Archive for September, 2010

Simpson right on Agent Orange

September 2, 2010

By Steve Milloy
September 2, 2010, The Hill

White House fiscal commission member Sen. Alan Simpson is drawing fire from veterans groups for objecting to the Obama administration decision to expand Agent Orange benefits to Vietnam vets. Simpson is right and the vets wrong.

The Obama administration wants to expand medical benefits for Vietnam vets by $42 billion over the next 10 years by permitting disability awards to vets who contract heart disease. The underlying assumption is that Agent Orange causes all heart disease in Vietnam vets.

The problem, though, is that assumption is not supported by any available facts and science.

As pointed out by Dr. Michael Gough, the chairman of the federal panel charged with investigating the potential health impacts of Agent Orange use, “[The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] found that few, if any, ground troops in Vietnam had been exposed to Agent Orange. The Air Force’s Operation Ranch Hand sprayed 90 percent of the Agent Orange used in Vietnam. There is no difference in the health of the Ranch Hands, the only veterans known to have been exposed, and that of other veterans who served in Southeast Asia at the same time and flew the same kinds of airplanes but were not exposed to Agent Orange.”

Sen. Simpson, of course, already knows this since Dr. Gough made the foregoing statement before the Senator in 1996 when he chaired the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

More recently, Air Force researchers concluded in 2006 in the journal Organohalogen Compounds that “cardiovascular disease [among the Air Force personnel] does not appear to be associated with [Agent Orange] exposure.”

Accordingly, it is absurd to expect taxpayers to shell out so much money without giving them facts that justify the expense.

Americans, including Sen. Simpson, honor the service of veterans and are willing to go to extended lengths to help them — that’s why the vets get any compensation for Agent Orange at all. There really is no firm science indicating that any vet has ever suffered from Agent Orange exposure; yet we have historically given vets the benefit of the doubt because we honor their service.

But a cash-strapped government can no longer afford to be so generous without good reason.

Our commitment to veterans is sacred, but it is not a suicide pact to open the floodgates of the nation’s coffers indefinitely.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.”

Discovery Gunman: The Green Frankenstein

September 2, 2010

The radical green movement is rapidly trying to distance itself from Discovery Channel gunman James J. Lee. That will be difficult to do.

Wednesday afternoon, an armed Lee walked into the offices of the Discovery Channel, took hostages and demanded that the TV network alter its programming to suit his demands as laid out in an 11-point manifesto. The incident ended when police shot him dead.

Lee called for saving the Earth by getting rid of people, whom he referred to as “filth,” and stopping global warming. He called for TV programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility, and exposing civilization’s “disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed.” “All human procreation and farming must cease,” he raved, because “the planet does not need humans.”

Curious to see how the greens would react to the incident, I visited the Grist.org web site, perhaps the most popular green website, where I found an article by Grist senior editor Lisa Hymas entitled, “Discovery hostage taker is a population-obsessed eco-wacko.” [Suggested link is http://www.grist.org/article/2010-09-01-discovery-hostage-taker-population-obsessed-kid-hating-eco-wacko%5D. I read on as I had never seen one green refer to another as an “eco-wacko.”

Although Hymas wrote that, “Lee is giving us sane and humane enviros and childfree people a bad name,” her effort to distance her cause from Lee was soon challenged. The first comment following her post stated, “So, what is wrong with [Lee’s] logic that he deserved to be shot? He wasn’t wrong.” Two comments later, a commenter stated, “I pretty much agree with what he said… In reality, at this point, the human race is like a growing fungus covering and consuming a grapefruit…”

Like Dr., Frankenstein tying to escape the reputational stain of his eponymous monster, the radical green movement cannot runaway so easily from Lee.

While Lee clearly popped his cork, the comments to Hymas’ article indicate there are apparently others out there whose corks are under similar pressure — thanks to green publications like Grist and green personalities like Al Gore, whose movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” Lee reportedly credited for “awakening” him to global warming.

