in
a downtown area and forego driving in favor of walking or biking. Smart growth proponents have been gaining influence
for decades. They've implemented urban growth boundaries (which greatly restrict the development of land outside a
defined area), up-zoning (which tries to increase densities in existing neighborhoods by replacing single-family homes with
apartments), and "road diets" (which take away traffic lanes to make room for wider sidewalks and bike lanes). Alas,
there are inherent flaws in the "smart growth" approach — beginning with the idea that it makes sense for everyone
to live and work in the same small area.
hackers could turn a 'smart city' into a house of cards. With hackers targeting city government systems,
there's a growing fear that the so-called high-tech "smart city" of the future could be turned into a house of cards.
Cities are adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning to help with infrastructure, yet security experts warn
there's a danger of hackers compromising networks, causing widespread pandemonium, and even infiltrating government
systems. Here's an example. Say a metro area like Minneapolis decides to connect a highway system to robotic
cars, which are then directed automatically by GPS to slow down, find alternate routes, or even find a parking spot and wait
for congestion to subside. It's a nirvana state, but it's also a nightmare scenario. A hacker could find one unprotected
access point and, without a lot of effort, tap into the transportation system and instruct all cars to drive much faster.
National Power Grid Mess: 172,000 Power Outages Annually! Berlin-Brandenburg BER airport: Construction
began in 2006 with operation scheduled to begin in 2011. And now as 2017 nears the end, BER is not even close to opening.
Currently it is well over 2000 days behind schedule. Massive technical deficiencies with the airport's safety systems
plague the entire project, and now it is questionable whether the airport will even open in 2021. BER's original estimated
price tage was 2.5 billion euros, but since then the costs have ballooned to 6.6 billion euros today. Worse:
billions more are expected, nobody knows when the project will be completed, and there's even talk the project might be abandoned
altogether! It is undoubtedly the country's greatest construction and engineering debacle so far this century. [...] At the
early design and construction stages, the project was run by Berlin's socialist-green bureaucrats — who thought they
could handle it better than real builders.
Things People Do To Foil Energy-Saving Buildings. You've built your shiny new high-efficiency building with all
the latest energy-saving features: smart thermostats, motion sensor-activated lights, floors designed to absorb heat during
the day and release it at night. But when you look at your building's actual energy use, the savings are far less than
anticipated. Why? Well, maybe the building's occupants are putting popsicles on the thermostats so they can force
the heat to go higher. Or maybe they're using a toy to continuously trigger the motion sensor lights, to keep them from
turning off when they leave the room. Bet you didn't think of that.
deathtraps: energy-saving renovation blamed for horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London. In the wake of the ghastly conflagration that
engulfed a recently renovated 24-story apartment tower in London, the world is waking up to the dire threat created by energy-saving green zealots.
It turns out that nobody much worried about the fire hazard involved when flammable materials were used to add an outer "skin" of cladding to the building,
creating heat insulation thanks to the air pocket between the new cladding and the old exterior wall, but also providing an ideal space for fire to
race up the building.
drought tolerant landscaping may make heat waves worse. [George] Ban-Weiss and post-doctoral scholar Pouya
Vahmani used a model of the Los Angeles basin to investigate the climate impacts of widespread adoption of drought tolerant
vegetation. Their findings, put forth in the article "Climatic Consequences of Adopting Drought Tolerant Vegetation
over Los Angeles as a Response to the California Drought" in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, indicate that in fact,
if all lawns were replaced with drought tolerant vegetation, that Angelenos could expect an average daytime warming of
1.3 degrees Fahrenheit due largely to decreased evaporative cooling, as irrigation is stopped. For the hottest
regions of the Los Angeles basin, such as the inland empire and San Fernando valley, the researchers predict a daytime increase
in temperature of 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Such temperature increases could exacerbate heatwaves, increase photochemical
smog production, and increase air conditioning energy use.
went wrong in Craik? The Eco-Centre opened with great fanfare in July 2004. It was the brainchild of several members of
Saskatchewan's environmental community. Following a series of meetings, the town agreed to finance and operate the $600,000 facility.
[...] This August will mark seven years since Craik was placed under a boil-water advisory. "It seems like it's been forever," said deputy
mayor Char Edwards. The $1-million environmentally-friendly water filtration system recommended by Eco-Village experts never worked.
of NC's green schools debated. A new report for the John Locke Foundation says green schools in North Carolina
and nationally fall short of their promised energy savings and can be less energy-efficient than traditional schools.
The report looked at green schools in four North Carolina school districts, including Wake and Durham counties, and found most
were less energy-efficient than similar schools in their districts. The report, which was released this week, says that
the failure of those schools to produce energy savings as promised is an "environmental failure." Proponents of green
building say that most schools built according to environmentally sensitive principles do save money and can have other
benefits for students.
The Suburb That Tried To Kill the
Car. It takes, in fact, a few extra minutes in the neighborhood to realize what's different — and what's missing.
Downtown Evanston — a sturdy, tree-lined Victorian city wedged neatly between Lake Michigan and Chicago's northern border — is
missing cars. Or, more accurately, it's missing a lot of cars. Thanks to concerted planning, these new developments are rising
within a 10-minute walk of two rail lines and half-a-dozen bus routes. The local automobile ownership rate is nearly half that of the
upset that they can't sell their green energy homes. Trouble has reared its head for Californians who enrolled in a special government
program designed to allow them to use taxpayer funds to upgrade their homes with solar panels, wind turbines, unicorn flatulence converters and any
number of other green energy improvements. Tens of thousands of Californians signed up for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
financing program which provided them with funding for installing such energy efficient goodies over the past several years, but now they're
finding their homes stalled on the market when they want to sell them.
"Renewable", "Sustainable" And The Brundtland
Commission. The phrase "renewable energy" conjures up visions of wind, solar, tidal power — clean energy sources
that last forever and which will power the world into a green, sustainable future that will last forever. But what, exactly, is
sustainability? How is it defined? When we examine the official definitions we find two things: First that renewable
energy is not necessarily sustainable and sustainable energy not necessarily renewable: and second that there's far more to
sustainability than just energy. Sustainability contemplates a complete restructuring of the global economy and the world's
social fabric, and energy policy has, unfortunately, been nominated to take the lead in achieving it.
is the Left's New Code Word for Social Justice. Sustainability is the latest buzzword
when it comes to advocating for responsible environmental stewardship. And why not? Its proper
implementation can have positive results. But sustainability has become a new religion for the Left
and its church is the college campus, where converts — the future leaders of America —
have twisted the concept into a catch-all for social justice activism bent on transforming socioeconomic and
political foundations. "Sustainability, it turns out, is the new battle cry in an old war," states
Katherine Kersten in a commentary for Minneapolis's Star Tribune. She means that although what is
familiar in the cause is age-old environmentalism, it has been rebranded and redefined to include a broader
spectrum of social justice issues like gender neutrality, transgenderism, and addressing white privilege and
Into Tight Housing Won't Cut CO2 Levels. 'Smart growth" projects across the country aim to jam people into high-density housing near
mass transit systems. Proponents think this will make people abandon their automobiles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But new
research shows "stack-and-pack" housing is an ineffective way to reduce carbon dioxide levels.
Net-Zero Busybodies. International agreements to lower
greenhouse gases like the Kyoto Protocol have proven to be unenforceable, but zoning laws have real teeth. Thus global warming activists have
begun to work on the municipal and state level to pass zoning laws that mandate "net-zero" greenhouse gas emissions in new construction, referred to
as Net-Zero or "Zero Energy Building" (ZEB) or "Zero Net Energy" (ZNE).
Building The Capacity
To Increase Net Zero Construction. The net zero building movement (where buildings produce as much or more energy than they consume)
remains a nascent phenomenon. As of this time last year, the New Buildings Institute — the organization that tracks such
things — had recognized only 21 buildings as net zero structures. Only two of these exceeded 15,000 square feet.
The concept of net zero construction clearly has a long way to go before it becomes mainstreamed.
EPA: Green Gone Wild. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to vastly expand its power. Last year, the agency paid nearly $700,000 to the National
Academy of Sciences to draft the document "Sustainability and the U.S. EPA." This manifesto rationalizes why the EPA has the right to
regulate every business, community and ecosystem in the country. The key to the EPA's regulatory control is "sustainability," an
illusive and ill-defined term even more broadly applicable than the interstate commerce clause.
National Heritage Sites and Agenda 21. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,
how many single-family homes damaged by the storm surge will be rebuilt as high density dwellings? This is after all, the Smart Growth trend across the
country — destroy traditional homes in the suburbs because they are "unsustainable" and build high rises in inner cities.
about "urban sprawl" and start worrying about federal stewardship. One of the green movement's great gripes with humanity is that
people just take up too much [...] room, and ergo put a lot of ecological stress on the land on which they live. The ever-sprouting world
population, they argue, isn't sustainable, as we'll eventually run out of space to put people. A new graphic from Environmental Trends,
however, aptly demonstrates how unfounded these fears are.
Welcome to Sustainable City. As I walked through
Washington, D.C. Ronald Reagan National Airport Terminal C on my way to the gate, a large electronic billboard caught my
attention. ... Capturing the site on my iphone, the typical fare of environmentalism popped up, presenting Siemens as the
leader in "sustainable development," "green buildings," "intelligent buildings," "smart grid," "sustainable urban development,"
"sustainable communities," "environmental care," and health care. ... Familiar with the UN Agenda 21 propaganda and its
buzzwords preceded either by "sustainable" or "green" everything, in the name of saving the planet from human behavior, a
clever and devious attempt to control every facet of human activity and life, I stopped immediately.
Nazi Roots of Sustainable Development. Much of the European Union's green sustainable development plans
are largely based on government controlled land use planning theories rooted in the lebensraum tradition. Literally,
lebensraum means "living space." Lebensraum was originally developed by German geographer Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904)
and then greatly expanded under the banner of National Socialism (1933-1945).
Smart Growth America!. I received
a robocall two days ago. It was my Magisterial District Supervisor, inviting me with all his Smart Growth
friends to a tour of Belmont Bay, a mixed-used residential area with a new George Mason University environmental
science facility. He called the right person for the wrong reasons. ... The words he used, Smart Growth,
flagged my attention immediately, since I recognized one of the euphemisms used by UN Agenda 21 to hide
land use control, regulation, and confiscation under the guise of environmental protection.
The Bicycle Overlords.
If you sometimes scratch your head while sitting in traffic and ask yourself why transportation planners and
local political leaders make such odd decisions that result in more congestion, wasted fuel, and increased
pollution, you may want to check out the urban planning doctrine called Smart Growth (or, New Urbanism) that
is the current fad in many communities across the country. Chances are, your local government is fully
wedded to it already.
Texans Lead Nation in Not Biking to Work. Among large cities with 200,000 or more
people, according to a report released this week by the Census Bureau, five communities in Texas led
the nation in having the smallest percentage of workers commuting by bicycle. In the border city
of Laredo, Texas, in the five year period from 2008 through 2012, 0.0 percent of workers rode bikes
to work. That topped all large cities for the smallest percentage of workers commuting by bike.
