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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Friday, August 4, 2017

Bill Kirchner: Passing of a legend

By Rich Kozlovich

 William L. Kirchner, passed away on April 15, 2017 at the age of 83. He was preceded by his wife "Honey" in 2014 who was 78.



In Memoriam: William L. Kirchner
Eleanor and William


Being a part of the pest control industry for 35 years has given me the opportunity to view the industry from two very different perspectives.  During these past 35 years the industry, and society, changed radically, and I had the good fortune and privilege to become friends with those who had to deal with those changes as leaders of our associations. 

Thirty five years ago we had a plethora of highly odorous materials we were using. Today there are few and most of us don't want to use them.  In days gone by pest control was science.  You would mix the chosen product with the appropriate medium and apply it.  Today, pest control is as much an art as it is a science.  In fact, when we first started using low or non-odorous products customers thought they were being cheated.  Imagine that today!

Much of this was a result of claims by environmentalists and regulations passed at the state and federal level.  All of which had to be dealt with by industry. Bill Kirchner Sr. was one of those leaders who made the commitment to deal with the challenge.

He was one of the original founders of the Cleveland Pest Control Association and it's first Secretary/Treasurer, along with Bob Caldwell who was the first President of what's now the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association. 

Pictured here at the the Tom Evans Award presentation to
Gerry Wegner are his children William P. Kirchner, Barbara A.
with her husband Edward Nye, and Timothy J. Kirchner.
 He is also survived by his daughter "Katie" (David) Grgetic.  
Bill worked hard at the state level serving as a President of the Ohio Pest Control Association and served long and hard as Chairman of the Legislative committee.  He eventually became a Life Time Member.

As a result of the creation of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the impact of Rachel Carson's science fiction book Silent Spring on society, Ohio passed pesticide laws that would oversee just about everything we were dong.

Bill, along with the other leaders of the day, stepped up to that challenge and as a result had a great deal of influence over what was passed.

In my opinion the biggest part of that law was, and is, the preemption clause preventing local governments from setting up their own pesticide regulations creating an unmanageable patchwork of conflicting laws.  That has proven so valuable it can't be lauded enough - as we have found out a number of times in the last 25 years.  In 2004, the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association recognized Kirchner, Bob Caldwell and George Ross for their efforts. 

He never failed to understand our need to protect our industry saying:  "We can't let the government dictate to us over what's right!"  

These were leaders who posessed clarity of thought and vision, something Bill always tried to share with those who were willing to step up to the challenge of defending our industry, including me.  Until he retired he was my mentor giving me clarity and substance for my views by sharing his institutional memory and wisdom.  After his retirement his friend and partner in Southern Mill Creek Products, Tom Evans, became my mentor.  I was fortunate to have known them.  I was fortunate they cared. 

Bill was a third generation owner Cleveland Chemical Pest Control, a company that was founded in 1903 as Chamberlain-Haber Chemical Company.  They sold chemicals but didn't apply them.  As I remember the story customers asked if there was anyone would could apply the pesticides for them so form an offshoot of that company to just that and Cleveland Chemical Pest Control was created.  Bill was a co-founder of Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio,  along with his brother-in-law, Dick Schroeder, as a major distributor of pest control products throughout the Eastern United States, which was sold and eventually became part of Univar. 

The Schroeder's founded the Pest Control Technology Magazine in Cleveland, Ohio, which as later bought by the Scherzinger family and later sold.  The Kirchner family roots grew deep into the soil of the structural pest control industry.  He and Honey will always be missed. 






Thursday, July 27, 2017

Green Notes


De Omnibus Dubitandum
 
De Omnibus Dubitandum is a Latin phrase coined by French philosopher Rene Descartes translated as  “All is to be doubted.”  It's also been translated as "question everything", which is my personal choice, and my personal motto.  Activists in and out of government demand conformity.  They stand on the hill waving a banner saying "I stand for consensus", which isn't much of a motivator, that's why they need government to force everyone into consensus.  But those who 'question everything' have had their minds released from such bondage allowing their thoughts to explore options - and question consensus.

Someone once observed if you find the perfect organization - join it!   But remember, the moment you've joined, it's now become somewhat less than perfect.  No one person and no organization must be above question because the problem with every organization in the world is the same problem - It's run by people and people will aways be people.

Please enjoy this issue of Green Notes!

Rich Kozlovich


All Natural:

The Organic Industry Is in Turmoil  - As Amazon buys Whole Foods, the USDA investigates whether foods sold as “organic” in the U.S. really are. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, the grocer that brought pricey organic food to the masses, comes during a time of turmoil in the organic industry: The Department of Agriculture is continuing to investigate the importation of millions of pounds of phony organic grains. The move is in response to a lengthy Washington Post exposé published in May that tracked shipments of corn and soybeans from Turkey, Romania, and Ukraine that were labeled “organic” but were not (I wrote about it here). The Post reported that the fraudulent imports were “large enough to constitute a meaningful proportion of the U.S. supply of those commodities,” a troubling development that should raise serious questions about the veracity ................

Book Reviews:

Book Review: Coolidge by Amity Schlaes  - My Take - “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”   -  "Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb" - "the world is full of educated derelicts."  - "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.Calvin Coolidge

Vast intelligence isn't really necessary in order to see farther, deeper and wider than everyone else doesn't require vast intelligence.  Higher education can be a wonderful thing, but is it?  My experience is they're not taught how to think - they're taught what to think.  I'm largely an autodidact, with no formal education past high school.....and I was a lousy student.   Being self educated has disadvantages - but learning how to think versus what to think isn't one of them.   I'm reading more than ever, but I'm reading less books, something I intend to fix this year.  It's been reported most CEO's read a book a week, which is what my friend Dr. Jay Lehr does.  That's my goal for this year - a book a week.  Let's give it a try.  A book a week!!!! 

Activsts, Pesticides, Chemicals, Scare Mongering:

How US NGOs are exploiting Europe’s precautionary chemophobia to ban glyphosate and GMOs -The life of an environmental activist in Washington is pretty tough.   The US government does not give her millions of dollars to hold secret meetings. (My Take - Actually the government does give huge amounts of money to NGO's in America, but the real money comes from these tax free foundations like the Tides Foundation)  The risk-based regulatory process means she has to produce evidence to get anyone to listen to her............Their logic is simple. If you are a paid-up lobbyist for the organic food industry running a Washington-based NGO, you are fighting a Congress full of representatives and senators from farming states (California and New York will only deliver four votes on the Senate floor), you have no benchmark for success and can only measure progress by baby steps. Without any scientific evidence or grassroots support, nobody outside of label-happy California takes your fear campaigns seriously. But if you can ban your target substances (glyphosate and certain neonicotinoids are the flavours of the month) in the influence rich but lawyer-weak left-leaning European Commission, you then take that feather in your cap back to DC and try to build regulatory momentum...........
 
