"How not to respond to The X-Files" (8/31/98) In this editorial about the television show The X-Files, the Nature editors say "Belief in pseudo-science is a widespread problem." And they're right. Ask the editors of Nature why they believe in manmade global warming. Isn't that pseudoscience?
"Experts call obesity a global epidemic" (8/31/98) "If we wait, in 10 to 20 years from now it really looks like we are going to have a catastrophe on our hands." What?
"Smoking moms pass carcinogen to infants" (8/31/98) This Science News article on the recent Hecht study concludes by saying "Simple, old-fashioned epidemiologic studies have not shown a strong correlation between childhood cancers and maternal smoking. We have to look at it in a more sophisticated way." Why? Ask Science News yourself.
Re-analysis of sperm count data shows no decline (8/31/98) "In conclusion, the significant and very marked decline that Swan et al. found for Europe was an artifact of their inappropriate sampling from the original studies. If the two non-English studies from 1944 and 1971 are included, there is no significant decline over the entire period."
Alar: Enviros attack New York Times journalist who questions orthodoxy (8/31/98) The National Environmental Trust placed this quarter-page advertisement on the New York Times editorial page to protest this article by Times medical reporter Jane Brody. Click here for background on the alar controversy. E-mail your comments to the New York Times.
"EPA to Hunt Dangers in Everyday Products" (8/31/98) John H. Cushman, Jr., the New York Times' environmental airhead, writes (unquestioningly) about the congressionally mandated endocrine disrupter screening program -- a program based on a scare that cannot point to a single study that has been replicated. E-mail your comments to the New York Times.
"Politics clouding objective science: Secondhand smoke; EPA manipulated information to fit policy" (8/31/98) "The debate about environmental tobacco smoke, to me, a nonsmoker, is not really about smoking, but rather it is a debate about the integrity in science and how the EPA manipulated that science for political purposes."
"Shark attack on boat 'result of global warming'" (8/31/98) Next we'll be reading that had not November 22, 1963 been such a warm day in Dallas, President Kennedy's limo would had on its bulletproof bubble-top.
"Drinking Water, And What Else?; From Wells In South Jersey Flow Radium, and Anxiety" (8/31/98) More fearmongering about low-level radiation in drinking water. E-mail your comments to the New York Times.
Where is Monica? (8/30/98) Not Monica Lewinsky. Monica, the heart disease study. A week after the announcement of the most startling results in heart disease research, Monica has still not been reported by the U.S. media.
"Beaver Basin is a hot spot with high levels of radon gas, agency says" (8/30/98) The Deseret News and Utah Geological Survey combine to scare people about radon in the home. E-mail your comments to the Deseret News.
"Ripe tomatoes in Alaska but Seattle's under water" (8/30/98) Residents of Lewiston, Idaho are treated to global warming propaganda courtesy of the Lewiston Morning Tribune. Let's educate the editors of the Lewiston Morning Tribune.
"U.S. food-safety system needs major overhaul" (8/30/98) The British medical journal The Lancet repeats bogus statistics from the new NRC food safety report -- i.e., 9,000 deaths and 81 million illnesses. Click here for background info. Let's stop such nonsense from taking hold. E-mail your comments to the The Lancet.
"Scaring Consumers Away from Good Health" (8/30/98) "The Environmental Protection Agency has always excelled at accentuating the negative. Now it is doing so at the price of public health."
Hillary Clinton on global warming (8/30/98) The First Lady apparently believes the number of times FEMA hands out money is an indicator of global warming. She recently wrote "If you think natural disasters today are taking a greater toll on the country than in the past, you're right. Between 1988 and 1992, there were an average of 44 major disaster declarations each year. Since then, that number has risen to 60, in part due to El Nino, La Nina and the effects of global warming." No wonder she couldn't find those billing records -- even though they were right under her nose! Thanks to George Miller for the find.
DDT Update (8/29/98) From Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., a backgrounder on DDT.
"Storm scenario for 2100: havoc on Mass. coast" (8/29/98) More global warming hysteria from the Boston Globe. The Globe must be trying to make the Salem witch trials look like Nobel Prize thinking. E-mail your comments to the Boston Globe.
Dan Quayle on the weather? (8/29/98) In this Daily Oklahoman article (8/28), Argus Hamilton writes "Hurricane Bonnie hit North Carolina on Tuesday. It's becoming a campaign issue. Vice President Al Gore blames it on global warming. John Ashcroft calls it the wrath of God; and Dan Quayle says it's all because of El Nintendo."
"Australia Water Scare Disputed" (8/29/98) "Experts disagreed today over whether microscopic bugs that have infested Sydney's water supply for the second time in a month are harmless algae or dangerous parasites."
"Don't back off on tobacco fight" (8/28/98) This Deseret News editorial ups the annual death toll from smoking to 500,000 and parrots the 3,000-kids-per-day myth. Except the 130,000 or so annual lung cancer deaths attributable to smoking, it's difficult to identify smoking as the sole cause of deaths from other causes. For example, despite what we've heard about smoking and heart disease, the largest study ever on heart disease failed to associated heart disease with smoking. The 3,000 kids statistic is based on a study of "kids" 20 or more years old. E-mail your comments to the Deseret News.
EPA science advisers reject 1,3-butadiene assessment (8/29/98) The EPA Science Advisory Board was highly critical of the EPA's draft health assessment for 1,3-butadiene, rejecting EPA's effort to upgrade the chemical from a "probable," to a "known" human carcinogen." 1,3-butadiene is used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber and is in motor vehicle exhaust. [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 28, 1998.]
Lester Brown to oil industry: Surrender or we'll tobacco-ize you (8/28/98) The enviros threaten the oil industry.
"The car inspection rip-off" (8/28/98) "Those who believe government is responsible for solving every problem frequently believe as well that the ideal solution is one that irritates the maximum number of people."
"Carcinogen in tobacco smoke can be passed to fetus" (8/28/98) Biased news coverage from the British Medical Journal. UPI reported my comments as follows: "... Hecht's results are meaningless without a link between a fetus being exposed to a carcinogen and the development of childhood cancer.`There is no body of evidence showing that exposure of a fetus causes an increase in cancer in children of smokers.'" E-mail your comments to the British Medical Journal.
Ross "the Fraud" Gelbspan crawls out from under his rock (8/28/98) In mid-August, Molly Ivins wrote this Al Gore-ish column on global warming. On August 26, Jim Craig of the American Petroleum Institute wrote this letter in response to Ivins' column. On August 27, Ross Gelbspan wrote this letter in response to Craig. But Gelbspan is a fraud. E-mail your comments to the Boston Globe.
"EPA to screen products for invasive chemicals" (8/28/98) "But Tufts' [Ana] Soto, who worked on the [National] Academy of Sciences review, said politicians shouldn't wait for all the research before protecting people from exposure to endocrine disruptors." Of course. Ready-fire-aim is always the best approach? E-mail your comments to the Boston Globe.
"On the wing again" (8/28/98) More peregrine falcon/DDT nonsense, this time from the Los Angeles Times. Click here for my letter-to-the-editor. E-mail your comments to the Los Angeles Times.
Greenpeace, EPA help CBS' 60 Minutes on environmental justice program (8/28/98) On August 28, a camera crew from CBS' 60 Minutes will be in Louisiana to shoot a media event that's being staged exclusively for them. The segment they're shooting is on "environmental justice." The narrator is Leslie Stahl. The set is the little town of Convent, once the proposed site of a Shintech plastics plant....more...
Hurricane Bonnie Challenge (8/28/98) The first person to e-mail me an actual quote (with reference) from Al Gore linking Hurricane Bonnie to global warming wins a copy of Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research.
"Calif. Board OKs Diesel Regulation" (8/27/98) "A state agency voted unanimously Thursday to regulate cancer-causing chemical particles in diesel exhaust, a move that could force the industry to produce cleaner-burning fuel or engines."
Major contradiction in new food safety report (8/27/98) 81 million illnesses and 9,000 deaths from food poisoning? The executive summary makes a major claim not backed up by the report.
EPA fails to check accuracy of racial disparity complaint (8/27/98) "Mostly whites live near proposed mill site."
"EPA Would Open The Door To Terrorists" (8/27/98) Read about the Carol Browner-to-Osama Bin Laden handoff.
"Polluted site being isolated" (8/27/98) In this article about the Hudson River controversy, the Bergen County Record says PCBs are "cancer-causing." But more than 20 studies, mostly conducted by the EPA and NIOSH, have failed to conclude that PCBs cause cancer in humans. PCBs have only been associated with cancer through high dose animal studies. Even the animal evidence is being reconsidered. In 1996, the EPA reduced the cancer potency factor for PCBs by a factor between 4 and 100. E-mail your comments to the Bergen County Record.
"Religious leaders' new false idol" (8/27/98) "You will be relieved to learn that the nation's religious leaders, having got sin pretty much under control, are moving on to science."
"It's not exactly rocket science" (8/27/98) "What government agency would spend $ 1 million to give the taxpayers $ 5 worth of benefits?" Take a wild guess.
"Report slams U.S. food safety" (8/27/98) At the very least, that Chicago Sun Times headline is alarmist. New statistics from the CDC indicate that the NRC food safety report may overestimate deaths from food poisoning by 200 percent. E-mail your comments to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Steps toward safer food" (8/27/98) The News and Observer repeats the statistic that 9,000 die annually from food posioning. New statistics from the CDC indicate this figure may overestimate deaths from food poisoning by 200 percent. E-mail your comments to the News and Observer.
More Peregrine falcon/DDT nonsense (8/27/98) The Bangor Daily News, New York Times, News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), and the Chicago Tribune all parrot the myth that banning DDT saved the peregrine falcon. Click here for my letter-to-the-editor. E-mail your letters to the editor to: the Bangor Daily News, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the News and Observer (Raleigh, NC).
"World's largest and longest heart study produces some surprises" (8/26/98) It appears that "standard" risk factors for heart disease aren't so standard. Click here for a media report.
