American Council on Science and Health The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. ACSH is one of the few fearless voices of reason on these matters.
Christopher Whalen One guy who really understands the financial crisis. Brilliant insights. Links to his other sites.
The Coach's Team Coach Kevin Collins has an impressive resume, and uses all of his talents to demolish the Left. Site includes some guest columnists, as well.
Discussions In Infection Control This blog, designed and written exclusively by Lawrence F Muscarella, PhD, gives you the most comprehensive discussion of healthcare-associated (hospital) infections (or, “HAIs”), infection control, and both instrument and endoscope reprocessing in the world.
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Provides much-needed balance to the increasingly strident health care lobby that seems intent on scaring everyone about almost everything.
Formaldehyde Facts Your antidote to formaldehyde phobia in the media, from ACC's formaldehyde panel.
Health Care Renewal Expert analysis of what's wrong with American health care. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty, and ethics in leadership and governance of health care.
Health News Digest One of the best and biggest health sites on the web. New content on a daily basis, geared to the professional and informed lay audience.
Interscan Corporation The independent pros in gas detection, known for taking on the tough applications. Site has much technical material, way beyond mere product touts.
Jewish World Review One of the original news/opinion aggregate sites. Founder/Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Binyamin L. Jolkovsky calls it "The intersection of faith, culture and politics." Loaded with content tending toward politically conservative. An oasis for energetic Judaism.
JunkScience.com Steven Milloy and company do a great job in exposing junk science, which he defines as: Faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. Lots of good content.
Loren Feldman Feldman does videos, marketing, commentary and...puppets. He also understands tech and art.
Overlawyered Chronicling the high cost of our legal system. Water Olson and company explore an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, erodes individual responsibility, rewards sharp practice, enriches its participants at the public’s expense, and resists even modest efforts at reform and accountability.
Paradigms and Demographics Ohio-based "bug guy" Rich Kozlovich dishes on junk science, junk politics, and many other matters. Rich is also on the prowl 24/7 for supplemental content written by Others. And he still has time to kill pests!
Quiet Music Nick Francis is a superb music programmer. Of course, it helps that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music. Stream, subscribe, enjoy.
Selwyn Duke Hard-hitting and well-written conservative commentary, from a modern day renaissance man. The Duke is not afraid to ruffle some feathers, or invoke his Catholic faith, either.
SenSoft International Expert assistance on GSA, VA, DOD, and other federal contracts. Yes, there really can be great customer service in such an esoteric space.
The Excel Addict Most of us use Excel. Some of us use it a lot, and are constantly looking for easier ways to do things. Francis Hayes--the Excel Addict--offers plenty of free tips, a regular newsletter, and an inexpensive book to download.
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics Everything you know about cholesterol causing heart disease is wrong, and this website is run by eminent doctors who are trying to set the record straight. But, with billions of dollars in drug sales at stake, it won't be easy.
The Nutrition Experts The name says it all. Jo-Ann Heslin and Karen Nolan have sold millions of books, and have re-launched their information-packed website. What's more, they encourage website visitors to submit questions.
Weasel Zippers Conservative commentary from all over the Web. Updated constantly.
Zero Hedge Works to...
Widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public; provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint; liberate oppressed knowledge
This HND piece examines the Greenie's latest target: Fracking, a superb source of cheap natural gas
As I note:
The attitude of the environmental movement toward fracking is…interesting. You may recall not too long ago, that the Greens spoke with great praise of "clean-burning natural gas." Gas was even referred to as "The bridge fuel to the renewable energy future," and, its much lower carbon emissions were constantly touted. Note that this praise was lavished on natural gas before the rise of fracking.
The crisis is due not to climate change, but to actions taken in the name of preventing change
In his first address as Secretary of State, John Kerry said we must safeguard "the most sacred trust" we owe to our children and grandchildren: "an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate."
Even the IPCC and British Meteorological Office now recognize that average global temperatures haven’t budged in almost 17 years. Little evidence suggests that sea level rise, storms, droughts, polar ice or other weather and climate events and trends display any statistically significant difference from what Earth and mankind have experienced over the last 100-plus years.
However, we do face imminent manmade climate disasters. Global warming is the greatest moral issue of our time. We must do all we can to prevent looming climate catastrophes.
But those cataclysms have nothing to do with alleged human contributions to planetary climate systems that have always been chaotic, unpredictable and often disastrous: ice ages, little ice ages, dust bowls, droughts and monster storms that ravaged and sometimes even toppled cities and civilizations.