Steven Pinker: 'Solutions Create New Problems' - The Breakthrough Dialogue is an annual meeting of a politically diverse group of scientists, professors, journalists, think-tankers, and others who discuss technological solutions to environmental and social problems*. Referring to themselves as "ecomodernists," they represent everything environmentalism should be: pro-science, pro-technology, pro-human, and bipartisan.  One of the featured speakers at this year's Dialogue was the preeminent Harvard scientist Steven Pinker. He is an optimist who believes that, in general, the world is getting better. (Sadly, only 6% of Americans agree with him.) Dr. Pinker concluded his talk with the following insight: "Problems are inevitable. Problems are solvable. Solutions create new problems."........

Chemical Scaremongering: It’s time to dismantle the alarmism industry - It’s great news the Trump administration is starting to dismantle the junk science life-support system for government overregulation. Budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and reforms of science advisory panels at the Department of Interior and EPA, stir hope the agencies’ longstanding reigns of terror via “science” may come to an end.  But let’s not stop at EPA and Interior. Office of Management and Budget chief Mick Mulvaney could save taxpayers $690 million per year by eliminating the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), which is at least 20 years past its expiration date. At the very least, its Obama-appointed director, Linda Birnbaum, should be removed immediately............

Dictatorship of the Landlords - The Green Roots of the Housing Crisis - The methodology underpinning this posting consisted of a representative survey of land-use and housing documents published by leading free market advocacy groups. Of the 100 groups investigated, 21 were found to have both prominence within the pro-market advocacy community, and to have devoted conspicuous resources to the land/housing issue. From these 21 groups (Cato Institute, Heartland Foundation, Fraser Institute, Frontier Centre, Institute for Public Affairs et al), 33 reports and 35 articles were dissected. To clarify certain statistics, several additional articles and reports from the mainstream media and from government agencies were summoned. A recent Harvard study on housing and a paper on commercial property from the Journal of Real Estate Management also proved helpful. To keep things germane, the canon was restricted to documents published during the last decade.

Animal Rights:

Officials cave in to wacky animal rights activist demand - In a bizarre marriage of the animal rights movement and the “safe spaces” mentality, public officials caved in and censored a something because it was deemed “insulting” to cattle, who now have been granted a safe space, cleansed of anything that might offend them.  This was not engineered by the offended cattle themselves for undisclosed reasons, but rather by activists purportedly speaking on their behalf. They must be consulting their clients via some form of nonverbal communication not on my bandwidth.  For all I know, cattle love a ribbing. This union of outré mentalities may be a marriage from hell, but it happened in Toronto.  A Canadian Press dispatch informs us that Billy Bishop Airport:.............

CCD

How Capitalism Saved the Bees - You've heard the story: Honeybees are disappearing. Beginning in 2006, beekeepers began reporting mysteriously large losses to their honeybee hives over the winter. The bees weren't just dying—they were abandoning their hives altogether. The strange phenomenon, dubbed colony collapse disorder, soon became widespread. Ever since, beekeepers have reported higher-than-normal honeybee deaths, raising concerns about a coming silent spring.........

DDT

Double D(DT) - Not a Bra. A New Form Of The Insecticide - No matter how safe DDT may be (and it's probably far safer than you think), there can be no downside to using less of it, provided that it works as well. Thanks to chemists at NYU, this may become possible. Pretty cool. But before we go into this...  The obligatory chemistry lesson! Don't skip it. I'll find out. (BTW, just for yuks. Anyone know what the music is? The notes are real.)..........

Enemies of humanity - After being infected again with malaria last July, I spent almost a month in a Kampala hospital. Paying for my treatment was extremely difficult, as it is for most Ugandan and African families. I was lucky I could scrape the money together. Many families cannot afford proper treatment..Where and how can they get the money to go back to the hospital again and again, every time a family member gets malaria, when they also need food, clothes and so many other things – or malaria makes them so sick that they can’t work for weeks or even months? Many parents can do nothing except watch their loved ones die in agony, and then give them a simple burial.
rarely even hear about, like chronic dysentery. It saps people’s strength for years and leaves them with severe liver and kidney damage. Cerebral malaria causes lifelong learning and memory problems. ...............

Diseases:

CDC Study Sheds Light on New Lyme Disease-Causing Bacteria - A new species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease needs the same amount of time for transmission after a tick bite compared to previously implicated bacteria, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Existing guidelines for frequent tick checks and prompt removal of attached ticks remain the same..........

Endocrine Disruption:

Banalising the Risk Perception of Endocrine Disruption - These are claims the Risk-Monger made last week … and some people mistook my use of an image of a baby (assumedly consuming deadly doses of soy) as a legitimate attack … even coming to the defence of soy. They missed the point. It is not about the actual risk to our hormonal systems from coffee, soy and chick peas – a risk that is extremely low to the point of insignificance (except maybe for newborns). Rather, it is a communications method I would advise risk managers to enforce: what I call imposing the “banalisation of risk perception” on the endocrine disruption debate..........

Energy:

Monumental, Unsustainable Environmental Impacts - Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy – to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change – ignore three fundamental flaws.  1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.  2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death..........

Insanity and hypocrisy Down Under - The Wall Street Journal called it the energy shortage “no one saw coming.” Actually, a lot of people did see it coming. But intent on pursuing their “dangerous manmade climate change” and “renewable energy will save the planet” agendas, the political classes ignored them. So the stage was set.  As an Australia-wide heat wave sent temperatures soaring above 105 degrees F (40.6 C) in early 2017, air conditioning demand skyrocketed. But Adelaide, South Australia is heavily dependent on wind turbines for electricity generation – and there was no wind. Regulators told the local natural gas-fired power plant to ramp up its output, but it couldn’t get enough gas to do so. To avoid a massive, widespread blackout, regulators shut off power to 90,000 homes, leaving angry families sweltering in the dark. ..........

Tesla battery, subsidy and sustainability fantasies - The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument. Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide........

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: July 24, 2017  - The newest edition of the Energy and Environmental Newsletter is now online. To start to balance the incessant Russian “news” stories, below I’ve supplied a few pertinent articles that you won’t see in the mainstream media.

