Environment Archives

The Subsidy of America is Coming to an End

By Michael Fumento

Two items on the front page of yesterday's Washington Post: "Record U.S. Deficit Projected this Year" and "Two lawmakers from Michigan propose billions in incentives for buyers of electric cars." What's wrong with this picture? That's the problem. We don't see anything wrong with this picture. We want it all. But we can't have it all.

Some people think electric cars are nice, because the pollution they generate is off-site. But as Charles Lane, a liberal, writes: "If the cars were cheaper than gas-power cars of equal performance," that would be one thing. "But electrics are substantially more expensive than cars of greater quality." So we have to heavily subsidize them to get them out the door.

On the other hand, gasoline-powered car owners are forced to use ethanol. That's a subsidy to the everyone involved in the ethanol industry, and again it has to be subsidized because it's inferior to gasoline. It cuts your mileage and does essentially nothing to reduce pollution. You just can't go around subsidizing everything.

Behold a pale rider.

True enough, the main problem is entitlements. Which, not incidentally, are subsidies. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid already absorb 40% of the budget and grow inexorably without anybody casting a single vote to increase them. Left untouched, they will destroy the country. But earmarks are readily controllable and yet still uncontrolled.

Our nation has a spending addiction. And our politicians don't have the guts to tell the public that no, we can't have it all. And so we will continue to borrow and the Fed will continue to print money. In other words, subsidize the government so it can subsidize special interests.

But as Peter Orzag, Obama's former budget director, writes in the Financial Times, "International investors would be wise to pay close attention to fiscal trends within the U.S." Don't worry, they already are. And at some point, although it will be very costly to them, they will get nervous enough to stop subsiding our subsiding.

Orzag adds, "I hope it does not ultimately require a crisis to restore fiscal sustainability at the federal level, but I fear it will." Indeed, it will. At some point, some point soon, it will all come crashing down.

Watch.

January 28, 2011 12:09 PM  ·  Permalink

Obama exploits oil spill to boost support for climate bill

By Michael Fumento

"President Obama tried Wednesday to channel public outrage about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill into support for a climate-change bill, seeking to redefine an issue that threatens to tarnish his presidency," according to the Washington Post.
I've written on how absolutely anything, and I do mean anything, can and has been used to show the ill impact of global warming, including:

"That does it! We've got to ram that global warming bill through!"

Brain-eating amoebae, brothels struggle, cannibalism, circumcision in decline, Earth to explode, earth upside down, football team migration, Garden of Eden wilts, invasion of king crabs, Italy robbed of pasta, killer cornflakes, Loch Ness monster dead, mammoth dung melt, opera house to be destroyed, seals mating more, spiders invade Scotland, squid larger, squid tamed, UFO sightings, Vampire moths, violin decline, witchcraft executions.

Now it appears absolutely anything can be used as an excuse to pass climate change legislation. I think we should all help our president by coming up with even more reasons! I'll start it off and you can send your contributions, which I can then post and subsequently hand deliver to our Chief Executive. The best will probably be those that relate in some way specifically to Obama.

  • The pet dog, Boa, piddled the carpet in the Oval office.

  • "Those idiot birthers just won't quit!"

  • "30 Rock" last night was a rerun.

  • Obama saw a cloud formation that looked just like global warming.

  • His organic bread turned green overnight. (No, wait! That happened to me!)

  • "Those damned "v1agra" and "V!agra" emails are getting through the spam filter.

  • Michelle had "a headache" last night.

  • To honor veterans of the Seminole Indian War.

  • Obama had the strangest dream in which cute little bunnies became man-eating snails.

  • They've released another DVD edition of The Wizard of Oz.

    • June 3, 2010 10:32 AM  ·  Permalink

      Bisphenol baloney takes another hit

      By Michael Fumento

      In a provocatively entitled paper in the current issue of the prestigious journal Toxicological Sciences, Richard M. Sharpe asks "Is It Time to End Concerns over the Estrogenic Effects of Bisphenol A?"

      In a word, "yes." Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an incredibly valuable chemical added to plastics like baby bottles to make them harder and stronger. It's been in use for many decades. And the greens want to get rid of it because they say it's dangerous.

      Yet as I wrote recently in Investor's Business Daily,"Countries that have evaluated BPA in the last three years, as Trevor Butterworth of the STATS think tank has documented, include Norway, France, Germany (twice), Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Add to that a World Health Organization collaborative center. Each has found BPA safe."

      (CEI's Angela Logomasini also recently wrote an excellent paper on BPA safety.)

      But:

      The lynch mob is after BPA because it's a weak synthetic estrogen. These chemicals have been under fire since the publication of the 1996 book "Our Stolen Future," which one review aptly described as "an alarmist tract with a polemical style clearly crafted for its political, not scientific, impact." (With a foreword by Al Gore, no less.)

      Never mind that over 150 plants produce chemicals that also mimic estrogen, many of them foods that contain so much that they're often recommended as natural hormone replacement therapy. The overall estrogenic effect of natural chemicals, according to Texas A&M University toxicologist Stephen Safe, is 40 million times that of the synthetics. Yes, it's just the environmentalist saw: "Man-made bad; natural good."