"Putting Doesn't Pollute, Research Finds" (8/26/98) Just in case you were wondering.
"Water crisis looms as world's population grows" (8/26/98) More alarmism from the aptly named UN-Population Fund.
"Canadians find themselves eating genetically altered crops" (8/26/98) The enviros like problems (e.g., insufficent food supplies to feed a growing population) but don't like solutions (e.g., enhanced food production).
"FDA confirms 69 deaths of Viagra users since March" (8/26/98) The Viagra trainwreck continues. For more info, click he re for the FDA's Viagra home page.
"Pfiesteria in North Carolina: The medical inquiry continues" (8/26/98) Here's the politically incorrect study that got two North Carolina Department of Health physicians transferred to less desirable duties. The study says "Despite misleading information presented to the public, no physician practicing in North Carolina has reported a North Carolina case of human illness plausibly attributable to [Pfiesteria]."
The Week That Was August 17-23, 1998 (8/26/98) The weekly updated from the Science & Environmental Policy Project.
"Suit against diesel engine makers dismissed; Ruling: Group did not provide scientific evidence that public faces significant cancer risk from exhaust, judge says" (8/26/98) "...the environmental group's estimate of the risk to the public from breathing diesel fumes was not scientifically valid..."
"The peregrine falcon is back, but what should get the credit?" (8/26/98) This article in the Christian Science Monitor says "...no one disputes the fact that the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1972 played a big role in preventing likely extinction [of the perrigrine falcon]." Click here for my letter-to-the-editor. E-mail your own comments to the Christian Science Monitor.
"Battling against global warming" (8/26/98) The Boston Globe features a ranting by a global warming hysteric. Let's rant back! E-mail your comments to the Boston Globe.
"July was hottest month: Minister warns of global warming" (8/26/98) A 100 percent-biased global warming article in the Montreal Gazette. E-mail your comments to the Montreal Gazette.
"7 file suit blaming Amoco for cancer among workers" (8/26/98) Another lawsuit to follow.
"Heated debate" (8/26/98) "A sober look at the [Wentz/Schabel satellite temperature data study] shows that it provides evidence not of global warming but of the errors and uncertainties inherent in the current instruments used to monitor global climate change. Until more reliable instruments become available, "compelling" scientific evidence on global warming will not just be illusory - it will be an impossibility."
"Defeat of the killer tomatoes" (8/26/98) "... the Centers for Disease Control is on the verge of reducing sharply the number of deaths it attributes to food-borne illness. Rather than the oft-cited estimate of 9,000 deaths a year resulting from tainted food, the agency now puts the figure at somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000..."
"Sampling Error" (8/26/98) "Monday's court ruling against the use of statistical sampling in the Census is scarcely a run-of-the-mill judicial decision. Rather, it's another rejection of the Clinton Administration's bending of the law and, perhaps more importantly, a rebuff to the latest Clinton tactical political brainstorm."
"Who's Afraid of Genetic Engineering?" (8/26/98) Jimmy Carter on genetic engineering.
"Changing climate" (8/26/98) Another letter-to-the-editor of the Chattanooga Times. Way to go Philip Stott. Don't forget to check out Philip's "Tropical Ecology Web Site."
"PETA Wants Angler off Wheaties Box" (8/26/98) Extremists prove that they are.
Chemical and Engineering Propaganda (8/25/98) In this article titled "Benefits of regulations top costs by billions," Chemical and Engineering News touts the new Clinton Administration report claiming the benefits of regulations exceed costs by up to $3.3. trillion annually -- $3.2 trillion coming from a self-serving EPA analysis of the costs and benefits of the Clean Air Act. Click here for the report. Then e-mail your comments to the Chemical and Engineering News.
"Children inhale higher percentage of pollution particles, study says" (8/25/98) Fine. This is not news. But then the researchers go on to say the finding helps explain children's vulnerability to pollution-related illnesses such as coughing, bronchitis and asthma. I don't think so. The study only measured the level of "harmless wax particles" inhaled in a laboratory experiment. It is also news to me that air pollution is a significant cause of coughing, bronchitis and asthma. Did I miss the science?
Mercury health scare: Another fish story? (8/25/98) A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (8/26) reports no adverse neurodevelopmental problems among 711 children exposed to methylmercury from a diet high in ocean fish. The authors conclude "... it would be inadvisable to forgo the health benefits of fish consumption to protect against a small risk of adverse effect at the levels of MeHg found in ocean fish on the U.S. market." The accompanying editorial by EPA mercury researcher Kathryn Mahaffey pooh-poohed the study because it relied on "traditional," instead of "additional...more sensitive" testing to assess child development. Her comments smack of the EPA secondhand smoke risk assessment when EPA moved the goal posts (i.e., changed from the 95 percent to 90 percent statistical significance testing) to achieve the pre-determined policy goal.
"Blueprint for behavior book says parents just play genetic part in personality" (8/25/98) Are parents irrelevant or is this just junk social science?
New food safety hysteria (8/25/98) The Los Angeles Times calls the new National Research Council report on food safety "an alarm for a nation at risk." Get real. The U.S. food supply is safe. Certainly there is no evidence that a "food safety czar" would make food "safer." The report claims food poisoning causes as many as 81 million illnesses per year and 9,000 deaths. How do they know that the bulk of these illnesses are not due to improper handling at the consumer level -- activity that is out of reach of the Nanny State. This is a report by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats and of the bureaucrats. E-mail your comments to the Los Angeles Times.
Energy Secretary Richardson on global warming: "We've really been outgunned." (8/25/98) That's what new Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said yesterday in his speech at DOE headquarters. He must not know that the U.S. government spends at least $2 billion per year on global warming propaganda. I'd bet industry spends less than one percent of this amount.
"Gas additive's seeping scourge/Nothing seems the same in a small town overcome by toxic threat from underground" (8/25/98) We may not want MTBE in ground water, but that is no excuse for hyping a cancer threat like Newsday writer Dan Fagin does in this article. E-mail your comments to Newsday.
"A climate of concern: Record heat is bad news" (8/25/98) More climate clamoring, Canadian-style. E-mail your comments to the Toronto Sun.
"Worried churches chime in on global warming debate" (8/25/98) I respect religious beliefs until they interfere with science and public policy. If God created the Earth, why can't he/she set the thermostat at a nice, comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit?
"Judges Reject Census Sampling" (8/25/98) Rumor has it that techy Vice President Al Bore has an alternative to counting and sampling -- implanting LoJack in everyone.
"More global-warming hot air: Despite skimpy science, pols still tout threat" (8/25/98) "There's not much that scientists agree on when it comes to global warming. One point of common ground, though, is that there's no way to say any particular weather event is due to global warming."
"The dangers beneath us/buried gas, oil tanks are leaking by the thousands, threatening LI's aquifers, as NY eases cleanup rules" (8/24/98) As the fall election nears, New York Gov. George Pataki's opponents move to make environmetnal cleanup an issue.
"Peregrine falcon returns from brink" (8/24/98) This Sacramento Bee article erroneously attributes the recovery of the Peregrine falcon to the DDT ban. Click here for my letter-to-the-editor. E-mail your own comments to the Sacramento Bee.
"Cereal processing could determine cancer risk, research shows" (8/23/98) A somewhat premature headline, since the researchers never found out whether the change in cereal processing determined the rats' cancer risk.
"Tobacco byproducts found in newborns" (8/23/98) Check out the Junkman's comments in this UPI report.
Air pollution and mortality (8/23/98) Junk Science Joel Schwartz (JS-squared?) is at it again, claiming that air pollution increased daily mortality rates in 10 European cities by 2 to 5 percent. The basic flaw is the ecologic nature of the study -- no data on individuals, just populations. But, the study is also dealing with exceedingly small numbers. For London, the largest city studied, the average daily mortality count from cardiovascular and respiratory causes is about 100. So the results are built on 2 to 5 "excess" daily deaths in London. For Paris, the daily mortality count is only about 50 -- cutting the daily "excess" to 1 to 2 deaths. For Milan, the daily mortality count is only 17 -- cutting the daily "excess" to 0.4 to 1. Hah!
Reduced Cancer Incidence among the Blind (8/23/98) A new study in Epidemiology (September 1998) reports 30 percent less cancer among the blind. The theory is that production of the hormone melatonin is never suppressed in blind people. But the results are based on only 66 cancers. Except for lung cancer, none of the reductions in specific cancer incidence were statistically significant. And since no data was available on smoking status, the lung cancer result does not consider smoking status. A case of the lame leading the blind?
Chlorinated drinking water and adverse pregnancy outcomes (8/23/98) A new study in Epidemiology (September 1998) reports that chlorinated drinking water may double the chances of low birthweight. But the study has at least three fatal flaws. First, the researchers did not determine how much drinking water any of the mothers consumed. Second, the study included about 1,900 live births but excluded over 6,200 eligible live births because water samples were not available. Third, the study's conclusions depend on a mere 8 cases of low birthweight.
`Food police' get one right (8/23/98) In the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Nutrition Action Health Letter (July/August 1998), CSPI attacks an ad for Welch's Grape Juice. In the ad, Welch's says that antioxidants may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease -- and Welch's "has more than three times the naturally occurring antioxidants of other popular juices." Welch's even implies that purple grape juice could substitute for aspirin as blood thinner. CSPI correctly points out that the jury is still out on antioxidants, and cancer and heart disease risk. No, I still don't think much of CSPI. But I don't think much of phoney claims of health benefits either.
EPA Administrator Browner defends secondhand smoke study (8/22/98) Click here for Browner's letter to the Washington Post. Click here for the Junkman's letter-to-the-editor in response. Click here to send your own letter.
"Nonexistent threat" (8/22/98) The Junk Science Home Page letter writing campaign works! Here's an inspired letter-to-the-editor in response to this Chattanooga Times editorial.
"EU supports 'underwater windmill' sea power project" (8/22/98) Don Quixote goes underwater? What will the enviros say when these "underwater windmills" chop up dolphin, whales and other sealife?