EPA:

EPA's suspect science - President Trump's budget guidance sought to cut $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency's $8.1 billion expectation. Shrieks of looming Armageddon prompted Congress to fund EPA in full until September 2017, when the battle will be joined again. Then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would prioritize Superfund cleanups based on toxicity, health-impact and other factors. The ensuing caterwauling suggested that EPA had no priorities since Bill Ruckelshaus (EPA's first administrator, 1970-1975). But consider some standard EPA practices...........

ESA, Butterflies, Pollinator

Citizen Science Delivers “Unprecedented View” of Monarch Butterfly Parasitoids - Thanks to citizen volunteers, scientists now know more than ever about the flies that attack monarch butterfly caterpillars. Since 1999, volunteers participating in the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project have collected and raised more than 20,000 monarch eggs and caterpillars, and they've recorded incidents of those specimens being parasitized by fly larvae. They have also collected.........

Global Warming:
Climate Change Weekly #254: Cities Committing Costly Climate Mistakes - As one of its first official acts of the 115th Congress, on January 5, the U.S. House of Representative passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (H.R. 26), referred to as the REINS Act. The bill requires Congress to approve all new major regulations, meaning any regulation having an impact of $100 million or more on the economy.  The REINS Act is a good start – an antidote to the disease of over-regulation ailing the nation. While some regulations may protect human health or the environment, many – especially in the area of climate, energy, and environmental policy – provide no or minimal measurable benefits while imposing huge costs on people and the economy............

Nearly doomed by too little CO2 - Aside from protests by Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and friends, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy when Trump exited the Paris Climate Accords.   Statistician Bjorn Lomborg had already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emission promises would cost $100 trillion dollars that no one has, and make only a 0.05 degree difference in Earth’s 2100 AD temperature. Others say perhaps a 0.2 degree C (0.3 degrees F) difference, and even that would hold only in the highly unlikely event that all parties actually kept their voluntary pledges............ 

UPDATE: Michael Mann Doubles Down over ‘Contempt’ Issue - Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann doubles down on his crumbling SLAPP lawsuit versus Tim Ball with a statement of denial from his lawyer posted on Mann’s Facebook page and tagged with #FakeNews. In a screed of hand-waving assertions, the statement fails to deny Mann abused process, breached a written undertaking during the trial and, as a consequence, now faces the most serious court sanctions.  Earlier this week, an emboldened Dr. Tim Ball, Canada’s most famous skeptic climatologist, came out, all guns blazing with stunning news in what is billed as the “science trial of the century.” The outcome of this case will have grave knock-on implications on the validity of all government secret science relied upon in the hotly-contested ‘man-made global warming’ debate.  Conspicuously, Mann’s attorney, Roger McConchie, who “literally wrote the book” on Canadian libel law, does not deny Mann is in breach of a legally-binding undertaking signed by both parties last February. It turns out Mann duped Ball into signing a deal that gave Mann more time (as if six years of litigation time wasn’t enough!)...........

Climate Hoaxers Receive Bombshell of Bad News In New Study - The political left and their globalist overlords have been relying on seriously faulty data to perpetrate the global warming hoax, according to a new study. As far as the concept of globalism goes, the climate change hoax is one of the most valuable tools available. The goal of these anti-sovereignty types is to unite global governments under a new umbrella, previously referred to in different iterations as a New World Order, wherein a massive amount of power is consolidated into the hands of a few malleable individuals. That way, the rights and opinions of the global population are no longer in opposition to the whims of this elitist cabal who will work tirelessly to influence this consolidated power structure for their own success. .........

A Bomb Explodes the Global Warming Myth - A simple device assembled for less than three dollars, discounting the soda you consume, can end an era that has cost America more than $1 trillion! This “bomb” does not explode: It implodes the myth of “global warming.”  The device sits on a south-facing window sill on a sunny noon hour with a clear blue sky.  It is a 2.5 liter soda bottle, rinsed clean of the sugary fluid it contained.  It has 325 milliliters of water as the volume was 2,725 milliliters and it now contains 2,400 milliliters of air.....

Junk Science:

'Little Black Book of Junk Science' Goes to Congress, and More Outreach  - 1. In Washington, D.C., I went to Capitol Hill and met with the Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who was intrigued by our Little Black Book of Junk Science. Rep. Smith keeps a copy of the U.S. Constitution in one suit pocket and I encouraged him to keep our book in the other. He didn't commit to that just yet but he asked for copies to be sent to him so he could give it to the committee and that is part of our goal. We want it in the hands of every member of Congress and everyone in America too. It's time to take decision-making back from activists and engage in evidence-based thinking again.  He had his scheduler Gina take the picture on the left, which I told him was a nice thing to do, and he replied, "I want to be able to tell people I know you."  That's the mark of a savvy diplomat, folks............

Risk:

Risk-based or Hazard-based Regulation - is is a three-part blog. In part one I look at the irrationality of hazard-based regulation. In the next blog, I will identify the type of person who promotes it – someone I will call the “contrapreneur”. Finally, their success will be explained as only possible in a vision-less world where expediency is the political virtue. oday, no doubt, most of us have managed the following risks.......Risk-management is ubiquitous. From the moment we get up to after we fall asleep, we are managing our exposure to hazards with every decision we take. The formula is very simple:............

This and That:




Book Review: Coolidge by Amity Schlaes

By Rich Kozlovich

Often I'll read about a book I think is worthwhile and I buy it immediately.  But often times -  I don't read them immediately.  I always have at least ten, and at times twenty books, on my shelves waiting to be read.  My problem is I'm reading more but I'm reading less books.  This is a pattern I've decided to change by reading a book a week as does my friend Jay Lehr who has inspired me to make that change.  Articles are great, but limited.  They're the sign posts which create a direction of thought, and point the way to the books that need to be read in order to get a depth of understanding on any given subject.  Coolidge is one of those books.

I thought I bought Coolidge about two years ago - wrong!  It originally came out in 2013, so clearly it was longer than two years and I finally got into it.  I thought I knew a lot about Coolidge - wrong again!  However, I'm glad I waited because there are remarkable similarities between the Coolidge and the Trump Presidencies, and if I'd read it four years ago I wouldn't have grasped that.

This may seem a bit strange to everyone since there are real differences between Coolidge and Trump, both in their life experiences personal conduct.  But the similarities existing in the political arena are remarkable. 

There were only three conservative Presidents in the 20th century, Harding, Coolidge and Reagan.  Harding was elected in 1920 but died two years into his first term.  Coolidge became President of the United States, much to the dismay of Henry Cabot Lodge.  I found his character and conduct reminded me of John McCain.  A distracting, derogatory, ego driven, stumbling block who was a constant thorn in the side to Coolidge as is McCain to Trump. 

