News & Views – October 13, 2011

Note to readers: JunkScience Sidebar has moved to a daily News & Views page available here. 

FDA Says It Will Propose Ban on Bisphenol A In Baby Bottles, Children’s ‘Sippy Cups’ –  FDA says it will propose a ban on BPA in baby bottles and “sippy cups” in the “very near future” in response to American Chemistry Council petition. (Daily Environment Report)

Great Barrier Reef ‘Research’ – A Litany of False Claims – WE may live in the information age, but how true are many of the scientific claims we read and hear? For ten years the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, has been campaigning to ‘Save the Great Barrier Reef’. When the WWF campaign was first launched in June 2001 it was claimed Diuron was killing seagrass and dioxins were killing dugongs and so both these pesticides should be banned. Ten years on and the ban on Diuron appears imminent, but the chemical is probably no more harmful than the dioxin that was found to be natural.
The WWF campaign is an example of prejudice against industry and pesticides and also how alarmism is increasingly favoured over evidence resulting in junk science. (Jennifer Marohasy)

Doom Update: 80 days left – Just a friendly reminder that if you happen to be one of the 4.5 billion people Gaia is going to snuff  by December 31st, you should probably get your affairs in order in the next 80 days. (Daily Bayonet)

Holes in the Recent Arctic Ozone Hole Story – There are frequent stories of impending doom. If it isn’t new it’s a recycled one, which works because few understood the original story was false. This allows exploiters to take normal events and present them as abnormal. A recent Canadian story identifies a hole in the Arctic ozone. How can this be? Wasn’t the problem identified and resolved with the 1987 international agreement, the Montréal Protocol? (Tim Ball)

Dancing on their own grave – Labor politicians yesterday held a celebration in Parliament over the carbon dioxide tax that can only infuriate the electorate they deceived: (Andrew Bolt)

Advocacy By The National Research Council – It is clear that the National Research Council has elected to be an advocate on a particular perspective with respect to climate, and the human role, rather than serving as a facilitator which permits the assessment of the diversity of scientifically supported viewpoints on this issue. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

EU Research Projects Less Than 3 Inch Increase of Sea Levels By 2100 – Coastal Areas Not In Jeopardy – The EU satellite has been accurately measuring global sea levels since late 2003. Based on those measurements, EU scientists determined that the mean sea level increase trend was a meager 0.816 millimeters per year, which translates into a 2.8 inch increase by year 2100. (C3)

Our GRL Response to Dessler Takes Shape, and the Evidence Keeps Mounting – I will be revealing some of the evidence we will be submitting to Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) in response to Dessler’s paper claiming to refute our view of the forcing role of clouds in the climate system. (Roy W. Spencer)

Met Office Wakes Up To Solar Influence On Climate – For as long as I have been a meteorologist, the mere suggestion that solar activity could influence climate patterns has been greeted with near derision.
Quite why this has been the case is difficult to fathom. But it’s been clear for a long time that there must be a link of some kind, ever since decades ago Professor Lamb discovered an empirical relationship between low solar activity and higher pressure across higher latitudes such as Greenland.

Oilsands expansion jeopardized by absence of climate plan, ambassador told – OTTAWA — Opposition to oilsands expansion in “Canada’s Texas” and a controversial U.S. pipeline expansion project is growing because of a failure to crack down on pollution that traps heat in the atmosphere and causes climate change, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, was told by staff in newly released correspondence. (Postmedia News)

Terence Corcoran: The ‘ethical oil’ road to global trade warEzra Levant’s concept of ethical oil abandons the principles of free trade
The ethical oil argument is a clever and compelling one, and good for a dozen laughs when it’s delivered — as it was at a Toronto Empire Club lunch the other day — by Mr. Levant. Most of the laughs come at the expense of the David Suzuki crowd, green campaigners and air-headed young campus leftists/activists such as Zoe, Mr. Levant’s caricature of a 20-something McGill student in vegetarian studies who has never been west of Hamilton but has a brain filled with ethical angst over dozens of global issues about which she knows nothing — human rights, environmental degradation, poverty, climate change and Wall Street domination. Zoe is probably preparing even now for Saturday’s march on Bay Street. (Financial Post)

The EPA’s Benefit/Cost Jihad on U.S. Electric Utilities – President Obama’s deferment of the EPA’s latest ozone standards puts on hold annual compliance costs that the Agency estimated at $90 billion by 2020. The Wall Street Journal termed the $90 billion figure an “undoubtedly lowball estimate.” (MasterResource)

Reality Check: Coal Shortage Leads To Power Outages Across India – New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) A severe shortage of coal has hit electricity output in the country and led to long and frequent power outages in many states, including the national capital, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. (GWPF)

Europe Has Huge Shale Gas Potential, New Report – Shale-gas production in Europe could reach 35 billion cubic metres a year (cm/y) by 2020, or about 20% of EU member states’ output now, with Poland and the UK the leading producers, says a new report. (GWPF)