In Garland, Plano, Fort Worth and Dallas, only 0.1 percent biked to work. These Texas cities
tied for next to last. In four other Texas cities, only 0.2 percent rode bikes to work.
These included Arlington, Irving, San Antonio and El Paso.
"Smart Growth" Intensifies Air Pollution. For years, regional transportation plans, public officials,
and urban planners have been seeking to densify urban areas, using strategies referred to as "smart growth" or
"livability." They have claimed that densifying urban areas would lead to lower levels of air pollution,
principally because it is believed to reduce travel by car. In fact, however, EPA data show that higher
population densities are strongly associated with higher levels of automobile travel and more concentrated air
The Socialist Phobia
of Scarcity. If you are a socialist, chances are you believe that there is only a limited amount
of wealth in the world. People are impoverished only because rich capitalists are hoarding it. You
probably also believe that global natural resources are scarce, the world's water supply is drying up, and
irreplaceable species are becoming extinct. This irrational fear of scarcity is what drives the socialist
advocacy for abortion of the unborn and euthanasia of the aged and infirm. As it turns out, the
"population bomb" has thus far been a dud. Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book of the same name predicted mass
starvation and global social upheavals by the 1980s. Although this never happened, it has not
deterred true believers.
"Smart Growth" Policies Hurt.
There is mounting evidence that smart growth policies have already prevented thousands of American households
from their claim of the American Dream of owning their own home. Designed as an environmentally-sensitive
response to perceived suburban overcrowding or "sprawl," smart growth policies crowd housing units together
into clusters of dense, skyward structures.
Are the Communists Coming?
[Scroll down] When a candidate uses terms such as "smart growth," and "sustainability," don't take
these words to be meaningless. Know that they come from Agenda 21, a product of the U.N. Conference
on Environment and Development. This is the same conference that produced the Convention on Biological
Diversity, and the Climate Change Treaty. Agenda 21, and its policies seek to take elected officials
out of the policy-making arena and place that authority in the hands of appointed "stakeholder councils," and
the like. "Stakeholder councils" serve much the same function as "soviets" in the old communist regimes.
Global Warming on Steroids:
We are being subjected to demands that we alter our economy to accommodate an utterly false assertion of global
warming. At the same time, environmentalists are actively involved in schemes to put as much of the U.S.
landmass as possible off-limits to any development. All of this has been neatly spelled out in a United
Nations plan alleged to insure "sustainable development", but which in fact is designed to inhibit and
prohibit any development anywhere.
Going Green = $4 per Gallon. [Scroll down]
Such policy is driven by the Sustainable Development lobby. Led by massively wealthy and powerful special interests
like the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, the National Resources Defense Council and Earthjustice, to name a very few.
With their dollars and lobbyists, they are forcing Congress to implement the policies outlined in the UN's Agenda 21
soft law document. It pretends to be environmental policy, but is really a complete transformation of our society and
economy to a top down control, leading toward global governance. The environment is just the excuse to convince
unaware Americans to give up their liberties "to save the earth."
Livable communities is a socialist trap!
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) has authored a bill S.1619 titled the "Livable Communities Act." It is one
of the most dangerous bills to ever threaten our liberty. Worse even than the Obamacare scheme.
S.1619 creates a new permanent federal office: The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities" for
the enforcement of this bill the "Development Czar" if you will. Sen. Dodd is lying when he says S.1619
is purely voluntary.
Al Gore, the United Nations, and the Cult of Gaia (1999):
[Scroll down] These people believe in Gaia — an "Earth spirit," goddess or planetary brain — and
they think that human beings can have mystical experiences or a spiritual relationship with this entity.
In order to protect Gaia, in their view, the U.S. and other industrial countries have to be prohibited from
certain uses of the world's natural resources. This is called "sustainable development."
California Voters Defy Activist Groups, Approve New Home
Construction. Voters in the San Francisco suburbs of Pittsburg and Antioch, reflecting support from key Democratic
elected officials, defied the Sierra Club and other activist groups by approving on November 8 two proposed housing
developments. The activist groups have vowed to challenge the new communities in every venue possible, including
zoning boards, planning commissions, and the courts.
Smart Growth = Crime, Congestion and Poverty. Urban sprawl has sparked a
national debate over land-use policy, launching a movement in the past decade called "smart growth." Advocates of such policies
contend that urban sprawl causes crime and congestion, and limits opportunities for the poor and minorities.
Testimony on Smart Growth and Public Transit. I do not favor
sprawl. I favor allowing people to live and work where and how they like. And there is no reason not to allow it. Even
today, urbanization accounts for less than three percent of the nation's land area. The "Smart Growth" movement seeks to stop or
control urban sprawl. Proponents claim that it will reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and reduce costs. It is
important to understand that smart growth and containing sprawl require higher densities. Smart growth's goals simply are
unattainable without much higher densities.
"Smart Growth" Research: As much as
20 percent of federal transportation funding goes to transit, which serves less than 2 percent of travelers. [...] Since
transit service is so much slower than cars and is focused principally in the core and central business districts of major metropolitan
areas, people who use transit because they do not have a car face limited mobility and diminished job prospects.
Fewer roads for more people. What does
Beijing have in common with Portland, Oregon? Urban congestion. It's much worse in Beijing, but Portland's traffic
congestion isn't getting any better. Further, both cities' traffic is worsened by bad government.
What Causes Sprawl? While many factors spur Americans' shift from urban to
suburban living, the main force behind this transition is our increasing wealth. This has raised living standards and allowed
widespread automobile ownership.
The Crusade Against Urban Sprawl: There is a strong relationship
between urban sprawl and air pollution — but not the one the new urbanists suggest. In the United States, air pollution
tends to increase with population density. Similarly, traffic congestion tends to be worse in higher density urban areas.
San Francisco Imposes Green Building
Codes. Green building codes signed into law by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) may cost
city residents and businesses $700 million each and every year in expenses and lost economic output, the
city's Office of Economic Analysis is reporting. The green building codes, signed in August, will force
residents and businesses to pay significantly higher construction costs and rents and will likely drive many
of them out of the city, the agency warns.
False Solutions and
Real Problems. There were certainly places here and there where it took half a family's income just to put
a roof over their heads. ... Almost invariably, these severe local problems had local causes — usually severe
local restrictions on building homes. These restrictions had a variety of politically attractive names, ranging from
"open space" laws and "smart growth" policies to "environmental protection" and "farmland preservation."
Insects as food:
Reset: Eating Bugs is the Future, Proclaims the World Economic Forum. The unelected self-anointed global
elitists at the World Economic Forum (WEF) posted a video preaching to citizens about how "[I]nsect farming is set to play a
growing role in our lives — especially in our diets". The WEF is at the forefront of the so-called "Great
Reset," or the idea that the global economy needs to be completely transformed in the post-pandemic world. According to
their moronic video, citizens should be assured that bugs "are rich in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, and can be farmed
at scale with minimal footprint."
aren't we all eating insects? The farming of insects for food has been billed as the next sustainable food
revolution in western countries many times over in the past few years. One reason for this is, compared with
traditional livestock such as beef and lamb, insects require far fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
The Editor says...
You may eat bugs if you like, but I'll stick with beef, chicken, and fish, because I'm not at all concerned about "greenhouse
gas emissions." Even if global warming was a serious problem, which it isn't, and even if livestock farming contributed
dangerous gases to the atmosphere, which it doesn't, I'd never eat bugs for dinner anyway.
Alcohol and Sugar Are Even Worse for the Planet Than Eating Meat. Scientists want us to eat bugs. Eating
actual meat, from delicious cows and chickens and pigs and whatnot, is supposedly killing the planet. Instead, we
should be eating wormburgers and maggot-dogs and cricket tacos. That's literally what the eggheads want. They say
it's the only way we'll keep everybody from dying of global warming. Every other day there's another "news" story
encouraging us all to eat filthy insects, like the mud-caked peasants they think we are. So let's say you do what your
moral, ethical, and intellectual betters tell you to do. You stop eating meat. Maybe you don't choke down
cockroach casserole like they keep telling you, but you stop eating dead animals. You make that sacrifice for the
common good. Now you're off the hook, aren't you? Now they'll leave you alone, right? Wrong!
Outrageously Insane Climate Proposals. [#3] Ban Red Meat and Start Eating Bugs: Meat consumption is a
huge obstacle in climate activists' war against climate change. This is in part why the FAQs of the Green New Deal
mentioned getting rid of "farting cows," which emit methane into the atmosphere. Some progressive activists have
proposed banning meat entirely as a solution to stopping climate change. [...] For those who can't bear to ditch meat
entirely, some alternatives have been suggested. Insects have been proposed as not only a potentially sustainable
animal feed, but for human diets. According to some researchers, convincing people to eat mealworms and other grubs
and bugs would simply require better marketing.
'Em Eat Bugs, Says Kofi 'Marie Antoinette' Annan. The topic of global warming has produced a
stunning array of hysteria and absurdities. [...] If we were to compile a similar list of crackpot solutions
to climate change, we'd probably start with the comments of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
who recently said that if it were up to him, we would reduce the "major threat to the climate" posed by "global
livestock" by "raising insects as an animal protein source." "Insects," insists Annan, "have a very good
conversion rate from feed to meat. They make up part of the diet of 2 billion people and are
commonly eaten in many parts of the world. Eating insects is good for the environment and balanced
diets." Yes, fine idea. Let's take human progress back a few millennia and survive on grubs, a
handful of leaves and root vegetables we could fight the rabbits for.
The Editor says...
I suspect that if Mr. Annan ever detected even a fragment of an insect in any of his food, he's send it back to the kitchen.
Eat Bugs To Stop Global Warming. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
wants you to eat more insects. Why? It's better for the environment and your health,
he argues. "Keeping meat consumption to levels recommended by health authorities would lower
emissions and reduce heart disease, cancer, and other diseases," Annan told The Guardian Sunday [5/3/2015].
Man in China makes a living breeding
cockroaches. Usually, people can't get rid of cockroaches fastenough, but a farmer in China collects and cooks them up.
Wang Fuming is no ordinary farmer. He's a roach farmer, and the bug business is booming.
Want You to Eat Bugs. Science has two speeds: "proven as fact" and "not sure." Like
it or not, the scientific theory that humans are causing the Earth to warm is still in the "not sure" camp.
Nonetheless, we're racing ahead in an anti-global-warming frenzy. Some global-warming advocates have
turned the issue into a religion — the believers shall be exalted and the deniers shall be burned
at the stake.
Meat of the Future. Over the past two years, three Dutch insect-raising companies, which
normally produce feed for animals in zoos, have set up special production lines to raise locusts and mealworms
for human consumption. Now those insects are sold, freeze-dried, in two dozen retail food outlets that
cater to restaurants. A few restaurants in the Netherlands have already placed insects on the menu,
with locusts and mealworms (beetle larvae) usually among the dishes.
Flour made from insects will feed underfed
populations. A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed
money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour.
Cricket, Save the World. Pound-for-pound, crickets pack more protein than cows,
chickens, pigs, and the rest of the mammals and birds we've come to associate with barnyards.