Harding won the 1920 election and Coolidge won the 1924 election.  Eight years of conservative thought and action, but not another conservative until 1980 when Coolidge admirer Ronald Reagan won.  Reagan wasn't the dunce the media and the left claimed, just as Coolidge wasn't and neither is Trump.  Those intervening years were dominated by political "progressives", on both sides of the aisle.

"Progressives" in both parties wanted maximum tax returns in order to spend, spend, spend, and Coolidge wanted to cut spending, cut government and bring fiscal sanity to the government and the nation and grow opportunities for the nation's businesses by leaving them alone to do what do without unnecessary government involvement or interference.  Much of that interference started by Teddy Roosevelt and made insane with Woodrow Wilson's fascist policies.  Nothing has changed over the last one hundred years, the battle continues. 

Both Coolidge and Trump face many of the same policy problems.  What's worth noting is Coolidge's tax plan.  It was formulated by his Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, and referred to as "scientific taxation", operating under the principle that reducing taxes would create growth thereby generating more capital which in turn would generate more taxes.  He was right, and it's clear Trump is wanting to go down that same road. 

It's clear one of the major turning points of the 20th century was Coolidge's decision not to run for his second term in 1928.   So why didn't he run?   Coolidge had a son who died while he was in office and that destroyed any joy he had being President.  He also was not feeling well and he had some serious problems within his family, and it may have included a problem with his wife and a Secret Service agent.  That's not confirmed in the book but it's certainly hinted at strongly. 

That opened the door to Herbert Hoover, whose policies laid the foundation for the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929, followed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt whose policies kept the nation in the Great Depression until 1942. 

Like so many historians Amity Schlaes works, including the book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, demonstrates she's a brilliant researcher.   But she's not a great story teller.  I loved both books, but not because she spins a great tale, but because she delved into historical reality, and the subjects aren't conducive to the telling of tales. 

Coolidge was probably the greatest President of the 20th century and he's largely unknown and unappreciated. My take is everyone interested in history, especially the history that demonstrates foundation for what we're facing today, needs to read Coolidge. I loved it but I'm a history buff, not a fiction reader.  If you love history, this is for you, especially now.

Thought For the Day: Al Gore, Global Warming and the Left


Image may contain: grass,
                                                          text and
                                                          outdoor

Climate Change Weekly #254: Cities Committing Costly Climate Mistakes

H. Sterling Burnett

As one of its first official acts of the 115th Congress, on January 5, the U.S. House of Representative passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (H.R. 26), referred to as the REINS Act. The bill requires Congress to approve all new major regulations, meaning any regulation having an impact of $100 million or more on the economy.

The REINS Act is a good start – an antidote to the disease of over-regulation ailing the nation. While some regulations may protect human health or the environment, many – especially in the area of climate, energy, and environmental policy – provide no or minimal measurable benefits while imposing huge costs on people and the economy.

Rules are commonly designed to expand agency budgets, increase the power bureaucrats have over peoples’ lives, and create lifetime employment for agency staff.

Unfortunately, decades ago Congress found it easy to delegate its law-making power to executive agencies. Congress gets credit for passing vague, feel-good laws, leaving to administrative agencies the hard details of writing the rules and enforcing the laws. When agencies go overboard, members of Congress typically complain but do little to change things.

If Congress is required to approve any major regulation, agencies will have an incentive to consider what Congress will actually approve based on what the law says, not just impose what they can get away with. In itself, this change in incentives should rein in the most egregious attempts at illegal, burdensome, unjustified agency action.

Congress already has the power to review and block major regulations through the Congressional Review Act (CRA) of 1996, but it rarely uses that power. CRA allows the House and Senate to pass resolutions of disapproval to block major regulations. Despite tens of thousands of regulations being enacted in the 20 years since CRA became law, Congress used it fewer than half-a-dozen times to block new rules. Only once has a president signed the resolution adopted by Congress. During Barack Obama’s presidency, only two disapproval resolutions were passed by Congress under CRA, and Obama vetoed them both.

Under CRA, unless Congress disapproves of a rule, the regulation becomes law by default. The REINS Act would reverse this, cancelling any major regulation Congress does not explicitly approve.

A recent study by the American Action Forum finds the pace and costs of major regulations have soared under Obama. According to the study, since Obama took office in 2009, the federal government has issued 600 major regulations imposing more than $743 billion on the economy, about one major rule every four or five days. The Obama administration implemented more major regulations in six years than President George W. Bush did during his eight years in office. The major regulations approved by Obama impose the equivalent of $2,294 in regulatory costs on every person in the United States every year. For a household of four, this amounts to nearly $10,000 unavailable for health insurance, medicine or medical bills, college, groceries, a new car, a vacation, or other expenses.

And all these regulatory costs offer little or no benefit, especially with rules flowing from the Environmental Protection Agency, which produce few public health or environmental benefits while imposing high costs. Indeed, some EPA regulations cause more premature deaths than they prevent.

For example, regulations imposed by the Obama administration to fight purported climate change – including the Clean Power Plan, increased fuel efficiency standards, bans on offshore oil production in the North Atlantic and Arctic, and limits on methane emissions from oil and gas production on public lands – increase the cost of energy to consumers and businesses and make the country less energy secure. They will do nothing to prevent purported human-caused global warming. Worse, the regulations are likely to result in thousands of premature deaths as they push more people into poverty.

These and other Obama regulations would never have been enacted had the REINS Act been in place.

President Donald Trump supported the REINS Act in a campaign statement he gave to the public policy group, American Commitment.

“I will sign the REINS Act should it reach my desk as President and more importantly I will work hard to get it passed,” said Trump’s statement. “The monstrosity that is the Federal Government with its pages and pages of rules and regulations has been a disaster for the American economy and job growth. The REINS Act is one major step toward getting our government under control.”

The REINS Act still has to get through the Senate, where there is more resistance to accountability and reform. However, with the election of political outsider Donald Trump as president, the public gave a strong signal they are tired of business as usual. Unless Senators want to wind up part of the swamp drained under Trump’s presidency, they must take responsibility for their actions by passing the REINS Act.

SOURCES: Freedom Works, The Heartland Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and Natural News

Nearly doomed by too little CO2

During the last ice age, too little atmospheric carbon dioxide almost eradicated mankind

Dennis T. Avery

Aside from protests by Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and friends, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy when Trump exited the Paris Climate Accords.

Statistician Bjorn Lomborg had already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emission promises would cost $100 trillion dollars that no one has, and make only a 0.05 degree difference in Earth’s 2100 AD temperature. Others say perhaps a 0.2 degree C (0.3 degrees F) difference, and even that would hold only in the highly unlikely event that all parties actually kept their voluntary pledges.