Gore, Grist.org and others have urged their followers to civil disobedience. Grist staff write Jonathan Hiskes says he’s all for the easy stuff first (like weatherization and energy efficiency), but if that doesn’t work, Hiskes calls for civil disobedience and ensuing prison, if need be. Ironically, Lee tried civil disobedience with the Discovery Channel in 2008 and wound up in prison. His probation from that incident ended just two weeks ago.

Greens have tried using civil disobedience (even if it involves criminal trespass) to shut down coal mining, coal-fired power plants and gas stations. None of these efforts have succeeded. So what’s next when civil disobedience fails? More James Lees?

Some greens have already leap-frogged over civil disobedience and moved straight into terrorism. In the wake of fire bombings at new housing developments, car dealerships and a ski lodge, the FBI has labeled the Earth Liberation front as a domestic terrorist group. Then there’s sawmill worker George Alexander who was almost decapitated in 1987 when his saw blade hit a tree spike embedded by the California chapter of Earth First!

The greens would also like to harness the power of the state to do violence to their opponents. About so-called global warming “deniers,” Grist writer Dave Roberts wrote in 2006, “we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

It’s true that James Lee was a psycho, but he was just taking radical environmentalism to its logical conclusion. People threaten planet and, if they won’t stop voluntarily, then they must be made to stop. Lee believed that because he steeped himself in today’s radical environmental movement.

John Holdren v. James Lee

September 1, 2010

Question of the day: Exactly how much daylight is there between the population control rantings of Discovery Channel Channel gunman James Lee and the writings of Obama science advisor John Holdren?

Speak of the devil: Alarmist scientists issue call for scary scenarios at AGU conference

September 1, 2010

Global warming alarmist scientists Steve Sherwood (University of New South Wales) and Matthew Huber (Purdue University) have asked colleagues to develop scary scenarios for their session at the December 13-14, 2010 meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Here’s the e-mail that Huber sent out to his list earlier today:

X-Sieve: CMU Sieve 2.2
X-AuditID: 12074f13-b7baaae000000a09-0c-4c7e6a09c911
To: undisclosed-recipients:;@XXXXX.EDU
From: Matthew Huber
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2010 10:56:29 -0400
Subject: agu
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1081)
X-PMX-Version: 5.5.9.388399
X-PerlMx-Virus-Scanned: Yes
X-Brightmail-Tracker: AAAAARXch2M=

hi,
I wanted to bring to your attention an AGU session that Steve Sherwood and I are co-convening. I wanted to encourage you to submit results to this session if have something relevant. we’re looking simulations or theory or data that push the envelope what we think of as Earth’s climate. [Emphasis added]

-matthew huber

GC44: Undiscovered Climates of Earth

Past and future climates changes could conceivably be large enough to engender unforeseen qualitative alterations in the functioning of the climate system . Exploring the largest climate changes can verge into speculation, but can also help discover general, novel insights into climate dynamics with major biospheric implications. This session aims to explore or document qualitative or unexpected climate change mechanisms and impacts in significantly warmer or cooler climates. We welcome model or observational studies on changes in climate feedback strength or the emergence of new feedbacks; changes in modes of variability; new climate nonlinearities; fundamental climate zone shifts; and qualitatively new impacts on to life emerging in hot or cold climates.

The emphasized option of the e-mail is obviously a clarion call for more ammunition for alarmist fearmongering.

As I coincidentally pointed out in my Human Events column today, “Desperate Greens Make Desperate Claims”:

As the chances of a cap-and-trade bill recede in the 111th Congress, expect the increasingly desperate greens to amp up their gloom-and-doom rhetoric—as they already have… reality will matter less and less to climate alarmists as their visions of cap-and-trade in this Congress, once a sure bet, fade away. Keep that in mind as you read the climate-related news this fall.