And their smaller footprint — both literally and environmentally — makes them a
candidate for a more sustainable food source. Put down 100 grams worth of pure cricket and you've
just ingested 69 grams of protein. That's compared with 43 grams of protein in dried beef protein or
31 grams of protein in identical servings of chicken. The insects also contain essential amino acids
and are high in iron, calcium, B vitamins, and fiber.
The Questionable Link
Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea
that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed
over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.
Bacon Is Good for You.
Those who love rib-eye steaks and double-cream Brie will feel better about their guilty pleasures after reading Nina Teicholz's
article in this weekend's Wall Street Journal, "The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease." [...] Once
the American Heart Association, funded by Proctor & Gamble, makers of Crisco, got behind the crusade, Teicholz
argues, "there was no turning back".
Fat and Heart Disease Link. For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much
as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.
But the new research, published on Monday [3/17/2014] in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people
who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those
eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.
FDA Raises Safety Concerns On Antibacterial Soaps.
After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and
regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.
Antibacterial Soap Is So Dangerous, Minnesota Just Banned It. It looks like
germaphobes in Minnesota are going to have to kiss antibacterial hand wash good-bye and go back to
disinfecting their skin with old-school soap and water. Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a measure
banning the antibacterial chemical triclosan from all products sold in the state. Triclosan is
commonly found in a slew of personal care items — everything from body wash, dish soap,
and toothpaste to over-the-counter acne medication. It's found in nearly 2,000 products, but the
bad news about the substance keeps piling up.
Wood as fuel:
The Editor says...
If you burn "biomass," you're on the leading edge of environmental responsibility. If you call it "firewood," you're in trouble.
'Green Energy' That Might Be Ruining the Planet. Here's a multibillion-dollar question that could help
determine the fate of the global climate: If a tree falls in a forest — and then it's driven to a mill,
where it's chopped and chipped and compressed into wood pellets, which are then driven to a port and shipped across the ocean
to be burned for electricity in European power plants — does it warm the planet? Most scientists and
environmentalists say yes: By definition, clear-cutting trees and combusting their carbon emits greenhouse gases that
heat up the earth. But policymakers in the U.S. Congress and governments around the world have declared that no,
burning wood for power isn't a climate threat — it's actually a green climate solution. In Europe, "biomass
power," as it's technically called, is now counted and subsidized as zero-emissions renewable energy. As a result,
European utilities now import tons of wood from U.S. forests every year — and Europe's supposedly eco-friendly
economy now generates more energy from burning wood than from wind and solar combined.
is a fairy tale': how the race for renewables is burning Europe's forests. Kalev Järvik stands on a bald
patch of land in the heart of Estonia's Haanja nature reserve and remembers when he could walk straight from one side of the
reserve to the other under a canopy of trees. Järvik has lived in the Haanja uplands in the southern county of
Võru for more than 10 years. His closeness to the forest has shaped his life as a carpenter and the fortunes of
the surrounding villages, with their handicraft traditions — a substitute for farming on the poor arable
land. Upcountry, travel literature promotes the region to city dwellers, promising its ancient woodlands as a place to
rest and reinvigorate the mind. But in 2015, the Estonian government allowed what is known as clear-cutting in some
parts of the Haanja nature reserve. [...] "Sometimes I can't bear to go outside," Järvik says, standing by the stumps
left on land stripped by the logging company Valga Puu. The firm is a subsidiary of Graanul Invest Group, Europe's
biggest producer of the wood pellets which are burned on an industrial scale as biomass for heat and light in many of Europe's
former coal-fired power stations.
Wood Produces Extremely Small Particles Harmful to Public Health. As deleterious as wood smoke is on regional
air quality, the effects are much more serious when wood smoke accumulates under stagnant conditions in the neighborhood or
general vicinity of the wood smoke source, such as a school, senior center, etc. When stagnant air conditions occur
with near zero wind, a blanket of air traps smoke and other pollutants near the ground. People most affected by PM and
toxic fumes are the elderly, the young and those with heart and/or lung disease. These conditions result in the rapid
build-up of outdoor smoke that can affect all neighbors within the source's immediate vicinity. Depending on the type
of fireplace or insert used and the burning duration, smoke can concentrate under such conditions to many times the allowable
Federal 24-hour Particulate Standards within a matter of hours.
overlooked error with biomass. When Thomas Edison established his Pearl Street power plant in New York City in
1892, he used coal for fuel, not wood. Wood fuel could not compete with the cost of coal in 1892 and it still can't
today. Nevertheless, burning of biomass is widely regarded as sustainable and promoted as a solution for climate change,
especially in Europe. Today, Europe produces about 17 percent of its energy and 29 percent of its electricity
from renewable sources. Biomass accounts for about 19 percent of the electricity generated from renewables.
coal not wood if you care about the climate. It's all very well thinking about how long it takes one year's
wood-pellet electricity to become neutral, but power stations need more fuel every year and if we keep razing more land, the
carbon debt keeps growing. In the two scenarios below the biomass industry keeps growing linearly every year. But
[eventually] people settle down on the whole biomass idea and stop razing extra forest in 2050. Even so, the total industry
carbon debt keeps accruing for another 56 years until presumably the regrowth reaches a point where it is pulling in more carbon
[than] the yearly raze produces. It takes 144 years after the industry stops expanding before the net carbon
debt is back to zero.
Lessons Teach Us — Don't Go Green! In Germany, the world leader in green energy, electricity prices
have now reached a level triple those paid in the United States. Imagine the anger here if middle-class Americans saw a
tripling of their utility bills each month. In Britain, to comply with renewable energy requirements, power stations
are burning hundreds of millions of pounds of wood pellets (pellets imported from the U.S.). Environmental experts confirm
that burning wood is much worse for the environment than burning natural gas or even coal. Australia, another "green energy"
leader, saw its electricity prices skyrocket this past winter. According to an analysis by the Institute for Energy Research,
power costs surged unbelievably — from $100 per megawatt hour to $10,000 per megawatt hour. This was because of
heavy dependence on an unreliable renewable energy program.
EPA May Crack Down on Wood Stoves in Alaska.
Many Alaskans rely on wood-burning stoves, which left-wing bureaucrats regard as offensive to environment. [...] A few weeks
ago, it got down to -37°F in Fairbanks. The high for the day was -27°F. But never mind keeping warm.
According to liberal theory, global warming will see to that. The important thing is to comply with the dictates of the
To Alaskans In Sub-Zero Temps: Stop Burning Wood To Keep Warm. [Scroll down] But alas, now comes
the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska's interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep
themselves warm during the winter. The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare
the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in "serious" noncompliance
of the Clean Air Act early next year. Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood
to keep themselves warm this winter. Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles
in low-lying areas and can be breathed in. The EPA thinks this is a big problem. Eight years ago, the agency ruled
that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in "non-attainment" of federal air quality standards.
Logging Increases CO2 and Damages Forest Health. The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) states a goal of
90% renewable energy of ALL energy by 2050, not just electrical energy, which is only 35% of all energy. The plan
includes proposals to increase wood-for-fuel logging by 132% over 2014 levels. To set the stage, well-known pro-logging
consultants performed various studies to determine wood-for-fuel quantities. The standard assumption in such studies is
the CO2 from wood burning is not counted, because unfounded claims are made "it is renewable and carbon neutral". Such
studies usually provide cover for bureaucrats and legislators.
Solar is in, biomass energy is
out — and farmers are struggling to dispose of woody waste. It should have been a good year for turning wood and
waste into electrons. A record-setting drought forced growers to bulldoze thousands of acres of trees, and hardly anyone in the
Central Valley has permission to light bonfires anymore. But more than trees have withered in California's sun. The state's
biomass energy plants are folding in rapid succession, unable to compete with heavily subsidized solar farms, many of which have sprouted up
amid the fields and orchards of the San Joaquin Valley. Paul Parreira is painfully aware of the irony. The third-generation
grower and almond processor is running out of dirt roads where he can spread ground-up almond shells, even as he expands a one-megawatt
solar array on six acres of his family's property in Los Banos.
power plants: Misguided climate change solution? Is wood the best fuel to generate electricity? Despite wood's low energy density and
high cost, utilities in the US and abroad are switching from coal to wood to produce electrical power. The switch to wood is driven by regulations
from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international organizations. These regulations are based on the false assumption that
burning wood reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Renewable Myth Goes Up In Smoke. A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no
sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood
produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested
would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed
to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles' lunch, transport
it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double
the price for the power it generates.
resistance tramples Colorado governor's vegan declaration. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis wanted residents to
go a day without eating meat, but instead he spurred a stampede to the steakhouses. The Democratic governor's "MeatOut
Day" proclamation encouraging Coloradans to skip saturated fats on March 20 has backfired spectacularly, feeding resistance
with a "Meat In Day" that has carnivores vowing to outdo themselves in celebration of the state's livestock industry.
"I think this is a wake-up call," said Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of Colorado Cattlemen's Association, which
launched the Meat In Movement in response to the gubernatorial proclamation.
are 43 percent more likely to suffer bone fractures, study shows. Vegans may be significantly more likely to
develop bone fractures than meat-eaters, a new study revealed. The large, longitudinal study published Sunday in the
journal BMC Medicine, revealed that there were 19.4 more cases of fractures in vegans and 4.1 more cases in vegetarians for
every 1,000 people over 10 years. "This is the first comprehensive study and the largest study to date to look at the
risks of both total fractures (fractures occurring anywhere in the body) and fractures at different sites in people of
different habitual dietary habits," the study's lead author, Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Nuffield
Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, said in an email to CNN.
to keto diet may cause flu-like symptoms. If you are feeling the aches and pains of what you think is the flu,
a trendy diet may be the culprit instead, a new study confirms. Researchers took a dive into what's become known as "keto
flu" — the fatigue, headache, nausea and mental fog that some people develop soon after starting a ketogenic diet.
eats meat for 30 days, shocks fans by saying she's healthier than she's 'felt in years'. Alyse Parker, who has
over 200K Instagram followers and over 700K Youtube subscribers, explained her decision on Instagram. In a post, she
revealed that she decided to try the Carnivore Diet after hearing about all of the health benefits from friends who switched
from being vegan to eating only meat and animal products. Parker explained, "I had my own fair share of health
struggles and eventually reached a breaking point where I was willing to try anything to function properly again."
say official advice on eating less beef, pork and lamb is based on bad evidence. Researchers in Canada, Spain
and Poland have cast a shadow over eating advice adopted by health organisations around the world. In a landmark paper,
the academics analysed past studies of how eating meat affected the health of more than four million people. They found
no evidence that eating beef, pork and lamb could increase the rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke or type 2
diabetes — despite fears. And the team also said they found nothing strong enough to signal that people
should cut down on red meat, adding that the quality of evidence was too low for findings to be concerning.
Have A Much Higher Risk Of Stroke Than Meat Eaters, Study Finds. According to a study from the medical journal
BMJ, vegetarians had a 20-percent increase in stroke risk than meat eaters. Lead researcher Tammy Tong, a nutritional
epidemiologist at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, suggests that the great stroke
risk is due to vegetarian diets often lacking nutrients like vitamin B12.
Women Prefer Men Who Eat Meat. Sorry, vegetarian and vegan men, but women prefer your meat-eating brethren.