What few realize, however, is that during the last Ice Age too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind. That’s when much-colder water in oceans (that were 400 feet shallower than today) sucked most of the carbon dioxide from the air; half of North America, Europe and Asia were buried under mile-high glaciers that obliterated everything in their paths; and bitterly cold temperatures further retarded plant growth.

In fact, Earth’s atmosphere had only about 180 parts per million CO2, compared to today’s 400 ppm: 0.018% then versus 0.040% today.

The Ice Age’s combined horrors – intense cold, permanent drought and CO2 starvation – killed most of the plants on Earth. Only a few trees survived, in the mildest climates. Much of the planet’s grass turned to tundra, which is much less nourishing to the herbivores prehistoric humans depended on for food and fur. Recent Cambridge University studies conclude that only about 100,000 humans were left alive worldwide when the current interglacial warming mercifully began.

The few surviving prey animals had to keep migrating to get enough food. That forced our ancestors to migrate with them, in temperatures that routinely fell to 40 degrees below zero (both Fahrenheit and Celsius). The Neanderthals had been living in relatively warm caves protected from predators by fires at the cave mouths. They had hunted their prey by sneaking through the trees – which no longer existed. They apparently couldn’t adapt, and starved. Cambridge found no evidence of genocidal warfare.

The most successful human survivors – who provided most of the DNA for modern Europeans – were nomads from the Black Sea region. The Gravettians had never had trees, so they invented mammoth-skin tents, held up by salvaged mammoth ribs. They also developed spear-throwers, to kill the huge beasts from a safe distance.

Equally important, Gravettians domesticated and bred wolves, to protect their tents from marauders, locate game animals on the broad tundra, and harry the prey into defensive clusters for easier killing. The scarcity of food in that Glacial Maximum intensified the dogs’ appreciation for the bones and bone marrow at the human camps.

When that Ice Age ended, moreover, CO2 changes didn’t lead the warming. The atmospheric CO2 only began to recover about 800 years after the warming started.

Carbon dioxide truly is “the gas of life.” The plants that feed us and wildlife can’t live without inhaling CO2, and then they exhale the oxygen that lets humans and animals keep breathing.

Our crop plants evolved about 400 million years ago, when CO2 in the atmosphere was about 5000 parts per million! Our evergreen trees and shrubs evolved about 360 million years ago, with CO2 levels at about 4,000 ppm. When our deciduous trees evolved about 160 million years ago, the CO2 level was about 2,200 ppm – still five times the current level.

There’s little danger to humans of too much CO2 in the air they breathe. Even the Environmental Protection Agency says 1000 ppm is the safe limit for lifetime human exposure. Space shuttle CO2 alarms are set at 5,000 ppm, and the alarm in nuclear submarines is set at 8,000 ppm!

If there’s little danger of humans having too much CO2 in their air, and a real danger to civilization from having too little, what’s the ideal level of atmospheric CO2? The answer? There’s a broad safe range – with far more risk of too little than too much. At low levels, with few or no plants, there’d be no people or animals, let alone civilization.

Human numbers, moreover, expanded strongly during the Holocene Optimum, with temperatures 4 degrees C higher than today!  Even now, residents of the tropics keep demonstrating that humans can tolerate much higher temperatures than most of us experience. (As we utilize the new malaria vaccine, the tropics will prosper even more.) And far more people die from “too cold” than from “too warm.”

The crops continue to produce record yields in our “unprecedented” warming – and the extra CO2 in our air is credited with as much as 15% of that yield gain!

It’s not whether more CO2 in the air raises Earth’s temperatures. We know it does, by some small but still hotly debated amount. Both sides agree that a redoubling of CO2 in the air – by itself – would raise earth’s temperature by only about 1 degree C.

That’s hardly noticeable or measurable in the midst of all the local temperature variations, with the myriad of natural forces that govern planetary climate, with all the discrepancies among the various measuring systems, and amid all the errors, biases and missing or revised data that have crept in.

Moreover, 1 degree C of warming was obviously not enough to frighten the public.

So, the computerized models cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made another assumption: that a hotter world would hold more moisture in its atmosphere. Since water vapor is the most effective greenhouse gas, the climate modelers claimed Earth might heat by 5 or even 10 degrees C. One scientist (who supposedly advises Pope Francis) recently claimed 12 degrees C (21 degrees F) of overheating!

The awkward truth, however, is that NASA has monitored moisture in the atmosphere since 1980 – and water vapor has not increased despite the higher levels of CO2 in the air. Is that why the IPCC models have predicted more than twice as much warming as we’ve actually seen?

The year 1936 recorded the hottest thermometer readings of any year in the last 5,000. However, these days NOAA reports only its “adjusted” temperatures, which always seem to go only higher. In fact, the first surge of human-emitted carbon dioxide after World War II should have produced the biggest surge of warming – if CO2 is the control factor. Instead temperatures went down from 1940 to 1975.

Why did the computer models fail to predict (or even factor in) either the Pacific Oscillation’s current 20-year non-warming or the coming solar sunspot minimum? Only one model has verified itself by back-casting the temperatures and weather we’ve had over the past century. That model is from Nicola Scafetta at Duke University, and it’s based on solar, lunar and planetary cycles. The latest data from the CERN particle physics lab have also produced a model based on cycling – and it foresees no runaway warming. Instead, it sees an impending cold solar minimum.

Is the long, wrong-headed war against carbon dioxide finally fading? Science certainly says it should. But perhaps there is still too much money, prestige and power in climate alarmism for that to happen

___________

Dennis T. Avery is an agricultural and environmental economist and a senior fellow for the Center for Global Food Issues in Virginia. He was formerly a senior analyst for the U.S. Department of State and is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years.
 

How US NGOs are exploiting Europe’s precautionary chemophobia to ban glyphosate and GMOs

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The life of an environmental activist in Washington is pretty tough.

The US government does not give her millions of dollars to hold secret meetings. (My Take - Actually the government does give huge amounts of money to NGO's in America, but the real money comes from these tax free foundations like the Tides Foundation)

The risk-based regulatory process means she has to produce evidence to get anyone to listen to her............Their logic is simple. If you are a paid-up lobbyist for the organic food industry running a Washington-based NGO, you are fighting a Congress full of representatives and senators from farming states (California and New York will only deliver four votes on the Senate floor), you have no benchmark for success and can only measure progress by baby steps. Without any scientific evidence or grassroots support, nobody outside of label-happy California takes your fear campaigns seriously. But if you can ban your target substances (glyphosate and certain neonicotinoids are the flavours of the month) in the influence rich but lawyer-weak left-leaning European Commission, you then take that feather in your cap back to DC and try to build regulatory momentum.

