|The Week That Was
July 27, 2002
1. Last week we explained WHY ASSEMBLING A DIRTY BOMB PRESENTS A BIG CHALLENGE TO A TERRORIST. HERE GORDON PRATHER EXAMINES WHY STEALING A NUCLEAR FISSION BOMB, OR EVEN A "SUITCASE BOMB," IS NOT A SIMPLE PROPOSITION.
2. Last week, WE DESCRIBED THE FANTASY REPORT BY THE WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, SPELLING OUT THE END OF THE EARTH. Where Have We Heard That One Before? Many Angry Reactions From Readers, Some Unprintable
3. A MORE RESTRAINED COMMENT ON GREENIES FROM Dr. AARON OAKLEY IN AUSTRALIA
4. And finally, OPPOSITION TO WIND POWER from an elitist NIMBY environmental group. It's not that they like CO2 but
2. The WWF Report : Some Sample Comments By Readers:
This is a stupid report and is worth less than the paper on which it will be promulgated by the environuts. But the media will give it lots of coverage (and propaganda support).
I sure understand the decline in forest cover: the enviro-loonies have helped burn up another million acres + in the American Southwest this year alone! I hope that the "fireworks" they promise if the "richer nations" (read USA) don't cave in to the financial extortion attempts don't happen: it might set fire to more forests!
Do they understand that forests regenerate? If they don't want us to use forests then they shouldn't use toilet paper: it's a forest product, just like lumber for homes, etc.
I just love to see those VW wagons with their "I love the environment" stickers plastered all over it as they drive a 'dirty' engine to and from their protests. Hypocritical idiots at best.
Geez! Now the enviro-extremists propose that everyone (except them, of course) return to living in huts (hmmm. What would they be made of?) and caves (hand dug with stones?)
Cut down on resource consumption? Easy: slaughter 90% of all animal life (including humans). The communists have made a great start on doing just that. During the last century they slaughtered more than 100 million human lives on their altar to humanist socialism. And that doesn't count any of the abortions performed in America or the murder of girl babies in China or .... The list is very, very long. I propose that they set an example and eliminate themselves as an altruistic offering to the rest of us.
The WWF has more in common with the World Wrestling Federation than with the environment: they are both frauds and it is dangerous to believe that what they purport is real.. Theirs is a political, not an environmental, agenda.
The dire predictions of Thomas R. Malthus were wrong.http://22.214.171.124/economics/malthus.html
I belong to PETA: "People Enjoying Tasty Animals". Go enjoy
a big juicy steak tomorrow. Drive your SUV. Live in your wooden frame
home and to heck with the watermelons (red on the inside, green on the
3. Who Will Save The Environment From The Greens?
The greenies are trying to save the world from us but who is going to save the world from the greenies? I was forced to ask myself this question on Sunday while ambling around town. It so happened that in the city mall I was accosted by a giant walking tomato handing out anti genetically modified food leaflets. I thought it was a meet-and-greet day for farm produce, but it turned out to be Greenpeace member in disguise. Why people think they will gain credibility by dressing as plant life is beyond me. Nevertheless, it was the contents of the leaflet that was most of interest.
The leaflet, published by Greenpeace and the GeneEthics Network, warns people about the "dangers" of GM (Genetically Modified) food, and advised us on which food companies to support or snub depending upon their policy regarding GM ingredients. They gave three-lists: One of GM-free companies to patronize, one of allegedly dodgy companies that have a mixed record, and one of GM-utilising companies to avoid.
