Does Honey-Nut Cheerios Cause Cancer?

Glenn Beck and his crew hilariously explain just how many bowls of Cheerios you would have to eat each day for 80-years to get a chance at contracting cancer. Another Leftist scare down in flames. But remember, Monsanto is the BIG BAD whipping boy of the eco-fascists.

ASSUMED TRUE: The following is taking the study at face value – as if it were true. Remember, the people that presented this study did not have their work peer-reviewed, nor did they release or make public their criteria to say how they reached their numbers. But let’s assume they are correct. ANOTHER NOTE: By merely saying “glyphosate,” or putting the word, “Monsanto,” as a descriptor/company name in front of the stated concern… does not make-magically a statement true. We are thinking individuals. JURY AWARDED: Remember, a jury awarded a guy money for a supposed connection to “Round-Up” (glyphosate). A jury in [*megaphone FX with a thundering echo] SAN FRANCISCO saw a “connection.” Maybe, just maybe, they were biased in their view? It is San Francisco after-all. It is like saying just because a jury said O.J. Simpson was not guilty, therefore, he didn’t murder two people in a fit of selfish psychotic rage.

California’s standard is 1.1 milligrams of “Round-Up” to be consumed (say, in cereal) to be safe. Which means you would have to eat 80 bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios a day… for 80-years… to MAYBE have cancer caused by this consumption. I say MAYBE because then you would have about a 1-in-10,000 person that genetics may be susceptible to “Round-Up.” So, a single person out of 10,000 people MAY have an ill-affect from consuming that amount (California standard is 1.1 milligrams) a day… for 80-years

But wait, that 1.1 milligrams was for a child consuming glyphosate. We grow up and become ADULTS (some of us at least). An ADULT would have to consume 2.4 million bowls a day for 80-years to have the 1-in-10,000 chance of cancer.

Why Can’t America Fill a Pothole?

Why can’t America build or repair infrastructure on a par with countries in Europe or Asia? Why are our bridges, roads, and airports not what they should be? Aren’t we the richest and most technologically savvy country in the world? Who or what is holding us back? Kyle Smith of National Review has the surprising (and frustrating) answer.

Plastic Straws Banned in Santa Barbara (Origins Update)

In light of the moonbat jihad against drinking straws (see herehere, and here) having reached the point that providing customers with straws is now punishable with jail time in Santa Barbara, see if you can guess whether this is a legitimate story or fake news from the Babylon Bee…. (MOONBATTERY)

MOONBATTERY has more on the origin of this “500-million” number:

You may have heard that Starbucks — ever at the vanguard of moonbattery — has proclaimed that it will eliminate all single-use plastic straws by 2020. You may also have heard that the lids it will use that allow drinking without a straw require more plastic than if they just stuck with the straws. You may be aware that the liberal jihad against plastic straws is reaching critical mass:

In July, Seattle imposed America’s first ban on plastic straws. Vancouver, British Columbia, passed a similar ban a few months earlier. There are active attempts to prohibit straws in New York CityWashington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. A-list celebrities from Calvin Harris to Tom Brady have lectured us on giving up straws. Both National Geographic and The Atlantic have run long profiles on the history and environmental effects of the straw. Vice is now treating their consumption as a dirty, hedonistic excess.

But did you know that the anti-straw jihad is the brainchild of a little kid?

It began with a 9-year-old boy named Milo Cress and his 2011 campaign, “Be Straw Free,” which launched to raise awareness about plastic waste.

His big finding? Americans use more than 500 million drinking straws daily, enough to fill 125 school buses. That figure has become highly touted since, referenced in straw ban coverage from The New York Times and National Geographic to reports from the National Park Service (and USA TODAY).

Young Milo came up with the outlandishly improbable 500 million straws per day stat himself. Adult moonbats ran with it…..

The Free Market vs. Nationalization In Protecting the Environment

(See PRAGER U’s PLAYLIST) Here is an excerpt that the above video compliments.

It is a hallmark of socialist governments everywhere to nationalize heavy industries like petroleum, and, in the process, turn them into government-supervised environmental criminals unaccountable to property owners and consumers. For example, when privately owned British Petroleum (BP) caused an accidental oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it immediately established a $20 billion fund to pay future claims of damages and did everything it could to clean up the mess. It had legal obligations and its corporate reputation at stake. When the Mexican government’s oil company, Pemex, causes an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—and there have been many—it claims “sovereign immunity” from any legal damages. In the first five months of 2015, Pemex was responsible for three catastrophic oil rig explosions in the Gulf of Mexico that caused several deaths, numerous injuries to oil platform workers, and generated air and water pollution. Pemex claimed that the explosions caused no oil spill, but satellite images taken by Greenpeace Mexico showed a two-and-a-half-mile long oil slick reaching from the exploded oil platform. “Pemex has proven time and time again that you cannot trust their statements,” said Gustavo Ampugnani of Greenpeace Mexico.

