Environment

Summary

Every human impacts the environment, as individuals and communities trying to survive and prosper, and as companies seeking to provide jobs, energy, food, clothing, shelter and medicines that protect and improve lives. In doing so, we must also be stewards of the Earth and its wildlife and resources – with an obligation to focus on real problems, rather than exaggerated or illusory problems, and to do so while ensuring human health, welfare, living standards and pursuit of happiness, especially for families that still live in abject poverty, misery, deprivation and disease in the world’s most impoverished countries.

We must address not only the risks of using chemicals and other technologies, but also the risks of not using those technologies. We must consider not just the risks a technology might cause, but those that it would reduce or prevent. We must leave the Earth better than we found it; conserve, recycle, and improve our efficiency in using resources; and meet the needs of current generations, before worrying too much about future generations, which will have far greater wealth and better technology than we do.

Our responsibility as responsible, caring, innovative stewards of creation is to constantly improve our record on all fronts: from producing energy and raw materials to manufacture the goods we need, to growing sufficient nutritious food, to recycling more and further reducing the land use impacts and pollution associated with all human activities, to helping all people achieve their dreams. We must also recognize that policies which deny people access to reliable, affordable energy, well-paying jobs and modern living standards actually result in diminished environmental quality, as people struggling to survive often destroy habitats and wildlife to provide food and fuel.

 

Recent Articles

Agriculture
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    Was stopping Nevada’s fracking rush behind the Bundy Showdown?

    There are a lot of theories as to the real reason the Bureau of Land Management has chosen this time to try to seize Cliven Bundy’s cattle and shut down his ranch. The most easily disproven theory is that the cattle are threatening the desert tortoise. Others suggest that Senator Harry Reid, whose lieutenant now runs the BLM, has a secret deal with the Chinese to build a huge solar array on the property. Marita Noon believes she has uncovered a third possibility — that the BLM wants to control the mineral rights to oil and natural gas in the area.

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    The methane hoax cranks up!

    What with the failure of the war on carbon dioxide to take hold, anti-energy zealots had to find another enemy — and this time, the enemy is methane from cow farts. The U.S. dairy industry is about to be besieged as viciously as the coal and oil and gas industries have been smeared and demonized even since the U.S. Senate rejected the Kyoto protocols. This war will get ugly before most Americans even realize it is happening, or that their prosperity is the chief target.

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    Perils of commercial beekeeping

    It is time for U.S. and Canadian regulators to “bee” smart — and ignore calls for copying the EU and banning neonicotinoids. While it is true that harvesting the nation’s almond crop puts stress on bee colonies and exposes them to parasites and diseases,

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    New Virginia law protects farmers from meddling local officials

    Thanks to a grassroots outcry against injustice, Virginia lawmakers passed a new law, signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, that protects family farmers from encroachment by local governments. Martha Boneta had been barred by her county government from selling produce, fined for hosting a birthday party, and threatened with the loss of her entire farm. Environmental groups and county governments provided the major opposition to the bill.

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    Job creators sue the federal government over “sue and settle”

    For years environmentalists have usurped individual private property rights and thwarted economic development. Now, thanks to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, it appears that the job creators may have finally learned something from the extreme tactics of groups, like the Wild Earth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which have been using the courts to their advantage by filing lawsuits against the federal government.

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    Flight of the honeybees’ commercial keepers

    Almond lovers must also be bee lovers, and it takes 1.5 million beehives to ensure the annual California almond crop — 80% of the world’s total. But risk, mites, and disease plague hives — and the convergence of so many bees creates a hotbed of viruses and pathogens. This — and not neonicotinoid pesticides — is the most likely threat to bee populations in the U.S. Part 2 will explain this in more detail.

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    Greens exploit widespread science ignorance

    Alan Caruba laments that so many on the Left who rail about environmental causes are so poorly educated — no wonder, he says, they are so gullible. Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are efficient producers of food, fiber, and fuel and good stewards of our natural resources.

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    Landowner fights Virginia county over right to host overnight hunting guest

    Isle of Wight County (Virginia) officials decided to play rough with a local farmer whose “crime” was kindness to a disabled friend who wanted to go hunting. County goons swarmed in and declared the presence of his friend’s RV made his farm an unauthorized “campground.’ Landowner Joseph Ferguson then called the Rutherford Institute for help. The case is pending.

