Thursday, December 18, 2008

Carol Browner and respect for science

Carol Browner, the latest Clinton administration retread to be tapped by Barack Obama, will serve in the newly created and still undefined role of White House “energy czar.” ...

...her agenda was regulation, regulation, and more regulation -- merely for the sake of regulating. For instance, Browner ordered Virginia to reduce the amount of ambient nitrogen oxide, not because levels were anywhere near dangerous, but because that was the only pollutant that had not declined in the past 25 years.
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As head of the EPA, Browner had the Justice Department sue Toyota for $58 billion because of an alleged emission-control violation, i.e., the “check engine” light did not come on often enough. Never mind that Toyota had the highest-rated emissions-control systems of any major automaker, and that there was zero evidence that fuel vapors were actually leaking. Browner demanded changes that would increase the number of false-positive alerts. If you’ve ever been inconvenienced by taking your car in for repair because the “check engine" light is illuminated, only to learn that the problem is you did not screw on the gas cap tightly enough, thank Carol Browner.
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Among Browner’s most absurd rulings at EPA was the proposal to ban chlorine, used as a disinfectant in 98 percent of municipal water treatment, in the absence of any evidence that chlorine leads to cancer or birth defects. Indeed, at the time of Browner’s proposal, Peru was suing the United States for classifying chlorine as a possible carcinogen because then Peru removed chlorine from its water supply, and the resulting cholera epidemic killed thousands. Was that scientific enough for her?
Now why does that sound familiar... let's see... EPA... anti-science... many deaths... Oh yes, now I remember! The EPA began its illustrious career under president Nixon by banning DDT, despite the scientific evidence that it was not harmful to humans, resulting in the deaths of millions of poor Africans and Latin Americans.

Never mind... go back to what you were doing...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Good News on Saturated Fat?

A quote from the article:

In this particular trial, as in all of them so far, the high-saturated-fat diet (low-carb or Atkins-like) resulted in the best improvement in cholesterol profile — total cholesterol/H.D.L. In this Israeli trial, the high-saturated-fat diet reduced L.D.L. at least as well as the did the A.H.A. relatively low-fat diet, the fundamental purpose of which is to lower L.D.L. by reducing the saturated fat content.

So here’s the simple question and the point: how can saturated fat be bad for us if a high saturated fat diet lowers L.D.L. at least as well as a diet that has 20 to 25 percent less saturated fat?