Archive for March 20th, 2009

Michelle Obama’s Political Gardening

March 20, 2009

The Obama-smitten mainstream media lapped up First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement that she and 5th graders from a local elementary school were going to plant and maintain a vegetable garden at the White House. The New York Times reported,

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.

While we’re all for teaching kids about gardening, Michelle Obama’s garden is more about raising green ideologues than green vegetables:

  • “Locally grown” food is a green euphemism for their fight against imports and exports of food. The Greens don’t want you eating Chilean grapes in the winter or French wine anytime, for example.
  • Organic food, of course, is a symbol of the green movement. The sad truth is that organic food is actually harder on the environment than conventionally grown food, requiring more land, water and labor.

The Times acknowledged the garden’s politics as such, reporting that,

The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.

What will Michelle Obama grow? According to the Times:

The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro, tomatillos and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts, who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey.

Wouldn’t you like your own taxpayer-paid beekeeper?

What’s the lesson for the 5th graders? That they, too, can grow up to be elitist and get glowing PR for hornswoggling children and federal employees into growing fancy vegetables to promote your anti-people political views and to feed your exotic palate?

The Times also noted,

But the first lady emphasized that she did not want people to feel guilty if they did not have the time for a garden: there are still many changes they can make.

“You can begin in your own cupboard,” she said, “by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables.”

Aside from the nutritional value offered by a great deal of processed foods, what about all the people who work in or whose jobs depend on the processed foods industry?

Let them eat home-grown berries when they’re put out of work?

Finally, there’s Alice Waters, the San Franciso-based “slow food” advocate and Obama fundraiser. Waters likened the White House garden to the World War II “victory gardens,” telling the Associated Press that,

“To have this sort of ‘victory’ garden, this message goes out that everyone can grow a garden and have free food.”

Free food?

Anyone who has gardened knows first -and that home-grown vegetables can hardly be considered as “free.” Between the water, seeds, fertilzer/compost, pest control, labor and worry, gardening is hardly “free.”

But then again, if you’re the first lady and White House employees and children are doing all the work, and taxpayers are picking up all the costs, maybe there really is such a thing as a free veggies.

Green-collar job bubble bursts in Spain

March 20, 2009

In an article entitled, “The reality of wind power and green-collar jobs in Spain,” the Scientific Alliance observes that although Spain’s renewable energy effort created 50,000 jobs,

… these are nearly all for installing new capacity and so do not provide long term employment. And they come at a cost: a renewables subsidy of 2.6bn euros in 2007 [about $72,000 per job based on 2007 exchange rates], with about one third of the total going to the solar sector, which represents only 0.7% of installed capacity and about half the total number of jobs [as the wind sector].

The costs are such that the government has now had to reduce the subsidy for solar power by 30% and cap the amount of new capacity to be installed. This softening of support resulted in 10,000 job losses. Further reductions of subsidies put 40,000 more green jobs at risk. Energy prices are rising to cover losses in the distribution industry, and generators have announced the cancellation of 4.5bn euros of annual investment because they also pay an effective subsidy for renewable energy through the controlled price to the consumer…

The lesson: Green jobs = higher taxes + higher electric bills + some temporary employment.

Van Jones, are you listening?

Wal-Mart wrong on plastic bags

March 20, 2009

The Trumann Democrat (Trumann, AR) reports that Wal-Mart is going green, in part by eliminating plastic bags.

Store manager Larry Rich explained,

“Plastic bags are the No. 1 cause of marine deaths in the oceans.”

Wrong, dude.

Rich apparently missed this March 2008 report from The Times (UK) entitled, “Series of blunders turned the plastic bag into global villain.” The article says,

Scientists and environmentalists have attacked a global campaign to ban plastic bags which they say is based on flawed science and exaggerated claims.

The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds…

Campaigners say that plastic bags pollute coastlines and waterways, killing or injuring birds and livestock on land and, in the oceans, destroying vast numbers of seabirds, seals, turtles and whales. However, The Times has established that there is no scientific evidence to show that the bags pose any direct threat to marine mammals.

They “don’t figure” in the majority of cases where animals die from marine debris, said David Laist, the author of a seminal 1997 study on the subject. Most deaths were caused when creatures became caught up in waste produce. “Plastic bags don’t figure in entanglement,” he said. “The main culprits are fishing gear, ropes, lines and strapping bands. Most mammals are too big to get caught up in a plastic bag.”

He added: “The impact of bags on whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals ranges from nil for most species to very minor for perhaps a few species.For birds, plastic bags are not a problem either.”

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine.”

In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment.

Regardless, the erroneous claim has become the keystone of a widening campaign to demonise plastic bags.

David Santillo, a marine biologist at Greenpeace, told The Times that bad science was undermining the Government’s case for banning the bags. “It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags,” he said. “The evidence shows just the opposite. We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags.