      And so we keep throwing massive amounts of money to scientists to study it more and study it more and study it more.

      Recently National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Director Linda Birnbaum announced $30 million in grants for two more years of BPA research, using money from the stimulus act, to "address many of the research gaps" regarding the chemical. Yet over 5,400 medical journal articles have already been published on BPA safety. How many gaps can that leave?

      Sharpe comments on poorly done initial studies by an environmental aspect that I described, then writes:

      Fundamental, repetitive work on bisphenol A has sucked in tens, probably hundreds, of millions of dollars from government bodies and industry which, at a time when research money is thin on the ground, looks increasingly like an investment with a nil return. All it has done is to show that there is a huge price to pay when initial studies are adhered to as being correct when the second phase of scientific peer review, namely, the inability of other laboratories to repeat the initial studies, says otherwise.

      At some point it's time to say "Enough!" and we passed that point with BPA a long time ago.

      February 15, 2010 05:17 PM  ·  Permalink

      American Spectator's Tom Bethel writes about my views on Wikipedia

      By Michael Fumento

      In an American Spectator piece, "Global Warmists Feel a Chilly Wind," Tom Bethell states, "Two weeks ago I wrote an article here about global warming and the advocates - call them warmists - who tamper with Wikipedia to reflect their own biases. One warmist named William Connolley, a green ideologue in Britain, had rewritten 5,428 climate articles. His goal was to bring the articles into line with Green Party dogma."

      He states, "I contacted Michael Fumento, a science writer who often endorses non-consensus positions. (He has done good work lately in drawing attention to the scare tactics of the "flu-pandemic" promoters; and, earlier, in questioning "AIDS" in Africa. It can be diagnosed there without an HIV test.) Fumento wrote:

      The Wiki thing is highly problematic and Wikipedia has expressly been a thorn in my side. Problem is that despite what you hear, wikis are NOT self-correcting. They're "last-person correcting." If under the World Series entry on Wikipedia I write that the 2009 Series was won by the Cubs, that's what the entry says unless and until somebody else fixes it. Then I can go right back and change it. In short, wikis favor those with the most time on their hands - a testament to the expression about idle hands…

      Case in point regarding my own entry: Somebody keeps inserting that I'm a scholar at Hudson Institute. I haven't been with Hudson since 2006. So I keep asking a friend to correct the entry. He does so. And within a short period it's been changed back. I can't even guess at the motives but somebody out there has a vested interest in me being seen as still with Hudson.

      I can go on. My original Wiki entry was horrible slanted against me. That's essentially true for all conservatives. When Wikipedia gets political, it tends to be left-political. I changed some of the disinformation and documented it as Wikipedia is supposed to require, though you can randomly look at entries and find such terminology as "documented needed." But I thereupon found myself permanently banned from editing a Wikipedia entry. (Yes, I could always use a false IP address.) But who knows more about me than me?

      Other people have since done a lot of work to make my entry more fair, but even now under where it lists my freelancing it mentions only one journal, a conservative one. I've freelanced for scores of major publications over the last quarter century including many mainstream ones such as New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, USA Weekend, and indeed just days ago the LA Times for the second time. I've had the cover the leftwing New Republic. These are all on my website, and indeed you can find a number just on my "bio" page on that site. Why do they list just one publication and make it a conservative one?

      Yes, it's a rhetorical question.

      I find that Wikipedia can be a heck of a lot of fun. I watch a show on the Military Channel about, say, the P-51 Mustang and I go to Wikipedia and read lots more about it. It also find it can generate good leads for information. But you'll note that I've long since given up using Wikipedia for hyperlinks in my articles. There's a reason for that.

      February 7, 2010 08:28 PM  ·  Permalink

      "Killer Cans And Toxic Baby Bottles," my piece in Investor's Business Daily

      By Michael Fumento

      Should we worry about a common chemical almost all of us carry in our bodies that activists claim causes a list of diseases longer than you'll find in a major medical center?

      Having for decades labeled the plastic ingredient bisphenol A (BPA) safe, the Food and Drug Administration has just announced it's not so sure anymore.

      Some U.S. jurisdictions have already restricted BPA use, and entire states like New York are considering bans.

      Yet aside from Canada, which is banning BPA baby bottles, nobody else in the world seems worried. What's our problem?

      Partly it reflects media adoration for a single homegrown scientist. And strangely enough, it's also a consequence of President Obama's economic stimulus package.

      Read the rest here!

      And for an excellent longer treatment, my colleague Angela Logomasini has just completed an excellent report on "The Nanny State Attack on BPA: Oregon and Beyond.

      February 6, 2010 12:29 PM  ·  Permalink

      Bin laden joins global warming doomsayers

      By Michael Fumento

      Apparently oblivious to the amount of carbon dioxide he released into the atmosphere in that nasty little incident in 2001, Osama bin Laden has joined with Al Gore and other warmists to condemn the U.S. as a rogue nation for its alleged contribution to global warming. (The New York Post quipped that he "raised the terror warning level to green.