The United States is not immune from socialist-d riven environmental problems. Many utility compa­nies, for example, are government-owned with less than stellar results. In 2015, to take just one recent example, the people of Flint, Michigan, were alerted to a fright-cuing environmental debacle. The city government, supposedly in an effort to save money, switched its city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, despite the fact that the Flint River had long been known to be extraordinarily polluted. The Flint city government (and the state’s Department of Environ­mental Quality, according to a class action lawsuit) failed to properly treat water from the Flint River. The result was that city residents drank and bathed in water full of lead and other dangerous chemicals.

For many intellectuals, the attraction of socialism is that it is “rational”; it is a “planned” economy, planned by people like them. In reality, the environ­mental and economic results of socialism are a litany of disaster.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 120-121.

The Climate Is Changing At Catholic Seminaries

Pope Francis is the only pope in history to explicitly intervene in an American presidential election—and while the pontiff’s goal is evidently to attract Millennials, record numbers of young people mistrust the Catholic Church.

As a Catholic, I honor the Church’s history of furthering the advancement of human knowledge. Yet Pope Francis makes the mistake of embracing the fake science of man-made climate alarmism—while pontificating to you and me about “fake news.”

As the world’s most powerful religious leader, the Pope is in a unique position of influence. Which is why I entreat Pope Francis to refrain from interjecting himself into American politics until he is willing to engage in careful scientific research and verbal articulation.

“The media misinterprets the Pope!” is the common excuse Catholics give for the illogical and uncharitable-sounding remarks that Pope Francis routinely makes in public. I’ve given the Pope time to improve, and even ardently defended him against the media early on….

(TOWNHALL)

Dennis Prager touches on the issue of culture influencing religion more that the other way around. In this case, Catholic Priests going through seminary will have to be taught about “climate change.” Mind you, the Catholic Church is a prime example of a corporate body accepting disproved or outdated “scientific” paradigms… take for example:

What were Galileo Galilei’s conflicts with the Roman Catholic Church? It was not a simple conflict between science and religion, as usually portrayed. Rather it was a conflict between Copernican science and Aristotelian science which had become Church tradition. Galileo expressed his scientific views supporting Copernicus as well as his biblical views in a 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany which became the basis of his first Church trial and censure. A major work published in 1632 resulted in Galileo’s conviction on suspicion of heresy and a lifetime house arrest. The Galileo affair provides important lessons and applications to the Church and to science today. (http://tinyurl.com/zb4ezzk)

Here are some articles on the topic Dennis is discussing – above:

Here is the leftist-Catholic article he was referencing: New priests to learn about global warming as part of formation

Plastic Pastors (Environmental Myths In the Pulpit)

While I criticize some stats in a sermon here, take note that both the pastor and the church involved are one of the better churches in our valley (SCV) and the whole of the message is not affected by this portion. For the entire sermon in context you can go here and search for the sermon dated 7-11-2010. My main point is that when one goes to organizations that are driven by an almost eco-fascist drive or some emergent liberalism, you are going to get skewed stats.

Again, I would not tell people not to go to Grace Baptist. It is a wonderful church.

I wasn’t going to post on this subject, and all-in-all, this topic is one Christians have the moral superiority in.

A poignant point from a discussion about Global Warming via a professor I admire:

…one that bedevils an atheist philosopher friend of mine: “if human beings are part of nature, then why is that we, rather than the chimpanzee, have a special responsibility to care for nature. And if we do have this responsibility, what is its limits and rightful powers? Is irrigation moral if it leads to human flourishing, or should we ask the beavers for their permission?” I am not being facetious. If there is nothing special about us–if we have not been given “dominion” over nature, as the Bible teaches–then it seems that the atheist environmentalist has a very tough time explaining why we should be in charge and what technological innovation that disturbs natural patterns is appropriate for that responsibility. Hence, Christian environmentalism is far more defensible than any secular variety, IMHO.