“It doesn’t do the Government’s case any favours if you’ve got statements being made that aren’t supported by the scientific literature that’s out there. With larger mammals it’s fishing gear that’s the big problem. On a global basis plastic bags aren’t an issue. It would be great if statements like these weren’t made.”

Geoffrey Cox, a Tory member of the Commons Environment Select Committee, said: “I don’t like plastic bags and I certainly support restricting their use, but plainly it’s extremely important that before we take any steps we should rely on accurate information. It is bizarre that any campaign should be endorsed on the basis of a mistranslation. Gordon Brown should get his facts right.”

So should Wal-Mart.

March 22: World No-Water Day?

March 20, 2009

March 22 is the green-contrived World Water Day. It should be re-labeled World No-Water Day since the greens are really only interested in controlling (read “reducing”) water use — even though water is the most abundant substance on Earth.

Instead of figuring out ways of producing more freshwater (like through desalination and water exporting), the greens are interested in “water management,” as described, for example, in this media release from German researchers. “Water management” is a euphemism for global dehydration.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them discusses how the greens are working toward a thirstier world.

Congressional GOP stands against ‘cap-and-tax’

March 20, 2009

Congressional Republicans have issued their “Principles for Economic Recovery,” one of which is:


Instead of taxing all energy users with a new “cap and tax” scheme that will cost an average of up to $3,128 per household, Republicans want energy independence with increased exploration and the development of new and renewable energy sources.

Blocking the green takeover of our economy is a winning political issue for Republicans — and a necessity for the rest of us.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them explains why.

Greens woo, but hurt blacks

March 20, 2009

The Wall Street Journal‘s Naomi Schaeffer Riley opines today about how the largely white-and-rich greens are trying to make themselves less so.

But, as Riley points out with our help, the greens really represent a threat to African Americans:

… It may be mere condescension to assume that racial minorities don’t understand what’s at stake in [the environmental debate] — that it is the outreach effort that is failing and not the message itself. It could well be that minorities understand all too well. “Environmentalism doesn’t appeal to minorities,” says Steven Milloy, the publisher of, because “it doesn’t bring them anything.” He explains: “Environmentalists scare companies from building plants where people could use the jobs, and the plants go overseas instead.” In the late ’90s, for instance, the greens managed to run the Shintech company out of Convent, La., where it had planned to build a chemical plant that would have created more than 150 jobs. Though three-quarters of the black residents near the site wanted the facility, the company eventually backed out, tired of the harassment from the Clinton administration’s EPA.

Driving jobs away, particularly in today’s economy, is much more harmful to the health of racial minorities than any presumed “environmental” threat. As Mr. Milloy explains: “People who have jobs have health insurance and a higher standard of living.” As for what we might call “heat justice”: People with jobs also have more air-conditioning units, which can presumably prevent heat-related deaths.

As for the claim about asthma, Mr. Milloy notes that childhood asthma rates have climbed in the past three decades as our air has become considerably cleaner. Moreover, he notes that asthma is not triggered by chemical fumes, but by allergens, which are not produced by industrial plants.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them spotlights how the greens are a menace to everyone — no matter what your skin color.

Maryland Steelworkers: Get New Leadership

March 20, 2009

The United Steelworkers are supporting a bill in Maryland to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, reports the Washington Post.

According to the Post, the greens bought the Steelworkers support with assurance that the bill,

… cannot cost manufacturing jobs, cannot “decrease the likelihood of . . . affordable electrical service” and must produce a net economic benefit for Maryland.

And they cannot require greenhouse gas reductions from the manufacturing sector, which produces between 4 and 7 percent of the state’s overall emissions.

Steelworker spokesman Jim Strong told the Post,

“We’re concerned about the environment. But as a labor organization, our primary concern is the jobs of our members.”

But if Strong was telling the truth — or knew enough to tell the truth — he would oppose the greens to the bitter end.

First, we all care about the environment — the greens don’t hold a monopoly on that. But greenhouse gas regulation has nothing to do with the environment. Greenhouse gas regulation will make no detectable difference to our environment.

Next, the greens care don’t for, or about, steel manufacturing or steel workers — except to the extent that blue-collar workers and their unions can serve as “useful idiots” who help achieve the green social and political agenda.

Sure the Maryland bill may not hurt manufacturing, but it will never really be implemented anyway — looming national legislation is the real threat. What the greens have accomplished is to lull Maryland steelworkers to sleep on the climate issue.

Greenhouse gas regulation can only hurt blue-collar workers. Maryland Steelworkers should unite to get rid of Jim Strong and anyone else in union leadership boneheaded enough to think that steel jobs can survive the green agenda.

Take action:

Contact United Steelworkers District 8 director, Ernest R. “Billy” Thompson, and tell him that if green wins, steelworkers lose:

USW District 8
85 C. Michael Davenport Blvd, Suite B
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-875-3332 – Telephone
502-875-2917 – FAX

You can also try to contact Jim Strong at:

Sub-District 1
8019 Corporate Drive, Suite H
Baltimore, MD 21236
Phone: 410-931-6900
Fax: 410-931-6904