So it is off to Brussels to run an American campaign............To Read More....Much More....A version of this article appeared on the Risk-Monger blog as “Carpetbaggers: American NGO Activists in Brussels” and has been republished here with permission from the author. 

Steven Pinker: 'Solutions Create New Problems'

By Alex Berezow — June 22, 2017  
 
The Breakthrough Dialogue is an annual meeting of a politically diverse group of scientists, professors, journalists, think-tankers, and others who discuss technological solutions to environmental and social problems*. Referring to themselves as "ecomodernists," they represent everything environmentalism should be: pro-science, pro-technology, pro-human, and bipartisan.

One of the featured speakers at this year's Dialogue was the preeminent Harvard scientist Steven Pinker. He is an optimist who believes that, in general, the world is getting better. (Sadly, only 6% of Americans agree with him.) Dr. Pinker concluded his talk with the following insight:
"Problems are inevitable. Problems are solvable. Solutions create new problems."
How profound. It is worth examining this in the context of biotechnology.........If we don't solve them, we die. If we do solve them, we will eventually face a new set of problems. This pattern repeats indefinitely.........People died of bacterial infections. To overcome that problem, we discovered antibiotics......Bacteria developed resistance to antibiotics. We responded by finding and synthesizing new antibiotics. But the bacteria persisted; we now have bacteria that are resistant to most or perhaps all antibiotics.  Does that mean we give up? No! We keep looking for new antibiotics...............To Read More....

Officials cave in to wacky animal rights activist demand

Chemical Scaremongering: It’s time to dismantle the alarmism industry

By Steve Milloy June 19, 2017 (June 20, 2017 print ed.), Washington Times

It’s great news the Trump administration is starting to dismantle the junk science life-support system for government overregulation. Budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and reforms of science advisory panels at the Department of Interior and EPA, stir hope the agencies’ longstanding reigns of terror via “science” may come to an end.

But let’s not stop at EPA and Interior. Office of Management and Budget chief Mick Mulvaney could save taxpayers $690 million per year by eliminating the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), which is at least 20 years past its expiration date. At the very least, its Obama-appointed director, Linda Birnbaum, should be removed immediately.

NIEHS was formed in 1965 in the wake of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring.” Carson alleged chemicals in the environment caused cancer and other health effects. Though the book was innuendo-laden and evidence-free, in the absence of any serious existing scientific study of the controversy, arguably legitimate questions were raised.

These concerns led not only to government-funded research programs but better-safe-than-sorry-themed laws and regulations.

By 1978, the Carter administration organized the National Toxicology Program (NTP) within NIEHS with the mission of evaluating chemicals and other agents of concern to public health.

The NIEHS-NTP’s initial focus was whether chemicals and other agents in the environment caused cancer. Without any existing scientific evidence to back up this notion, government scientists went about trying to invent some laboratory animal experiments worthy of “Saturday Night Live.”

Because exposing lab animals to typical levels of chemicals in the environment didn’t increase cancer rates, scientists tested the highest possible doses — just short of outright poisoning — on animals specially bred to develop cancer spontaneously. So an increased rate of cancer could be induced in special lab mice with the controversial apple tree pesticide Alar, for example, by dosing them with an amount equivalent to the Alar exposure from a hypothetical person drinking 19,000 quarts of apple juice per day.

Such absurdity aside, the results of the laboratory animal tests proved to be useless. By the late 1990s, a review reported that 85 percent of the chemicals tested by NIEHS were reported to have either had a cancer-causing or even an anti-cancer-causing effect on some tissue in some species of lab animal. The study authors concluded, “This suggests that most chemicals given at high enough doses will cause some perturbation in tumor rates.”

Most importantly, however, and completely ignored by NIEHS-NTP is the reality that no epidemic of chemical-caused cancer has ever been observed in the real world. None of the various and so-called “cancer clusters” that have been reported over the decades have ever been confirmed as related to chemicals. Cancer, it seems, is largely a matter of aging and genetics. We know that very high exposures to radiation, smoking and some asbestos fibers are associated with increased cancer risk. But chemicals in the environment? No evidence supports that notion.

Worried about the failure of its chief claims, the anti-chemical industry embraced a new alarm in the 1990s — even the lowest levels of environmental exposures to chemicals disrupt hormonal or endocrine systems.

The so-called “endocrine disrupter” scare kicked off in 1996 with (again) a book entitled “Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival?” Unfortunately for the scaremongers, the highly touted scientific study published in Science magazine to coincide with the book’s release had to be retracted because its federally funded authors, the government determined, had committed scientific misconduct by falsifying results.

This didn’t stop the NIEHS-NTP from hopping aboard the endocrine disrupter railroad even after the scare was later debunked by a special panel of the National Academy of Sciences and the failure of any ensuing studies to hold up to ordinary scientific standards and scrutiny.

And what role does Linda Birnbaum play in this?

Linda Birnbaum, Director, NIEHS

She has spent her career in the chemicals-cause-health-problems industry, mostly at NIEHS-NTP and EPA. She takes pride, for example, in having spent 35 years studying dioxin, a ubiquitous family of chemicals once fantasized to be the most toxic substance known to man.
I helped end the EPA’s panic about dioxins during 1999 and 2000 with an inexpensive study reporting that a single scoop of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream contained about 2,000 times the level of dioxin that EPA believed could be safely consumed. Since no one thought of Ben & Jerry’s as a poison, that was basically the end of the scare. Ironically, it was her own research that Mrs. Birnbaum is most proud of that made my Ben & Jerry’s study possible.

Mrs. Birnbaum was appointed to lead NIEHS-NTP in 2009 — largely because she was willing to expand the agency’s mission to include the health effects of climate change while the other candidate for her job was not, according to a knowledgeable source.

She is now caught in controversy over her NIEHS-NTP awarding $92 million in research contracts to a controversial research group with which she is presently affiliated, the Bologna, Italy-based Ramazzinni Institute. Researchers there have been trying for decades to link chemicals in the environment with cancer and other health effects. Two congressional committees are investigating.

On one hand, Mrs. Birnbaum and fellow anti-chemical activist-researchers should be thanked for their valuable services. Despite their best efforts to validate Rachel Carson, they failed — and not from lack of trying or funding.

We now know low levels of chemicals in the environment are nothing to panic about. Unfortunately for the 70-year-old Mrs. Birnbaum and her ilk, that is not the outcome they wanted, expected or can accept from a careers’ worth of work. The chemical alarmism industry is going to keep at it as long as the money flows its way.