At least according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Padova (that's in Italy). The study titled
"Eating Meat Makes You Sexy: Conformity to Dietary Gender Norms and Practices" found that when women were presented with
fake bios of men that either showed food preferences that included meat or yogurt, they preferred the men who ate meat.
One experiment (out of three conducted by the researchers) asked 50 Italian women to rate the men's bios as "attractive,"
"sexy," or even "I would date him." Negative descriptors were also included.
Defense of Farmers, Hunters, and Meat-Eaters. I am a monster, and so are millions of Americans who hunt, fish,
and raise livestock. At least that's the argument by Matthew Scully, a former literary editor of National Review, who
took to these pages to present the case for the abolishment of animal cruelty. [...] Scully's moral argument against meat
eating sounds great, as long as you don't think about the mice, rabbits, squirrels, moles, groundhogs, and other creatures
great and small killed by the combines in the cornfields and green spaces where our vegetables are grown. Anybody who
lives in the country has seen turkey vultures circling and swooping down on the fields where the cornstalks have been reduced
to stubble, or the murders of crows that gather to slowly hop and pick their way across the earth, taking sustenance in the
animals killed in the raising of vegetables. There's a hard truth in life that many of us either don't think about or
choose to ignore: We all eat to survive, and that means that something had to die in order for you to live.
Chances are, even if you're the most committed vegan you know, animals died in the making of your last, and next, meal.
Save the Environment — from Deadly Lettuce. ISIS will
not be amused. First, President Barack Obama and Pope Francis have given the inherent danger of their terrorism the heave-ho by declaring that global
warming/climate change is a bigger threat to 21st century humanity — and now global warming doctrine dares to suggest that bacon is better
for the environment than run-of-the-mill lettuce.
vegetarians to blame for climate change? Sticking to a vegetarian diet may not be as beneficial to the
environment as you think — in fact, it might be helping to destroy it. A study from Carnegie Mellon University
has found that many common vegetables require more resources per calorie, and produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than some
types of meat. While lowering the weight of the general population has been shown to positively affect the environment,
the researchers found that healthy eating leads to a higher environmental impact.
'three times worse' for environment than bacon, new study says. According to a new study from Carnegie Mellon,
a vegetarian diet could be worse for the environment than a carnivorous one. Only pork chops can save the ozone now!
Fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood have a more negative impact on the climate than meat, claims the study. The meat-less
diet increases energy use by 38 percent, water use by 10 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by six percent.
love chickens that are "vegetarian fed." But chickens are not vegetarians. Many of the
largest U.S. sellers of organic eggs boast that their hens are vegetarian, and for an increasingly
food-curious public, this may be great advertising. A carton of Eggland's Best advertises that
the company uses "vegetarian fed hens." Horizon promises that their eggs "come from hens that
are fed a 100% organic, vegetarian diet." Land O Lakes hens have a diet with no animal
fat or by-products. Yet for the chickens, who are natural omnivores that readily devour bugs and
small animals when they're available, the forced vegetarianism can be a disaster.
diet increases the risk of birth defects, scientists warn. Women who are strict vegetarians or
vegans may be a greater risk of having a child with birth defects because they are likely to be deficient in
vitamin B12, researchers warned. Research carried out in Ireland has found that women with low levels of
B12, found in meat, eggs and milk, when they conceive are at greater risk of having a child with neural tube
Vegetarians Less Healthy, Lower Quality Of Life Than Meat-Eaters. Vegetarians may have a lower BMI
and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and
a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts. A new study from the Medical University
of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco
than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower
body mass index. But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats
and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products — carries
elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.
The Seven Sacraments of
Liberalism. [#3] Organic Food and Vegetarianism: The dietary restrictions imposed upon the followers of
liberalism signify the rise of a new gnosticism. Liberals feel guilty because of their human status. They desire
to flee the filth of the world. "Why did I burn those backyard leaves and cause climate change? How can I have a
barbecue with tofu? Obama, help me, please." Liberals want to be purified and free from their guilt, especially
the guilt associated with eating meat.
warned that 'superfood' tofu may harm your memory. Eating high levels of some soy products, including tofu and
other so-called 'superfoods,' may increase memory loss, scientists say. Experts funded by the Alzheimer's Research
Trust found a 20 percent lower level of brain functioning compared with those eating very little of the product.
salad is so overrated. As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better,
and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds,
for their water use. Corn, for the monoculture. Beef, for its greenhouse gases. In each of those cases, there's
some truth in the finger-pointing, but none of them is a clear-cut villain. There's one food, though, that has almost nothing
going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world,
and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.
Heavy Rain Affects Object Detection by Autonomous
Vehicle LiDAR Sensors. Researchers at the University of Warwick in the U.K. have found that the LiDAR sensors
on autonomous vehicles (AVs) are less effective in detecting objects at a distance during periods of heavy rain. The
researchers used the university's WMG 3xD simulator to test an AV's LiDAR sensors in different intensities of rain on real
roads; they found that when the rainfall increased up to 50 mm per hour, object detection by the sensors dropped in
conjunction with a longer range in distance. Warwick's Valentina Donzella said, "Ultimately we have confirmed that the
detection of objects is hindered to LiDAR sensors the heavier the rain and the further away they are."
Reports Scores Tesla Autopilot "Distant Second" to GM Super Cruise. Tesla has been able to dominate the
conversation around both electric and autonomous vehicles, for good and bad reasons. In terms of its Autopilot driver
assistance system, which is somewhat deceptively named, the general consensus is that Tesla is leading the auto industry in
the technology. A new comprehensive evaluation begs to differ. On Wednesday [10/28/2020], Consumer Reports
released its findings from a wide-ranging test of 17 different vehicles with active driving assistance systems (ADAS).
The result? Tesla Autopilot is "now a distant second" to Super Cruise from General Motors.
driver-assistance systems found to be susceptible to split-second flash phantoms. A team of researchers at Ben
Gurion University of the Negev has found that at least two advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are susceptible to
responding to split-second flash phantoms. [...] Last year, the same team reported that they had found that it was possible
to confuse Tesla vehicles equipped with ADAS into responding to "phantom" images projected onto the roadway or nearby objects
such as trees. They found that projecting an image of a person onto the road in front of an oncoming Tesla vehicle, for
example, would cause the system to apply the brakes — a move that could prove hazardous if another vehicle was
behind the Tesla. In this new effort, the researchers have found ADAS's are also susceptible to responding to
split-second flash phantoms.
Tesla Autopilot, distracted driver caused fatal crash. Tesla's partially automated driving system steered an
electric SUV into a concrete barrier on a Silicon Valley freeway because it was operating under conditions it couldn't handle
and because the driver likely was distracted by playing a game on his smartphone, the National Transportation Safety Board
Ice Pose a Vexing Obstacle for Self-Driving Cars. In late 2018, Krzysztof Czarnecki, a professor at Canada's
University of Waterloo, built a self-driving car and trained it to navigate surrounding neighborhoods with an annotated
driving data set from researchers in Germany. The vehicle worked well enough to begin with, recognizing Canadian cars
and pedestrians just as well as German ones. But then Czarnecki took the autonomous car for a spin in heavy Ontarian
snow. It quickly became a calamity on wheels, with the safety driver forced to grab the wheel repeatedly to avert
disaster. The incident highlights a gap in the development of self-driving cars: maneuvering in bad weather.
Cars with Projected Images. The absence of deployed vehicular communication systems, which prevents the
advanced driving assistance systems (ADASs) and autopilots of semi/fully autonomous cars to validate their virtual perception
regarding the physical environment surrounding the car with a third party, has been exploited in various attacks suggested by
researchers. Since the application of these attacks comes with a cost (exposure of the attacker's identity), the
delicate exposure vs. application balance has held, and attacks of this kind have not yet been encountered in the wild.
In this paper, we investigate a new perceptual challenge that causes the ADASs and autopilots of semi/fully autonomous to
consider depthless objects (phantoms) as real. We show how attackers can exploit this perceptual challenge to apply
phantom attacks and change the abovementioned balance, without the need to physically approach the attack scene, by
projecting a phantom via a drone equipped with a portable projector or by presenting a phantom on a hacked digital billboard
that faces the Internet and is located near roads.
will Self-Driving Cars Impact Cities? Today, cars and cities are inextricably linked, and this will continue as
the future is dominated by self-driving vehicles. But the tie-up means both will have to evolve in unison, say experts
steeped in autonomous vehicles, smart city technologies and urban studies. To wit: self-driving vehicles must learn to
navigate complex environments filled with pedestrians and other obstacles while cities become modified to accommodate them.
'smart summon' feature is causing fender benders, parking lot jams. These self-driving cars wouldn't pass a
learner's permit test. A feature unveiled last week by Tesla allows owners to "summon" their rides with a smartphone
from up to 200 feet away — but the rollout has not been smooth. A number of owners using the "Smart Summon"
feature have shared videos and photos of their Teslas causing fender benders and other parking lot jams as the unoccupied
cars navigated the roadway.
driver apparently caught sleeping at the wheel going 60 mph. The driver of a Tesla on autopilot appeared to be
asleep behind the wheel while whizzing along a Massachusetts highway, new video shows. A fellow motorist captured the
driver with his head slumped forward — and his passenger equally zonked out — along I-90 on Sunday
[9/8/2019]. "Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it)," tweeted fellow motorist
Dakota Randall with the clip. "Teslas are sick, I guess?"
car was on Autopilot when it hit a Culver City firetruck, NTSB finds. A government report says the driver of a
Tesla sedan that slammed into a Culver City firetruck on the 405 Freeway last year was using the car's Autopilot system when
a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn't have time to react. The National Transportation Safety
Board said Tuesday that the driver never saw the parked firetruck and didn't brake. Apparently the man's 2014 Tesla
Model S didn't brake either.
Energy Economy": An Exercise in Magical Thinking. Green enthusiasts make extravagant claims about the effect
of Uber-like options and self-driving cars. However, the data show that the economic efficiencies from Uberizing have
so far increased the use of cars and peak urban congestion. Similarly, many analysts now see autonomous vehicles
amplifying, not dampening, that effect. That's because people, and thus markets, are focused on economic efficiency and
not on energy efficiency. The former can be associated with reducing energy use; but it is also, and more often,
associated with increased energy demand. Cars use more energy per mile than a horse, but the former offers enormous
gains in economic efficiency. Computers, similarly, use far more energy than pencil-and-paper.
Makers of self-driving cars should study
Boeing crashes. As in-vehicle distractions multiply, drivers are challenged to maintain safe operation.
Self-driving cars are supposed to eliminate distractions by relieving drivers of their operational role, save for command
instructions like "Take me to the nearest supermarket." [Brooke] Masters suggests that human driving skills atrophy from
neglect and disuse. Self-driving vehicle technology deployments will accelerate carbon-based driver skill erosion.
driverless cars choose who to kill is an ethical dilemma. Slowly but surely, work on self-driving cars is
progressing. Crashes still happen, tragic accidents come to pass every once in a while, and autonomous vehicles still
make stupid mistakes that the most novice human drivers would avoid. But eventually, scientists and researchers will
teach our cars to see the world and drive the streets on a level that equates or exceeds the skills of most human drivers.