      Alluhu Gaia!

      In an audiotape played by Al Jazeera, the al Queda leader warns of the dangers of climate change (If polar bears go extinct, how will he be able to blow any of them up?) and echoing Gore and his ilk called for "drastic solutions" to global warming - "not solutions that partially reduce the effect of climate change," according to the taped message. He declared the world must bring "the wheels of the American economy" to a grinding halt.

      "We should stop dealings with the dollar and get rid of it as soon as possible," bin Laden said. "I know that this has great consequences and grave ramifications, but it is the only means to liberate humanity from slavery and dependence on America." Bin Laden also blamed the U.S. for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol - notwithstanding that almost no nation that did sign it actually abided by it.

      Al Gore was unavailable for comment. Hah!

      (Thanks to Jaime Arbona for the photoshopping. Alas, yes, it was photoshopped.)

      January 30, 2010 06:12 PM  ·  Permalink

      "The Hole in the EPA's Ozone Claims," my piece in Forbes Online

      By Michael Fumento

      To the EPA, "safe" is a constantly moving target - and that's the way it likes it. Always something new to regulate, always a new hobgoblin from which to save us. Take the agency's proposal to yet again lower allowable ozone levels. It's another one of those win-win regulations for which the EPA is famous, supposedly saving both lives and money. But its assertions collapse when you examine the science on which they're allegedly based.

      Tightening the screws

      U.S. ground-level ozone concentrations have fallen by 25% since 1980 and 14% just since 1990. Yet in 1997 the EPA tightened the screws with what it called a "safe" standard at 80 parts per billion (ppb). Then in 2008 "safe" became 75 ppb. Now the agency insists "safe" is a maximum of between 60 ppb and 70 ppb. No doubt the agency is already laying the groundwork to drop the "safe" level yet again.

      Read about the EPA's mighty effort to take us to pollution levels so low that giant national parks will nonetheless be above the allowable limit, in my article "The Hole in the EPA's Ozone Claims" in Forbes Online.

      January 26, 2010 09:16 PM  ·  Permalink

      Environmentalist confessions

      By Michael Fumento

      A question to Slate's "Green Lantern" environmental adviser:

      "Oh, and I also ate non-organic food..."

      Instead of glasses, I wear contact lenses. This means throwing out scraps of plastic (as well as their packaging) every two weeks, in addition to using cleaning fluid (which comes in plastic containers) and plastic lens cases. How much better would it be for the planet if I switched to glasses?

      The response goes on for 10 paragraphs, essentially concluding "Don't worry about it." A better response: "Give me a break!"

      Or how about this, "Say five 'Our Gaias'" and go forth and sin no more.

      January 26, 2010 09:34 AM  ·  Permalink

      "Show me the warming," my piece in Forbes Online

      By Michael Fumento

      From the thousands of email and other documents that comprise "Climategate," this is one of the most interesting: It's a "travesty" that "we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment." (Emphasis added.) Further, "any consideration of geoengineering [is] quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!"

      What does "at the moment" actually mean? Would you guess the past 10 years! That's right; no warming in the past decade even as so-called "greenhouse gas emissions" and ambient concentrations are at historical highs! Does this prove global warming is a "hoax"? No. But it proves the simple equation of "more greenhouse gases = more warming" is false. Read about it in my new Forbes Online piece, "Show Me the Warming."

      December 3, 2009 03:27 PM  ·  Permalink

      Where did the global warming-caused hurricanes go?

      By Michael Fumento

      Whoa! Did we just have a hurricane season? Doesn't seem that way. "2009 hurricane season ends quietly with fewest storms since 1997," declares one headline. "The season featured nine named storms, the fewest since 1997, and for the first time since 2006 no hurricanes made landfall in the United States," states the article.

      That's quite a change since 2005, when the coincidence of two major hurricanes striking the U.S. and causing lots of damage, Katrina and Rita, led to a storm of allegations that global warming was causing cyclones to rise up in revenge against man. Most notable was far-left science writer Chris Mooney's Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming, which Amazon.com informs us is "bargain-priced" and probably for good reason. Mooney not coincidentally is also author of "The Republican War on Science" and "Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future." Perhaps it threatens our future, but in the meantime it's very good for his wallet.

      Not that Mooney was alone by any means. In my 2005 Scripps Howard column "Green Hotheads Exploit Hurricane Tragedy," I provided what in retrospect proves an interesting blast from the past.

      "The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name was global warming." So wrote environmental activist Ross Gelbspan in a New York Times op-ed that one commentator aptly described as "almost giddy." The green group Friends of the Earth linked Katrina to global warming, as did Germany's Green Party Environment Minister.

      Granted, as I've written recently there's been no warming in the last decade. But there's been no cooling since 2005, either. Same temperatures, far fewer hurricanes.

      So as the Kingston Trio might sing, "Where have all the hurricanes gone . . . ? And where are all these blowhards now? Presumably blaming global warming for some sort of disastrous problem caused by a lack of hurricanes.