With the amount of hysteria surrounding GM, you would think that scientists were about to create a giant cow to graze all our old-growth forests. But that isn't the case. Some GM food is -gasp- actually good for us. For example, scientists have recently produced a GM tomato that has higher levels of beta-carotene (vitamin A), a nutrient linked to the prevention of macular degeneration, an eye condition that can lead to blindness and otherwise spoil your weekend plans. Scientists have also produced a new strain of rice high in vitamin A (a nutrient normally lacking in rice). This new strain -called golden rice because of the colour that the vitamin A imparts upon it- promises to help prevent blindness, xerosis, and xerophthalmia, and a whole heap of other icky sounding illnesses in developing countries where rice is a staple food. This is not unimportant: Vitamin A deficiency is responsible for at least half a million cases of childhood blindness and a startling one to two million deaths each year.
Food hysteria is nothing new. The greenies have been pushing food scares on a gullible public for decades. GM-food is just the latest chapter in the Green Book of Fear. Most of the early chapters revolve around pesticides, which, like GM food, are ipso facto bad as far as the greens are concerned. Readers will be familiar with this recent food scare; the finding that food such as potato chips (or French fries to our McDonalds readers) contain a chemical called acrylamide -a substance that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labels as a "probable carcinogen." This was based on experiments in which lab rats pre-disposed to cancer were fed truck-loads of the stuff (well, rat-sized trucks anyway) and got cancer. Should we swear of the ol' fish 'n' chips? I don't think so, because you would have to eat about 90 kilos of chips every day for the rest of your life to get the same amount of acrylamide as the EPA's lab rats did. If you are eating 90 kilos of chips a day, acrylamide is probably the least of your worries.
It turns out that most greenie food scares are just as bunk as the afore-mentioned acrylamide scare. Don't worry about the pesticides on your 'taties, worry about the vast majority of toxins in your diet that ol' Ma Nature put there. The humble potato, a veritable Chernobyl of a vegetable, is full of a toxin called solanine, mushrooms contain nasty hydrazines, nuts contain wicked aflatoxin -and so on and so forth. (I await Greenpeace's campaign to ban all food substances.) Actually, don't worry at all: These toxins are thought to help boost the body's self defense mechanisms. So eat those Brussels sprouts and broad beans, kids!
The whole GM thing has reminded me of why I left the green movement: You can't trust anything the greens say: not even "hello" and "good-bye". This applies to GM food as well as customary greetings: Recently, the New Zealand Government held a Royal Commission into GM technology (you can read the Commissions report on the internet at http://www.gmcommission.govt.nz). They heard submissions from a number of groups including scientists, Maoris and greens. The greens "evidence" was thrown out, and some of their key witnesses were caught citing "scientific literature" that turned out to be non-existent! Some of the green witnesses were forced to apologies for misleading the commission. The gene ethics network, supporting the above mentioned leaflet was also caught distorting scientific evidence at the commission. I seems that GeneEthics has little to do with "genes" and "ethics" as much as intimidating the public into buying expensive "organic" produce from GeneEthics Network members! Would you trust these people to tell you what and what not to eat?
Why are the greens so anti-GM? Greenies these days seem to be reflexively anti-science and anti-technology especially if "big-evil-not-to-be-trusted-multinational-corporations" are behind it. Anything new that comes along is immediately a target for these neo-Luddites -even if it promises to help millions of poor in third-world countries.
Coming back to my opening statement, the green anti-GM stance will be bad for the environment if they frighten us successfully. For feeding 6 billion people (7 billion in the future) using less land, GM is the most promising way to increase crop yields. This will be absolutely essential if we want to avoid putting millions of additional hectares of land under the plow to feed a growing population. GM food, like any technology, does present some environmental risks, but these have been blown all out of proportion by the greens, while the enormous benefits (including environmental ones) have been ignored by them. Indeed, who will save the environment from the greens?
Finally let me say that I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. I will happily eat GM food and support any food company that uses GM food in their products. So come on all you greenies! Send me GM products to eat! (And help me cut my food bills!)
The Author is a Perth (Western Australia)-based scientist with no links to the GM-food industry.
4. No Windmills For Cape Cod.
"We have recently reorganized and, thanks to the fact that some
of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world have homes on
Cape Cod, are attracting wide and well-funded support. For more, visit:-