[...] Accidents will become very rare happenings. But accidents will happen, and the question is, how should self-driving
cars make decisions when a fatal accident and loss of life is inevitable? As it happens, we can't make a definite decision.
Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars. The assailant slipped out of a park around noon one day
in October, zeroing in on his target, which was idling at a nearby intersection — a self-driving van operated by
Waymo, the driverless-car company spun out of Google. He carried out his attack with an unidentified sharp object,
swiftly slashing one of the tires.
Electronic driving systems don't
always work, tests show. Testing by AAA shows that electronic driver assist systems on the road today may not
keep vehicles in their lanes or spot stationary objects in time to avoid a crash. The tests brought a warning from the
auto club that drivers shouldn't think that the systems make their vehicles self-driving, and that they should always be
ready to take control. AAA also said that use of the word "pilot" by automakers in naming their systems can make some
owners believe the vehicles can drive themselves.
of driverless cars is dying. I was worried that going to the autonomous vehicle exhibition in Stuttgart would
be tantamount to an atheist walking into St Peter's while the Pope was conducting a mass. There is something religious
about the fervour with which adherents to the driverless credo practise their faith and promise us a new kingdom. Their
proselytising has indeed convinced many. Politicians are making outlandish statements, such as Jesse Norman's two weeks
ago, that 'Our entire use of roads is to be revolutionised by autonomous vehicles', and pouring large sums — a
promised £180 million so far — into bizarre research projects such as the development of strange robot
cars slower than a Reliant Robin and allowed only on pavements in Milton Keynes. [...] The assumption that this technology
will soon transform our lives has been speeded along by gullible journalists who fail to look beyond the extravagant claims
of the press releases pouring out of tech companies and auto manufacturers, hailing the imminence of major developments that
never seem to materialise.
cars on US roads with no brake pedals, steering wheels just edged closer. Road users in the US may soon see
self-driving cars without human controls under a pilot program proposed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA). The agency is seeking public feedback on a proposed pilot to test vehicles "that lack controls for human drivers
and thus may not comply with all existing safety standards" and do so in real-world scenarios, it said in a document released
Thursday [10/4/2018]. As noted by Reuters, NHTSA said vehicles in the program may need features to disable them if a sensor
fails or limit their maximum speeds. The pilot would aim to test autonomous vehicles rated as Level 4 and Level 5,
which are respectively fully autonomous vehicles with a safe fallback mode, and fully autonomous vehicles without human controls,
such as brake and accelerator pedals or steering wheels.
Wildly Overestimate What 'Semiautonomous' Cars Can Do. Euro NCAP, an independent European car safety assessment
group (similar to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US) has just released the results of its first round of
tests of 10 new cars with driver-assistance technologies. It also published the results of a survey of over 1,500 car
owners in seven countries, asking them what they believe these cars are capable of. "Seventy percent of people believe
you can buy autonomous cars," says Matthew Avery, head of research at the UK's Thatcham Research, a Euro NCAP member.
Eleven percent said they'd be tempted to have a nap, read a paper, or watch a film while using one of the highway-assist
features available today, even though every automaker peddling the tech requires drivers to pay attention to the road at
all times. "It's really worrying that consumers are believing the hype."
removes 'Full Self-Driving Capability' package from its options due to 'confusion'. In a somewhat controversial
move, Tesla is removing the option to buy its 'Full Self-Driving Capability' package from the online design studios of its
vehicles. The option itself was controversial from the beginning when it was introduced with the Autopilot 2.0
hardware in 2016. At the time, Tesla said that it would release self-driving capability through over-the-air updates
after validating the software and having regulatory approval.
a future without traffic lights. Vehicle-to-everything communications technology, more commonly referred to as
V2X, is poised to change the way cars operate in the very near future. Numerous automakers are working on V2X systems,
some of which are already available. Among those automakers is Ford which thinks the tech could one day eliminate
traffic lights. The automaker announced Wednesday [10/10/2018] it will trial an Intersection Priority Management (IPM)
system on the streets of Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. The system is Ford's way of demonstrating that cars may not
always have to stop for an intersection or traffic sign.
Musk said a Tesla could drive itself across the country by 2018. One just crashed backing out of a garage. When
Mangesh Gururaj's wife left home to pick up their child from math lessons one Sunday this month, she turned on her Tesla
Model S and hit "Summon," a self-parking feature that the electric automaker has promoted as a central step toward driverless
cars. But as the $65,000 sedan reversed itself out of the garage, Gururaj said, the car bashed into a wall, ripping off its
front end with a loud crack. He said the damaged Tesla looked like it would have kept driving if his wife hadn't hit the brakes.
woman sues Tesla over 'Autopilot' crash. The woman who was behind the wheel of a Tesla that crashed into a fire
truck at high speeds in South Jordan is suing Tesla and a service provider, saying the Autopilot feature failed to work as
advertised. According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday [9/4/2018], Heather P. Lommatzsch is suing Tesla Inc., Tesla Motors
Utah Inc, and Service King Paint & Body over the crash, which occurred in May of this year. The lawsuit alleges negligence
and breach of warranty on the part of Tesla and negligence on the part of Service King, stating that the vehicle's Autopilot mode
failed to stop the vehicle before it crashed into the back of a Unified Fire Authority fire truck at a high rate of speed.
of Death and Indecision. There was no spontaneous collective cry from the driving public demanding an
autonomous car. [...] Insurance industry statisticians provided a compelling case for savings in car accident and medical
payouts. Urban planners saw the future in which a maze of closely spaced cars all moved to their destinations without
accidents and with maximum efficiency in roadway use. Better fuel usage and fewer vehicle emissions appealed to the
environmentalists. Government agencies envisioned a vehicle tracking system able to find any vehicle, anywhere,
all the time.
the deadly consequences of unpredictable code. he 18th of March 2018, was the day tech insiders had been
dreading. That night, a new moon added almost no light to a poorly lit four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona, as a specially
adapted Uber Volvo XC90 detected an object ahead. Part of the modern gold rush to develop self-driving vehicles, the
SUV had been driving autonomously, with no input from its human backup driver, for 19 minutes. An array of radar and
light-emitting lidar sensors allowed onboard algorithms to calculate that, given their host vehicle's steady speed of 43 mph,
the object was six seconds away — assuming it remained stationary. But objects in roads seldom remain
stationary, so more algorithms crawled a database of recognizable mechanical and biological entities, searching for a fit
from which this one's likely behavior could be inferred. At first the computer drew a blank; seconds later, it decided
it was dealing with another car, expecting it to drive away and require no special action. Only at the last second was
a clear identification found — a woman with a bike, shopping bags hanging confusingly from handlebars, doubtless
assuming the Volvo would route around her as any ordinary vehicle would. Barred from taking evasive action on its own,
the computer abruptly handed control back to its human master, but the master wasn't paying attention.
Want the Ability to Control Self-Driving Cars. It seems the number of perplexing regulatory questions relating
to self-driving cars are piling up as fast as automakers can create workable prototypes. So will we have it all settled
by the time these autonomous vehicles are "street-ready?" A new report suggests — maybe not. Reuters
recently covered a 39-page summary of a March meeting amongst regulatory stakeholders, including the federal DOT and several
industry groups, where they settled on a fairly scary thesis: that the question is not IF but WHEN a massive cyberattack
targeting autonomous vehicles would occur, and that it was imperative to spend time now in preparation.
Autonomous Autos End Up Legislating You Off the Road? Bob Lutz, a fixture in the Detroit auto industry for 47
years, told the Michigan Venture Capital Association early this month that "human-driven cars will be forced off the roads by
safety regulators" in the near future because they will "mess up the autonomous environment." "I will absolutely
guarantee that electronic technology in autonomous vehicles is going to reduce serious and fatal accidents in the United
States by at least 90 percent," said Lutz who was most recently the vice chairman of General Motors until 2010. And
he promised the accident rate would fall even further once human beings were outlawed from sitting behind steering wheels.
Will Government Be Able to Remotely
Control Your Car? In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published its "Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning
Automated Vehicles." It pointed to a "continuum" of automobile development that "runs from vehicles with no active control systems all the way to
full automation and self-driving." [...] But, if the driver does not control the vehicle, who does?
Dockless bicycles and scooters:
Lime Wants a Revolution.
Near San Francisco's bustling Fisherman's Wharf in the middle of the afternoon two weeks ago, a 69-year-old woman took what
was likely the last e-scooter ride of her life. It's not clear who struck who at Embarcadero and Bay, but the point is
moot. The scooter collided with a massive cement truck, the sort of cataclysmic transportation asymmetry now
endangering lives and disrupting communities all over the world. The city bears some blame. It had been
tragically slow to deal with the upsurge in e-scooters and e-bikes.
bicyclists are killing pedestrians and the city won't stop it. Mayor Bill de Blasio has aggressively pushed a
bike-friendly agenda, adding about 100 miles of dedicated lanes for cyclists amid a spike in rider collisions, but he's done
little to address the danger that bikers themselves pose. Since 2011, bicyclists have injured more than 2,250
pedestrians — including at least seven who died — according to stats from the city Department of
Transportation and published reports. Injuries are up 12 percent this year, rising to 127 through June 30 from
113 over the same period in 2018, the NYPD says.
video shows youth tossing scooters into Detroit River, damaging property. Detroit Police have a message for a band of hellions responsible
for flinging scooters into the Detroit River, rolling the contraptions downhill in an attempt to knock people down and pushing a man to the ground.
They're coming for you. The antics were caught in a viral video making the rounds on social media.
deputies pull out 57 electric scooters, bikes out of Portland river. A sheriff's office in Oregon recently
disclosed it hauled dozens of electric scooters and bicycles out of a major river in Portland. The Multnomah County
Sheriff's Office said Wednesday [6/26/2019] on Twitter the department's dive team recovered a total of 57 scooters and
bikes over a two-day period in the Willamette River in Portland.
to consider emergency moratorium on commercial electric scooters. Boulder might see a temporary moratorium on
commercial electric scooter companies, as well as ongoing restrictions on where e-scooters are allowed in the city.
City council on Tuesday [5/21/2019] will hold a public hearing on an emergency ordinance that would prohibit the issuance of
business licenses to commercial operators, as well as the use of e-scooters on sidewalks, bike paths and open space until
February. The temporary moratorium, staff reasoned, would buy the city time to iron out possible regulations for
commercial e-scooters in Boulder.
use is rising in major cities. So are trips to the emergency room. They have been pouring into emergency
rooms around the nation all summer, their bodies bearing a blend of injuries that doctors normally associate with victims of
car wrecks — broken noses, wrists and shoulders, facial lacerations and fractures, as well as the kind of blunt
head trauma that can leave brains permanently damaged. When doctors began asking patients to explain their injuries,
many were surprised to learn that the surge of broken body parts stemmed from the latest urban transportation trend:
shared electric scooters.
Lime halts scooter
service in Switzerland after possible software glitch throws users off mid-ride. Just as on-demand electric
scooters are trying to pick up speed in Europe, one of the scooter market's most ambitious startups has halted operations in
one country after its e-scooters started halting mid-ride, throwing off and injuring passengers. Lime, the Uber-backed
bike and scooter rental company that is reportedly raising money at between a $2 billion and $3 billion valuation,
has pulled its full fleet of scooters in Switzerland, in the cities of Basel and Zurich, for safety checks after multiple
reports of people injuring themselves after their scooters braked abruptly while in use.