      December 1, 2009 12:17 PM  ·  Permalink

      Not sure what DDT does to birds, but I know how it helps people

      By Michael Fumento

      There's been much in the news lately about the brown pelican being delisted as

      DDT delousing in Naples

      an endangered species since its recovery from the effects of DDT. There are people whose work I trust who disagree as to whether DDT actually thinned bird eggshells and thus led to declines in various species. That said, all of them are agreed as to the value in saving lives in poor areas - including parts of Africa today.
      A poignant reminded comes in Rick Atkinson's wonderful history of the Italian campaign in World War II, The Day of Battle. He first describes the typhus epidemic in recently-liberated Naples that carried off a fourth of its victims. "Carts hauled away the dead at night, as in medieval times. Typhus, which had killed three million people in Russia and Poland during and after World War I, is spread by lice, and 90 percent of the civilian population in Naples reputedly harbored head lice."

      Then:

      Mass delousing was planned for the entire populations, which would be spayed "on the hoof" at fifty "public powdering stations." Transport planes brought emergency supplies of . . . DDT . . . and eventually sixty tons would be shipped to Italy. At one commandeered palazzo, MPs carrying sacks of the stuff stood by with spray guns . . . . "The men were sprayed from head to foot," [as one witness described it]. "The women were shot down their bosoms and backs and were sprayed back to front." Other spray teams prowled caves and shelters, and soon the typhus epidemic ended.
      November 18, 2009 01:42 PM  ·  Permalink

      Poll shows belief in man-made warming down, but why?

      By Michael Fumento

      A new poll shows a sharp decline over the last year in the percentage of Americans who see solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. According to the survey by the highly-reputable Pew Research Center, while 44% of respondents saw global warming as a very serious problem in April 2008, that's down to just 35% now.

      algore
      "What!!!


      Of course, all things are relative. With the economy and unemployment such as it is, despite that miraculous stimulus bill, you can see how a problem that's not supposed to truly impact us for a while to come might slide down the pecking order.

      BUT, the survey also shows that now just 36% of Americans say global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity, down from 47% last year. That's a scientific belief, independent of the economy right?

      I'd argue otherwise. Wild speculation about man-made impact on the environment is a rich man's game. It's true that the warming we've seen until about a decade ago when it stopped - though exactly why and for how long is debated - either is or isn't partly man-made, regardless of the economy or regardless of what the public thinks. But when you don't feel so rich, somehow scientific evidence that seemed so compelling before simply isn't now.

      October 23, 2009 02:48 PM  ·  Permalink

      Widening a highway is both an environmental AND civil rights issue?

      By Michael Fumento

      Was a time when "civil rights" meant things like equal opportunities in employment and schooling for racial and ethnic minorities. And "environmental" meant something affecting the environment. But government twists everything that's good.

      122 mm shell
      "We shall overcome three-lane tollways!"

      Now leaders in Arlington County, Virginia where I live say plans for three high-occupancy toll lanes on the nearby highways will make traffic worse on nearby roads. But it's not just a transportation problem, they say in a federal lawsuit; it's also a civil rights issue.

      Yes, invoking the Civil Rights Act, they're requesting a more stringent environmental study of the toll-lane project, citing among the chief concerns the potential effect of air pollution on the health of low-income and minority residents near the highways.

      Arlington County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac said the suit was not intended to "create some kind of wedge issue on race or income," according to the Washington Post. "We're not just throwing this out there to throw in the race element," MacIsaac said. "We believe this is an environmental justice issue."

      Right. So cleaning up Lake Erie so that it no longer burns and singing "We shall overcome" with the firehoses turned on you and the dogs biting your heels has come down to this.

      Pathetic.

      October 23, 2009 02:33 PM  ·  Permalink

      Windmills for spite

      By Michael Fumento

      "Clean Energy Splits France: It's Carbon vs. Countryside in Environmental Battle Over Plan for Windmills Near Coastal Shrine." So reads the Washington Post headline.

      But is it?

      The article concerns three windmills that some fear will obstruct the view of the awesome Mont St. Michelle Abby on the French coast, which becomes an island at high tides. Yet the article also points out that France is very accepting of nuclear power, which provides about 80% of the nation's energy needs. Another 10% comes from hydro. And the number of windmills in question, three, provide less energy than the smallest nuclear plant made - which is to say those on naval warships.

      No, this isn't really about energy. It's about politics. It's making a statement. And quite literally, an ugly one.

      October 11, 2009 08:57 AM  ·  Permalink

      Why does recycled paper make such crappy toilet paper?

      By Michael Fumento

      "I remember the importance of toilet paper while being shelled a few times, a couple of times while on the throne. I don't understand why they can't do re-cycled AND fluffy. Why are they exclusive?"

      122 mm shell
      One 122 mm mortar round can ruin that beautiful experience on the throne

      That's from an officer I befriended at Camp Corregidor in Ramadi, Iraq, where it rained shells so often we had to wear body armor at all times outside of fortified buildings. He saw my blog "Enviros want to wipe out soft toilet paper!" concerning the greens wanting us to use recycled toilet paper instead of the softer kind from older - but not "old growth" - trees. Older trees are better carbon sinks, meaning better at soaking up CO2.