Given the house-of-cards-like collapse of global warming alarmism over the past year — as well as the sort of ongoing self-inflicted harm described above— I’m hoping that Tom Wolfe will recount the spectacle in a new book, perhaps called “The Bonfire of the Credibilities.”

Desperate Greens Make Desperate Claims

September 1, 2010

by Steven Milloy
September 1, 2010, Human Events

As the chances of a cap-and-trade bill recede in the 111th Congress, expect the increasingly desperate greens to amp up their gloom-and-doom rhetoric—as they already have.

Amid Al Gore’s recent concession speech to his zombie followers, for example, he apparently couldn’t help himself from linking every recent bad weather event he could think of with global warming—from floods in Nashville and Pakistan to the recent heat wave and forest fires in Russia.

Before that, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) took the opportunity of an ongoing East Coast heat wave to proclaim the current decade to be the hottest on record and to proclaim that global warming is “undeniable.”

Then there was the recent Environmental Defense Fund claim that global warming is going to wreck Mexican agriculture and increase illegal immigration by almost 7 million by 2070.
No doubt before this Congress is over, we will be subjected to even more extreme claims, although I can’t imagine what scary scenario the greens could conjure up that they haven’t tried before.

One would have thought that Al Gore had learned his lesson about blaming bad weather on climate change when a British judge ruled in 2007 that his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, couldn’t be shown to British school children without a disclaimer about its many egregious errors (amounting to about 99% of the science presented in the film). One of the judicially noticed errors that Gore made was attributing individual weather events and natural disasters (like Hurricane Katrina) to climate change.

Regardless of how climate changes—and it will continue change even if humans magically vanished from the planet and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels return to the alarmist ideal of 350 parts per million—there will always be bad weather and natural disasters in whatever unpredictable proportion and frequency nature dictates.

As to the NOAA claim that now is the hottest era since recordkeeping began, let’s first keep in mind that both nature and humans began recordkeeping long before NOAA and we know that the period known as the Medieval Optimum (about 1,000 years ago when the Vikings tilled Greenland without the help of John Deere) was as warm if not warmer than today.

Moreover, even NOAA should know that the Northern Hemisphere has been warming (thankfully) for about 200 years since the end of a very cold 400-year period in history known as the Little Ice Age. Yes, so it’s been almost continually warming since the early 1800s—and the early 2000’s are the warmest decade? NOAA has a tremendous grasp on the obvious.

The agency, of course, would have us believe that this warming trend is due to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The problem with that notion is that it’s not clear in any record anywhere that manmade CO2 emissions correlate with global temperature change. Since 1995, in fact, there has been no significant warming of average global temperature while atmospheric CO2 levels have increased by more than 10%.

Not only has there been no warming since 1995, but it’s likely the alarmist-made temperature record is actually showing more warming than is actually occurring. Between temperature measurement stations being located on heat-retaining airport runways and other urban heat islands, and the Climate-gate mafia gradually removing cooler, rural weather stations from their data gathering, it must be really embarrassing for the alarmists to have to lie and cheat to keep the data from showing the real-life slight cooling that in all likelihood is actually occurring.

What about the supposed global warming-induced wave of Mexican illegals? Let’s just say that warming temperatures have tended to increase agricultural productivity by lengthening growing seasons. Moreover, any potential warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations would likely happen in drier, northern latitudes rather than wetter, more temperate zones where the greater presence of water vapor tends to rob CO2 of the opportunity to cause any warming.

Finally, the greens typically assume that any change in climate is necessarily bad. So far, we only know that cooling is potentially problematic for agricultural production. Climatic warming has yet to be anything but a boon to mankind.

But reality will matter less and less to climate alarmists as their visions of cap-and-trade in this Congress, once a sure bet, fade away. Keep that in mind as you read the climate-related news this fall.

Mr. Milloy is the founder and publisher of JunkScience.com. His columns and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of “Green Hell,” a new book from Regnery Publishing.