Beach Bans Electric Scooters After 3 Days. A flock of 50 Bird dockless electric scooters that arrived at the
Newport Beach Peninsula last weekend without a permit caused lots of complaints and were promptly banned by the city.
The virally popular dockless scooters that rent at $1, plus $.15 per minute, are the hottest transportation trend in 2018.
Although electric scooter riders are supposed to be 18 years old, have a California driver's license, and wear their own
helmets, the bike rental is by cell phone app, and there is virtually no way to prevent underage or reckless riders.
City Council Approves Dockless Bike Pilot Program. On Friday morning [5/11/2018], the Minneapolis City Council approved a
contract amendment with Nice Ride to operate the dockless bike pilot program. "One of the biggest concerns that I have
is how are we going to be able to keep the public right of way clear of bikes just laying all around the city," Councilmember
Andrea Jenkins asked. Seattle, San Diego, and Dallas have similar programs. Each city has had to deal with bikes
that are destroyed, piled up or end up in a river.
This subsection has moved to a page of its own,
Miscellaneous / everything:
Boston Review Promote Rolling Blackouts to Cut CO2 Emissions. Among the top Google News search results today
for "climate change" is an article published by the Boston Review calling for Third World-style electricity blackouts
in the United States to fight climate change. According to the article, American households are unnecessarily spoiled
by experiencing an average of only six hours per year without electricity. Instead, government should impose frequent
"planned interruptions" of power to force households to use less electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The
Google-promoted article, titled "To Save the Climate, Give Up the Demand for Constant Electricity," argues that "Each
household demanding continuous electricity marginally exacerbates the climate crisis." "Waiting to ensure uninterrupted
power for everyone as we transition away from fossil fuels will cost too much time — and too many lives," the
Not so Green.
[Scroll down] Green Energy isn't green. It has a huge cost in rare metals; it creates toxic waste problems; solar
panels create solar deserts; turbines chop birds and steal wind and rain from inland areas; and now they want to steal fresh
water and energy to export low-energy explosive hydrogen.In contrast, coal is fossil sunshine. Burning it releases new
energy for industry and its combustion products bring great benefits for the green world -water vapour, carbon dioxide plant
food, and valuable plant micro-nutrients.
and Death of the Tiny Home Trend. The tiny home trend has been hard to ignore over the last several
years. The increasingly saturated market of TV shows and Pinterest pictures dedicated to the topic of exploring
micro-dwellings where your home is reduced to the size of a walk-in-closet and each room takes on a triple-duty programmatic
role. What looks enticing on reality TV is often much less desirable in real life, and as people increasingly long for
a style that frees them of material goods and the ability to travel, what does this mean for the actuality of tiny home
About Those 'Green Energy' Unicorns...
[Scroll down] As [Mark P.] Mills points out, among the reality of "green energy" are:
• Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more
than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.
• A single electric car contains more cobalt than 1,000 smartphone batteries; the blades on a single wind turbine have more plastic than
5 million smartphones; and a solar array that can power one data center uses more glass than 50 million phones.
• Replacing hydrocarbons with green machines under current plans — never mind aspirations for far greater expansion — will
vastly increase the mining of various critical minerals around the world. For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds
requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery's life, each mile of driving an electric car
"consumes" five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.
• Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green
machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent
of one barrel of oil.
• By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels — much of it nonrecyclable — will constitute double
the tonnage of all today's global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine
blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.
electric car and vegetarian diet are pointless virtue signaling in the fight against climate change. Switch to
energy-efficient light bulbs, wash your clothes in cold water, eat less meat, recycle more, and buy an electric car: We
are being bombarded with instructions from climate campaigners, environmentalists and the media about the everyday steps we
all must take to tackle climate change. [...] For example, the British nature-documentary presenter and environmental
campaigner David Attenborough was once asked what he as an individual would do to fight climate change. He promised to
unplug his phone charger when it wasn't in use. Attenborough's heart is no doubt in the right place. But even if
he consistently unplugs his charger for a year, the resulting reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions will be equivalent to
less than one-half of one-thousandth of the average person's annual CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom. Moreover,
charging accounts for less than 1% of a phone's energy needs; the other 99% is required to manufacture the handset and
operate data centers and cell towers. Almost everywhere, these processes are heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
towels beat air dryers against viruses, small study finds. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water is key to
preventing the spread of coronavirus, but what's the best way to dry your hands afterward? In a new, small study,
British researchers found paper towels were better than the air dryers often found in public restrooms at getting rid of
germs that are still on your hands after you wash them.
oil is the biggest hidden health 'danger' at the prepared food bar. Canola oil, or rapeseed oil, is one of
those ubiquitous oils used in restaurants, delis, even organic food stores for baking and the deli bar. It's cheap,
plentiful and nearly all of the canola oil you buy at a regular grocery store is genetically modified. But that's not
the only reason it's not good for you, or your digestive system, according to this report from Natural News.
sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession. Dennis Arp was feeling optimistic
last summer, which is unusual for a beekeeper these days. Thanks to a record wet spring, his hundreds of hives,
scattered across the central Arizona desert, produced a bounty of honey. Arp would have plenty to sell in stores, but
more importantly, the bumper harvest would strengthen his bees for their biggest task of the coming year. Like most
commercial beekeepers in the US, at least half of Arp's revenue now comes from pollinating almonds.
Almond Milk Is Even
More Evil Than You Thought. In the past five years, almond milk consumption in the United States has exploded
over 250 percent. The lower-calorie, vegan milk alternative is a staple in grocery stores and coffee shops across the
country now, but its booming popularity comes at a heavy environmental cost. According to a new report from the
Guardian this week, the titanic and growing demands of the California almond industry are placing a huge strain on the
hives of bees used to pollinate their orchards, wiping out billions of honeybees in a matter of months. "My yard is
currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives," Dennis Arp, a commercial beekeeper, told
the Guardian. Like many of his peers, nearly half of Arp's income comes from renting out his hives to pollinate
almonds. But now, he says, he loses 30 percent or more of his bees a year, a number that's on par for many beekeepers
in the U.S. One survey of commercial beekeepers found that 50 billion honeybees were wiped out in just a few months during
the winter of 2018-19.
Fully Organic Would Drive Up Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Study. Greenhouse gas emissions would be driven up
if the world's agriculture were to be converted to organic farming, a new study suggests. Researchers from Cranfield
University said that if England and Wales switched to a 100 percent organic diet, it would lead to an increase in carbon
dioxide emissions, because methods used for organic farming take up a greater amount of land. Compared to conventional
farming, greenhouse emissions could rise by 21 percent, the study found.
are banning drive-thrus to improve Americans' health — but will it work? A growing number of local
legislatures in cities across the country want to put an end to drive-thru windows. In August, Minneapolis became the
latest city to pass an ordinance banning the construction of new restaurant drive-thrus. Officials say the ban will
help curb pollution, make the city more walkable and improve health problems pertaining to obesity. Other places that
have enacted similar measures say they are aiming to combat traffic, cut carbon monoxide emissions and litter. But fear
not, Chick-fil-A fiends, the zoning changes currently in effect only affect new construction. Thus far, cities in
California, Missouri and New Jersey have implemented similar bans.
The Editor says...
This is the first time I've heard a claim that drive-through windows increase carbon monoxide emissions. But you see, the
customers at a drive-through window are outdoors, and the occupants of the next car in line are exposed to carbon monoxide
anyway, just by driving to the restaurant, or anywhere else. (Incidentally, the natural concentration of carbon monoxide in
air is around 0.2 parts per million (ppm), and that amount is not harmful to
False Promise of Fish Oil Supplements. Consumers have been told so many times that dietary fish oil supplements
promote heart health that it seems to be accepted as factual. But this conventional thinking is not supported by the
science. After decades of promises that fish oil "may work," the lack of demonstrated benefit leads me to conclude that
consumers are wasting their money on supplements in an effort to reduce cardiovascular risk.
Study: Millions should stop taking
aspirin for heart health. Millions of people who take aspirin to prevent a heart attack may need to rethink the
pill-popping, Harvard researchers reported Monday [7/22/2019]. A daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for people who
have already had a heart attack or stroke and for those diagnosed with heart disease.
America Venezuela: The left is coming for your toilet paper. Apparently toilet paper is the new plastic
straw of the green lobby, and they're out to put a stop to it. [...] And greenies can't even get their stories
straight. If saving toilet paper is the aim, why are they targeting Charmin, which in this lefty review, is the best
toilet paper to use because users use LESS of it, based on its superior absorption capacities, quite unlike that flimsy
scratchy recycled stuff.
Bureaucrats Ruin Everything From Dishwashers To Gas Cans To Cars. Have you ever wondered why dishwashers today
take twice as long to do a worse job of cleaning dishes? Or why it's so much harder to get gasoline out of a new gas
can? Or why cars made decades ago always turn heads, while today's are drab in the same way? There's a simple
answer to these modern-day mysteries: Government regulators. Take the dishwasher. Earlier this month, the
Department of Energy announced that it would revise its rules regarding dishwasher efficiency. Why? Because the
existing rules — which set limits on how much electricity and water a dishwasher may use — are forcing
manufacturers to build machines that are worse than ever.
aspirin linked to bleeding in the skull, new report says. Taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease and
stroke is associated with an increased risk of bleeding in the skull in people without a history of those conditions,
according to a new report. Researchers analyzed data from 13 previous studies in which over 130,000 people ages 42 to
74, who didn't have a history of heart disease or stroke, were given either low-dose aspirin or a placebo for the prevention
of these conditions.
flag environmentalism is dangerous for America and the world. Current, unabated flooding taking place
seasonally in the US is over green insanity in the Missouri River Basin, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. This began
when "Congress in 2004 under pressure from environmental organizations approved a revision to the Master Water Control Manual
(MWCM)." This allowed the U.S. Corps of Engineers to have the authority via the US Congress permission to flood eight
states in the MWCM. The MWCM's original mandate was flood control, but now the Corp "are utilizing dams in a way for which
they were never designed — to attempt to mimic the natural cycles of the river through the season." This
environmental fragmentation of using emotion over reason has caused billions in damage and cost many lives and family
destruction all in the name of "wild rivers" being returned to their natural habitat.
Hypothesis: Radical Greens
are the Great Killers of Our Age. Here is some of the supporting evidence:
• The banning of DDT from ~1972 to 2002, which caused the malaria deaths of tens of millions of children under
five years of age, and sickened and killed many more adults and children;
• The fierce green opposition to golden rice, actions that blinded and killed millions of children;
• The misallocation of scarce global resources for destructive intermittent "green energy" schemes, which are not
green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy;
• Properly allocated, a fraction of the trillions of dollars squandered on green energy schemes could have
installed clean drinking water and sanitation systems into every community on the planet, saving the lives of many tens of millions
of children and adults; [...]
• The number of Excess Winter Deaths and shattered lives caused by runaway energy costs in the developed world
and lack of access to modern energy in the developing world probably exceeds the tens of millions of malaria deaths caused by the DDT ban; [...]