Drilling wastes create pasture – So-called toxic drilling and fracking wastes are being used to create dozens of hectares of lush pasture in coastal Taranaki, says a company accused of “ecocide” by environmentalists. (Taranaki Daily News)

Peter Foster — Jeremy Rifkin: wrong and wronger – Mr. Rifkin — who is in Toronto to peddle his latest book, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy and the World — has an almost unparalleled record of being not merely wrong, but spectacularly wrong. For decades, he has been exploiting technophobia, junk science, postmodern psychobabble and folk economics to peddle a long list of anti-capitalist, anti-corporate scares, along with matching Big Government “solutions.” His one undeniable talent is for self-promotion. He is, after all, according to his website, “the most widely read columnist in the world today.” (Financial Post)

The Fukushima effect – The nuclear accident in Japan brought to the surface the Western world’s irrational fear of this most modern technology. (Patrick Hayes, spiked)

Red Flags for Green EnergyDelays, Other Hiccups Dog U.S.-Backed Environmental Projects Beyond Solyndra
While Solyndra LLC’s flameout has fueled criticism of federal initiatives to encourage alternative power sources, the solar-panel maker is hardly the only disappointment among U.S.-backed energy programs. (Vuahini Vara, WSJ)

SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra, Twice As Bad For Obama
Congressman’s son lobbied for failing solar panel company
How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project—three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project. (Human Events)

Solar Power Cost: Don’t Forget Intermittency (energy economics 101) – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published an excellent report on the projected cost of electricity generated by different technologies: coal, natural gas, nuclear, and various others, including renewables. (David Bergeron, MasterResource)

Solar Industry Fights For Extension Of Subsidies – A U.S. solar industry trade group is lobbing a new offensive to save a popular federal incentive program by releasing a report Wednesday to show that an one-year extension of the program could create 37,400 more jobs and add nearly 500 megawatts in 2012. (Ucilia Wang, Forbes)

Revolution Threatens to Falter: Is Germany’s Green Energy Plan Failing? – Germany has set higher targets for renewable energy usage than any other industrialized nation. Angela Merkel’s government plans to decommission its nuclear plants by 2022 and to obtain 80 percent of all energy from renewables by 2050. So far, though, too many promises from Berlin have gone unfulfilled. (Spiegel)

Renewable Lies – Might as well. Three years into the crisis and with two more likely ahead, it appears governments still believe they’ll be able to lie their way out of this hole. Go figure, it’s not working anymore. …

For over a decade policymakers have led us to believe that a green revolution led by renewable energy is required to improve energy security, to cut energy spending, and to avert global warming. (Andrés Cala, Energy Tribune)

Rooftop solar panels overloading electricity grid – THE runaway take-up of rooftop solar panels is undermining the quality of electricity supplies, feeding so much power back into the network that it is stressing the system and causing voltage rises that could damage household devices such as computers and televisions. (The Australian)

Green taxes could force one in four into fuel poverty – One in four households will be driven into fuel poverty if the Government pursues controversial green energy targets, ministers have been warned. ‘Radical policy change’ may be necessary to protect millions of struggling families from biggest household price shock since the 1970s, according to City analysts. (Daily Mail)

Stephen Doughty: The Wind Is Now Blowing Against Climate Taxes And Carbon Tomfoolery – Perhaps George Osborne’s apparent conversion in Manchester last week, when the Chancellor appeared to reverse climate change policy, is a sign of things to come.
Green taxes were invented in 1996, about a decade after the green lobby and its supporters began to get very excited about man-made climate change.
Since then green taxes have been piled up to the point that they now bring in more than £40 billion a year, much more than enough to cover the shrinking national defence budget. (GWPF)

US must stop promoting biofuels to tackle world hunger, says thinktank – Global Hunger Index says US government support for corn ethanol was a factor in this year’s food price spikes (Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian)

Meat consumption jumps 20 percent in last decade with super-sized environmental impacts – Meat consumption and production remains on the rise, according to a new report Worldwatch Institute, with large-scale environmental impacts especially linked to the spread of factory farming. According to the report, global meat production has tripled since 1970, and jumped by 20 percent since 2000 with consumption rising significantly faster than global population. (Jeremy Hance,

Curiously Worldwatch complains this has been enabled by “industrial” (read: efficient) agriculture.

3 responses to “News & Views – October 13, 2011

  1. I do not understand the ACC’s motivation on this. There is no evidence that there is any harm from Bisphenol A, and they say as much in their letter. The removal serves no purpose other than to further the hysteria and idiocy of this entire ordeal.

    • Agreed. Sadly industry would rather switch than fight. This sets a bad precedent. A more reasonable course might have been to switch but continue to fight.

  2. One of the funniest lines in the Fukushima Effect paper is the one that says terrorists could learn of the weaknesses of nuclear reactors by studying Japan. Yes, they could learn the weaknesses. Once they perfect the pocket-tsunami, we will be at the knees of anyone with one.

    Of course, if a terrorist had the firepower and manpower to take down a nuclear reactor and prevent help from getting there for days, we have bigger problems than minor venting of tritium.

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