(Francis Beckwith quoting a friend)

BUT, stats and movements founded on these false statistics shouldn’t be used in the pulpit. When the secular left rejects true religion, they supplement their spiritual quest with that of fallible mans quest as the object of their religion. Which is why many call — rightly so — modern day environmentalism a religion. A recipe for disaster. So pastors should be weary of this stretching of man’s credibility found all-too-often in the environmental progressive left. Likewise, this leftism has infected the church. Here is an exceprt from a book written by “emergent leaders” that will shed some light on how this man-made religion infects the church. This is taken from an old post entitled, “Feminist Extremism, Eastern Concepts in Youth Specialties and Gaia in Emergence“:

Via:  A is for Abductive: The Language of the Emerging Church.

C is for Creation

What modern secularists called “nature” (a term that turned a sacred work of art into a profane source of “raw materials”) and what modern Christians always linked with “versus evolu­tion” (thus turning a sacred mystery into a profane and mis­guided argument).

What ancient Christians viewed, along with Holy Scripture, as one of God’s two primary sources of self-revelation.

What emerging Christians will cherish as God’s art gallery in which we live and of which we are a part and for which we were created as planetary trustees and caretakers.

Later of course we get to the “action” (the “praxy” if you will) behind the emergent meaning:

… For postmoderns, it’s “Mother Earth,” holy ground tragically portrayed in the words of James Merrill: “Father Time and Mother Earth, A marriage on the rocks.” No wonder the word environment is used less and less; it’s too cold a word for this theology of “holy ground.”

If our humaneness is most manifest in our relationships—with swallows and snails, with friends and enemies, with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the modern world needed mar­riage counseling big-time. The willingness to sacrifice living systems for commerce has meant that the lungs and other vital organs of Mother Earth are being cannibalized to the point where “natural” disasters are no longer “natural” but induced.

The mad weather patterns of the past decade are a byproduct of disappearing forests (at current rates of deforestation, Ecuador will be totally barren of trees in 20 years), disappearing healthy air, and disappearing ecosystems….

There are now over 130,000 religion and ecology projects in operation worldwide. Unfortunately, very few of them are emanating from evangelical churches.

So when people like Rob Bell, Ken Blanchard, Leonard Sweet, or Brian McLaren mention “Creation,” Al Gore and Rosemary Ellen Guiley are thrown into the meaning and action taken from that word/concept.

REMEMBER, Grace Baptist IS NOT an Emergent type church. This sermon merely gives me the opportunity to critique eco-leftists and liberal theology a bit. So the following is a video critique of parts of the sermon followed by more information about the topics:


TRASH ISLANDS


Other wise known as “The Great Garbage Patch Charlie Brown!”

This is with a h/t to The Dennis Prager Show:

“Great Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean not so great claim scientists

Claims that the “Great Garbage Patch” between California and Japan is twice the size of Texas is “grossly exaggerated” said the research which reckons it is more like one per cent the size.

Further reports that the oceans are filled with more plastic than plankton, and that the patch has been growing tenfold each decade since the 1950s are equally misleading, the new research claimed.

In reality it often cannot even be seen from the deck of a passing boat, said the latest analysts from the Oregon State University professor of oceanography Angelicque White.

The scientist took part in a recent marine expedition to examine the mass of plastic that is floating in the ocean and found there was a problem.

But genuine scientific concerns are undermined by scare tactics from those proclaiming the trash patch is so big that there is more plastic than plankton in the Pacific….

Another news source says this:

Big Stink: Great Garbage Patch’s Size Exaggerated

The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is often said to be twice the size of Texas—but that and other scary-sounding claims are “grossly exaggerated,” some scientists are now insisting. A new study shows the plastic waste patch is actually 200 times smaller than previously claimed when comparing its mass to the amount of water; if you need a Texas-sized visual, it’s actually closer to 1% of the state’s area, says researcher Angelicque White.

She is quick to add that the amount of plastic in the ocean is definitely “troubling,” but that scare tactics only “undermine the credibility of scientists.” White adds, “it is simply inaccurate to state that plastic outweighs plankton, or that we have observed an exponential increase in plastic.” At this point, trying to get rid of the plastic is too expensive and potentially damaging to the ocean’s ecology, the Telegraph reports; White recommends focusing on prevention going forward. Click to read about its sister garbage patch in the Atlantic.

An updated article on this can be found at THE FEDERALIST, and it comes my way with thanks to GAY PATRIOT.