      It's all about fiber length. Longer fibers mean fewer knots and it's those knots you feel, whether in TP or in your bedsheets or in clothes - albeit not in Army uniforms, which are part polyester anyway.

      That's why Egyptian cotton is the best, because it has the longest fibers. Recycled paper products inherently have fiber of short length, hence lots of knots. Not so important when you're writing on it, but rather more so when wiping with it and - although I personally haven't had the experience - doing so with 122 mm rounds dropping around your throne.

      October 1, 2009 09:53 AM  ·  Permalink

      Enviros trying to wipe out soft toilet paper!

      By Michael Fumento

      Okay, this time they've gone too far!

      Now, says the Washington Post, environmentalists are trying to wipe out plush toilet paper!

      They say that's because plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made from older trees - though not what's defined as "old growth" by any means. And older trees, they say, are better for absorbing carbon dioxide and thereby slowing global warming.

      (Have you noticed that there's nothing that can't be tied into global warming?)

      They want us Americans to wipe with the same stuff Europeans use, made from recycled paper goods.

      Well, I've been to Europe a lot and while I'm no xenophobe I must say their toilet paper is just one grade above sandpaper. No, ifs, ands, or butts about it.

      They'll get my soft toilet paper when they pry it from my cold dead hands!

      (Though I really don't want to be found dead sitting on "the throne" . . . )

      September 24, 2009 10:40 AM  ·  Permalink

      Nature Bites Nature-Worshipper

      By Michael Fumento

      Veneration of nature can have painful consequences, as Maryland resident Sam Pettengilll found out the hard way.

      The tiny copperhead slithered into: Pettengill's studio apartment at Kunzang Palyul Choling, a Buddhist temple near Poolesville, Maryland where all creatures great and small are venerated. Pettingill simply picked it up by hand and it simply bit him twice on the finger, causing his hand and forearm to swell up and making him woozy before he was taken to the hospital to receive anti-venom treatment.

      But what counts is that the snake slithered away and is doing fine. It should have a book-movie package in the works by tomorrow.

      June 4, 2009 12:56 PM  ·  Permalink

      Denial of Harm Equals Big Tobacco

      By Michael Fumento

      Under the subject line of "Hexavaent Chromium" (it's "hexavalent") Nancy [omitted] wrote:

      Dear Mr.Fumento,

      I am researching the P G & E/Hinkley, California case and have read some of your writings. As long as you short cut and use information provided by P G & E scientists, physicians and their reports to back your 'facts' you will always come out suspect. For years, the tobacco industry claimed through their scientist and doctors that smoking in no way caused cancer, we now know they were wrong. Surveys have been done that have indicated that for enough money there are many doctors and scientists who will 'sell' themselves and print whatever is wanted by those providing the money.

      An interested law student

      My response:

      I didn't use any information from PG & E scientists. Consult my articles on my website. And please, stop with the tobacco comparisons. Just because somebody somewhere says their product isn't as dangerous as others claim it is doesn't make them another BIG TOBACCO. I insist that reading my material won't make you go blind. Does that put me on par with the makers of Camel cigarettes?

      Well, maybe you shouldn't answer that.

      Also, please learn how to use quotation marks if you are to join the legions of tort lawyers.

      May 10, 2009 12:34 PM  ·  Permalink

      It's been a bad hurricane season for Chris Mooney

      By Michael Fumento

      Chris Mooney is a left-wing writer who specializes in injecting politics into practically any scientific subject you can name. Mooney could make a case that there would be no cavities but for conservatives and the GOP. His latest book is called Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle over Global Warming.

      But as Steve McIntyre, the guy who put egg all over the face of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies for overstating U.S. global warming, notes and shows in charts: "At this point, despite a couple of intense hurricanes, 2007 is even quieter thus far than 2006."

      Stating that, "Some of you have been noticing a tendency for almost any gust of wind in the Atlantic to now become a named storm," he charts both hurricane days and storm days. Both make his point nicely.

      As to Mooney, is it really fair to say a mere two-year stretch undercuts his position? Why not? Despite any statistics he may have to twist, er, offer, the fact is his book is essentially based on just one year, 2005. In fact, but for just two storms - Katrina and Rita - neither his propaganda nor the entire massive push to either blame both recent and future hurricanes on global warming wouldn't exist.

      October 2, 2007 04:25 PM  ·  Permalink

      A reader comments on Troll Lambert and gigantic egos

      By Michael Fumento

      Dear Mr. Fumento:

      I just read your article regarding the Lancet article and your comments about Tim Lambert and his web site, Deltoid.

      Lambert Troll
      Troll Lambert waiting to pummel somebody
      smarter than him. He won't have to wait long.

      Dr. D. Rutledge Taylor asked me to view the site and comment when they opened a new section dealing with Rachel Carson. I foolishly tried to engage them in an intelligent and mannerly discussion. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly. Any honest-hearted person who "reads and comments on Deltoid is spitting into the wind." Snotty juvenile manners and gigantic egos are the order of the day for Lambert and his acolytes. They clearly filter the comments and I think there is some back door discussion between them before the comments appear. They will take one or two words or one sentence (ignoring the entire context of what is said) and declare everything stated as being debunked in great triumph. What a waste of time. I would love to know what he does for a living. Can anyone that ridiculous do anything that is worth anything?