Our real climate crisis is our responses to Mr. Kerry’s illusory crises. It takes four closely related forms.
Influence peddling. Over the past three years, the Tides Foundation and Tides Center alone poured $335 million into environmentalist climate campaigns, and $1 billion into green lobbies at large, notes Undue Influence author Ron Arnold. Major US donors gave $199 million to Canadian environmental groups just for anti-oil sands and Keystone pipeline battles during the last twelve years, analysts Vivian Krause and Brian Seasholes estimate; the Tides Foundation poured $10 million into these battles during 2009-2012.
All told, US foundations alone have "invested" over $797 million in environmentalist climate campaigns since 2000! And over $19.3 billion in "environmental" efforts since 1995, Arnold calculates! Add to that the tens of billions that environmental activist groups, universities and other organizations have received from individual donors, corporations and government agencies to promote "manmade climate disaster" theories – and pretty soon you’re talking real money.
Moreover, that’s just US cash. It doesn’t include EU, UN and other climate cataclysm contributions. Nor does it include US or global spending on wind, solar, biofuel and other "renewable" energy schemes. That this money has caused widespread pernicious and corrupting effects should surprise no one.
Politicized science, markets and ethics. The corrupting cash has feathered careers, supported entire departments, companies and industries, and sullied our political, economic and ethical systems. It has taken countless billions out of productive sectors of our economy, and given it to politically connected, politically correct institutions that promote climate alarmism and renewable energy (and which use some of this crony capitalist taxpayer and consumer cash to help reelect their political sponsors).
Toe the line – pocket the cash, bask in the limelight. Question the dogma – get vilified, harassed and even dismissed from university or state climatologist positions for threatening the grants pipeline.
The system has replaced honest, robust, evidence-based, peer-reviewed science with pseudo-science based on activism, computer models, doctored data, "pal reviews," press releases and other chicanery that resulted in Climategate, IPCC exposés, and growing outrage. Practitioners of these dark sciences almost never debate climate disaster deniers or skeptics; climate millionaire Al Gore won’t even take questions that he has not preapproved; and colleges have become centers for "socially responsible investing" campaigns based on climate chaos, "sustainable development" and anti-hydrocarbon ideologies.
Increasingly powerful, well-funded, unelected and unaccountable activist groups and bureaucracies use manmade global warming claims to impose regulations that bypass legislatures and ignore job and economic considerations. They employ sweetheart lawsuits that let activists and agencies agree to legally binding agreements that leave out the parties who will actually be impacted by the court decisions.
The green behemoth wields increasing power over nearly every aspect of our lives and liberties, with no accountability for screw-ups or even deliberate harm to large segments of our population. All in the name of controlling Earth’s temperature and preventing climate change
Climate eco-imperialism impoverishes and kills. Climate alarmism and pseudo science have justified all manner of regulations, carbon trading, carbon taxes, renewable energy programs and other initiatives that increase the cost of everything we make, grow, ship, eat, heat, cool, wear and do – and thus impair job creation, economic growth, living standards, health, welfare and ecological values.
Excessive EPA rules have closed numerous coal-fired power plants, and the agency plans to regulate most of the US hydrocarbon-based economy by restricting carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, generating plants, cement kilns, factories, malls, hospitals and other "significant" sources. Were it not for the hydraulic fracturing revolution that has made natural gas and gas-fired generation abundant and cheap, US electricity prices would be skyrocketing – just as they have in Britain and Germany.
EU papers carry almost daily articles about fuel poverty, potential blackouts, outsourcing, job losses, economic malaise and despair, and deforestation for fire wood in those and other European countries, due to their focus on climate alarmism and "green" energy. California electricity prices are already highest in USA, thanks to its EU-style programs. The alarms are misplaced, the programs do nothing to reduce Chinese, Indian or global emissions, and renewable energy is hardly eco-friendly or sustainable.
Wind energy requires perpetual subsidies and "backup" fossil fuel power plants that actually produce 80% of the electricity attributed to wind, and blankets wildlife habitats with turbines and transmission lines that kill millions of birds and bats every year. In fact, industrial wind facilities remain viable only because they are exempted from many environmental review, wildlife and bird protection laws that are enforced with heavy penalties for all other industries. Solar smothers habitats with glossy panels, and biofuels divert crops and cropland to replace fuels that we have in abundance but refuse to develop.