WATER BOTTLE MYTHS


From an older post, URBAN LEGENDS — WATER BOTTLES (Updated HERE), as well on some bottle myths:

I have worked at Whole Foods long enough to hear many of the “health myths” that typically float through the customer base there. One of these myths about health and product is found in the scare about plastic water bottles. It started in an email referencing a masters thesis by a student at the University of Idaho. The media, according to Snopes, ran with the story even though there was no peer reviews of the students work. They have this myth marked as false. Another worth-while article to read is by Carol Rees Parrish, R.D., M.S., entitled, “Bottled Water Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction.” In it it is pointed out that,

Based on the evidence available to date, it appears the true health risks (if any) related to drinking commercially manufactured bottled water or water in refillable plastic bottles may or may not come from the plastic itself. Further study is warranted to determine if poly carbonate plastics can cause harm to humans. Consumers should focus more on the quality of the drinking water, particularly from a microbe perspective as this point is indisputable, rather than chemicals leaching from the container.

Nutrition Issues In Gastroenterology, Series #50 (PDF)

One of the organizations implicated as supporting the health risks by bottled water , John Hopkins, released this statement in their Public Health News Center bulletin:

The Internet is flooded with messages warning against freezing water in plastic bottles or cooking with plastics in the microwave oven. These messages, frequently titled “Johns Hopkins Cancer News” or “Johns Hopkins Cancer Update,” are falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins and we do not endorse their content. Freezing water does not cause the release of chemicals from plastic bottles.

Email Hoax Regarding Freezing Water Bottles and Microwave Cooking,” John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In a short video, Dr. Joe Schwarcz, author of Brain Fuel: 199 Mind-Expanding Inquiries into the Science of Everyday Life, explains some of these myths in more detail:

Even author Elizabeth Royte mentioned in an interview that this is a myth of grand proportions. (She is the author of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It.) Again, the folks at Johns Hopkins sat down with Dr. Rolf Haden, assistant professor at Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Water and Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Haden dispelled the myth saying “This is an urban legend. There are no dioxins in plastics. In addition, freezing actually works against the release of chemicals.”

This myth perpetuates typically, but not always, from folks who like to shop at Whole Foods, believe in anthropogenic global warming, and want Bush brought up on war crimes. In other words, their science is as debased in critical thinking as their politics (I had to make this politically relevant… for this blog).

Updated info from BIG GOVERNMENT:

…Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used to harden plastic so it can be used in the countless ways it helps improve countless millions of lives. As it is a chemical, it was only a matter of time before the extremist environmentalists started talking of the “dangers” of it to human beings. Ironically, charges of this nature are always led by people who have no concern of human beings. They are the same type of people who effectively banned the mosquito killing agent DDT. That ban has led to millions of avoidable deaths around the world from malaria. While the banning of BPA wouldn’t lead to deaths, it’s banning wouldn’t save any lives either. But it would put a lot of people out of work.

But work, jobs, livelihoods of individuals has no place in the environmental extremist agenda. They’ve replaced what was known to kill malaria carrying mosquitos with nets to sleep under. So instead of eliminating the problem they’ve reduced the problem…during sleep hours. Malaria’s largest number of victims are infants and children who don’t have the wherewithal to swat mosquitos away when they land on them, and since no one can live their whole life in a net, their exposure risk is high.

The book from which the religion of modern environmentalism sprang is “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. In many ways it is the Bible of that movement. And even though it has been discredited, the “Silent Spring” model still serves as the modus operandi of the environmentalist cult. Ban first, ask questions later. That’s what they were trying to do with BPA.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Utopia…

While environmentalists have always used their favorite tactic to “discredit” contrary information, their “go-to” arrow has been stolen from their quiver in the BPA fight.

To an environmentalist, the ability to attack the motives of those questioning their statements is their best weapon. Just look at Al Gore and the global warming/climate change debate. People dependent upon government grants to continue their studies find results that A) find results that are in line with those who publicize their “studies,” and B) will justify those grants and ensure the continued “need” for more. It’s almost as though crackheads got grants to study crack smoking and they miraculously get results that require more study. But since the end result of these studies is always the government getting more power to regulate people’s lives, it’s like the government is also a crack dealer and people trying to stop the cycle are the unwanted interventionists.

This circular dynamic was blown out of the water when a new study by the crack dealer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), found that BPA is harmless (see appendix for the WSJ article). While other large studies found the same thing, those were quickly attacked as being funded by “Big BPA” or some such nonsense. They’ve even helped expose the media bias inherent in these sorts of matters. But now the government itself has completed a large study, and duplicated the results in two separate labs , you’d think the fight would be over. It’s not.

The hardest thing to fight is dogma.

The ban bandwagon still rolls on, without even so much as a passing mention in the “news” stories about the new government findings…

(read more)


APPENDIX


Postscript to a Panic: New findings about bisphenol-A (BPA) will not redeem it.