"Fertility Is Written in Your Hands-New Scientist" (8/21/98) Digit asymmetry predicts the number of sperm per ejaculate?
Christy/Spencer response to the Wentz/Schabel satellite data analysis (8/21/98) "Even with needed corrections, data still don't show the expected signature of global warming."
"Return of the silent spring" (8/21/98) One of the recent fearmongering commentaries from Europe on genetically engineered food and crops.
"Study says El Ninos getting stronger; Global warming suspected in change" (8/21/98) Too bad for this article that one of the study's authors acknowledges "There's no overall strong trends that you would really want to put down as a climate change."
"Depletion of layer is slowing, scientists say" (8/21/98) Unfortunately for this headline, the study only reported declining levels of CFC-12. The study did not examine so-called "ozone depletion." E-mail your comments to the Dayton Daily News editors.
Leukemia rates above normal, numbers show; Marion cancer study (8/21/98) According to the Ohio Department of Health, the elevation appears limited to women over age 60. Can you say "chance?"
"Poverty and environmental disasters" (8/21/98) An article spreading stupidity in the third world. Should India's leaders spend even a nanosecond thinking about global warming?
Study links some cancer to pollution; Preliminary findings raise eyebrows on Neville Island (8/21/98) Beats me how this study links cancer to pollution since the study is "preliminary." No adjustment for confounding factors occurred. The report appears to overlook the fact that, just by chance, elevated cancer rates can occur. E-mail your comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editors.
Public Citizen tries to tee up Viagra manufacturer for trial lawyers? (8/20/98) Public Citizen's Health Research Group asked the FDA to re-examine the risks posed by Viagra to patients on other medications. Public Citizen hopes the FDA will panic and pull the plug on Viagra like it did on silicone breast implants and the diet drug combination fen-phen. Such FDA action would pave the way for Public Citizen's allies, the personal injury lawyers, to shake down Viagra manufacturer Pfizer Inc. for big bucks.
Breast cancer in female flight attendants (8/20/98) This letter in the Lancet cites one study reporting an increase in breast cancer rate among Finnish flight attendants. So the association must be due to the attendants' work schedules?
CalPIRG cries wolf about pesticides in air (8/20/98) Click here for Los Angeles Times coverage. Click here for San Francisco Examiner coverage. Click here for a statement by CalEPA.
Employees Skeptical About Pfiesteria Demoted (8/20/98) The state of North Carolina Health Department retaliates against junk science skepticism. Click here for an article about the study in question. It was a small, case-control study in which the researchers guess-timated exposure data and had no idea what the toxins are or how they are transmitted to the brain.
The Great Salmon Hoax (8/20/98) "Must reading for anyone who wants to hear both sides of the Columbia River salmon controversy," says Charles F. Luce, former administrator, Bonneville Power Administration.
A warning out of thin air (8/20/98) This Atlanta Journal and Constitution editorial says we are greedy and selfish because we are not acting on global warming. E-mail your thoughts to the editors.
'Bill and Monica show' overshadows tobacco travesty (8/20/98) This Arizona Republic editorial parrots the 3,000-kids-per-day nonsense. This statistic is from a 1989 CDC study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and is based on "kids" 20 or more years old. E-mail your comments to the Arizona Republic editors.
More Regions of Earth Wet, Dry (8/20/98) Wet-dry data -- and its interpretation -- are even flakier than temperature data.
Polar Ice May Show Climate Changes (8/20/98) "The study, to be published Thursday in the journal Nature, "contradicts the hypothesis that Antarctic warmings are responses to events in the Northern Hemisphere," said Thomas Blunier of the University of Bern in Switzerland." If true, what does this say about CFCs from the Northern Hemisphere and the "ozone hole" over Antarctica?
Clinton may deflect Monica-gate with global warming (8/20/98) The Washington Post reports this morning that "... Clinton is weighing whether to cut into his vacation next week for public appearances. One idea would have him go to Woods Hole, Mass.,... to talk about climate change." As highlighted on this page in June 1996, Clinton used a similar junk science-based strategy in an effort to avoid being sued by Paula Jones.
Politics over science at the EPA? (8/20/98) Abuses lead to bad policies, scientists charge.
G.E. Disputes EPA Finding That PCB's Are Flowing Down the Hudson (8/20/98) The 1992 audit of how EPA does science, Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions, said EPA adjusts science to fit policy. EPA's Hudson River policy is to force General Electric to dredge the river. So who can be surprised that this EPA report is flawed?
Study: Ozone Depletion May Slow (8/20/98) This misleading headline is about a new Nature study reporting upper atmospheric accumulation of CFC-12 has slowed. Unfortunately for the headline, CFC-12 has not been scientifically proven to be the major cause of so-called "ozone depletion."
Lab Acknowledges It Could Be Polluter (8/20/98) Anti-nuke nuts give Brookhaven National Laboratory a hard time. Even if the plutonium came from the lab, there's been no evidence of harm caused.
Greenpeace occupies oil rig to protest oil exploration (8/20/98) Greenpeace crazies occupied the Deepsea Bergen oil rig off Norway's coast. Greenpeace Nordic director Per Stenbeck said "Given that we can afford to burn no more than one quarter of the known reserves of fossil fuels -- oil, coal, and gas -- without risking dangerous climate change, we cannot continue to explore for new oil." [Source: Agence France Presse, Augsut 20, 1998.]
New selenium and prostate cancer study: Walter Willet equals junk science (8/19/98) I should have known better than to waste my time reading this study.
Smoking marijuana/cocaine and lung cancer (8/19/98) The Journal of the National Institute (August 19, 1998) reports that smoking marijuana/cocaine may increase lung cancer risk. This report is based on histopathological changes in study subjects. But considering that very few, long-term, heavy cigarette smokers get lung cancer (i.e., less than one percent), who could smoke enough marijuana or cocaine to get lung cancer? Ask lead researcher Sanford H. Barsky why he's wasting our tax dollars on this nonsense.
The energy diet that flopped (8/19/98) A Peter Huber article in Forbes.
Check it out (8/19/98) Thomas Sowell writes in Forbes: "... I had no idea how widespread was the practice of basing both private and governmental policies on theories and projections that had never been checked against anything and never would be."
NPR's "Junk Science Friday?" (8/19/98) Last Friday on National Public Radio's "Science Friday" program, the guests included NASA's James Hansen and Pulitzer Prize fraud Ross Gelbspan. According to a report from a home page visitor, Gelbspan lamented that there was no environmental leadership in politics today -- i.e., no one like Paul Ehrlich to rally the people to the cause of global warming. Send NPR your thoughts. Tell'em you want to hear the Junkman!
Poisoned plastic threat to babies (8/19/98) A new enviro scare with no credible evidence.
Repeating nonsense: 3,000 kids per day start smoking? (8/19/98) The Deseret News repeats the flawed statistic in this anti-tobacco editorial. This statistic is from a 1989 CDC study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and is based on "kids" 20 or more years old. E-mail your comments to the Deseret News editor.
Nigeria bans smoking in government offices (8/19/98) A symptom of misplaced priorities? Linus U.J. Thomas-Ogboji wrote in the African News Weekly (5/26/95): "Nigeria, the comatose giant of Africa, may go down in history as the biggest country ever to go directly from colonial subjugation to complete collapse, without an intervening period of successful self-rule. So much promise, so much waste; such a disappointment. Such a shame. Makes you sick."
One-third of Americans are vitamin C depleted? (8/19/98) So claim Arizona State University researchers in the latest Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Of course, I'm not sure that a study of only 494 people can be used to characterize the U.S. population.
One reason for Clinton not to resign: the man behind (8/19/98) "Watching [Clinton's] personal self-destruction hasn't been pretty, but as bad as it has been, it's better than President Green Jeans."
Canada to ratify Kyoto treaty despite objections (8/19/98) The Gazatte (Montreal) reports that Canada will ratify the Kyoto treaty despite objections from Alberta Premier Ralph Klein. Should Alberta follow Quebec's quest for independence?
Do something about the weather (8/19/98) The Chattanoga Times does it's best to misinform Chattanoogans about global warming. Do something about this editorial. E-mail your comments to Mike Loftin, editorial page editor, and Ruth Holmberg, the Times' chairman.
Terrorism... and global warming? (8/19/98) Retiring Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-Ar) criticized his colleagues in Congress for ignoring problems of global warming and growing threats of terrorism. So let's see, global warming is a current problem, but terrorism is just a future worry? Can Bumpers retire any faster?
Thank you, Monica! (8/19/98) The Atlanta Journal and Constitution lamented yesterday that "Sadly, with [Clinton's] credibility permanently damaged, his leadership in [global warming and other areas] may be limited."
Christy on the recent warming (8/19/98) "When you're looking at satellite data from 1979 to now, the last seven months have been the hottest months over the last 20 year period," said John Christy of the University of Huntsville in Alabama. "However if you look at the 19-year period ending December 1997, the trend is zero so the warmth from January to July is clearly El Nino," said Christy. [Source: Agence France Presse, August 18, 1998.]
Ned Ford: Sierra Club's Marie Antoinette (8/19/98) Ned Ford, the Sierra Club's energy "guru," says carbon dioxide cuts should begin at home. "All most people have to do is buy a more luxurious, higher efficiency car the next time..." [Source: Electricity Daily, August 19, 1998.] Didn't a similar attitude earn Marie Antoinette a one-way trip to the guillotine?
New DES study pops an endocrine disrupter balloon (8/18/98) Theo Colburn's legacy is starting to look like Rachel Carson's -- discredited, irrelevant, and forgotten.
Prostitutes found to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (8/18/98) "Working as a streetwalker can be as traumatic as going to war." Should we be expecting Steven Spielberg to make a movie called Saving Xaveria Hollander?
Long-term marijuana, cocaine smoking a lung cancer risk, study suggests (8/18/98) Though I haven't had a chance to review the study yet, it looks as though lung cancer was not studied, only "precancerous changes."