Now climate activists and EPA want to regulate fracking for gas that was once their preferred option.
By far the worst climate crisis, however, is eco-imperialism perpetrated against African and other poor nations. When their country was building a new power plant that would burn natural gas that previously was wasted through "flaring," President Obama told Ghanaians they should use their "bountiful" wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels energy, instead of fossil fuels that threaten us with dangerous global warming. Meanwhile, his Administration refused to support loans for South Africa’s critically needed, state-of-the-art Medupi coal-fired power plant, which the Center for American Progress, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club and other radical groups stridently opposed.
The actions ignored both the livelihoods and living standards that electricity has brought the world, and the millions of deaths from lung infections and intestinal diseases that these power plants would prevent.
Ready-made excuse for incompetence.Hurricane / Superstorm Sandy proved how "dangerous manmade climate change" can give politicians a handy excuse for ill-considered development decisions that increase storm and flood risk, failure to prepare their communities for inevitable severe weather events, misleading storm warnings, and slow or incompetent responses in their aftermath. Blaming carbon dioxide emissions and rising seas is always easier than manning up and shouldering the blame for Bloombergian failures. Citing IPCC computer forecasts of nastier storms and flooded coastlines likewise gives insurers a convenient excuse for hiking insurance rates.
When the conversation next turns to climate change, discussing the real climate crisis – and the true meaning of environmental justice – could open a few eyes.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
My latest HND piece explores how the clueless Greenies and their fear entrepreneur brethren are bringing out the long knives against...triclosan. Yes, triclosan, a wonderful antibacterial that has been proven safe for more than 40 years. In fact, best-selling author Paul Alexander has just published a book entitled Pandemic: The Story of People vs. Germs, exploring this very issue.
It is truly amazing how the nonsensical pronouncements of idiot Greenies have persisted all these years, especially if you look at the legacy of St. Rachel Carson and exactly what the banning of DDT accomplished. Perhaps millions of dead Africans is what they really meant by improving the environment. After all, the early environmental movement was certainly not shy when complaining about how many (poor) people there are in this world.
I also cite a more recent example involving what happens when you decide to stop chlorinating water. And, surprise, surprise, they spun that tragedy away from their miserable selves, just like they did the massive malaria outbreaks caused by the banning of DDT.
In this HND piece, we invoke Spike Lee's film of nearly the same name while we ponder what ARE the right Green things?
Just as in the film, choosing the the right thing to do is not easy, and involves trade-offs. I cite a couple of examples...
While you would be hard-pressed to find a Green who is pro-Nuke, nuclear power surely gets us away from most of the bad things caused by fossil fuels---while presenting its own set of problems. Likewise, in the mad rush to seal up our homes tight as a drum in order that we could save every single bit of energy, we also created a massive problem with indoor air quality.
Fortunately, there are ways to be Green besides being an academic or politician. We discuss how innovative businesses and get into the act...and, no, I don't mean by becoming a federally-subsidized joke such as Solyndra.
As you are surely aware, the line "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" comes from the classic movie The Wizard of Oz (1939). It is spoken by the Wizard himself, in an attempt to divert attention from his elaborate contrivances, used to portray the illusions of his wisdom and power. This role—and four others in the film—were played by beloved character actor Frank Morgan (1890-1949).
Not so beloved is another Oz—the TV and media Doctor Mehmet Oz.
When he first came on the scene, the former Harvard-educated cardiovascular surgeon made it a point to appear unconventional, endorsing all manner of "alternative" approaches to better health. At some point, probably based on getting roundly condemned by his peers, he pretty much switched gears. Now, he dispenses the most conventional possible advice (such as avoiding red meat), and jumps on every single fashionable and stupid Green trend, such as hating BPA and Pink Slime.
He got rightly slammed for jumping on the ridiculous arsenic in apple juice scare of several months ago, and is taking heat for one of his few recent forays into the unconventional: His ringing endorsement of raspberry ketone as the ultimate weight loss aid. He cites research on obese mice to "prove" his point. Despite his elite educational background, Oz has demonstrated repeatedly that he understands little about science.
Worse, he seems to mostly lend his considerable influence to quite questionable causes. I agree with him that we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables. Why doesn't he take on the wasteful and overblown ag subsidy program, which mostly supports corn and soybeans, thus causing the price of more healthy produce to be inflated? And why doesn't he get current with his understanding of heart disease? Really now, a guy like him still believing in the long-disproven lipid/cholesterol theory?
