Sunday, October 22, 2006


Edgy Arizona Ad Campaign Exposes Deceptive Animal Activists

As animal rights extremists descend on the Grand Canyon State to promote the equality of rats and pigs with human beings, a new advertising campaign from the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is giving Arizonans the tools to fight back. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are spending enormous amounts of money in Arizona. CCF, an animal-rights watchdog, is exposing their dangerous agenda with a series of newspaper, television, and outdoor placements. The campaign began with full-page ads in The Arizona Republic, the state's largest newspaper. Some highlights from those ads: * PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has admitted her group would oppose medical research using animals "even if it resulted in a cure for AIDS." * Despite the deceptive "Physicians Committee" name, less than 4 percent of the group's members have gone to medical school. * HSUS raises over $100 million every year. Although this is enough to run successful pet shelters in every state, HSUS doesn't run a single one anywhere. And it is not affiliated with any local "humane society."....


Proposition 87 is in some ways a murky proposal -- it's not clear exactly how its tax formula would be applied and how much it would raise -- but there's no mystery about its potential impact, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

By slapping a substantial new levy on oil being pumped in California, it would reduce the state's oil output. This is just basic economics: If you want less of something, raise the tax on it.

Applied to California crude, Proposition 87 would have the further effect of increasing demand for imported oil -- exactly what it claims not to be doing.

* Virtually all the crude extracted in California is refined and consumed in that state, but it's not enough to meet demand.
* California relies on foreign suppliers, such as Saudi Arabia, for more than 40 percent of its oil.

And what happens when the price of in-state crude suddenly gets kicked up a notch? The imported crude will get relatively cheaper, and refiners in the state will switch to it. Result: Imports up, domestic production down, says IBD.

That may be fine for those who don't care about further enriching oil states in the Mideast -- and whoever else in that part of the world gets a hold of our petrodollars. But then they shouldn't talk about energy security, which (among many other things) requires robust production of oil in the United States for the foreseeable future, says IBD.

Source: "The War On Oil," Investor's Business Daily, October 18, 2006.

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Inhofe correct on warming

Sen. James Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, has been taking a lot of heat lately for his skeptical stance on global warming. He's been called a "social dinosaur" for his failure to accept the politically correct view. Yet Mr. Inhofe is absolutely correct to be skeptical. As the Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot said, "Skepticism is the first step toward truth." I'm a geophysicist who has conducted and published climate studies in top-rank scientific journals. My perspective on Mr. Inhofe and the issue of global warming is informed not only by my knowledge of climate science but also by my studies of the history and philosophy of science. The media hysteria on global warming has been generated by journalists who don't understand the provisional and uncertain nature of scientific knowledge. Science changes. For years we were told drinking coffee was bad for our health and would increase our risk for heart disease. But more recent studies have shown that not only is coffee safe for our hearts, it can decrease the risk of liver cancer and is chock full of healthy antioxidants. It is frequently reported that temperatures are now higher than at any time in the last 12,000 years. The fact that the thermometer wasn't invented until the year 1714 ought to give us pause when evaluating this remarkable claim. Reconstructions of past temperatures are not measurements, but estimates based on innumerable interpretations and uncertain assumptions, all invisible to someone who only reads the headline. Better studies -- completely ignored by the major media -- have shown that late-20th-century temperatures are not anomalous or unusually warm....

Putting the "con" in consensus

Celebrities, politicians, and media pundits often speak of the scientific consensus on the issue of global warming. But this presumed consensus is not what some might have us believe. Most of the climate-science community is indeed united on one particular component of the issue: there is global climate change. There has always been climate change, which is what makes this issue simple to agree on. But there is far from unanimous agreement on whether modern climate change is more extreme than normal - or even on how best to define "normal" given the uncertainty in measuring long-past climate from secondary measures such as ice cores and tree rings. There is even less agreement on the extent to which current and projected climate change is human-induced. Still, the scientific "consensus" is often presented as indisputable fact. In support of the consensus theory, many in the public spotlight point to a study by science history professor Naomi Oreskes, in which she reviewed the abstracts of 928 scientific papers published since 1993 with the keywords "global climate change" and found that none of them disagreed with the "consensus position" that the earth's climate is being affected by human activities. Less frequently reported are the problems with Oreskes' study. An independent review by British social scientist Benny Peiser repeated Oreskes' process but found that only 13 of 905 articles expressly supported the "consensus" view, and several actually opposed it. Further, 23 articles had no available abstract, meaning that the findings of those papers could not be concluded from this procedure....

EPA’s Power Mower Power Grab

Nine years ago, I predicted that lawn mowers would one day fall victim to onerous and unnecessary EPA air pollution standards, despite Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner having stated in sworn testimony to Congress in 1997 that such regulations are "not about outdoor barbecues and lawn mowers." Frank O'Donnell, then-executive director of the Clean Air Trust, called talk of regulating lawn mowers "crazed propaganda." Today, however, EPA openly seeks implementation of pollution standards for lawn mowers that would supposedly cut smog-causing emissions by 35 percent. As for O'Donnell, he's now president of Clean Air Watch where he's working hard to implement that "crazed propaganda." So what else is new? The EPA and green groups lie because they're on a mission: Where you might see a freshly-mowed lawn, they see an opportunity to extend another regulatory tentacle. But the EPA's clean air standards are based on false claims and shaky science. Lawn-mower emissions comprise perhaps 3 percent of all EPA-monitored air pollutants, according to the agency's National Emissions Inventory. Meanwhile those overall emissions are less than half of what they were in 1970. Thirty-five percent of 3 percent of 50 percent of what we breathed a generation ago is essentially equivalent to a hair on a flea's leg. A small flea. But the EPA and greens persist in making spectacular-sounding but misleading claims, including that lawn mowers produce 93 times more smog-forming emissions than automobiles. They derive this figure by using an absurd per-hour comparison – without noting that the average car is driven 11,000 miles a year while the average lawn mower is used perhaps an hour a week during the growing season....

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