Selenium in men's diet reduces risk of advanced prostate cancer, study says (8/18/98) "But how the mineral might prevent prostate cancer is not clear, Giovannucci said." I can't wait for my copy of the Journal of the National Institute.
Pesticide bugs air passengers; Spray to halt spread of disease sickens some (8/18/98) A 60-year old psychologist supposedly diagnosed with "chemical hepatitis" complains about pesticide use in airline cabins. While non-viral forms of hepatitis are associated with some drugs and alcohol, her "chemical hepatitis" sounds as credible as "global warming fever."
OMB's junk economics (8/18/98) The White House Office of Management and Budget used to be the one place in the federal government that would at least try to stop EPA junk science. But then Bill Clinton and Al Gore emasculated OMB, turning the agency into a regulatory rubber stamp. OMB has just released a report claiming that the total annual benefits of federal regulations exceed costs by a margin of $34 billion to $3.38 trillion -- funny how none of this shows up in the Gross Domestic Product. The report values statistical lives at up to $5.5 million each. A whopping $3.2 trillion is attributed (based on a bogus EPA analysis) to the Clean Air Act. Click here to e-mail your comments on the report to OMB.
The Week That Was August 10-16, 1998 (8/18/98) The weekly update from the Science and Environmental Policy Project.
Air quality payola (8/18/98) Part of EPA's payoff to the junk science community starts August 20 when the National Environmental Respiratory Center opens its doors. The NERC is funded by a $2 million appropriation contained in the EPA's 1998 fiscal budget. NERC's mission will be overseen by such well-known junk scientists as NYU's Morton Lippmann and Johns Hopkins' Jonathan Samet -- big supporters of EPA's new air quality standards which precipitated the grant. NERC director Joseph Mauderly plans to take air pollution research in a new direction (I guess the old one was wrong!), focusing on mixtures of pollutants rather than single pollutants. NERC will also be looking at air pollution and heart disease, and the roles of ozone and tobacco in causing emphysema. [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 18, 1998].
Massachusetts to propose smoke toxin rules (8/18/98) At best, this is a public relations stunt. Will Massachusetts also require restaurants and grocery stores to label the "toxins" in charbroiled meat?
`Maude' shills for PETA against Premarin (8/18/98) Click here for actress Bea Arthur's recent animal rights tirade against the manufacturer of the Premarin. Click here for a letter-to-the-editor in response. [Note: While I agree with the spirit of the response, a knowledgable source says the response erroneously states horse urine is not used in manufacturing Premarin. The active ingredient for Premarin comes in small drums labeled "PCUD", which stands for Preserved Condensed Urine, Dessicated. The labels on the drums list the number of gallons (in the 5 digit range) of urine which is dessicated to supply the resulting small drum of active powder.]
Liar, liar (8/18/98) Investor's Business Daily links Bill Clinton's culture of lying with junk science.
Junk Science: Cases on a Scientific Edge (8/18/98) The Financial Times looks at junk science.
As Alaska Melts, Scientists Consider the Reasons Why (8/18/98) Since 1990, the New York Times' William K. Stevens has written more than 130 articles promoting global warming. Here's the latest.
Health Scares That Weren't So Scary (8/18/98) The New York Times' Jane Brody takes a cursory walk down memory lane.
NASA scientists prepare global warming report for Environmental Defense Fund (8/17/98) NASA scientists Cynthia Rosenzweig and Richard Goldberg prepared the recent Environmental Defense Fund report The Heat Is On: Global Warming Could Mean Many More Days Over 90, 95, And 100 F For U.S.. Is this how you want your tax dollars spent? E-mail your comments to NASA head Dan Goldin.
Book review: The Great Salmon Hoax (8/17/98) Mike Fox says "If you have the slightest interest in salmon or salmon fishing and how these are being threatened in the Northwest, run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore, buy (or order), and read this book."
Disfiguring disease blamed on fizzy drinks (8/17/98) "Dental experts believe an allergic reaction to carbonated drinks could be the cause of the outbreak of the incurable illness oral Crohn's Disease, which causes grotesquely swollen lips."
Strongest evidence yet links heart disease with infection (8/17/98) "But Davidson said the link is still tenuous. Bacteria could just be innocent bystanders in heart disease, or could be just one small part of a very complex interaction."
Government approves less prominent food irradiation labels (8/17/98) I still can't understand why irradiation can't be treated like pasteurization -- i.e., as an advantage not a risk.
The (Political) Science of Salt (8/17/98) In this dynamite article, Science reporter Gary Taubes exposes the anti-salt industry.
Sex and cigarettes (8/17/98) "Smoking, we are told, has reached a crisis level with America's teen-agers. In response, government has mobilized its forces to educate teens about the horrors of smoking, punish tobacco companies for exploiting the nation's youth and reassure parents who feel helpless in their crusade to keep their kids away from the devil weed. But there is a more urgent and widespread threat to young people that hasn't drawn a fraction of the attention cigarettes have: the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)."
Federal `behavior police' web site (8/17/98) "How are people in your state behaving? Find out at CDC's new website: Online Prevalence Data. Which state has the highest number of people without health insurance? Who is least likely to wear a seat belt? How many of us are eating the recommended five fruits and vegetables a day? Just point and click to find data about the risky and health behaviors of U.S. adults for one or all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The data are from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the largest continuously conducted telephone health survey in the world."
MTBE: An avoidable controversy (8/17/98) Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) was added to gasoline in 1992 to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. But there never was any evidence that MTBE would reduce ambient CO levels or even that ambient CO was harming anyone. Now, controversy has arisen about MTBE vapors harming health as well as MTBE-contamination of drinking water supplies. MTBE is being used as an example of regulatory "ready-fire-aim." While I don't put much stock in the animal study-fueled argument that MTBE is causing harm, MTBE wasn't necessary in the first place. Junk science shouldn't be used to fight junk science. MTBE is just another example of environmental politics/hysteria/business pre-empting science.
Al Gore's hot issue (8/17/98) "Now that the Cold War is over, politicians are searching for issues that will mobilize contributors and voters. Some have latched onto homosexuality. Others onto taxes or Social Security. Gore evidently believes people may be ready for an environmentally aware president who can save us from climate doom."
Junk Science Home Page named to Popular Science's "50 Best of the Web" (8/17/98) Thanks to everyone who has helped make this site a winner!
Regulatory Rogues (8/17/98) "The federal initiative governing Great Lakes water quality appears to be a scientific fraud."
Acid rain controls not working any miracles (8/17/98) A level-headed piece from the Columbus Dispatch.
PCB's Are Not Proven To Cause Cancer in Humans (8/17/98) Elizabeth Whelan corrects another inaccurate New York Times statement.
Monitor Warming (8/17/98) ...global warming ranks close to zero on most Americans' list of concerns. This may simply indicate good sense.
Showdown looming in Pittsburgh over nuclear plant (8/17/98) Some background info about the litigation over the Apollo nuclear plant.
Passive smokers inhale six cigarettes a year (8/16/98) "The figure, which undermines previous warnings about the dangers of passive smoking, is a thousand times lower than that faced by direct smokers, and so tiny that it could not be measured statistically."
Police radar and testicular/skin cancer -- or not? (8/16/98) A study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (August 1998) reports a 30 percent increase in testicular cancer and a 45 percent increase in melanoma among police officers in Ontario, Canada. But the study author says "The important thing to emphasize, though, is that at the moment we have no information on exposure." [Source: Microwave News, July/August 1998.] Although the reported increases in cancer have not been associated with police use of radar, the headline of the Microwave News article is "Testicular & Skin Cancer Findings Put Spotlight on Police Radar." Huh?
Grasping for bogus statistics (8/15/98) In response to the Fourth Circuit's trashing of FDA tobacco regulation, the anti-tobacco industry (i.e., American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and American Cancer Society) fired off a round of press releases filled with bogus statistics, including that smoking kills 400,000 per year, and 3,000 kids per day start smoking. The President's statement read "Almost 3,000 young people become regular smokers each day, and 1,000 of them will die prematurely as a result." Has Monica has distracted Bill from reports that the 3,000 kids-statistic is based on a 1989 Journal of the American Medical Association study where "kids" were defined to be 20 or more years old?
God help them, because the science won't! (8/15/98) Religious groups mount a campaign to support pact on global warming.
Turning a turd into a popsicle? (8/15/98) A new study in the International Journal of Cancer (77:549-553, 1998) concludes that "In summary, our cohort study provides further evidence that cigarette smoking, beer drinking, high consumption of red meat and sedentary occupation may be associated with increased risk of colon cancer mortality." But although elevated relative risks were reported for these factors, only the sedentary occupation association was statistically significant. They also found elevated but nonsignificant associations between consumption of fish, fruit and vegetables, and colon cancer but chose not to trumpet those associations in their abstract or conclusion. In essence this was a "negative" study spun into a "positive" one.
EMF crowd shifts gears (8/15/98) Since the link between electric and magnetic fields (EMF) and cancer was trashed by the National Research Council two years ago, the EMF crowd has been in search of a new rallying point. A new study being peer-reviewed by the American Journal of Public Health reportedly claims that EMF can change human cardiac rhythms causing increased mortality from arrhythmia and heart attacks. The claim is based on a study of male employees of five U.S. electric utilities. The study has already been reviewed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences EMF working group which concluded the current evidence is "inadequate." [Source: Microwave News, July/August 1998.]
How now browned-out cow? (8/15/98) Bavaria, Germany will investigate whether mobile phone antennas caused reduced milk yields, abnormal behavior and other ailments among cattle on a Bavarian farm. The farmer denies poor care caused the herd's problems. In a report to the Bavarian government, a local veterinarian says the evidence suggests that the antennas were "the sole cause" of the health problems, although he admits a "definitive cause" can't be established. Interested parties include anti-tower activists and Germany's Green Party. [Source: Microwave News, July/August 1998.]