Air
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    Clearing the air on pollution trends

    Is America’s air quality getting cleaner, or dirtier? Well while many believe it is getting dirtier because of more factories, people and cars, a new report by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute indicates otherwise.

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    EPA seeks to punish drivers (again) via its Tier 3 regulations

    Citizens need to tell EPA: “The huge improvements to date are enough for now. We have other crucial health, environmental, employment and economic problems to solve – which also affect human health and welfare. We don’t have the financial, human or technological resources to do it all – especially to waste billions on something where the quantifiable health benefits payback is minimal, or even zero.”

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    Chinese air episode exposes EPA fraud on PM 2.5 levels

    EPA claims that fine particulate matter at levels above 12 micrograms per cubic meter kills people within hours and causes a quarter of all U.S. deaths, but during a recent episode in China when fine PM levels were 89 times higher than the EPA standard, the only deaths attributed to the episode were from traffic accidents due to poor visibility. EPA is using this fraud to shut down coal power plants, creating higher energy costs that really do cause premature deaths among America’s poor.

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    Sniffing out dirty local air

    We’ve all heard warnings about bad air-quality days. But since those readings are usually taken from just a few monitors scattered around the city, does that tell us anything about the specific air we actually breathe?

  • Reaffirming the cornerstone of freedom

    Freedom 21, of which CFACT was a co-founding organization, is a coalition of groups that came together, quite literally, in the waning days of the last century, to build a domestic and international movement that could promote freedom as the guiding principle for the 21st Century and beyond.

Biodiversity
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    Wind power or wildlife: It’s your choice!

    America needs an “all of the sensible” energy policy. If an energy option makes sense – technically, economically and environmentally – it should be implemented. If it flunks, it should be scrapped.

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    Eagle killers get off scot free?

    Free-market advocates have a hard time explaining that being anti-environmentalist is not the same as being anti-environment. Big Green has done such a thorough job of casting itself as nature’s selfless, altruistic guardian that supporters don’t even notice that their rants against “money-grubbing polluters” always end with “Send Money.”

  • Act now to save the bald eagle!

    Submit your comment to the federal register to save our national bird Bald eagles are our national bird. Golden eagles […]

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    Sustainable fizzle: Rio+20 utopia

    Rio+20 was clearly not about enabling countries, communities and companies to do a better job of protecting environmental values, while helping families to climb out of poverty. It was about using sustainable development pieties to target development projects, limit individual liberty and market-based initiatives, and provide sufficient wind and solar power to generate and demonstrate modest improvements in developing countries’ living conditions – while ensuring that poor families never become middle class, and communities never actually conquer poverty, misery and disease.

Endangered Species
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    Time to reform the Endangered Species Act

    The Endangered Species Act does not save endangered species very often. Instead, the law tends to have the opposite effect: anyone who spots an endangered or threatened species on his/her property has the perverse incentive to eliminate the predator who is destroying the value and use of his/her property. Reforms are in the works, but it will take a miracle to get the bill through Congress and signed by the President.

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    Feds “save” spotted owls by killing barred owls

    Radical environmentalists, including many who see humans as a plague upon the Earth, have succeeded in nearly totally destroying the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest, and they used the spotted owl as their primary weapon. Now the government is killing barred owls — the spotted owl’s larger cousin, the barred owl, which had been migrating westward into spotted owl territory. This is something akin to the NLRB outlawing football players over 250 pounds so that smaller, weaker would-be players have a better chance at making a team.

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    “Eco-friendly” wind turbines kill 600,000 bats

    While many see wind power as a renewable source of earth- friendly energy, increasing numbers of conservationists are taking a dimmer view of them because of their impact on wildlife – particularly bats.

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    Death by renewables

    Existing wind turbine technology may provide intermittent electric power that, with huge subsidies, can be “competitive” in price with coal and oil – but the turbines chop up bald and golden eagles and other endangered bird species like Cuisinarts. Solar arrays can confuse migratory water birds, including the brown pelican, into thinking they are flying into a water body but instead have their feathers fried or their heads damaged. Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has just authorized a 30-year take permit to protect wind farms from liability under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. In a world where the President “pardons” the Thanksgiving turkey (though we doubt he eats tofurkey!), this is borderline schizophrenia.