So it’s up to the new administration to say thanks, cut the funding and move on to real problems.
Steve Milloy is a senior legal fellow at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute and the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” (Bench Press, 2016)

EPA's suspect science

Posted on June 21, 2017 John Rafuse Independent Consultant  
Then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would prioritize Superfund cleanups based on toxicity, health-impact and other factors. The ensuing caterwauling suggested that EPA had no priorities since Bill Ruckelshaus (EPA's first administrator, 1970-1975). But consider some standard EPA practices:

1. EPA advocates claim the US is unhealthy and dirty........
2. Eco-militants at EPA tricked the Supreme Court.........
4. EPA knowingly relies on fake science..........
5. EPA colludes with professional environmentalists to "fix" "inadequate" draft regulations.......
6. EPA covers up crimes. .....

President Trump's budget guidance exposed decades-old EPA abuses. The evidence exposes EPA's lack of mission, commitment and integrity. If EPA would use honest, evidence-based science to protect the nation's health, it would be a welcome and long overdue change - perhaps a miracle.

What's your bet?.......To Read More....

 

Double D(DT) - Not a Bra. A New Form Of The Insecticide

 

No matter how safe DDT may be (and it's probably far safer than you think), there can be no downside to using less of it, provided that it works as well. Thanks to chemists at NYU, this may become possible. Pretty cool. But before we go into this...

The obligatory chemistry lesson! Don't skip it. I'll find out. (BTW, just for yuks. Anyone know what the music is? The notes are real.)

Obligatory Chemistry Lesson:

One of the many headaches that drug discovery chemists face is a preternaturally annoying problem called crystal polymorphism. It can kill an otherwise promising drug unless it can be fixed, and sometimes it can't.

Crystallization (1) is almost always the best way to purify an organic compound (2). The process of having a chemical compound form crystals from a hot supersaturated solution excludes impurities that may be present. Only the pure compound will form the crystal, and an amazingly pure material is obtained in this manner. That is when it is behaving right. It doesn't always.

Depending on the compound in question and the solvent from which it crystallizes, sometimes polymorphs can form. Polymorphs are different shaped crystals, often both of equal chemical purity. But chemical purity is not sufficient for the bulk drug (the final material that is put into capsules or made into tablets. This is because different crystal forms, even though they may both be 100% pure, will have different properties, especially melting point and solubility, both of which affect absorption of the drug in the gut. And when your pure solid is a mixture of polymorphs, the composition of any two batches will be different. This is a big no-no for drugs.

Here is how this situation typically plays out in a lab of a drug company:
  1. Layoff rumors abound.
  2. Management tells chemist that the big mess that he/she is handed must be made 99.99% pure in two days.
  3. Management, which couldn't crystallize salt in a freezer, does not realize (or care) that this is impossible. They just want their bonuses.
  4. After four months and hundreds of different crystallization tricks, the chemist has 99.99% pure material.
  5. Chemist sends the crystals to an analytical chemist who examines the crystals under a microscope.
  6. Analytical chemist reports polymorphism.
  7. Original chemist hangs himself.
  8. The chemist is not replaced because the layoff rumors were true.
  9. Management gets bonuses.
Back to the polymorphs. You can just about hear this poor guy screaming:
"Selected and scaled up "Form C" in pilot plant where "Form D" was discovered and began to predominate. Aiieeeee!"

Novartis' Mahavir Prashad, Ph.D. not only had to endure the misery of four polymorphs (Figure 1) but also got into this article. Not sure which is worse:


Figure 1 - An example of different crystal forms of the same compound. Source: Mahavir Prashad, Org. Process Res. Dev., 2010, 14 (4), pp 878–882

As bad as polymorphism may be for chemists, it could be even worse for mosquitos, thanks to some very clever observations (and also luck) by Professor Bart Kahr and colleagues of the NYU chemistry department.

Kahr's group, which studies the properties of crystals, and was working with DDT which because of its chemical symmetry, forms a different type of crystal which was of interest to the group. Then they got lucky (and also smart). The group noticed that DDT came in (at least) two polymorphic forms, no matter how it was synthesized. They called the two forms Form 1 and Form 2. Perhaps not the most creative nomenclature ever, but let's cut them a break.

Figure 2: Two DDT polymorphs. Source: "DDT Polymorphism and the Lethality of Crystal Forms." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 1 – 6. 

This is where things get interesting. Mike Ward, who collaborated with Kahr explains:
‘Each polymorph expresses inherently different crystal structures and faces. On each face the molecules are oriented differently and this means that the interactions between the molecules with the footpads of insects are different.’ 
Professor Mike Ward. NYU chemistry department. 

This means that the lethality of DDT depends on both its chemical and crystal structure. Form II was significantly more lethal to fruit flies, possibly because its crystal form provides a greater exposed surface area. Let's take a closer look:


An enlarged, simplified version of Figure 2. The two benzene rings are in gray. The green spheres represent the chlorine atoms. In Form 1 (left) one of the benzene rings is turned so that you are seeing it edge on. 

I removed everything from the above figure except for one crystal unit of each form, which makes it much easier to see the differences in exposed surface areas of the two forms. Note that in Form 1 the two rings are folded such that they are close to each other, while in Form 2, they are "stretched out," (red bracket) which results in the greater surface area for this polymorph.

So, why not just make DDT in Form 2 and use less of it, and make everyone (more or less) happy. It's the same reason that poor Mahavir Prashad was pulling his hair out—polymorphs. Right now it is impossible to make pure Form 2. But Professor Kahr thinks they can overcome this (3):
"I don’t think that it should be an insurmountable problem... [W]e think that we can probably achieve this with more work."
Maybe, maybe not. These guys may be able to pull it off, but it's no easy task. And please, don't give this job to Mahavir Prashad. He has suffered enough.

Notes:

(1) A more accurate term is 'recrystallization,' since most impure solids are already (at least partly) crystalline. It is something organic chemists do thousands of times in their careers. The crude solid is dissolved in the correct volume of a boiling solvent and allowed to sit while the purified crystals form. Sometimes this must be repeated numerous times. What solvent to choose? How much? This is the art of crystallization.

(2) I hate to brag, but I wasn't named "Billy Crystal" in my lab for no reasons. OK, that's a lie. I gave myself the name. But when people of lesser abilities could not get something to crystallize, they visited my lab, at which point I usually had it done in about a minute. Arrogant? Perhaps.

