Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Globe and Mail: Ottawa chided on approach to Kyoto

Well, the cat is already out of the bag on two counts for Kyoto. hmm - perhaps it was already, but now even the middle of the road Canadian who has accepted this bunk with glazed-over eyes might even begin to notice.

The Globe and Mail: Ottawa chided on approach to Kyoto

The first feline escape is that there is no way for Canada to meet its goal - without shutting down large parts of the economy that is. It's been obvious all along to those who gave it any thought. Canada:

1. Is a growing economy - with a growing population. (Unlike those European countries so seemingly intent on zero-growth, and high unemployment.)
2. Is a cold country - meaning we use energy to stay alive in winter.
3. Has efficient, world-scale, world-competitive process industries.

The Yanks and Aussies are also countries with growing popultations. Their governments were smart enough to figure this one out. Canada has signed up for something for PR purposes - and now we will be stuck with a huge bill. I say pull out now!

Feline escape number two is obvious from the comments of the cretins in the environmental industry. They are bemoaning that industry is to be 'let off the hook'.

It is clear that the objective of the environmental industry has never been to reduce global green house on a global basis, but rather to hamstring Canadian, US etc industries to the extent that it shuts down entirely.

Either that, or it escapes their very limited cognitive capabilities that in the event that costs here are raised to the extent that production is no longer competitive, a host of other countries are more than willing to take our raw materials (gas, coal, unfractionated NGLs) etc., and produce the energy, hydrocarbons, plastics, paper that final consumers will still need. In such an event, GHG gas emissions will rise as additional energy would be required to transport the commodties.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Worth a read: State of Fear, by Michael Crichton

I must admit that 99% of by reading time is allocated to non-fiction. I'll read about one novel a year. However, when my dad gave me a copy of Michael Crichton's State of Fear, I decided to put down Robert Massie's masterful Castles of Steel for an evening or so - and give Crichton's work a go.

State of Fear is an techo-thriller wrapped by an indictment of group-think "science" that is being foisted upon. "Being foisted upon us by whom?" you may ask. Well - I'm not going to get into the details in the book - but I'll relate to you a true life example of the type of truth-bending and even complete fabrications that elements of the academic elites employ to help achieve political aims.

In early 2004, in an attempt to influence the US elections, a group called the Union of Concerned Scientists (or UCS) published a letter indicting the Bush science policy. As reported in the Globe and Mail, UCS front man Dr. Neal Lane stated:

One of the most egregious cases mentioned in the report was the issue of the panel on appropriate levels of mercury and lead in paint, and in the environment in general," said Neal Lane, a former director of the National Science Foundation and a former presidential science adviser.

The letter stated that a the Bush adminstration had "dismissed" a Dr. Weitzman from an NIH scientific advisory panel dealing with lead issues - and replaced him with another academic - a Dr. Banner - who they portrayed as in industry lackey for having testified for the defense in a product liability lawsuit.

This is a clear example of the type of fearmongering described in Crichton's book. The implication is that those evil industry types are taking over and that children will soon be poisoned by lead. UCS types believe reflexively that anyone associated with 'industry' is bad.

The trouble is that this most egregious case of supposed malfeasance is fabricated. In fact, Dr. Weitzman's term on the panel was expiring. The administration was simply filling the position- and attempting to bring more balance to the panel. Dr. Banner has not subsequently attempted to poison children by raising the allowable lead exposure levels. The minutes of the advisory panel meetings are published in the web - and they certainly show Dr. Banner as an informed and active participant, rather than the ignorant stooge that the UCS would have us believe him.

I exchanged a few emails with Dr. Kurt Gottfried on this matter. Gottfried did not refute the inaccuracy. He claimed that Weitzman had been told informally that he would remain on the panel - despite having been on for the normal maximum. Gottfriend indicated that the 'real issue' was the fact that the HHS Secretary had igored CDC staff recommendations.

Of course, none of this detail was in the smeer job that UCS foisted upon the unsuspecting public. They simply said that Weitzman was 'dismissed'.

I'm still waiting for Gottfried to get back to me.