Saturday, October 21, 2006

Confluence of interests

It isn’t everyday that the environmental leftists gang up with an international tobacco conglomerate to advocate policies that are responsible for the deaths of millions of pregnant mothers and small children throughout the Third World over the past 30 years, so the occasion is worth noting.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Let's hear it for nukes!

Nuclear power is renewable, and there are no greenhouse gases associated with nuclear power. One of the problems we've had is that nobody wants to build any plants. They're afraid of the costs of regulation and the litigious nature that surrounds the construction of nuclear power plants -- litigious problems surrounding the construction of the nuclear power plants.

And so, in the energy bill that I signed, the Congress wisely provided incentives and risk insurance for nuclear power plant construction. Last year only three companies were seeking to build power plants -- nuclear power plants. Today 14 have expressed new interest in construction. In other words, there's a new industry beginning to come back.

I think it's very important for us to spend dollars on how to best deal with the waste, in other words, research new ways to be able to assure the American people that we'll be able to deal with the nuclear waste in a smart way. And that's why we're teaming up with France, and Japan, and Russia to spend money -- $250 million from the United States' perspective, and they're matching it -- on what's called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, all designed to research reprocessing and fast-burner reactors.

The idea is to take the nuclear industry, take the spent fuel, reprocess it, put it into a fast-burner reactor, which will yield about 90 percent less of the waste than under the current system. What I'm telling you is, is that the engineering is much safer today than it has been in the past, and we're spending money to make sure that we can deal with the waste in a sane way, so that we can with confidence say to the American people, now is the time to accelerate the expansion of nuclear power for the sake of national and economic security.

(hat tip: http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/)

DDT - Panacea to Malaria Scourge

In light of this public health catastrophe, public health officials in Africa argue that the benefits of using DDT in small quantities for indoor spraying of walls and ceilings far outweigh the risks.

"Some have gone further, claiming that the restrictions on DDT have directly led to millions of avoidable deaths and thus crazy environmentalists (for some: eco-imperialists) have the blood of Africans on their hands," says Stuart Rennie in commentary entitled: "DDT, Malaria and Africa."

Worse still, he argues on, that while developed nations successfully eliminated malaria by using DDT in the 1940s and 1950s, "those same nations support a restriction on the use of DDT in poorer countries where malaria is endemic, access to treatment is often limited and economies are seriously impacted by the disease."

The re-introduction of DDT has been warmly welcomed in most African countries, with a sizeable number of them already reporting a marked decline in the prevalence of malaria.

Already in Tanzania, there is a marked decrease in the incidence of malaria in Zanzibar following a 54-day indoor residual spraying (IRS) exercise which started a few months ago.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A spectacular disaster spawned from good intentions

Now the idea seems daft. But in the spring of 1972, the dumping of a million or so tires offshore here looked like ecological enlightenment.

From the scrap tires, artificial reefs would grow and fish would throng, or so it was thought.