Even by the usual standards of the environmental movement, the panic over bisphenol-A (BPA) was remarkable for its detachment from reality. A new study funded by that well-known shill for big business known as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now debunked this scare about as comprehensively as is possible.

BPA has been in use for five decades all over the world and has been tested extensively and found to be safe. In 2008, however, green campaigners, abetted by trial lawyers in the U.S., began touting the potential for BPA to “disrupt” hormones in the human body. BPA was implicated in everything from cancer to obesity to impotence. One particularly overheated campaigner compared letting babies drink from BPA-containing baby bottles to feeding infants birth-control pills. Canada banned its use in baby bottles, and several U.S. states did the same. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to get it banned in the U.S. as well, despite a clean bill of health from the FDA.

Not everyone succumbed to the panic—for a while. Studies performed in Europe before the scare had begun concluded that, if anything, BPA was safer than previously believed. But last year, despite at least two opinions by the European Food Safety Agency that BPA was safe in plastic bottles and in the liners of food containers, the European Union moved to ban it as well.

Too bad they didn’t wait for the science. The most recent study, led by Justin Teeguarden at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and published in the journal Toxicological Studies, involved feeding subjects a BPA-rich diet for 24 hours. Researchers then monitored their blood and urine for traces of the dread chemical. The result was BPA levels too low to detect—and this, remember, was from eating the stuff, a veritable worst-case scenario. Scare-mongers will no doubt point out that these results don’t preclude terrible long-term consequences from the use of BPA in packaging. But the evidence suggests that not enough of it is even present in the body to cause that kind of harm.

The results of the study, which was duplicated in two separate government labs, may not change the fate of BPA in the court of public opinion. Nor will it help the likes of Sigg Switzerland USA, the U.S. distributor of those now-ubiquitous metal drinking bottles. Sigg was initially a beneficiary of the scare as people moved to ditch their plastic drinking bottles. But once it transpired that the lining of Sigg’s aluminum bottles manufactured before August 2008 also contained trace amounts of BPA, its U.S. distributor was hit with lawsuits and a campaign of public vilification that recently sent it into bankruptcy.

Lost amid the hysteria were the benefits of BPA, including the fact that it helped to eliminate botulism in canned food. Where does a chemical go to get its reputation back?

Acid-Rain: Not a Song from DRI But A Myth from the 80’s

The following “News” item is just an early example of running with the story before the facts are in:

Remember the big “acid rain” scare during the 1970s and 1980s attributing damage to lakes and forests to emissions from Midwestern utilities? If so, did you ever hear the results of a more than half-billion-dollar, 10-year-long national Acid Precipitation Assessment Program study that was initiated in 1980 to research the matter?

Probably not.

As it turned out, those widespread fears proved to be largely unfounded, since only one species of tree at a high elevation suffered any notable effect, and acidity in lakes was traced to natural causes. The investigating scientists reported that they had “turned up no smoking gun; that the problem is far more complicated than it been thought; that other factors combine to harm trees; and that sorting out the cause-and-effect was difficult and in some cases impossible.”

(Forbes)

ACID RAIN MYTH:

The first section below is a good overview of what the second section shows in-depth.

Myth: Acid rain has caused a large portion of U.S. lakes to become acidic.

Fact: In a recent study of 7,000 Northeastern lakes, only 3.4% were found to be acidic. Most of these lakes are just as acidic as they were before the Industrial Revolution. Furthermore, most of the acidic lakes in the United States are in Florida, where there is the least acid rain.

Myth: Data taken by proponents of the acid rain theory is accurate and conclusive.

Fact: Proponents of the acid rain theory have rested their claims on a deeply flawed series of articles by G.E. Likens and his co-workers in the 1970s. A careful evaluation of Likens’ research conducted by a group of scientists at Environmental Research and Technology, Inc., reveals that his data collection and selection was deliberately biased to support the desired conclusions.

Myth: Acid rain destroys vegetation.

Fact: Acid rain actually has a positive impact on vegetation. The nitrogen and sulfur characteristic of acid rain, act as nutrients essential for plant growth. The world’s first acid rain study concluded that, “the principle effect of acid rain is the improvement of crop yields and crop protein content.”

Myth: Acid Rain is unnatural.

Fact: Rainwater is naturally acidic. Because water is such a good solvent, even in the cleanest air, rainwater dissolves some of the naturally present carbon dioxide, forming carbonic acid. According to EPA regulations, Ph levels any lower than 5.0 are environmentally harmful. Yet, an analysis of ice from the Antarctic and the Himalayas, deposited hundreds and thousands of years ago when the environment was presumably pristine, had Ph values ranging from 4.8 to 4.2.