• Indoor air pollution from cooking fires kills many women and children in the developing world;
• In addition to runaway energy costs and increased winter deaths, intermittent wind and solar power schemes
have reduced grid reliability and increased the risk of power outages;
Luddites Are Coming for Your House, Car, and Freedom. Like so much coming from the corporate Left in America,
probably the most dangerous aspect of this column is the blithe presumption that its premises are beyond debate. The
climate will change catastrophically, and emissions from burning fossil fuel are the culprit. Low-density housing is
the reason fossil fuel emissions remain too high. Public transportation is a good thing. Just hold on.
Stop right there. Emissions of CO2 may not change the climate very much at all, and the cost of precipitously curtailing
them condemns billions of people around the world to prolonged poverty and misery. And in any case, high-density housing
is creating more CO2 emissions, because existing roads cannot handle the increased traffic. And no, public
transportation is not always a good thing.
California's long drought, trillions of gallons of rainwater [are] wastefully flowing into sea. California's
rainy season could be the wettest in 40 years, but experts say the state is missing a major opportunity by failing to collect
the trillions of gallons of storm runoff that currently flows wastefully into the ocean. "We will never capture it all,
but we need to do a better job of capturing what we can," said Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute. In February
alone, an estimated 18 trillion gallons of water fell on the state. In urban areas and coastal cities, 80 percent
ends up diverted into the ocean, as Los Angeles and other cities built long concrete channels for flood control. The Los
Angeles River, for example, is a 51-mile-long canal as wide as a football field. Almost none of the water seeps into the
standards often cost more than they save. In 1987, DOE began regulating the energy use of air conditioners,
refrigerators, washer/dryers, ovens, water heaters, and just about everything else that plugs in or fires up around the
house. Ever since, the agency has periodically revisited and tightened these standards, as many as four times for some
products. The goal is to reduce energy bills, but even DOE admits that for some consumers, these standards raise the
up-front price of appliances more than what will be earned back in the form of energy savings. This was particularly
true of air conditioner standards but also refrigerators and several others. Low-income and senior households are most
likely to experience net costs, according to the agency.
conditioners save 20,000 lives in USA each year. Over the last century there was a remarkable decline in deaths
due to hot days and heatwaves. (Not that the media seem keen to say so). Mortality on a hot day declined by
fully 75% in the decades after 1960 when air conditioners started to be rolled out. In the words of the authors from [a]
2016 study, the people of the US have largely adapted in ways that protect them from extreme heat. The kind of hot days
they are talking about happen on average 20 days a year in the US. There has not been a similar reduction in deaths
from cold snaps.
Luddite eco-imperialism into a virtue. Banks and other carbon colonialists glorify limited wind and solar
energy for poor villages, while denying financial support for fossil fuel electricity generation. Anti-chemical
fanatics promote bed nets and narrowly defined "integrated pest management," but bitterly oppose chemical pesticides and the
spatial repellant DDT to kill mosquitoes, keep them out of homes and prevent deadly malaria. Radical organic food
groups battle any use of genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide
spraying by 75% or more. They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A
Deficiency, blindness and death. Now their struggles are getting worse, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents,
agitators and pressure groups once again prove the adage that power politics makes strange bedfellows. Coalition
members share a deep distaste for fossil fuels, petrochemicals (including chemical pesticides and fertilizers), modern
agriculture, biotechnology, corporations and capitalism.
Cars and Their Carbon Monoxide Toll. It seems like a common convenience in a digital age: a car that can be
powered on and off with the push of a button, rather than the mechanical turning of a key. But it is a convenience that
can have a deadly effect. On a summer morning last year, Fred Schaub drove his Toyota RAV4 into the garage attached to
his Florida home and went into the house with the wireless key fob, evidently believing the car was shut off. Twenty-nine
hours later, he was found dead, overcome with carbon monoxide that flooded his home while he slept. "After 75 years of
driving, my father thought that when he took the key with him when he left the car, the car would be off," said Mr. Schaub's
son Doug. Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a
keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage. Dozens of others have been injured, some left with brain damage.
Catastrophe: Power Grid Collapse Now In Sight in New York. Here is a fascinating and revealing news
article behind a paywall that I'm alerting you to. It is about just a few of the complications that will result from
New York State's (NYS) Clean Energy Standard (CES). It discusses the NYISO (New York State Independent System Operator)
2018 Power Trends Report which (paraphrasing Winston Churchill): ...defends itself against the risk of being read by its very
length and obfuscating technical jargon.
'Raw Water'? Natural Isn't Synonymous With Better.
A recently introduced product fad hitting store shelves might just prove to be the death of you. Popping up across the
country and marketed as yet another "healthy" product in that genre of back-to-nature lifestyle craze — "raw
water." [...] It is truly ironic that in the developed world, where scientific knowledge and developments have proven to
raise living standards, life expectancy and quality of life, there are those who choose to vilify and distort these
achievements as problematic, unhealthy and even dangerous, in order to sell Americans on the flawed concept that human
technology equates to the unnatural and therefore unhealthy living. Meanwhile, much of the developing world is plagued
with diseases that would have been easily avoided but for the lack of access to clean water technologies.
animals are everywhere. Proof that they help is not. A therapy-animal trend grips the United States.
[...] The trend, which has accelerated hugely since its initial stirrings a few decades ago, is underpinned by a widespread
belief that interaction with animals can reduce distress — whether it happens over brief caresses at the airport
or in long-term relationships at home. Certainly, the groups offering up pets think this, as do some mental health
professionals. But the popular embrace of pets as furry therapists is kindling growing discomfort among some
researchers in the field, who say it has raced far ahead of scientific evidence.
DOES cause schizophrenia and triggers heart attacks, experts say in landmark study. Marijuana does raise the
risk of getting schizophrenia and triggers heart attacks, according to the most significant study on the drug's effects to
date. A federal advisory panel admitted cannabis can almost certainly ease chronic pain, and might help some people
sleep. But it dismisses most of the drug's other supposedly 'medical benefits' as unproven. Crucially, the
researchers concluded there is not enough research to say whether marijuana effectively treats epilepsy — one
of the most widely-recognized reasons for cannabis prescriptions.
Energy Star: Icon Or National
Disgrace? If it's not Energy Star, it's not energy efficient" wasn't just a motto, it's the guiding policy for
arguably the most corrupt federal program in US history. The nexus for the greatest story never told! 97% of climate
scientist supposedly believe in the Global Warming theory [which we know is a false claim], but what about cure? Try to
find a single scientist, lawyer, or politician willing to defend EPA's business ventures, or the delusional energy-saving
claims made by the ENERGY STAR brand. Better yet, try to find the scientific evidence supporting EPA's multi-billion
dollar claims and you'll quickly understand why Silence is Golden!
Star: Possibly The Most Corrupt Federal Program In US History. Energy Star has become a multi-billion
dollar Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), marketing a single unique and valuable product; government energy
efficiency. This government-created commodity is so rare and precious that it must be kept secret, for fear of
undermining its value in Global markets. Which totally explains the need for a media blackout on all news related to
'energy efficiency' in Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP), and the fact that the entire 4th Building Block of Obama's CPP had
mysteriously disappeared. Nobody dares to speak of this multi-billion dollar Bait & Switch scam!
Flossing is a complete
waste of time. The federal government has recommended flossing since 1979, first in a surgeon general's report
and later in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued every five years.
The Editor says...
Conventional wisdom cannot be changed overnight by one report. (Pluto is still a planet.) Flossing is still
beneficial. Do not change your personal hygiene habits based on anything you saw, or you think you saw, on
this web site.
diet may not be good for healthy kids. Going gluten-free might not be the healthiest choice for a child who
doesn't have celiac disease, according to a new article in The Journal of Pediatrics. "The increasing popularity of the
GFD [gluten-free diet] has important implications for children," writes Norelle R. Reilly, a pediatric gastroenterologist at
Columbia University Medical Center and author of the article. "Parents sometimes place their children on a GFD in the
belief that it relieves symptoms, can prevent CD [celiac disease], or is a healthy alternative without previous testing for
CD or consultation with a dietitian."
'Scientific Consensus' Bites the Dust. [Scroll down] We have heard for a long time now that the so-called "caveman diet"
rich in lean meat and low in carbohydrate is a good heart disease preventive. Well throw out the ground buffalo and kale and make up
a plate of spaghetti carbonara — it's not likely to make a big difference in your susceptibility to heart disease. The same
thing is true with the fish oil theory, which is bad news for the diet supplement industry. Neolithic people with diets rich in aquatic
fats still suffered from heart disease.
See Why FL Divers Are Pulling
Thousands of Old Tires Out of the Ocean. Once upon a time, someone thought it'd be a good idea to dump millions of car and
truck tires into the Atlantic Ocean. In 1972, environmentalists believed they could use the piles of rubber to create an artificial
reef off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Now, the enormous tire piles on the ocean floor are considered a huge environmental
mistake and taxpayers are spending nearly $2 million to clean it up.
No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses
of Water a Day. If there is one health myth that will not die, it is this: You should drink eight glasses of water a day.
It's just not true. There is no science behind it. And yet every summer we are inundated with news media reports warning that dehydration
is dangerous and also ubiquitous. These reports work up a fear that otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated,
even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions. Let's put these claims under scrutiny.
find green heating units can't take the cold. During February's bitter chill, some
Chapel Hill homeowners found that the homes they bought with the environment in mind could not keep
up. Their brand-new heating systems suddenly stopped working when it got too cold! [...] The "green"
furnaces called 90 percent energy efficient are installed in most new homes and are a top choice for
those who are replacing their furnace. They've become a big problem for some homebuyers in the
Triangle's largest all-green community, Chatham County's Briar Chapel.
Early exposure 'cuts peanut allergy'.
Eating peanut products as a baby dramatically cuts the risk of allergy, a study reported in the New
England Journal of Medicine suggests. Trials on 628 babies prone to developing peanut allergy
found the risk was cut by over 80%.
A $29-billion-dollar-a-year industry.
Two hundred years from now, will historians read about our era and shake their heads and wonder: How
could people have been so gullible as to believe that an essential, life-sustaining substance such
as cholesterol was a poison, and poisons such as statins were medicines? This question is one
given new urgency by the latest American Heart Association guidelines on statins, which nearly
double the number of people deemed eligible for treatment with these drugs. It has become received
wisdom that cholesterol is bad for you, and therefore a pill that blocks its synthesis must be a
good thing. But matters are not that simple.
Probiotic Is Probably B.S.. In the past few years, the number of scientific articles
published on the effects of probiotics on everything from cancer to anxiety has jumped from 175 in
2000 to a whopping 1,281 in 2013. These studies have already begun to show that certain types of
probiotics are an effective treatment for some specific conditions. But there's a problem.
Scientists say that the hype has far outstripped evidence supported by rigorous, peer-reviewed
research studies. Guidance from the FDA isn't clear, either. What consumers are left with,
then, is a confusing array of products that may or may not be able to do what they claim.
vegan, gluten-free — the only certainty about health trends is their
reversal. Ever since humans have had enough to eat, we have worried about the right
things to eat and devised diets to target various goals, including weight loss, beauty, sexual
health and disease prevention. Nearly every consumable food and beverage, whether organ meats,
tomatoes and grain liquor or sugary sodas have been praised, at one point, as a panacea.