(3) For a very interesting look at polymorphism, the incomparable Chemjobber (I know the guy. He has to do stuff like this for a living) see his blog piece "Puzzling Polymorphs."

Monumental, Unsustainable Environmental Impacts

Paul Driessen Jul 01, 2017 @ Townhall.com

Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy – to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change – ignore three fundamental flaws.

1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.

2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death.
 
It assigns only costs to carbon dioxide emissions, and ignores how rising atmospheric levels of this plant-fertilizing molecule are reducing deserts and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. It also ignores the huge costs inflicted by anti-carbon restrictions that drive up energy prices, kill jobs, and fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families in industrialized nations – and perpetuate poverty, misery, disease, malnutrition and early death in developing countries.

3) Renewable energy proponents pay little or no attention to the land and raw material requirements, and associated environmental impacts, of wind, solar and biofuel programs on scales required to meet mankind’s current and growing energy needs, especially as poor countries improve their living standards.

We properly insist on multiple detailed studies of every oil, gas, coal, pipeline, refinery, power plant and other fossil fuel project. Until recently, however, even the most absurd catastrophic climate change claims behind renewable energy programs, mandates and subsidies could not be questioned.
 
Just as bad, climate campaigners, government agencies and courts have never examined the land use, raw material, energy, water, wildlife, human health and other impacts of supposed wind, solar, biofuel and battery alternatives to fossil fuels – or of the transmission lines and other systems needed to carry electricity and liquid and gaseous renewable fuels thousands of miles to cities, towns and farms.

It is essential that we conduct rigorous studies now, before pushing further ahead. The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and Interior Department should do so immediately. States, other nations, private sector companies, think tanks and NGOs can and should do their own analyses. The studies can blithely assume these expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent alternatives can actually replace fossil fuels. But they need to assess the environmental impacts of doing so.

Renewable energy companies, industries and advocates are notorious for hiding, minimizing, obfuscating or misrepresenting their environmental and human health impacts. They demand and receive exemptions from health and endangered species laws that apply to other industries. They make promises they cannot keep about being able to safely replace fossil fuels that now provide over 80% of US and global energy.
 
A few articles have noted some of the serious environmental, toxic/radioactive waste, human health and child labor issues inherent in mining rare earth and cobalt/lithium deposits. However, we now needquantitative studies – detailed, rigorous, honest, transparent, cradle-to-grave, peer-reviewed analyses.
 
The back-of-the-envelope calculations that follow provide a template. I cannot vouch for any of them. But our governments need to conduct full-blown studies forthwith – before they commit us to spending tens of trillions of dollars on renewable energy schemes, mandates and subsidies that could blanket continents with wind turbines, solar panels, biofuel crops and battery arrays; destroy habitats and wildlife; kill jobs, impoverish families and bankrupt economies; impair our livelihoods, living standards and liberties; and put our lives under the control of unelected, unaccountable state, federal and international rulers – without having a clue whether these supposed alternatives are remotely economical or sustainable.

Ethanol derived from corn grown on 40,000,000 acres now provides the equivalent of 10% of US gasoline – and requires billions of gallons of water, and enormous quantities of fertilizer and energy.

What would it take to replace 100% of US gasoline?  To replace the entire world’s motor fuels?

Solar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate 15 megawatts of electricity perhaps 30% of the year from 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear power plant generates 900 times more electricity, from less land, some 95% of the year. Generating Palo Verde’s output via Nellis technology would require land area ten times larger than Washington, DC – and would still provide electricity unpredictably only 30% of the time. Now run those solar numbers for the 3.5 billion megawatt-hours generated nationwide in 2016.

Modern coal or gas-fired power plants use less than 300 acres to generate 600 megawatts 95% of the time. Indiana’s 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind farm covers 50,000 acres and generates electricity about 30% of the year. Calculate the turbine and acreage requirements for 3.5 billion MWH of wind electricity.

Delving more deeply, generating 20% of US electricity with wind power would require up to 185,000 1.5-MW turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, 18 million acres, and 245 million tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths – plus fossil-fuel back-up generators for the 75-80% of the year that winds nationwide are barely blowing and the turbines are not producing electricity.
Energy analyst David Wells has calculated that replacing 160,000 teraWatt-hours of total global energy consumption with wind would require 183,400,000 turbines needing roughly:

461,000,000,000 tons of steel for the towers; 460,00,000,000 tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; 59,000,000,000 tons of copper, steel and alloys for the turbines; 738,000,000 tons of neodymium for turbine magnets; 14,700,000,000 tons of steel and complex composite materials for the nacelles; 11,000,000,000 tons of complex petroleum-based composites for the rotors; and massive quantities of other raw materials – all of which must be mined, processed, manufactured into finished products and shipped around the world.

Assuming 25 acres per turbine, the turbines would require 4,585,000,000 hectares (11,330,000,000 acres) – nearly twice the land area of North America! Wells adds: Shipping just the iron ore to build the turbines would require nearly 3 million voyages in huge ships that would consume 13 billion tons of bunker fuel (heavy oil) in the process. And converting that ore to iron and steel would require 473 billion tons of coking coal, demanding another 1.2 million sea voyages, consuming another 6 billion tons of bunker fuel.

For sustainability disciples: Does Earth have enough of these raw materials for this transformation?

It gets worse. These numbers do not include the ultra-long transmission lines required to carry electricity from windy locations to distant cities. Moreover, Irina Slav points out, wind turbines, solar panels and solar thermal installations cannot produce high enough heat to melt silica, iron or other metals – and certainly cannot generate the required power on a reliable enough basis to operate smelters and factories.

Wind turbines (and solar panels) last just 20 years or so (less in salt water environments) – while coal, gas and nuclear power plants last 35-50 years and require far less land and raw materials. That means we would have tear down, haul away and replace far more “renewable” generators twice as often; dispose of or recycle their component parts (and toxic or radioactive wastes); and mine, process and ship more ores.

Finally, their intermittent electricity output means they couldn’t guarantee you could boil an egg, run an assembly line, surf the internet or complete a heart transplant when you need to. So we store their output in massive battery arrays, you say. OK. Let’s calculate the land, energy and raw materials for that. While we’re at it, let’s add in the requirements for building and recharging 100% electric vehicle fleets.

Then there are the bird and bat deaths, wildlife losses from destroying habitats, and human health impacts from wind turbine noise and flicker. These also need to be examined – fully and honestly – along with the effects of skyrocketing renewable energy prices on every aspect of this transition and our lives.

The good news is that these essential analyses will provide job security for EPA and other scientists, modelers and regulators previously engaged in alarmist, biased climate chaos studies. Let’s get started.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.