  • Information from Environmental Overkill by Dixy Lee Ray (Regnery Gateway, 1993); Trashing the Planet by Dixy Lee Ray (Regnery Gateway, 1990).

This next section can be read in full online, and comes from Edward Krug’s book, Environment Betrayed: The Abuse of a Just Cause (Kindle Edition), from the chapter on “Acid Rain: Forests and Fish.”

ABSTRACT

Acid rain first came to public attention with claims that it was rapidly killing forests and lakes on a broad basis. To assess the accuracy of these claims, Congress initiated the largest study to date of an environmental problem: the ten-year, $500′-million National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), which involved over three thousand scientists. NAPAP determined that acid rain may present a threat to one species of tree in 0.1 percent of eastern forests. The percentage of acidic lakes was also found to be much smaller than previously believed and not measurably increasing. Nevertheless, these scientific findings had little apparent impact on legislation passed in 1990, having been judged by some to be “not policy relevant.”

INTRODUCTION

George Will’s column of January 8, 1992, indicates that mainstream journalists are beginning to get the idea that in the hands of environmental advocates, estimates of environmental damage take on lives of their own, with few ties to reality. In the column, Mr. Will mused, “Whose interests are served by a numerical exaggeration? The answer often is: the people whose funding or political importance varies directly with the perceived severity of a particular problem” (Will, 1992).

Just about everyone of public importance had some sort of stake in acid rain being an environmental Armageddon. The scientific reality of the effects of acid rain differ enormously from public perception. And this is important for the setting of environmental policy because, unlike scientific fact, political reality in a democracy is established by vote.

The enormous gulf between fact and perception was brought out in the 60 Minutes story on acid rain (December 30, 1990). Correspondent Steve Kroft asked Dr. James Mahoney (then director of NAPAP) about the media representing acid rain as making a “silent spring” in the forests and lakes of the Northeastern United States. Director Mahoney commented that the media accounts of damage were overblown by quite a bit. When pressed why such fiction, rather than science, is being reported, Dr. Mahoney refused to address this issue and answered that his job is to do the science, not the reporting.

Yet the EPA had no such reservations about commenting, and commenting strongly, on media reporting. The EPA blasted the 60 Minutes acid rain story in a lengthy and detailed response claiming that outrageous statements were made (EPA, 1991). Let us examine the peculiar responses of the EPA, our public servant of environmental policy.

As a scientist, I can see how the EPA would have been upset by some of the comments made on 60 Minutes. The EPA is the lead federal agency of NAPAP. EPA Administrator Reilly is chairman of the President’s Joint Chairs Council, which oversees NAPAP. So I would have thought that the EPA would have been upset by the remark of David Hawkins (an activist for the Natural Resources Defense Council) who in effect told 60 Minutes that NAPAP has been a waste of time and money. And further, he said that in its ten years of existence, NAPAP has only confirmed what was known ten years ago!

Peculiarly, the EPA did not indicate any offense at all with this statement. But as a NAPAP scientist, I certainly was offended. We must remember that the United States almost did not have a NAPAP. In 1980, public opinion was very strong against waiting ten years for NAPAP to complete its study. Environmental activists established the conventional wisdom that by 1990 it would be too late: Rachael Carson’s prophesy of a “silent spring” would come to pass, with acid rain forever killing forests and lakes, by 1990.

Only a recalcitrant President Reagan, allied with Midwest rust-belt legislators, stood in the way of environmentalists’ demands. But the pressure became even too much for President Reagan who, by the end of 1983, was ready to capitulate. In late January/early February 1984, I was one of a committee of scientists who were asked to advise EPA Administrator Ruckelshaus on the choice of continuing research on acid rain or passing a new Clean Air Act. What the government would do hinged on how we answered the following question: will eastern North America survive five more years (will it survive until 1989) under the fierce onslaught of acid rain? The question seems ludicrous now, but back in 1984, it was considered foolish and immoral for anyone to even ask this question. President Reagan stayed with NAPAP.

Now we know that NAPAP’s findings did not confirm what was known ten years ago in 1980, as Mr. Hawkins claimed. And Mr. Hawkins of the Natural Resources Defense Council is in the position to know this firsthand because this is the same Mr. Hawkins who was appointed by President Carter as the EPA assistant administrator responsible for acid rain. President Carter, then Mr. Hawkins’s boss, told the American public in 1980 that acid rain was one of the two most severe atmospheric environmental problems of the century. And Mr. Hawkins’s EPA lent the appearance of scientific credibility to President Carter’s assertion by publishing that the average Northeast lake had been acidified a hundredfold over just the last forty years as the result of acid rain (EPA, 1980)—a statement that has no basis in fact. Yet, by 1990 the EPA’s own research, as part of NAPAP, showed that, even in the Adirondacks, the area whose lakes are supposed to suffer the greatest acidification by acid rain, EPA data show that the average lake is no more acidic now than it was before the industrial era (Krug and Warnick, 1991).