      My response:

      Probably not, and in Lambert's case certainly not. He is a computer professor, meaning he may teach as few as nine hours a week. (I know a professor who did, at full pay.) He's also only written a handful of published papers in his lifetime, none on issues that he blogs about. That gives him lots of time to troll the web for people to attack who make him feel insecure by being smarter than he is. (He started a vendetta against when I made him look like a fool, notwithstanding that doing so is easier than "dieting" on chocolate cake.) It's long been said that idle hands are the devil's workshop. Add in blogging software than can be used by a child and you've got a really bad combination. The troll also uses his free time (and perhaps money) to make sure his personal attacks appear in the top ten of a Google search of that person's name and to make sure his Deltoid postings are repeated over and over on blog search engines like Feedster and Technorati. That makes readers have to scroll through several pages to find the original of whatever it is that he and his little but vociferous gang are attacking, and as he knows many readers will not. In other words, he abuses science, he abuses individuals, he abuses search engines, and probably abuses himself as well - though we won't go into that.

      One can only hope Troll Lambert will join "Second Life" (Do they have troll avatars?) and finally get a first life.

      August 30, 2007 01:50 PM  ·  Permalink

      Hansen to his critics: You're paid-off "court jesters"

      By Michael Fumento

      Global warming alarmist since 1988 and head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen has answered his critics who 1) pointed out that his agency put out false but significant data on US warming trends, and 2) refused to publicize these figures after changing them. Wrote Hansen:

      The real deal is this: the 'royalty' controlling the court, the ones with the power, the ones with the ability to make a difference, with the ability to change our course, the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil [sic], automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children. The court jesters are their jesters, occasionally paid for services, and more substantively supported by the captains' disinformation campaigns.

      This is what we've been getting from environmentalists for decades. If you can't beat 'em on the facts, you smear 'em. It was utterly predictable that Hansen, a very little man with a big title, would go this route.

      August 20, 2007 04:30 PM  ·  Permalink

      James Hansen's Hacks and their Global Warming Game

      By Michael Fumento

      If you follow the global warming debate, one thing you "know" is there is no debate. Questioning man-made global warming puts in the same league as Holocaust deniers and proves you're on the take from Big Carbon. Another is that nine of the ten warmest years recorded in the U.S. lower 48 since 1880 have occurred since 1995, with the very hottest being 1998.

      But we now know, thanks to the efforts of Canadian mathematician Stephen McIntyre, who revealed and then publicized glitches in data kept by James Hansen's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, that the hottest year was 1934 and that the real 15 hottest years are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before the chief "greenhouse gas," atmospheric carbon dioxide, began its sharp rise; seven occurred afterwards.

      Does this prove everything about global warming is a hoax, as some have claimed? Or is it worthy of nothing more than a mention on the back of a card in Trivial Pursuit, as Hansen claims? Even if you've read about this controversy elsewhere, my findings in The American Spectator Online may surprise you.

      August 16, 2007 10:14 PM  ·  Permalink

      Future weapons against malaria - and the one we have now

      By Michael Fumento

      O death, where is thy sting? Far too often it comes at the end of a mosquito's proboscis. The worst mosquito-borne disease, malaria, infects about 400 million people worldwide each year (90 percent in sub-Saharan Africa) and kills about 1.3 million of them. Compare that to the histrionics we've suffered over avian flu, which as of 2 April had infected 25 people and killed 12 this year. Or SARS, which killed 774 people worldwide before petering out.

      As I write in TCS Daily, biotechnology may eventually come to the rescue. Scientists have announced they've built a better mosquito, one that doesn't become infected with the parasite that causes malaria. Ultimately, it's hoped, these mosquitoes will outbreed natural ones. A biotech malaria vaccine is also in the works. Aye, but there's the rub. A malaria vaccine has been in the works for decades. For now what we need is something that's tried and true and readily available. Yes, that means insecticides and yes that means DDT. Fortunately, pro-DDT activists are finally starting to gain the upper hand over spoiled brat environmentalists who think the deaths of black- and brown-skinned people don't count and know nothing more about DDT than that Rachel Carson made all sorts of horrible claims about it of which none have proved true.

      April 2, 2007 09:30 PM  ·  Permalink

      This isn't a gut - it's chemicals!

      By Michael Fumento

      A massive industry exists to tell us what so many want to hear - it's not overeating and lack of exercise that makes us fat it's . . . well, anything but. Now, as I write in the American Spectator Online, a handful of scientist-advocates, with one in particular, is trying to convince us that it's man-made chemicals and not calories. Never mind the government data showing how much more we're eating than just a few decades ago. Never mind the "look-around-you factor" of food being available everywhere but in public toilets - or are they putting vending machines there, too?