But, then again, when the money is rolling in with no end in sight, why does he even need to think at all?
It should come as no surprise to any sentient individual that the entire "Pink Slime" uproar is complete and utter BS. However, it would appear that there are many out there who aren't sentient, after all.
My latest HND piece compares this travesty with William Randolph Hearst's horrific trashing of silent move star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, solely to sell newspapers. If public opinion could be force-fed by unscrupulous media barons back in 1921, you'd think that it would be much harder to do this in 2012—given the instant availability of unlimited amounts of information via the Internet. But you would be wrong.
H.L. Mencken got it right when he said, in his column in the September 19, 1926 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, entitled “Notes on Journalism”:
“No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
His topic was a recent trend in the American newspaper business: Tabloid newspapers that were geared toward uneducated readers, including those Mencken described as “near-illiterates.” Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
That's the title of my latest HND piece. Siloxane D5 is an important silicone, which was being investigated by the Canadian government, and recently received a clean bill of health from their ministries of the environment and health.
You should care about this because the Canadians are known as absolute sticklers on chemical regulation, and even our own EPA stopped worrying about D5 in 2005. Thus, the fear entrepreneurs got all excited when the Canadian investigation was announced, but have kept mum about the positive results.
This recent HND piece takes a hard look at certain things widely considered "green" by today's standards, as well as truly green practices that are often completely overlooked. One of the worst examples is what passes for so-called green construction. Just one more example of how the conventional wisdom is almost always wrong.
My final HND piece for 2011 takes a dim view of the constant hype raining down on us regarding health and environmental issues. More than a few people—especially parents of young children—are getting stressed over this, while they attempt to sort out the often-conflicting (not to mention wrong and useless) information.
Read this article, find out how I invoke Orson Welles, and chill out for the new year!
25 Aug 11 — "Sea Levels Dropped in 2010." That's what the headline should have read. Instead, NASA tried to hide this startling information under the nondescript headline "NASA Satellites Detect Pothole On Road to Higher Seas."
The story begins as yet another global warming horror story, explaining how "ocean waters expand as they warm. This, along with melting glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, drives sea levels higher over the long term."
Red line shows increase in global sea level since the early 1990s. Sea level has risen by a little more than an inch each decade, or about 3 mm per year. The recent drop of nearly one quarter inch (½ cm), is attributable to the switch from El Niño to La Niña. (Credit: S. Nerem, University of Colorado)
While the rise of the global ocean has been remarkably steady for most of the last 18 years, the article continues, (undoubtedly due to global warming caused by us nasty humans, of course) "every once in a while, sea level rise hits a speed bump. This past year, it's been more like a pothole: between last summer and this one, global sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch, or half a centimeter."
They kind of sneaked that in there, didn't they? Sea levels actually fell!
So what does it mean? "You can blame it on the cycle of El Niño and La Niña in the Pacific," explains climate scientist Josh Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California.
One of the strongest La Niñas in recent memory "changed rainfall patterns all across the globe, bringing massive floods to places like Australia and the Amazon basin, and drought to the southern United States." This extra rain piled onto the continents in the early parts of 2011.
Uh huh. Rising sea levels are caused by humans. But falling sea levels are caused by natural forces.
Where did that extra water come from? "You guessed it—the ocean. Each year, huge amounts of water are evaporated from the ocean. While most of it falls right back into the ocean as rain, some of it falls over land."
"This year, the continents got an extra dose of rain, so much so that global sea levels actually fell over most =of the last year," says Carmen Boening, a JPL oceanographer and climate scientist. But for those who might argue that these data show us entering a long-term period of decline in global sea level, Willis cautions that sea level drops such as this one cannot last, and over the long-run, the trend remains solidly up. Water flows downhill, and the extra rain will eventually find its way back to the sea. When it does, global sea level will rise again."
Maybe. But what if that precipitation remains locked up on land as ice? Look at the record snowfall throughout the Western United States this past winter. That's how ice ages begin. If that sort of snowfall persists, sea levels will continue falling and won't rise again until the end of the next ice age.
"We're heating up the planet, and in the end that means more sea level rise," says Willis. "But El Niño and La Niña always take us on a rainfall roller coaster, and in years like this they give us sea-level whiplash."
As far as I'm concerned this article is totally biased toward global warming, not something one likes to see coming from NASA. It is a disgrace when NASA, NOAA, and other government agencies deliberately deceive the public for whom they work.