Bureaucracy uber alles? (8/15/98) In a statement supporting her candidacy for president-elect of the American Public Health Association, Carol Easely Allen says one of the "most challenging" issues facing the public health community is "Protecting governmental public health at all levels in the face of rising anti-government sentiment." Aside from her wrong-headed defense of the intellectually and morally corrupt public health bureaucracy, she has it wrong about "anti-government sentiment." Americans aren't "anti-government;" Americans just won't tolerate a government that garnishes up to 50 percent of their incomes, which is then used to oppress and deceive them. [Source: The Nation's Health, August 1998.]
Court: FDA Can't Regulate Tobacco (8/14/98) Former FDA Reichsfuehrer David Kessler's attempt to expand FDA authority gets flushed by a federal court. Click here for the court's decision.
Second-Hand-Smoke Injury Yields Workers' Comp Award (8/14/98) A New Jersey judge writes ""I am satisfied... that the next logical step in the evolution of the known effects of second hand smoke has been reached." He must have missed the federal court decision trashing the prior step.
ALAWV solicits Clean Indoor Air award nominees (8/14/98) The American Lung Association of West Virgina is looking to award gold stars to businesses that ban smoking. The program is premised on the EPA risk assessment for secondhand smoke recently vacated by a federal judge... oops!
One Reporter Punctures Global-Warming Hysteria; Others at Networks Prove His Point (8/14/98) "Something unprecedented happened on ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday: A correspondent questioned global-warming hysteria."
Mars meteorite doesn't contain signs of life after all, researchers say (8/14/98) "Scientists were mistaken when they thought a potato-sized rock found in Antarctica contained evidence suggesting life on Mars, according to three new papers in a journal about meteors."
Science and baloney (8/14/98) The Indianapolis Star suggests we seek a second opinion on global warming -- preferably from a real scientist -- as opposed simply to taking Al Bore's word.
Passive Smoke and Mirrors: After Hyping Dangers of Second-Hand Smoke, Networks Downplay Contrary Evidence (8/14/98) "Five years ago, the networks treated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declaration that second-hand cigarette smoke was a Group A carcinogen as huge news. But this year, they downplayed a federal judge's ruling that the EPA had manipulated statistics in assessing the risks of passive smoke."
Evidence turns up of sudden warming 2,000 years ago in Africa (8/14/98) "Providing evidence of cycles of global warming and cooling that have nothing to do with man's actions..."
Microbe found in fish on East Coast linked to memory disorder (8/14/98) Sounds fishy. In this small, case-control study, the researchers only have guess-timated exposure data, no idea what the toxins are or how they are transmitted to the brain. When I went to the Chesapeake Bay last week... what was I writing about?
Clinton signs bill to guard some medical manufacturers against liability (8/14/98) The trial lawyers must be fuming.
Whether salt is good or bad for your health depends on whom you ask (8/14/98) Has the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute made "a scientific commitment to salt education that goes way beyond the scientific facts?"
Organophosphate pesticides are being tested on students (8/14/98) For some reason, it's okay to volunteer to be a guinea pig for an HIV vaccine, but not okay to volunteer to be a guinea pig for pesticides.
Risk of connective tissue disease among women with breast implants (8/14/98) An exchange of letters over breast implant research in the British Medical Journal.
Crude rates, without standardisation for age, are always misleading (8/14/98) Good reminders here.
Mortality from breast cancer in UK has decreased suddenly (8/14/98) Good news that you probably won't hear from breast cancer activists.
Study shows men prefer curvy women over skinny (8/14/98) "Men find women with large breasts and slim waists more sexually attractive than waif-like supermodels, scientists disclosed on Friday."
Censorship of EPA employees (8/13/98) Here's EPA's new recruiting slogan: Work for the EPA -- lose constitutional rights! Earlier this year, a group of EPA employees filed comments as private citizens about an EPA proposal. Click here for an unpublished letter to the Washington Times about what happened. Click here for the offending comments.
Childhood cancer probe suffers setback (8/13/98) Another cancer "cluster" investigation. The local health department is testing homes for 560 possible carcinogens. But that's really needed is some understanding of probability and statistics. In the meantime, I recommend Chap ter 5 of Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research.
Cancer-cluster study nearing completion (8/13/98) Cancer "clusters" tend to be statistical artifacts.
Apollo cancer trial opens with tough case to prove (8/13/98) "An attorney for the Apollo residents acknowledged they would have a difficult time proving a correlation between what went out the smokestacks and what went into the residents." But why let details get in the way of potentially lucrative lawsuit?
Even big companies suspect warming (8/13/98) The Morning Star (Wilmington, NC) would have us believe that global warming is happening because some corporations say so?
Global Warming Debate Rages On (8/13/98) The Associated Press should be complimented for this relatively balanced piece about the satellite data controversy.
Why does EPA listen more to UN than own science advisers? (8/13/98) "Because it uses [the UN] for end-runs around the Science Advisory Board that Congress established to review EPA's science openly and objectively."
Politics First, Research Second? (8/13/98) "But even without outright harassment and intimidation, government money perverts research. Scholars dependent on the government dole must necessarily be tempted to produce findings that secure them more grants in future."
Environment faces crisis in coming years, Greenpeace says (8/13/98) The crisis is actually Greenpeace's declining donor base.
Even with Needed Correction, Data Still Don't Show the Expected Signature of Global Warming (8/13/98) Another response to the Nature paper on satellite measurements of global temperature.
Government launches program to protect children on farms (8/13/98) A program only a bonehead could dream up: Books that tell kids to stay away from dangerous animals and machinery, and wallet-sized cards explaining wage laws, drinking water standards and child labor laws. Even if these kids could read this junk, would they?
High Carbon Dioxide Levels May Be Killing Insects (8/13/98) This researcher, in fact, has no idea why his leaf-eating moths died.
If You Have A Real Hankering For The Taste Of Salt, It May Stem From Your Mother's Morning Sickness (8/13/98) I can't believe a Ph.D. will be awarded for this nonsense.
NPR exposes Gore on global warming (8/13/98) Two reasons why Vice President Al Bore is wrong on global warming, courtesy of National Public Radio.
'Wonderbras are safe' says Adriana (8/12/98) "The new Wonderbra model has defended push-up bras against claims that they damage women's health."
Health genetics scientist suspended (8/12/98) The BBC reports: "The scientist at the centre of controversial claims over the risks of eating genetically-modified (GM) food has been suspended."
Are the satellite data wrong about the 20-year cooling trend? (8/12/98) Nature is set to publish an article claiming satellite measurements of a global cooling trend are in error. In a Junk Science Home Page exclusive, here's the response from the Science and Environmental Policy Project.
Before More People Die (8/12/98) The family of the author of this op-ed survived a car crash caused by teens driving recklessly. No SUV was involved, although a pick-up truck driver was killed. But stirred by this tragic accident, the author says sales of SUVs should be stopped? Also, I didn't buy my SUV because it was safer for the other guy.
Study: Girls get higher grades (8/12/98) According to this researcher, white boys are "such lackadaisical students" because they "feel a sense of entitlement." Of course, all other groups get the entitlements.
A call for letters to Science (8/12/98) "A cattle-call for those willing to shill for federal regulators and Green activist groups is hardly deserving of a giddy write-up in the journal Science. Moreover, Science editors do their readers a disservice by omitting many facts about this deplorable initiative."
National Public Radio: "All Things Concocted" (8/12/98) National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" last night (8/11) featured a look at weather around the world, with the emphasis on how hot things are. When it got to France, however, the reporter had to really reach to make the news fit the warming theme, proclaiming that some parts of that country reached record post-war temperatures. Apparently the thermometer was unknown in France prior to 1945? Thanks to Brian Carnell.
Government studies on Gulf War syndrome flawed, researchers say (8/12/98) "An epidemiologist says three influential government studies that cast doubt on the existence of Gulf War syndrome are seriously flawed."
MSNBC pushes quackery (8/12/98) Check out MSNBC's An interactive guide to holistic care.
Satellite Data Attacked (8/12/98) A report in the upcoming Nature claims to debunk the argument that the satellite data on global warming show a slight cooling over the last 20 years.
Weather occurs in cycles, Timm says (8/12/98) Thoughts of a local weather specialist from Vancouver, Washington.
Clincton announces program to confuse population about drinking water safety (8/12/98) "These `consumer confidence' reports will tell families whether their water meets federal health standards -- and if not, why not -- giving utilities additional incentive to deliver the cleanest water possible."
California jury awards Lockheed workers $760 million in punitive damages for chemical exposure (8/12/98) The 29 plaintiffs claimed chemical exposures caused nervous system disorders, severe headaches, cancer and deaths. Lockheed argued the chemicals could not have caused the claimed injuries in the manner they were used. The jury rejected the cancer and death claims. The award will be appealed. In the meantime, I'm sure the prospect of each plaintiff getting a check for $17 million is a nice aspirin. [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 12, 1998].
Catalytic converters `make pollution worse' (8/11/98) The London Evening Standard (8/11/98) reports that catalytic converters which trap automobile engine exhaust are releasing high levels of "toxic metals" into the atmosphere. British scientists have found roadside concentrations of platinum and other metals that are 100 times higher than normal. Peter Simpson of the British Geological Survey said "We do not know yet what the health effects of breathing roadside platinum could be but it could trigger an illness. It's also possible that soluble forms of platinum could enter the food chain after being blown from the roadside onto farms." Gee...I wonder if the new platinum credit cards are harmful?
The Week That Was August 3-9, 1998 (8/11/98) The weekly update from the Science and Enviromental Policy Project.
Antibacterial Wash Products Do Not Promote Antibiotic Resistance (8/11/98) A response by the Soap and Detergent Association to last week's antibacterial soap scare.
Quigley Corporation Donates COLD-EEZE Lozenges to UNICEF in Response to Johns Hopkins Study on Zinc Gluconate (8/11/98) The most recent U.S. clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association failed to confirm that this product makes a difference in duration/severity of colds.