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    Flooded rice fields could help endangered Chinook salmon

    In northern California, Chinook salmon have long been threatened in part because the young fish that swim from the Sacramento River to the ocean are often too small and helpless to escape the predators that eat them by the millions.

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    And on his farm he had a . . . tiger?

    When you think of farm animals, no doubt chickens, cows, and sheep come to mind. But how about tigers? Well believe it or not, some conservationists are proposing the creation of tiger farms to help stem the demand for tiger parts in what is now a bustling global black market.

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    Pygmy rabbit rescue hops into public spotlight

    The pygmy rabbit, whose size is not much bigger than a man’s hand, was thought to be nearing extinction in Washington’s Columbia basin in 2003. Since that time, wildlife officials have undertaken to save the furry critter and today some 20 of them are, so to speak, back in their native holes.

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    A free market solution to coral reef decline

    Despite protection by the federal government, coral reef coverage in the Florida Keys has declined dramatically in recent years. Reed Watson of the Property and Environment Resource Center believes free-market intervention may help address this problem and here explains why.

Food
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    New Brooklyn hydroponic greenhouse? Don’t fuggedaboutit!

    When you think about food at a bowling alley, you might think of pizza and fries, not freshly grown lettuce and herbs. But according to Wired.com, a group called Gotham Greens has transformed the roof of an abandoned bowling alley in Brooklyn into a thriving, 15,000 square-foot greenhouse.

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    USDA shirking its responsibility to inspect organic food!

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in organic production and encourages natural compost. But it does not test for un-composted feces. At least 140 people across eight states have now fallen ill after consuming hepatitis-A-infected certified-organic frozen berries and pomegranate seeds; 61 were still in hospitals in mid-July.

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    Biotechnology is the future of food, today

    Genetically modified foods are feared by some, but are these fears this justified? Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, says no, and here explains why. . . .

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    Can wood feed the world?

    Wood is used for everything from kitchen tables to baseball bats, but might it also be a source of food for a growing world population?

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    Why should “organic” mean “untested”?

    Organic farmers in many developing countries – such as Turkey, the apparent origin of this outbreak – still use raw human sewage to fertilize crops! In many people’s opinion, that practice qualifies as “organic” – whereas using safe modern fertilizers and insecticides does not! Even worse, feces contamination cannot be washed off. It’s embedded in the plant.

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    Think local, shop global

    Are foods like lettuce, eggs and beef better for you if they’re grown locally in your area, than if they’re shipped in from far away? Not necessarily . . .

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    How safe is your organic food?

    How safe are organic foods, especially when compared to conventionally grown varieties? Not as safe as many assume. A recall has just been announced for certified organic berries sold at Costco. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 106 people in eight states have contracted hepatitis A, a debilitating disease that can last for weeks or months, and even be deadly, after eating Townsend Farms frozen berries bought at the box store retailer.

Land Use
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Bundyfriends-213x120.jpg

    Was stopping Nevada’s fracking rush behind the Bundy Showdown?

    There are a lot of theories as to the real reason the Bureau of Land Management has chosen this time to try to seize Cliven Bundy’s cattle and shut down his ranch. The most easily disproven theory is that the cattle are threatening the desert tortoise. Others suggest that Senator Harry Reid, whose lieutenant now runs the BLM, has a secret deal with the Chinese to build a huge solar array on the property. Marita Noon believes she has uncovered a third possibility — that the BLM wants to control the mineral rights to oil and natural gas in the area.

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    Big Green’s “sue-and-settle” strategy draws pushback from states, Congress

    When the lesser prairie chicken was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species, it was the last straw for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. The State of Oklahoma, and likely several other states, has filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department for collusion in violating federal law. Meanwhile, four separate bills have been filed in Congress to limit attorney fees for endangered species litigants and address three other ESA concerns.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/gavel.jpg

    Job creators sue the federal government over “sue and settle”

    For years environmentalists have usurped individual private property rights and thwarted economic development. Now, thanks to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, it appears that the job creators may have finally learned something from the extreme tactics of groups, like the Wild Earth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which have been using the courts to their advantage by filing lawsuits against the federal government.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/bad-science-213x120.png

    Greens exploit widespread science ignorance

    Alan Caruba laments that so many on the Left who rail about environmental causes are so poorly educated — no wonder, he says, they are so gullible. Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are efficient producers of food, fiber, and fuel and good stewards of our natural resources.

