|The Week That Was
August 26, 2000
NEW ON THE SEPP WEB
In a nutshell: Glaciers are receding, Arctic ice is shrinking, polar ice is thinning ----all because it is warmer now than 100 years ago, thanks to the climate's recovery (between 1900 and 1940) from the Little Ice Age. Moral: It takes a lot of time to melt ice.
Greenpeace In Crisis: London's Sunday Times recently reported that Greenpeace International has lost more than 1.6m members and seen its income plummet by more than 30 million pounds in recent years. The organization has had to slash spending, find millions of dollars to prop up its troubled American group and rethink its strategies to try to reverse the decline in its fortunes. At its peak in the mid-1980s the organization had more than five million supporters worldwide. By 1994 the numbers had dropped to four million and since then have fallen to 2.4 million. In recent months, Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the organization's founders, has heavily criticized Greenpeace, accusing the group of being "dominated by left wingers and extremists who disregard science in the pursuit of environmental purity." The American office, once a cash cow for Greenpeace International, has been in receivership to the international organization for the past two years. Membership has plummeted to 300,000, from a peak in the early 1990s of more than one million. Kirsten Engberg, the U.S. executive chairman, recently announced her resignation. Instead of appointing a successor from within, however, Greenpeace plans to take over Ozone Action and rename it Greenpeace. John Passacantando, Ozone Action's founder and executive director, will become head of Greenpeace USA.
Our comment: Couldn't have happened to nicer people
Op-Eds Support DDT Use to Combat Malaria: In a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Dennis Avery and Alex Avery, both of the Hudson Institute, argue against the call for a global ban on DDT. The authors call attention to a global resurgence of malaria and note that more than 380 doctors and public heath officials have signed an open letter arguing for the use of DDT to combat malaria. They argue that the small amounts necessary for mosquito control in and around homes do not pose a significant environmental or health risk, and that while wealthy nations can afford the more expensive, less effective alternatives, DDT is the only viable solution in many poorer and developing countries. They cite a recent article in The Lancet that notes no significant proven health risks from DDT. Dr. Gilbert Ross of the American Council on Science and Health also cites The Lancet article in a piece he wrote for DrKoop.com, a health Web site. Ross argues against a global ban on DDT, claiming that "the theoretical environmental benefits of banning DDT were not, and are not, worth the real, deadly toll in human life and suffering
In case you missed it:
Earlier this year, the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association
sent 3000 of its members to Capitol Hill to lobby against the Kyoto Protocol.
The NRECA is a "child of the New Deal" and a dependable supporter
of the Democratic party. But no more. With 70% of its heavily mortgaged
electric power plants coal-fired, they see their economic future in danger.
And they threaten to arouse the farm groups, to which they supply low-cost
power. (Courtesy of David Wojick)
With the help of a $1.5 million initial grant from the Packard Foundation, OSU will train 20 faculty members annually in its "Aldo Leopold Leadership Program" to interpret science to the media and to policymakers. The trouble is that the program is under the direction of OSU ecologists Andrew Blaustein and Jane Lubchenco. There is so much we have written about these two, it's best to use the Search button on the SEPP web.
If only David Packard, technical innovator and defense secretary under Reagan, were alive to witness how his money is being spent. We are sure he would endorse what we have long advocated: Spend it before you pass on. Don't leave it to others to pass out. Look at what happened to the estate of Sun Oil's Joe Pew; the Pew Charitable Trust now funds the Pew Center for Global Climate Change.
US District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton ordered the EPA to pay $68,726 to Riverdale Mills for manufacturing a case against the company. The EPA indicted mill owner James Knott for violations under the Clean Water Act claiming he discharged wastewater above the legal limits. Knott faced up to $1.5 million in fines and a term of six years in jail. But when prosecutors learned the EPA had withheld and changed the data of tests that showed the Mill's wastewater was within legal limits, they dropped the charges. Knott filed his own case using the Hyde Amendment, a three-year-old law that allows an exonerated defendant to seek legal fees from the government if the criminal prosecution was frivolous, in bad faith, or vexatious. The court condemned the actions of the EPA and stated: "The court is also troubled by the government's unnecessary harassment of defendants and their employees." A virtual SWAT team consisting of 21 EPA law enforcement officers and agents, many of whom were armed, stormed the facility to conduct pH samplings. They vigorously interrogated and videotaped employees, causing them great distress. The court found the EPA's actions were clearly vexatious. http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/214/metro/US_judge_rules_EPA_harassed_ mill_owner-.shtml
PS: A fuller account of this disgraceful episode is given in an op-ed by Ken Smith in the Aug 24 Washington Times <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to a report in Nature (July 27), Eileen Claussen has injected a much-needed bit of realism about the Kyoto Protocol. Its goals are unrealistic and will have to be renegotiated, said the president of the Pew Center for Global Climate Change. But, she believes nevertheless, that it should be finalized by the COP-6 in November at The Hague. Great chagrin and gnashing of teeth by environmental groups .