Gore Announces New Data Showing July 1998 Hottest Month (8/11/98) Here is the text of Vice President Bore's stunning announcement of hot weather in July.
Personal Health: A Study Guide to Scientific Studies (8/11/98) A good piece by the New York Times' Jane Brody.
U.K. Milk Scare (8/11/98) The British government launched an investigation into "alarming" levels of bacteria found in pasteurized milk. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, linked with Crohn's disease, was found in 20 percent (6 of 31) of tested samples of pasteurized milk. No illnesses associated with milk consumption have been reported. [Source: Daily Mail (August 11, 1998)].
Woman blames leg amputation on "sardine jet" (8/11/98) British landlady Val Clark wants 100,000 pounds from Northwest Airlines claiming the airline is responsible for her losing a leg. She claims she was forced to sit with her carry-on bag as flight attendants couldn't find room for it elsewhere. Two days later she was taken to the hospital with deep vein thrombosis, and after two emergency operations to remove blood clots, her left leg was amputated above the knee. [Source: Daily Star (August 10, 1998)].
Gore announces program merging two major junk science issues (8/11/98) "Vice President Al Gore today announced an Administration initiative aimed at studying children's health and recent hot weather." Another $10 million down the drain.
Cartoon: Genetic engineering (8/11/98) By Tom Johnston, published in the Mirror (U.K.), August 11, 1998.
Technology: Politically Correct Scapegoat? (8/11/98) "Politically correct science costs us all."
Gen. George S. Patton runs afoul of enviros (8/10/98) Science News (8/8/98) reports that Gen. Patton's tanks training in the Mojave Desert 50 years ago damaged the top layer of desert soil. By disturbing the soil, supposedly dust storms and gullies form more readily, more sediment runs off into rivers and less vegetation is available for native animals to eat. U.S. Army researchers say it may take 1,000 years for the damaged area to recover completely. So Hitler could have stopped Patton's tank corps from training with an Environmental Impact Statement?
Test tube babies and cancer (8/10/98) Reports in 1990-91 questioned whether children conceived through in vitro fertilization had higher cancer rates. A report in the Lancet (8/8/98) found fewer cancers than expected among the 2,500 such children born during 1978-1991. But as acknowledged in the report, the analysis had little statistical power. To observe a doubling or halving of the cancer rate (at a 95 percent significance level and 90 percent power) the cohort would have had to be 8 times larger (i.e., 20,000).
Fat substitute gets second look from British researchers (8/10/98) While I'm sure that Michael Jacobsen, a.k.a. Chief of the Food Police, is happy about this "news," the reported "anal leakage" and vitamin loss is nothing new. Unlike straight SPE, Olestra contains vitamins to reduce absorption from the gut.
British researcher questions safety of genetically altered food (8/10/98) Claimed to be the first trials to report "harmful effects" from genetically altered food. Slightly stunted growth in five rats and no controls?
Four Million Teenagers Smoke... Or Do They? (8/10/98) From the Natioanl Opinion Research Center and presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings, the largest annual statistical conference in North America: "Trying a cigarette is not equivalent to being a smoker, and it is unfair to adolescents to treat them as if it were. Further, it does not lead to good public policy and it makes careful monitoring of the effect of the policy impossible. Policy should be based on good data."
NARO President Points to North Carolina Ruling as Reinforcing Oil Industry's Concerns Over Actions by Federal Environmental Agencies (8/10/98) "A ruling by a federal judge in North Carolina that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrongly declared secondhand tobacco smoke a carcinogen based on 'junk science' reinforces the long-held conviction by the oil and gas industry that many federal agencies often use unproved theories to support politically correct environmental agendas," James L. Stafford, president of the Ada, Oklahoma-based National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) said today."
WHO says vehicle emissions kill 80,000 annually (8/10/98) The deaths are allegedly from long-term exposure to air pollution from road traffic -- particulate matter/PM-10. Of course, the report won't be available until this fall, allowing the claim to become enviro-lore before it can be debunked. The report also links traffic noise with heart disease, hypertension and decreased learning ability. [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 10, 1998.]
Denmark bans phthalates in toys (8/10/98) Denmark became the second EU member (Austria was the first) to succumb to the Greenpeace-initiated scare about toys made with PVC. The Shakesperean play would be called "Shamlet." [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 10, 1998.]
OSU to run new program to improve communication (8/10/98) A press release announcing a $1.5 million grant from the Packard Foundation to Oregon State University to teach scientist-activists how to work the news media, especially on the global warming issue. Thanks to the Science and Environmental Policy Project.
Primer on media tactics to deceive (8/10/98) Nationally syndicated columnist Alston Chase gives a run-down of some of his more miserable experiences with the environmental media. The Science and Environmental Policy Project provides its comments at the end.
Global Warming May Expand Plains? (8/10/98) The Science and Environmental Policy Project takes on a recent report from Duke University alarmists.
Federal study finds radium contamination in South Jersey wells (8/10/98) Radium caused cancers in heavily-exposed workers who used paints with radium to make glow-in-the-dark watch dials in the 1930s. But these drinking water exposures are too low to cause any harm -- but not too low to scare people.
Nuke Plant Blamed for Cancer Cases (8/10/98) This Pennsylvania trial starts today.
Linking Health Effects to Changes in Climate (8/10/98) It's not news that heavy rains in the third world may help increase the incidence of vector-borne disease. But the New York Times William K. Stevens confuses this occurence with climate change. Note that no source in this article commits to Steven's premise.
Polluting and Proud of It (8/10/98) An online poll by Friends of the Earth about SUVs backfires.
July Was World's Hottest Month on Record: High Temperatures Fuel Global Warming Debate (8/10/98) The Washington Post's Joby Warrick continues his thoughtless shilling for Al Gore. Hey Joby, if the 1990s is the hottest decade in 600 years, why was it so hot in the 1400s?
You say D'Amato, I say Tomato (8/9/98) Since the 1980s, concern has existed over supposedly high rates of breast cancer among Long Island women. But while the rate is elevated among white women vs. nonwhite women, that rate is no higher than other regions of the U.S. with similar populations of affluent, white women. Undeterred, Sen. Alphonse D'Amato (R-NY) has garnered about $20 million for research into the environmental causes of breast cancer on Long Island. But this money will likely be wasted as scientific study has not linked the environment with breast cancer. Since breast cancer can't be prevented -- only cured if diagnosed and treated early enough -- Sen. D'Amato squanders scarce public resources for political gain.
New York Times: Gardeners Threaten Climate (8/9/98) In his article "A Golden Rule for Gardening: Do No Harm," New York Times nudnik Robert Kourik writes "tillage releases carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming." Oy vey!
Low-flow revolt; Congress looks at repealing new toilet standard (8/9/98) What we really need is a toilet big enough to flush this law's supporters.
European enviros attack air conditioning (8/9/98) The New York Times reports the enviros are trying to stem the tide toward air conditioning in Europe. A spokesman for the Italian Green Party says "Turning on your air-conditioner today means suffering from the heat tomorrow." Maybe Europeans should take a lesson from Americans and try this bumpersticker: "Air Conditioner Protected by Smith & Wesson."
Dallas Morning Junk (8/9/98) The first sentence of this article, presenting a so-called "fact," reads "The first six months of 1998 were the warmest on record for planet Earth." Since the records don't go back very far and only cover very limited parts of the Earth, I'd say there isn't too much that's factual about that statement. It's bad enough that Texans have had to endure this summer's heat wave. Do they also have to endure shoddy journalism?
Ballot issue seeks pressure for cleanup of Denver site Shattuck Superfund neglect spurs effort (8/8/98) A chance next week for Denver citizens to vote `no' on junk science.
Let her rave... (8/8/98) ...so that all who hear her know her to be mad. Love Canal activist Lois Gibbs has been getting much media play on the 20th anniversary of the toxic exaggeration known as Love Canal. With any luck, we won't hear from her again for another 20 years.
Alcohol industry threatened with pariah status (8/8/98) This British Medical Journal article says if the alcohol industry "does not clean up its act, pariah status is inevitable." Message to the health Gestapo: "This Bud's for you."
Does Lycos Realize What They Are Supporting? (8/8/98) Search engine giant sides with radical environmental web haven - may soon find itself searching for customers.
Harvard-Smithsonian physicist calls sun's variability the greatest factor in global climate change (8/8/98) "Growing evidence suggests solar radiation could account for virtually all of the warming since the end of the Little Ice Age."
CPSC teams up with trial lawyers' association (8/7/98) Pamela Gilbert, the executive director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, asked trial lawyers at the annual convention of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in July to help the commission identify defective products. She said, "You, especially trial lawyers, often have the information we need to get our job done as quickly and effectively as possible. By working cooperatively, we call all come out winners." I guess that means the rest of us will come out losers.
"Greenhouse" Industry Promotes False Disease Scare (8/7/98) More EPA "education?"
Silencing Science In The Climate Debate (8/7/98) "The Clinton White House will brook no dissent in its efforts to get the Kyoto climate treaty ratified. Just ask Frederick Seitz."
EPA: Smoke and Mirrors (8/7/98) The Detroit News says "...Congress should simply slash [EPA's] budget."
Green Racism (8/7/98) "Green racism, as the affected communities could tell the [EPA], is no more welcome than any other kind."
Passive smoke is more than a nuisance? (8/7/98) More EPA apologists on secondhand smoke. About their claims: (1) They don't critically evaluate any of the studies they cite -- they merely parrot claims; (2) the Cal-EPA risk assessment didn't "confirm" anything -- it merely cited EPA's risk assessment; (3) the supposed links between secondhand smoke and cervical cancer and SIDS are laughably weak; and (4) as I have discussed on this page before, although any type of smoke can be a respiratory irritant, secondhand smoke has not been shown to increase the "prevalence and severity of asthma."
Cancer, remorse haunt tiny village (8/7/98) The Dene Indians would like to blame the U.S. government for their cancers.