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    Ethanol mandate fueling habitat loss

    In 2007, Congress passed a law requiring oil companies to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into gasoline. This so-called “ethanol mandate” wiped out millions of acres of conservation land and destroyed wildlife habitat.

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    Colorado monument designation would quash mining claims

    Yet another effort to take away the mineral wealth of the United States in looming in Colorado, thanks to Sen. Mark Udall. Even worse, the Obama Administration could just speak the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Area into being, just as President Clinton robbed Utah of much of its mineral wealth via the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

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    The fracking fight escalates

    So a few cities in Colorado and far-left Oberlin, Ohio, have passed fracking bans — but do they dare pass bans on the sale and use of gasoline made from fracked oil, or of natural gas recovered via this controversial process? Thank goodness existing law protects citizens of single towns from being hoodwinked by activists into at least some very bad policy decisions. Yeah, we once got people to sign a petition banning dihydrogen monoxide as a dangerous substance!

Pollution
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    Solving the PCB problem with cooperation instead of litigation

    Ron Arnold details the story of how industry, environmentalists, and regulators are working together to overcome a paradoxical EPA rule that allows PCBs in products but bans the disposal of wastewater containing PCB residues. This story, sadly, is atypical of today’s EPA, especially as it applies to energy and water issues.

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    Norway’s biggest grill open for business

    You’ve heard about microwaving a frozen dinner or popcorn, but how about an airplane? Well just such a contraption was recently developed in Norway and promises both safety and environmental benefits.

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    Designer islands

    You’ve heard of designer jeans, but how about designer islands? Well according to the publication More Greener Pastures, such designer islands are now a reality.

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    Clearing the air on pollution trends

    Is America’s air quality getting cleaner, or dirtier? Well while many believe it is getting dirtier because of more factories, people and cars, a new report by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute indicates otherwise.

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    Nanowires help bacteria clean up toxic waste

    Bacteria are known to be able to clean up toxic metals and even nuclear waste. But now, researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how these small micro-organisms pull off this helpful feat.

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    USGS study clears fracking in Arkansas

    Opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, also known as “fracking,” have long claimed that it contaminants drinking water. Unfortunately for them, they have been unable to find such contamination . . .

Recycling
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PCBs-213x120.jpg

    Solving the PCB problem with cooperation instead of litigation

    Ron Arnold details the story of how industry, environmentalists, and regulators are working together to overcome a paradoxical EPA rule that allows PCBs in products but bans the disposal of wastewater containing PCB residues. This story, sadly, is atypical of today’s EPA, especially as it applies to energy and water issues.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/jtflogo.jpg

    Designer islands

    You’ve heard of designer jeans, but how about designer islands? Well according to the publication More Greener Pastures, such designer islands are now a reality.

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    New York City mandates … composting?

    New York City is creating a composting program that will eventually become mandatory. Jeff Stier of the National Center for Public Policy Research, takes issue with New York Mayor Bloomberg’s new initiative, and has this to say.

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    Recycling is for the birds?

    Everyone knows that trash can be recycled into useful household items. But did you know that birds are also catching on to this?

  • Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

    Having to sort tin cans, plastic bottles, and stinky leftovers is no fun for anyone. But a new technology in Australia called the UR-3R may just end up disposing of this old-fashioned recycling by hand.

Water
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    USGS study clears fracking in Arkansas

    Opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, also known as “fracking,” have long claimed that it contaminants drinking water. Unfortunately for them, they have been unable to find such contamination . . .

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    Doubts about drought help dry up climate alarmism

    Those fearing catastrophic global warming often point to increased drought as one of the scariest scenarios of climate change. But new research at Princeton University indicates there has actually been little change in drought over the past 60 years. . .

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    Common sense in CA as voters keep San Francisco reservoir

    California’s best water, along with cheap, clean, renewable hydro power will continue to flow to San Francisco from the Hetch Hechy reservoir. San Francisco voters defeated the measure 77 to 23. Greens see things differently when it’s THEIR lifestyle scheduled to be diminished.

  • Reaffirming the cornerstone of freedom

    Freedom 21, of which CFACT was a co-founding organization, is a coalition of groups that came together, quite literally, in the waning days of the last century, to build a domestic and international movement that could promote freedom as the guiding principle for the 21st Century and beyond.