The EPA produced a six-page, single-spaced rebuttal to what it considered outrageous statements made on 60 Minutes (EPA, 1991). Was the EPA response to 60 Minutes concerned about Hawkins’s assertion about wasted research dollars? No. Or about research results substantiating the public perception of 1980? No.

Yet EPA Administrator Reilly wrote in a letter to Science: “In the Senate hearings on my confirmation as EPA Administrator, the first criterion that I mentioned for an effective environmental policy was ‘respect for science'” (Reilly, 1990).

I could understand if Mr. Reilly were concerned about Mr. Hawkins having a less-than-respectful attitude for science on 60 Minutes when he said that NAPAP scientists were unable to see damage because we have very crude scientific tools but that the American public can look out their windows and see the damage being done. Mr. Hawkins then went on to characterize us as backpacking around in the woods.

Yet again, the EPA, which considers itself to be a scientific agency and is the lead agency of NAPAP, an agency whose administrator publically claims to have “respect for science,” did not indicate any offense at all with this statement.

What really offended the EPA? I was asked to comment on Mr. Hawkins’s characterization of us NAPAP scientists as not being able to see anything because we were larking around in the woods with crude scientific tools. I responded, “Actually we do know a lot. We know that the acid rain problem is so small that it’s hard to sec.”

The EPA took great offense to that statement.

The EPA promptly carried out an ad hominem attack on me! This was done even though I have letters from the EPA itself calling me a recognized leader in acid rain—even though I have been used by the EPA itself to review its acid rain programs, and I have even been used to advise Administrators Ruckelshaus and Thomas of the EPA about acid rain.

The EPA also released comments from an alleged peer review of a project report I published for NAPAP two years earlier. I call it an alleged peer review because:

  1. The first time I had heard of it was when a Washington Post reporter called me up on January 11, 1991—twenty-one months after the report was published.
  2. The report was peer-reviewed by NAPAP prior to publication. The EPA’s comments did not come from the NAPAP review of the report.
  3. I have yet to see a copy of this alleged peer review even after making a freedom of information request on January 14, 1991, to EPA Administrator Reilly to see it.

We can now begin to understand why the scientists who conducted the Adirondack lakes study for the EPA—the study that showed no net acidification—refused to publish this result. Similarly, the results of the EPA’s largest acidification research project—where no correlation could be found between acid rain and surface water acidity, and soil chemistry is the principal factor controlling the acidity of surface waters (EPA, 1989)—was not published by EPA scientists in the scientific literature. So, after waiting for up to two years for these data to be published, I finally published them in a letter to Science last fall (Krug and Warnick, 1991).

We see that, as public servants and as holders of the public trust, the EPA is unconcerned about public misinformation that exaggerates acid rain as an environmental problem. The EPA is unconcerned about science bashing in the media. Indeed, the EPA even partakes in it.

In conclusion, George Will’s column of January 8 hit the nail on the head: in the hands of environmental advocates, estimates of environmental damage take on lives of their own, with few ties to reality. As Mr. Will concludes, those who exaggerate are those whose funding or political importance varies directly with the perceived severity of a particular problem.

The reason why the public is so well misinformed on acid rain is that the environmental advocates are not just Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. Just about everybody gains from the acid rain myth—everybody, that is, except you and me. The EPA likes it because, in terms of regulation, the 1990 Clean Air Act is ten times bigger than any previous environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act of 1970. The government likes it because it gains more popularity, power, and control as government is seen doing something good for little cost; most environmental costs are off budget, being paid directly by the consumer. The media likes it because environmentalism is a just cause depicted in terms of good-versus-evil, David-versus-Goliath battles. Environmentalists hand the media popular and spectacular disaster stories pitting the blue-jeaned defenders of Mother Earth from the three-piece-suit Darth Vaders of big business, in this case, utilities spewing forth acid rain. The utilities like it because they get to pass on higher utility rates, along with increased profits, from the Public Utility Commissions onto you and me because we, the well-misinformed public, are demanding to be protected from the scourge of acid rain.

What a sweet setup!