Ozone Risk Overestimated (8/7/98) A summary of a recent article in Die Welt submitted by Junk Science Home Page visitor Reiner J. Gerdes of Norcross, Georgia.
The questionable value of new government studies (8/7/98) A short, humdinger of a speech read into the Congressional Record by Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio). Thanks to Brian Carnell for finding this doozy.
Cashing in on Global Warming (8/6/98) Read this article by Jim Sheehan of the Compeitive Enterprise Institute. Then visit the opinion section of the Global Change site and leave yours.
The hymen is not necessarily torn after sexual intercourse (8/6/98) Continuing this site's tradition of poking holes in myths.
Vitamin B-6 reprieved in UK (8/6/98) "Dietary supplements of vitamin B-6 have been granted a stay of execution by the British government pending further advice on safety levels."
PCBs and breastfeeding (8/6/98) In the wake of EPA administrator Carol Browner's jihad against PCBs in the Hudson River, a study in Environmental Health Perspectives (August 1998) concludes that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risks to infants from PCBs, even where the mothers have high concentrations of PCBs in their breast milk (up to 2,400 nanograms/gram of milk fat, in this study). Since breastfeeding is not an absolutely necessary activity (although it may be beneficial), how dangerous can PCBs be?
Gun-lock proposal bound to misfire (8/6/98) "Laws frequently have unintended consequences. Fortunately, it's not too late to stop the new gun "safety" laws before they produce the same headaches--and much worse--that the aspirin-bottle rules have caused."
Clinton Climate Plan Would Kill Coal (8/6/98) "The latest White House estimate of the costs of complying with the Kyoto global warming treaty assumes the replacement of every coal-fired power plant in the U.S. with gas generation by 2008, according to an analysis of the estimate by Charles River Associates."
Argentinian 'man-eating' plants don't live up to legends (8/6/98) Just in case you didn't know...
Walking more dangerous than any other transportation, group says (8/6/98) I think what they really mean to say is that walking in an unsafe manner is dangerous. We don't need "safer" roads. We need safer pedestrians. What's wrong with a little personal responsibility?
Study: Germ-fighting chemical could create harmful bacteria; Most germ-fighting products contain triclosan (8/6/98) Brian Carnell writes: "Personally, I think buying `antibacterial' soaps is kind of silly (and a waste of money) -- but does Tufts have to use scare tactics like this to frighten consumers? They seem to be preying on people's fear of bacteria in exactly the same way the makers of the antibacterial soaps do."
Meat Causes Pain? (8/6/98) From the animal rights group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a vegetarian diet may ease your pain. Call me a masochist, but... gimme a CHEESEBURGER!
Don't Like the Weather? Don't Blame it on Global Warming (8/6/98) A new paper from the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Veterans dispute Pentagon findings on Persian Gulf illness (8/6/98) Some Gulf War veterans' response to the story immediately below.
Gulf War Illness: Depleted Uranium Environmental Exposure Report Released (8/6/98) "After an extensive investigation into the use of depleted uranium during the Gulf War, the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses has released its report. The report finds that there is no evidence to support the claim that depleted uranium caused or is causing the undiagnosed illnesses some veterans are experiencing."
Tons of Dioxin To Be Buried At a Site In Newark (8/6/98) This New York Times article states that "Dioxin is a cancer-causing compound that is a byproduct of chemical processing." For some reason, the Times omitted to include the qualifying phrase "only in some laboratory animals."
EPA assumption of constant exposure skews risk estimates, scientists state (8/6/98) The Daily Environment Report (8/6/98) reports that EPA's default assumptions for estimating exposure were criticized at an EPA workshop on August 5. EPA generally assumes people have daily exposures to chemicals. In reality, exposures are more likely to be experienced in bursts or spikes. The chief of EPA's neurophysiological toxicology branch in Research Triangle Park, NC pointed out how EPA's current risk assessment practices result in misleading risk estimates. My 1994 report for the U.S. Department of Energy, Choices in Risk Assessment, pointed this out a mere four years ago.
Common chemical could be causing deformities in frogs (8/5/98) Are we all frogs? I think the "canary in a coal mine" analogy is being stretched a little too far.
NASA sticks to Mars theory as doubts increase (8/5/98) "Now that two years have passed, excitement and applause have faded to doubt and skepticism." This page only ever had skepticism.
NIEHS EMF Report (8/5/98) The NIEHS is trying to rekindle the EMF debate. Click here for the report. Click here for info about opportunities to make comments.
Path to science success is up close, personal (8/5/98) An article to emphasize that standard scientific practice includes making study data available for independent review -- a standard not adhered to last year by Harvard's Joel Schwartz and other junk scientists who refused to make available for independent review study data used to support the EPA's new air quality standards.
NAM urges house to pass Biomaterials Access Assurance Act (8/5/98) Thanks to the silicone breast implant litigation, about three-quarters of raw material suppliers for medical device implants have stopped supplying raw materials.
Does Owning a Firearm Increase or Decrease the Risk of Death? (8/5/98) Check out this debate in the Journal of the American Medical Association (8/5/98). Click here for the junk science point of view. Click here for rationality.
EPA postpones requirement to report possible adverse effects (8/5/98) The Daily Environment Report (8/5/98) reports that EPA postponed for at least one year a proposal to require pesticide manufacturers to report adverse effects possibly, but not definitely caused by pesticide exposure. EPA reportedly backed off the rule because the agency was concerned that the "very small number of potentially useful" reports would be "buried" in a large number of inquiries about "possible" adverse effects. Should manufacturers be required to report that pesticides "possibly" caused EPA administrator Carol Browner to lose her mind?
Free Speech for Medicine (8/5/98) The [FDA's] mindset would be more appropriate for drug development in, say, Cuba.
EPA to add bioaccumulative chemicals to TRI (8/5/98) The Daily Environment Report (8/5/98) reports that EPA is working on a rule to add chemicals that accumulate in tissue to the Toxics Release Inventory. However, the law requires that chemicals added to the TRI be "toxic." Bioaccumulation does not automatically equate to toxicity.
Scientists were paid to write letters: Tobacco industry sought to discredit EPA report (8/4/98) Keep in mind that anti-tobacco zealot Stan Glantz (quoted in the article) was paid $25,000 by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration to testify in favor of OSHA's proposed smoking ban. Glantz also received a $600,000 "grant" from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for research on tobacco industry lobbying. I guess nobody works for free.
"Road Rage" versus Reality (8/4/98) A media coinage that rest more on the infectious appeal of alliteration than on the weight of evidence.
New Independent Measure Verifies Satellite Accuracy (8/4/98) "Everyone who chases the global warming ambulance knows that orbiting satellites haven't found a lick of heating since they blasted off nearly 20 years ago.
Hot Air: Global warming is not a threat to health or the economy. Plans to address it are (8/4/98) Jonathan Adler's National Review cover story.
A rare acknowledgement of fault (8/4/98) In an article on gun related deaths and injuries in the Journal of the American Medical Association (8/5/98), Dr. Joseph F. Waeckerle, editor in chief of the Annals of Emergency Medicine is quoted as saying "As an editor of a journal, I know we publish inflammatory rhetoric... We have some bad science -- overstating and overspeculating the conclusions, and that gets and equally inflammatory and unscientific response from the other side. We need to make sure that, when we print material, [it's] methodologically sound, and limit the conclusions to what the studies show, and don't overspeculate and go beyond what is appropriate." Amen to that.
Classical music helps mental development in rats, researchers say (8/4/98) How much mental development can a rat have? And how is this relevant to human babies?
Antarctica may be melting, say researchers (8/4/98) I guess it "may not" be melting, too.
Safety agency proposes cutting glare of new cars' running lights (8/4/98) I'll bet that daytime running lights are simply a boondoggle for automobile headlight light bulb manufacturers.
NOx-ious Regulation (8/4/98) "Knowing that the Kyoto Treaty on global warming has no foreseeable chance of Senate ratification, the Clinton administration is implementing its environmental agenda through regulation."
White House releases optimistic report on the economics of complying with the Kyoto Protocol (8/4/98) The White House Council of Economic Advisers says U.S. costs of complying with the global warming treaty can be reduced 80 percent by relying on international emissions trading. In response, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mi) said the report "gives every appearance of being a post hoc rationalization, full of... self-fulfilling, unrealistic and unprovable assertions and assumptions." [Source: Greenwire, August 3, 1998].
Has EPA been promoting one big secondhand smoke screen? (8/4/98) "The issue here really is not so much about secondhand smoke. It's more about the corruption of science by the EPA for political purposes."
It's a shame that Americans can't trust their own government (8/4/98) "The question was tobacco, but the principle is much more important: honest government, respect for and desire to find the truth. Carol Browner's EPA flunks on both points."
Judge rightly voided EPA study on smoking (8/4/98) "As a scientist, I know there is a subconscious and inherent tendency to make the results of any study come out the way you want it to if you have a stake in the outcome."
Global warming is return to normal (8/4/98) "Even if we could somehow deduce that the world is warming from a few hundred years of data as some would insist, we would, geologically speaking, just be returning to our normal climate."
Clinton Attempts Rule By Executive Order (8/4/98) "The Clinton administration systematically is implementing pieces and parts of the Kyoto Protocol on Global Climate Change negotiated last December in Kyoto, Japan."
More EPA Globaloney (8/4/98) "The Environmental Protection Agency spent hundreds of millions of dollars to spread lies about secondhand smoke. Now it's spending untold millions on propaganda about "global warming." The EPA calls this educational outreach. It smells like lobbying."
Nightmare all too real for 1940s moms (8/4/98) Vanderbilt University was wrong to give unauthorized "radioactive cocktails" to pregnant women. But I doubt the cocktails caused cancer in the women's children. At least the lawyers profited handsomely.
EPA: Environmental Propaganda Agency (8/4/98) "No word yet on the health risks of passive drinking of coffee or milk. But give the EPA some time."