Gluten Sensitivity May Not Exist. Analyzing the data, [Professor Peter] Gibson found that
each treatment diet, whether it included gluten or not, prompted subjects to report a worsening of
gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees. Reported pain, bloating, nausea, and gas all
increased over the baseline low-FODMAP diet. Even in the second experiment, when the placebo diet
was identical to the baseline diet, subjects reported a worsening of symptoms! [...] Patients
reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause. Gluten wasn't the culprit;
the cause was likely psychological. Participants expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did.
Aspirin a Day? Don't Dose Yourself, FDA Says. Taking an aspirin a day may help prevent
heart attack or stroke in some people, but it's not for everyone — and the common drug
can have serious side effects that offset the benefits. That's the reminder Monday from health
officials at the federal Food and Drug Administration, who have finally told giant drugmaker Bayer
Corp. not to expect the agency to give the go-ahead for labels listing aspirin as a drug for primary
prevention of heart attacks and other problems.
running tied to shorter lifespan, studies find. Running regularly has long been linked to a
host of health benefits, including weight control, stress reduction, better blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, recent research suggests there may a point of diminishing returns with running. A number of
studies have suggested that a "moderate" running regimen — a total of two to three hours per week,
according to one expert — appears best for longevity, refuting the typical "more is better" mantra
for physical activity.
Teenage E-Cigarette Use [is]
Likely [to be a] Gateway to Smoking. E-cigarettes facing municipal bans and scrutiny by U.S. regulators received a new slap on
the wrist from scientists: A report today [3/6/2014] suggests the devices may be a gateway to old-fashioned, cancer-causing smokes for
teens. Youths who reported ever using an e-cigarette had six times the odds of smoking a traditional cigarette than those who never
tried the device, according to a study published today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. E-cigarette use didn't stop young smokers from
partaking in regular cigarettes as well.
New study adds to evidence that mammograms do not save
lives. A new study has added to growing evidence that yearly mammogram screenings do not reduce the chance that a woman will die of breast
cancer and confirms earlier findings that many abnormalities detected by these X-rays would never have proved fatal, even if untreated.
health-care myths we live by. Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It's already known that
the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you'd expect given the extravagant — and
incessant — claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants. In fact, they are either useless or harmful,
conclude the editors of the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine.
What happens if sequestered CO2 is somehow released in a big cloud into a populated area? Bhopal! Rules that could 'kill'? Safety,
cost concerns over EPA's new coal regs. The EPA, by Friday, is expected to release a new proposal to set the first-ever carbon dioxide limits for
new power plants. To meet those emissions caps, power plants would likely have to use what is known as "carbon-capture technology," which involves burying
the carbon underground. The technology, which is still under development, remains expensive and not commercially available. But there are lingering
Is Greek yogurt hurting the environment? While it takes one cup of milk to
produce one cup of traditional yogurt, it takes at least three cups of milk to produce a single cup of the thicker, healthier Greek
variety. That's because Greek yogurt is a "strained" version of the dairy product, meaning it's been stripped of whey, a watery
byproduct. All that excess whey — known as "acid whey" because of its high level of acidity — isn't
necessarily dangerous in itself. However, it's incredibly difficult to dispose of because simply dumping it could lead to
Battling bottle ban in
Concord. A new shot has been fired in the battle in Concord over the plastic water bottle ban, with opponents now vowing to
repeal the controversial law — considered the first of its kind in the nation — that went into effect Tuesday [1/1/2013].
No benefit in
drinking eight glasses of water a day, scientists say. The idea that drinking eight glasses of
water a day is good for your health has been dismissed as a myth. Scientists say there is no evidence
drinking large amounts of water is beneficial for the average healthy person, and do not even know how
this widely held belief came about.
Against Trees: When the pioneers first entered the great forests of America, they found that the
Native Americans had managed the forests for centuries. Their woodlands contained very few big
trees — maybe fifty such trees per acre. Apparently the Indians had set regular, low intensity fires
which burned away accumulations of undergrowth, deadwood, dying trees and particularly small trees growing
between the big trees. The larger trees were unharmed, because of their thick fire-resistant bark.
These fires kept the forest healthy by providing a barrier to disease.
Save The Earth — Hug A Logger.
As environmental alarmists entertain themselves by turning off lights, their efforts sometimes lead to unintended
consequences. A new study, for example, shows they may be warming the earth by saving trees.
How Green Is a Fake Christmas Tree?
Although some fakes are crafted from recyclable material, about 85 percent of artificial trees are made in
China from the petroleum-based plastics polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC or vinyl.
The natural-tree industry says PVC could contain lead and is potentially harmful to workers manufacturing it.
And any plastic tree will someday end up in a landfill, where it could take millions of years to disintegrate.
From a consumer perspective, PVC trees are only dangerous if they catch fire, producing the toxic, highly acidic
gas hydrogen chloride.
Carbon Nanotubes: The New
Asbestos? Nanotechnology experts are calling for prompt government action to ensure that carbon
nanotubes are properly regulated, after researchers discovered that some carbon nanotubes can cause
precancerous growths in the same way that asbestos does.
Environmentalists always say, "If only we could learn from the dolphins..." Baby
Dolphin Murders Blamed on US Military. These aquatic mammals where literally beaten to death with
multiple internal injuries, lacerations, contusions and the like. Back in 1997 the whole C.S.I. treatment
was given these animals and guess who these scientists first blamed? You guessed it, the United States
Military. It turns out, however, that scientists have now realized that it is the "smartest" fishie on earth
that is responsible. Yes, they were surprised to discover that dolphins are outright murderers.
'increase risk of early death'. Popular vitamin supplements taken by millions of people in the
hope of improving their health may do no good and could increase the risk of a premature death, researchers
report today. They warn healthy people who take antioxidant supplements, including vitamins A and E,
to try to keep diseases such as cancer at bay that they are interfering with their natural body defences and
may be increasing their risk of an early death by up to 16 percent.
Drano Used in Processing Soybeans.
We've been duped into believing soy is a health-giving product because the Asiatic people use soy and are sooooo
healthy. What we weren't told is that the Asiatics ferment the beans in order to eliminate the health
hazards. ... [Scroll down] The next step is that the refined oil is mixed with sodium
hydroxide — NaOH — which most of us know as Drano, at a temperature of 167°F. That's
right — the exact same corrosive lye you pour down your drain when it's clogged.
gum poses a health hazard. Chewing too much "sugar-free" gum can lead to severe weight loss
and bowel problems, doctors are warning. Many "sugar-free" products such as chewing gum and sweets
contain a sweetener called sorbitol. It is a sugar alcohol with around a third fewer calories than
sucrose, or table sugar. However, the substance can have laxative effects if taken in large enough
amounts — a fact that many people are unaware of because potential side-effects are usually listed in
small print on the packaging, say the researchers.
Saving Day flopped, say organisers. Energy Saving Day was a flop, its organiser admitted
last night after the National Grid confirmed that across Britain energy use went up by just over one
percent. ... The E Day website encouraged participants to turn off as many appliances as possible
and to leave them unused for as long as possible. But by mid afternoon it was clear from the
meters on the Day's website that consumption was about 600 megawatt hours across the country, higher
than what the National Grid estimated was used on a normal February day.
Garden Biohazard: Man Killed By Compost.
A man has died after inhaling lethal spores which grew on rotting compost in his garden. The 47-year-old fell ill less than
24 hours after being engulfed by "clouds of dust" while working with rotting tree and plant mulch. At first medics
thought the previously healthy welder had pneumonia when he was admitted with severe breathing problems. But when
antibiotics failed to help, tests showed evidence of Aspergillosis, a reaction to Aspergillus spores.
Did thick brush, environmental concerns
worsen Martin Fire? State officials attempted to clear brush two years ago on the piece of land
where a fire now raging in Santa Cruz County began, but much of the work was delayed and ultimately not
finished because of opposition from two local environmental groups. ... The reserve, an ancient seabed famed
for its rare plants and trees, has not had a significant fire since 1948. As a result, dead trees and
brush were piled high.
the Tires of T. Boone's Natural-Gas Car. Automakers have been trying to get the public to buy
natural gas vehicles since the 1970s. Yet, despite millions in tax subsidies, today there is only
one — count them: one — -compressed-natural-gas (CNG) product in America's
showrooms. It's the Honda Civic GX and it ain't exactly flying off the shelves.
rice bran contains arsenic. Rice bran — a so-called "superfood" — might contain
dangerous amounts of a natural poison. A new study suggests that rice bran, the shavings left over after brown
rice is polished to produce white rice grains, contains "inappropriate" levels of arsenic.
Why not raw milk? For those of you who don't know
what raw milk is, let me enlighten you. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. That's right! Straight
from the udder to you! ... Do [the proponents of raw milk] not realize that without pasteurization the safety of consuming
that milk is seriously questionable? That cow lives on a farm, not in a sterile facility! Where has that udder
been; what has it touched; what kinds of bacteria has that milk been exposed to that are not removed because it's not been
promise fades. Mayor Richard Daley promised long ago that his administration would start fighting global
warming by buying 20 percent of its electricity from wind farms and other sources of green energy. But more
than two years after the deadline he set, the city continues to get nearly all of its power from coal, natural gas and
nuclear plants, according to records obtained by the Tribune.
Spokane residents smuggle in
real suds over useless "green" brands. The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some
law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or
Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law
don't work as well. ... It's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.
from Greenie Watch:
The phosphate in regular dishwashing detergents also happens to be a basic fertilizer. Most people
who know farms will have heard of superphosphate. Plants love phosphates. Just like they
love CO2. Horrors! say the Greenies. It helps nasty plants to grow too. Helping farmers
to trap fertilizer runoff from their farms would make more sense if there is any real problem with it.
Nuclear only safe
option. Majestic dams set in pristine, forested water catchments become tourist attractions
in their own right and their names are bywords in feats of engineering: Hoover, Aswan, Boulder, Three Gorges,
Hume. But they are the deadliest form of power generation known to man. Hydroelectricity kills
thousands each year and claims many more lives than other forms of energy generation — natural
gas, LPG, oil and even coal, the mining of which can be perilous. Dams regularly fail, sometimes
catastrophically. Just three days ago a dam burst in Jakarta killing 77, with 100 people missing.
The Fine Print: What's Really in a
Lot of 'Healthy' Foods. The yogurt aisle is dizzy these days with products that promise to
reduce your cholesterol, control your blood pressure, protect your digestive health or boost your immune
system. In many cases, it's a single ingredient that provides the benefit, and you can find much
more of it in other sources.
The Problems with Al Gore:
[Scroll down slowly] Gore then made the stunning assertion that geothermal resources in the US alone
are so enormous that they could meet our entire energy needs for 35,000 years. Is it not remarkable
that we ignore such a vast, unexploited source of energy? Is it not astonishing that generations of
scientists and engineers have failed to recognize the potential for withdrawing virtually limitless amounts
of free energy from the Earth? If the promise of geothermal energy sounds too good to be true, the
reason is that it's not true. The United States gets less than one percent of its energy from geothermal