Small wonder why scientists refuse to publish data showing acid rain has little or no measurable effect. When another acid rain scientist was asked by a magazine reporter why Ed Krug would take it upon himself to publish politically incorrect science, my colleague replied, “He was a bit immature in the area of political science” (Anderson, 1992).

On that note, let us quickly examine what political science has done to the science of acid rain.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: HISTORY

It is a little-known fact that the European and American acid deposition monitoring networks originated in the national agricultural experiment stations; these have been sampling and analyzing atmospheric deposition of N [nitrogen] and S [sulfur] for more than a century, not as contaminants but as beneficial nutrients (Krug, 1991). Among agronomists, such “pollution” was often called the poor man’s fertilizer. In Sweden, the world’s first national acid rain study determined that the principal effect of acid rain was improvement of crop yield and crop protein content (e.g., Johansson, 1959).

However, the insertion of the term “acid rain” into the modern literature and psyche by Likens and associates in 1972 “caught the attention of the scientific community as well as the public at large” (Abdullah, 1989). The deposition. How could anything called “acid rain” be anything but bad? So the results of the Swedish program became lost in history, and any scientist who brought up the point that acid rain might have a good side was ridiculed into oblivion.

Later on, NAPAP would report on the fertilizing effect of acid rain on forests, but would emphasize the negative potential of it. Fertilization of high altitude forest by acid rain, 0.1 percent of our eastern forests, may be increasing cold damage by making forests grow too long into the winter. The potential beneficial effects of fertilization on the remaining 99.9 percent of eastern forests remain safely buried in voluminous technical reports—reports little read by interested specialists, let alone by policy makers and the public.

Around the time that Likens and associates used two little words to permanently change the way that we think about deposition of N and S, the Norwegian national acid rain program came into existence.

The Norwegian national acid rain program of the 1970s, not the Swedish program of the 1940s and ’50s, established the research perspective of the subsequent American, Canadian, and European national acid rain programs. Regrettably, the proposal (Nr. 172/1974) to the Norwegian parliament for financing the program stated that “the aim of the project is to provide material for negotiations in order to limit the emission of SO2 in Europe” (Rosenqvist, 1990). Thus, scientific objectivity was lost from the inception; politicians proclaimed that acid rain is a problem and would pay those scientists who would support the political position.

Thus, political correctness came to acid rain twenty years ago.

A similar situation was manufactured in the United States. As the Norwegian program was ending in 1980, President Carter called acid rain one of the two atmospheric environmental crises of the century and started NAPAP at $10 million per year for ten years.

Thus, the inception of NAPAP was hardly scientifically objective either. And, at $10 million per year, NAPAP was merely window dressing to provide the appearance of scientific credibility for the claims of environmental disaster.

Remember, NAPAP was supposed to be investigating the sources of acid rain, its atmospheric chemistry and transport, as well as its myriad claimed effects, such as visibility, effects on crops, effects on forests, effects on lakes, effects on buildings, effects on human health. Then you take all of these effect and research areas and divide them among all of the participating agencies: the US Park Service, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the US Department of Agriculture re, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the national laboratories, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, and (last but not least) the Environmental Protection Agency, and you see that $10 million per year will hardly pay the salaries of the administrative paper pushers, let alone support any meaningful research.

NAPAP was originally set up to put a rubber stamp on the false claims of disaster. It was not set up to do science.

This changed after 1984, when the Reagan administration asked for scientific rather than political opinion. We scientists reported to the administration that, contrary to popular belief, the world was nor going to end soon because of acid rain. Please let us do the science.

President Reagan’s response was not to push for a new version of the Clean Air Act. Not only did he continue NAPAP, but he increased NAPAP’s budget tenfold to around $100 million per year so that it could finally get around to doing meaningful scientific research on acid rain.

With the new budget and the emphasis now being on science, NAPAP also got a scientist to be its new director, Lawrence Kulp, a former director of the Lamont Geochemical Laboratory at Columbia University.

This made environmentalists furious. NAPAP became distinct from all other national acid rain programs: it was evolving into a scientific entity rather than remaining a creature of environmental politics. Since NAPAP was no longer likely to rubber stamp the claims of disaster, environmental activists would discredit NAPAP with the help of its powerful allies in the media and government, which most importantly included the EPA. And the EPA was NAPAP’s lead federal agency.

Thus NAPAP was not able to produce perfectly objective science. However, we must commend NAPAP for performing far better than we have any right to expect; NAPAP was overwhelmingly besieged from both within and without.

You can measure the success of NAPAP by environmentalists criticism of it and their vehement objections to the establishment of a “NAPAP” for global warming….