      March 27, 2007 10:40 PM  ·  Permalink

      Erin Brockovich on warpath against the environment

      By Michael Fumento

      As I write in my new article, "Erin Brockovich is full of, um, it," few things are as environmentally sensible as composting sewage, yet the alleged environmental crusader opposes it - or at least if it's being done eight miles away from the town that gave her fame and over $2 million in fortune, Hinkley. Never mind that the compost will have been heavily treated in a four-stage process before it reaches the facility, whereas Hinkley itself hosts a dairy farm that produces fresh batches of smelly, fly-drawing, germ-laden manure. It seems the only industrial process Erin likes is that which produces medical-grade silicone.

      January 17, 2007 10:29 PM  ·  Permalink

      Erin Brockovich loses again

      By Michael Fumento

      As I've written elsewhere, Erin Brockovich has gotten a reputation for being a genius and a winner because one law firm she worked with, in combination with two of the largest law firms in California, had a huge settlement during non-judicial arbitration with a power company. In fact, she and her late boss Ed Masry often lost cases at the jury level and virtually all they did win were overturned on appeal. Alas, poor Brockovich began to believe her own myth and filed suit against 31 hospitals she claimed were making unfair claims against Medicare. Her one-third share of the winnings in 31 cases would have been quite a coup for her pocketbook. But a federal judge has just tossed out five and indicated the others will be thrown out as well. Why? Simple. Brockovich has no standing since she's not a Medicare participant - and at age 46 won't be one for quite awhile. (Disability also qualifies you for Medicare, but the inability to chew gum and walk at the same time is not considered such under Medicare rules.) The cases were dismissed "with prejudice," meaning they cannot be refiled. Lesson? Once again we see that while Brockovich is terrific at stirring up positive publicity, otherwise she's dumb as the proverbial doorknob. When are those 15 minutes going to end?

      November 11, 2006 06:25 PM  ·  Permalink

      More from hot air activist Frank O'Donnell

      By Michael Fumento

      Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, has responded to my Weekly Standard article "More Hot Air from the EPA" and a shorter version I ran in the Washington Times. He wrote that I took his 1997 words saying talk of regulating lawn mowers was "crazed propaganda" that was "completely out of context, declaring that back then: "The Associated Press noted that the industry-funded Citizens for a Sound Economy [now Freedomworks] 'began airing aggressive television and radio ads hammering home another lobbying theme: that new air standards would curtail the lifestyles of Americans with bans on outdoor barbecues, lawnmowers and fireworks, and set limits on the plowing of farm fields. "At the time," he continued, "I referred to these claims as 'crazed propaganda,' and I was right. Last time I looked, we were still barbecuing, enjoying fireworks and mowing our lawns."

      Thanks for digging yourself into a deeper hole, Mr. O'Donnell.

      Both the alleged AP story and the source of his quote (a Maine newspaper) are from 1997 and not available on the web, but the only CFSE or Freedomworks references I found to bans regarding these items was a response to an EPA official's statement that "it's theoretically possible that a state could restrict activities like barbecuing to comply with the new federal standards."

      To this, Citizens pointed out that commercial barbecues are already outlawed in some southern California communities, "and if jurisdictions don't have enough other sources of particulate matter to reduce, then who's to say barbecues won't be on some bureaucrat's list of banned behavior?"

      Who, then, is being quoted out of context?

      Indeed, as a result of those then-proposed Clean Air Act Amendments that O'Donnell was defending, the EPA established National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or concentration limits, for two sizes of particulate matter. Multiple violations of these standards can lead to a "nonattainment" designation for an area, with penalties if there is no reduction in overall ambient particulate matter. There was no exemption for barbecues, as indeed lawnmowers have never been exempted from ambient air regulations.

      We also know that Southern California had ALREADY begun regulating barbecue briquettes and starter fluid for private barbecues, just as the EPA had already proposed tightening restrictions on lawnmowers. Since then, California has also begun regulating the barbecues on the basis of ODOR!

      Farm sources of particulates do include plowing; therefore non-attainment areas have the legal right to put limits on them.

      Fireworks, which produce fine particles upon combustion, are therefore also covered under the Ambient Air Quality Standards. Some environmental groups and newspapers have called for an outright ban on them, based strictly on their alleged hazard to breathing.

      Lest you ever be tempted to believe the least thing Frank O'Donnell or his "Ban first; ask questions later group," remember their emissions of crazed propaganda.

      November 2, 2006 12:08 AM  ·  Permalink

      By it's own reckoning, EPA mower regulations are "junk science"

      By Michael Fumento

      Nine years ago I wrote in my book Polluted Science and in the Weekly Standard an article on new EPA air pollution standards that lawn mowers would one day fall victim to these onerous and unnecessary regulations. This was not really going out on a limb. In 1994, the Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner had said that "small gasoline engines that Americans use in yard and garden work are a significant source of air pollution." But in sworn testimony to Congress in 1997, she told a different story. The standards are "not about outdoor barbecues and lawn mowers," she testified, smearing such assertions as "junk science" and "scare tactics." Said Browner: "They are fake. They are wrong. They are manipulative." Frank O'Donnell, then-executive director of the Clean Air Trust, called talk of regulating lawn mowers "crazed propaganda."