Tobacco Number of the Week (8/4/98) The anti-tobacco industry makes up a new number -- 600,000 deaths caused by Marlboro and Camel advertising campaigns. Although I haven't seen the study yet, I have every confidence that this number is as "good" as the 3,000-kids-per-day-start-smoking nonsense -- a number based on research of "kids" aged 20 years and older.
Holster that lawyer! (8/3/98) At the upcoming American Public Health Association meeting November 15-19, 1998 in Washington, D.C., the Firearms Issues poster session will feature a discussion titled "Suing the Gun Industry as a Public Health Strategy: The Tobacco Wars, Revisited." Public health used to disinfect. Now, public health needs to be disinfected.
British researchers find more reasons to drink red wine (8/3/98) Drinking wine for pleasure makes sense. Drinking wine to prevent disease based on a two-week long study involving 30 men is nutty.
Swallowing chewing gum can cause sticky problems, doctors say (8/4/98) Double Bubble trouble?
Low-fat foods do not a balanced diet make (8/4/98) Is the cure (dieting) worse than the disease (being overweight)?
Too much M*A*S*H? (8/3/98) The American Journal of Public Health (August 1998) contains an advertisement for a book titled "War and Public Health," edited by Barry Levy and Victor Sidel and published by Oxford University Press. According to the book synopsis, "This is the first book that documents the impact of war on public health, and describes what health professionals can to do prevent war and to minimize its consequences." Short of the M*A*S*H episode where Hawkeye Pierce tries (unsuccessfully) to mediate the Korean War peace talks, I'm not exactly sure how health professionals could possibly prevent war.
"Tools for the Carbon Police" (8/3/98) Science magazine (7/24/98) reports that NASA is paying for an array of carbon dioxide monitoring towers around the world to identify carbon sinks and, eventually, to enforce the Kyoto Treaty. Fitted with sensing devices, the towers can sense "faint whiffs" of carbon dioxide. "A global network of 250 towers coupled with satellite and weather data might allow monitors to see whether countries are living up to their Kyoto commitments," Science says.
Bad news for the Anti-Dairy Coalition (8/3/98) A study in the American Journal of Public Health (August 1998) on milk consumption in older Americans mentions that government policy is to increase calcium intake -- i.e., at least 50 percent of people 25 years of age or older consuming 2 or more servings of foods rich in calcium per day. While milk products are not the only source of calcium, they are certainly to the most readily available. Indeed, the study focused on how to improve rates of milk consumption. Looks like the Anti-Dairy Coalition will be swimming against the public health tide in its campaign to eliminate milk from the American diet.
Genetic engineering: Shortcut to junk science? (8/3/98) The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (8/5/98) reports that use of genetically modified mice may replace traditional laboratory animal testing. The new technique can reduce study time from two years to six months. Unfortunately, the example used to describe the new technique is last year's "hit" on phenolphthalein -- the former active ingredient in Ex-Lax. A six-month FDA study involving genetically altered mice was used to label phenolphthalein as cancer-causing. The FDA forced manufacturers to reformulate their products, despite phenolphthalein's 100-year track record of safety. And, recently, a human study failed to find an association between laxative use and colon cancer. I guess it was just a matter of time before junk scientists figured out how to make genetic engineering work for them.
Exercise not associated with reduced breast cancer risk (8/3/98) A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (8/5/98) failed to confirm the hypothesis that physical activity reduces breast cancer risk. With any luck, we should now be one step closer to focusing scarce resources on improved detection and treatment of breast cancer, and one-step further from wasting scarce resources on the elusive goal of "prevention."
For more on Ted Turner's efforts to eliminate the third world... (8/3/98) Check out Brian Carnell's site on overpopulation. Carnell says Turner is as extreme as anyone on this issue. More than once, Turner has said world population shouldn't be much higher than 250 to 350 million(!) people. Last summer, Turner gave a rambling speech calling for a UN conference to explore implementing China's one-child policy worldwide -- though he showed his ignorance of that same policy by insisting this could be done on a "voluntary" basis. And check out this report about a Turner speech delivered at a Zero Population Growth event last year.
The Week That Was July 27-August 2, 1998 (8/3/98) The weekly update from the Science and Environmental Policy Project.
Idealist's new job: Give away $1 billion; Ted Turner picked a former Colorado senator to funnel $100 million each year to several worthy U.N. causes (8/3/98) In case you were wondering what Tim Wirth is up to, he will be overseeing Ted Turner's $1 billion contribution to the U.N. Tim's priorities are stopping the weather from changing and eliminating the third world.
Scientists link oceanic shifts to ebbing of sea life (8/3/98) Are smaller chinook salmon in the Yukon River evidence that climate is changing?
More dubious cries of doom (8/3/98) "A couple of events last week prompt a warning: Beware environmentalists crying doom."
We need a study (8/3/98) An amusing piece by Jim Shea of the Hartford Courant.
Notable (and telling) obituary (8/2/98) Dr. LeRoy Edgar Burney, who as surgeon general during the Eisenhower administration (1956-1961) made the first federal government statement identifying smoking as a risk factor for lung cancer, died on July 31. Burney declared that an "increasing and consistent body of evidence" indicated " excessive cigarette smoking is one of the causative factors in lung cancer." Note the intellectual honesty of Burney: excessive smoking is a (not the "only") causative factor.
More Eat Smart, Be Stupid (8/2/98) Another Jean Carper USA Weekend column on the "dangers" of eating red meat. Ketchup prevents cancer?
Severe Weather Warning (8/2/98) In this New York Times Magazine piece, Mark Hertsgaard notes 21 instances of "weird" weather and says global warming is the cause. But how a January ice storm in Maine counts as weird is beyond me. He only attributes some of the weird weather to El Nino. The rest, he says, is "consistent" with global warming scenarios. Isn't consistency the hobgoblin of small minds?
Kyoto Protocol: A useless appendage to an irrelevant treaty (8/2/98) Pat Michaels' testimony on global warming before the House Small Business Committee.
`Blue Ribbon Panels' tell EPA dichlorvos is not hazardous (8/2/98) Members of three independent, "blue ribbon panels" told the EPA Scientific Advisory Panel July 30 that the insecticide dichlorvos -- used against flies, mosquitoes, gnats, cockroaches and fleas -- is not carcinogenic or otherwise hazardous. EPA is considering a proposal to cancel many of the insecticide's registered uses. [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 3, 1998].
California decision on diesel emissions delayed (8/2/98) The California Air Resources Board delayed until late-August a decision on whether to label diesel exhaust a carcinogen. The action was taken in response to appeals from more than 66 legislators. Last April, CARB's scientific review panel voted to support a Cal-EPA document finding that diesel exhaust was a carcinogen. In her testimony, Stephanie Williams of the California Trucking Association, labeled the document as "junk science" since only six of the 30 studies dealt with diesel exhaust. [Source: Daily Environment Report, August 3, 1998].
Senate to cede on global warming provisions? (8/2/98) The Clinton Administration is concerned about the recently passed House spending bill's limitations on EPA "educating" the public about global warming. We should be concerned as well. Sen Christopher Bond (R-Mo), chairman of the Senate Appropriations VA/HUD panel, said his goal "is to get a bill that the president will sign" and "attempt to minimize very controversial issues." Has Bond already capitulated to the White House? [Source: Daily Environment Report, July 31, 1998].
Madeleine Down Under (8/2/98) Greenwire (7/31/98) reports that U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright devoted the majority of a speech, delivered to Australian politicians, business leaders, academics and schoolchildren, to global warming. Albright called global warming the "most comprehensive long-term environmental challenge facing us all." For any Australians who didn't understand that comment (and in the spirit of the Foster's Lager commercials), Albright's statement is American for "We Yanks are idiots and think you Aussies should be too."
Keep tryin' fellas (8/2/98) The Wall Street Journal reports that, despite recent comments by President Clinton and Vice President Bore, only 24 percent of Americans blame recent heat waves on global warming, while 43 percent "think it's just a bad summer."
Is there a pattern here? (8/2/98) The Charleston Gazette (8/1/98) reports that "Charleston lawyer Jim Humphreys has filed a complaint on behalf of 27 smokers who have contracted lung or throat cancer, or their survivors. Humphreys contends the plaintiffs contracted cancer as a result of smoking, and the industry concealed the dangers of nicotine from an unknowing public." While I'm not quite sure what "unknowing public" Humphreys has in mind, it is somewhat telling that he has been part of asbestos and silicone breast implant litigation. Does shaking down deep pocket corporations beat ambulance chasing?
Why Kyoto Is Not an Insurance Policy (8/2/98) Marlo Lewis' testimony on global warming before the House Small Business Committee.
Risk Reassessment (8/2/98) Jacob Sullum on the secondhand smoke court decision.
A lead scare, Kalamazoo style (8/2/98) From Brian Carnell, an example of how nutty the lead scare stuff can get.
Lawyers tap into anger over Sydney's water crisis (8/2/98) Sue first, ask questions later.
Scientists vow more effort in alternative cancer research (8/2/98) Last month, learned that the government prioritized cancer research on the basis of what group lobbied the best. Now it's what people are "interested in." Next month, cancer reseach will be prioritized by Ouija board.
Protein might help physicians diagnose breast cancer earlier (8/2/98) More bad news for enviros. Can they still scare women about pesticides if breast cancer is caused by genetics?
Arizona university president fires noted professor for misleading research (8/2/98) One junk scientist down, a lot more to go?
20 years after Love Canal, environmental issues remain (8/2/98) One day, if we're lucky, Love Canal, Lois Gibbs and Superfund will go away.
Rare case of malaria reported in Virginia; woman recuperating (8/2/98) Any bets as to how long it takes Al Gore to link this malaria case with global warming?
Scientists say pigs raised on junk food make tastier pork (8/2/98) But what would the food police at Center for Science in the Public Interest say?
Volunteers at Risk In Medical Studies: Complex Research Projects Strain System of Safeguards (8/2/98) Remember (from June 98) the infants fed alcohol to see if they squirmed more?
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