      Now I write in the Weekly Standard that the EPA is indeed set to impose tough regulations on lawnmowers and the primary environmentalist supporting the agency is -- surprise! -- Frank O'Donnell. Read about how the EPA couldn't care less about science or smog, but only sees another opportunity to wrap its tentacles around something new.

      September 24, 2006 03:08 PM  ·  Permalink

      "Scientists OK Gore's Movie for Accuracy" NOT

      By Michael Fumento

      "Scientists OK Gore's Movie for Accuracy," declares the title of an AP story run by the Washington Post and countless other newspapers and news websites. The film, "An Incovenient Truth," tries to document both the actuality of man-made global warming and the incredible harm it will cause in the near future.

      Yet you hardly have to read between the lines to find that the assertion is false. "The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory," said the writer. Problem is, only 19 responded; 81 of the scientists (that means 81%, AP), apparently weren't eager to comment. I wonder why not? I wonder why AP didn't wonder? Which again brings up the question: If man-made global warming is so very real and so very terrible, why do its proponents have to keep lying about it?

      June 27, 2006 06:58 PM  ·  Permalink

      Study says global warming may cause bear cannibalism

      By Michael Fumento

      According to CNN, "Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism because longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food, a new study by American and Canadian scientists has found." Um, excuse me but isn't cannibalism merely a lifestyle choice? And aren't we all in favor of that, especially "alternative lifestyles," which would certainly describe cannibalism. Thank you!

      June 13, 2006 06:23 PM  ·  Permalink

      Windmills cause global warming!

      By Michael Fumento

      Well, at least that's what Chris Cheronis says in an open letter he sent to me. "My thesis infers that windmills are the principal [sic] manmade cause of global warming through slowing the long established pre-windmill flow of surface air. Slower winds over oceans retard evaporation, ergo warmer surace water temperatures."

      I can't say I buy it, but I do appreciate the sentiment. And it's just as sensible as a lot of the hot air coming from the global warming crowd. I also like how he concludes:

      "P.S.: In short, take down the contraptions."

      September 28, 2005 07:18 PM  ·  Permalink

      Non-nuclear fuels continue to kill

      By Michael Fumento

      In my recent piece on Chernobyl and the disaster that wasn't, I noted that no American has ever been harmed by nuclear energy but "that accidents caused by natural gas, petroleum products, and accidents and black lung disease from coal take a steady toll of lives each year." That was brought home rather horrifically when a bus evacuating nursing home patients from Hurricane Rita exploded, killing 24 persons aboard. It's only human to discount those things which commonly afflict us and exaggerate those which pose little or no threat. (Remember the panic when SARS came along and killed exactly zero Americans.) But it's still not a good basis for public policy.

      September 25, 2005 11:50 PM  ·  Permalink

      Was I wrong about global warming and hurricane intensity?

      By Michael Fumento

      You might think so from all the high-fives in the media over a new study in Science magazine that claims, as one headline put it, "Study Links Hurricanes to Global Warming." But people who actually read the Science paper, like Dr. Patrick Michaels, research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, beg to differ. Mostly what the Science authors showed was how to play games with numbers: And the games weren't particularly sophisticated. The biggest trick was to begin counting hurricanes at 1970 instead of using data going all the way back to 1900 as my piece did. In most scientific circles, more data are considered better than less; longer timelines are considered superior to shorter ones. But when you're practicing advocacy science, the opposite applies.

      September 20, 2005 10:56 AM  ·  Permalink

      Attack of the Killer Gators! (And the reason)

      By Michael Fumento

      As a National Geographic headline puts it: "Human-Alligators Encounters Rising In Southeast." At this rate, becoming gatorbait will soon be a part of any travel plan to Florida. National Geographic gives the simplistic, paid-for explanation that this is because both humand and alligator populations are growing dramatically in these areas. But we in the know realize the real awful truth: It's global warming!

      September 12, 2005 01:14 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  TrackBack (0)

      Hurricane Bush? Or Hurricane Clinton? Or neither?

      By Michael Fumento

      This interesting tidbit from today's Washington Post:
      "But overall, the Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were slightly higher than the Clinton administration's for its past five years. Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the chief of the Corps, has said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city, since its levees were designed to protect against a Category 3 storm, and the levees that failed were already completed projects."

      September 8, 2005 01:04 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  TrackBack (0)

      On greenhouse gases, "Do as I say, not as I do."

      By Michael Fumento

      Economist Robert Samuelson has an excellent column (does he write any other kind?) on the hypocrisy of the European nations who signed the Kyoto Accord agreeing to cut emissions allegedly contributing to global warming and that lashed out bitterly at the U.S. for not doing so. Turns out that, "From 1990 (Kyoto's base year for measuring changes) to 2002, global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, increased 16.4 percent" overall. The U.S. increase was 16.7 percent, while in Greece it was 28.2 percent; Ireland, 40.3 percent; Spain, 46.9 percent; and Portugal, 59 percent. I would add that the situation is all the worse when you consider all the hot air European politicians and NGOs are sending into the atmosphere.

      June 29, 2005 08:11 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  TrackBack (1)