Tag: Environment

“Making America toxic again,” as one publication suggested, or a public servant dedicated to paring honest science and environmental stewardship? Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, stops by to explain how the Trump Administration has reoriented the EPA, its highlights and priorities, and how a former college baseball player deals with political hardball in the nation’s capital.

Trump Dismantles Obama Regs on Energy, Environment

 

President Trump issued a sweeping executive order Tuesday to unravel several Obama-era environmental and energy regulations. Signed at the EPA headquarters, the order calls for an immediate review of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which restricted greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired plants.

“We’re going to have safety, we’re going to have clean water, we’re going to have clean air,” Trump said, “but so many [regulations] are unnecessary, so many are job-killing.” He added, “Together we are going to start a new energy revolution.”

Fox News provided more detail on the executive order:

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Alberta Parks issued the warning for Chester Lake and Burstall pass trailhead parking lots in Kananaskis, Alberta. Officials recommend motorists to keep at least 30 metres away from any moose, and to sound a car horn or use a remote door alarm to deter the animals. Preview Open

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Free Market Environmentalism for the Next Generation by Terry Anderson and Donald Leal (2015) of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) is a thorough update of a book they published in 1991. Considering I was in kindergarten back then, I feel like I have a decent claim to being part of the titular “next […]

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America’s Hat — like many other places brainwashed into believing that the possibility of a slight temperature rise will doom all of humanity — has adopted “green energy policies” that favor expensive, unreliable sources of power (wind and solar) over less expensive, highly reliable sources like coal, gas, and nuclear. I witnessed this first-hand driving […]

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Here on the Gulf Coast, mockingbirds are everywhere. Listening to them is a way of life for many folks.  I grew up among people who love to gather on a porch or patio to simply relax and observe nature while chatting, sipping on cool drinks, or maybe pretending to read while slumped asleep in a […]

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Today is Earth Day, the High Holidays for the Church of the Perpetually Aggrieved & The Scientifically Illiterate. It’s an apocalyptic cult whose adherents worship the Polar Bear and are particularly dimwitted. They are noted for their resolute faith in the coming of environmental disaster in 5! No 10! No 20! No 50! years. To […]

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This morning a solemn President addressed the world from the White House. “Today we watched in horror an attack on the most innocent among us. U.S. intelligence has confirmed an ISIS video showing the cowardly assault on the Ramadi Zoo… and their polar bear, Hamid. (Choking up) Hamid was beloved by Iraqi children, both Sunni and Shi’ite alike. […]

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What Your Wastewater Treatment Specialist Wants You to Know

 

Wastewater-Treatment-Plant-300x225I’ve seen that there is an unofficial series of sorts on Ricochet, where members write posts explaining what they do in their day jobs. I work for a company that does wastewater treatment (for industries, so my perspective is a little different from your local municipal wastewater treatment plant). This post is my contribution.

The motivation for treating wastewater is to avoid or mitigate negative impacts on the river, lake, ocean, or other area into which it flows. Common negative impacts include filling waterways with debris or sediment, causing fish kills or dead zones by depleting oxygen levels, promoting algae blooms, and spreading pathogens that can harm other people who use that water. In some cases, there may also be concerns related to specific heavy metals or other chemicals. I’ll focus on oxygen depletion, but feel free to ask about other impacts in the comments.

When organic matter (and there is plenty of that in wastewater) gets discharged into the environment, it gets degraded by microorganisms. These decay processes consume oxygen, which dissolves fairly poorly in water. If the amount of organic matter is high enough, the rate of decay can exceed the rate at which more oxygen can dissolve into the water, and the level of oxygen can drop to the point that fish and other things living in the water start to die.

#FirstWorldProblemsMatter

 

shutterstock_106824764In the most literal sense, the Industrial Revolution was dirty business. Never before in our planet’s history had man done as much damage to the land, the air, and the waters as when we first acquired powered machines. In search of energy, forests were torn down, peat bogs were ripped up, and coal was extracted and burned in ways that we’d find repulsive today.

Though that point is often presented as an ipso facto condemnation of the Industrial Revolution, that’s not the only possible interpretation. Perhaps, as unhealthy and disgusting as that era was, the costs were worth the gains. The very same processes that polluted the Earth also brought goods and services to millions that, only years before, had been available only to the wealthy few (if at all).

Given that the Industrial Revolution began and grew in one of the freest societies to have graced the planet, we might conclude that the British understood the trade-offs and  accepted them. Indeed, despite the the smog clouds and drudgery they offered, cities and industrial mills attracted people like never before, and apparently with good reason: despite all the shortcomings those places offered in terms of health and welfare, life expectancy and purchasing power soared. Simply put, the costs of breathing smog outside were worth the benefits of burning coal inside.

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So if [Colony Collapse Disorder] is wiping out close to a third of all honeybee colonies a year, how are their numbers rising? One word: Beekeepers. A 2012 working paper by Randal R. Tucker and Walter N. Thurman, a pair of agricultural economists, explains that seasonal die-offs have always been a part of beekeeping: they […]

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Laudato Si’: Now What Does a Catholic Do?

 

shutterstock_195361532For Catholics who advocate for free markets, Pope Francis has just made life extremely complicated. The Holy Father’s encyclical, Laudato Si’ — which I have only begun to read — contains statements that clearly indicate that the Pope has fallen in with the progressives. Although the encyclical still prohibits birth control, abortion, and euthanasia, Francis seems tone deaf to the constant demands of the left, particularly the environmental left, that the Church abandon her teachings and encourage the use of these prohibited techniques. The Pope also seems to have largely adopted the platform of the American Democratic Party. As a Republican, my stomach is queasy.

So what to do? As a Catholic, I must submit my personal convictions to the authority of the Magisterium– which means to the Pope insofar as he speaks within Church tradition on theological matters. That gives me some weasel room on Francis’s economic views. But not much room. A Catholic’s first duty is obedience, or as my daughter wrote in her new article for Catholic Exchange:

…our lives are not our own. They belong to God and that means a total emptying of self. It is within this framework that we will examine our call to love and submit in obedience to the hierarchical Church. In learning this obedience, we will mature and grow in our faith. Since Christ left us the Church, it is He who calls us to loving submission to the Church.

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“It’s strange how even the most ardent environmentalists suddenly go silent when confronted with evidence of how birth-control pills harm aquatic ecosystems. Instead of angry calls for the regulation of a pollutant that is causing a ‘silent spring’ of hermaphroditic fish unable to breed, we hear nothing,” said Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research […]

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Exxon CEO Pushes Back Against Environmentalists

 

RexTillersonAt a recent annual shareholders meeting, Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s longtime Chairman and CEO, did something very unusual for a business executive: he questioned the global warming hysteria.

Tillerson said that models predicting the effects of global warming “just aren’t that good,” and that it would be very difficult for the world to meet aggressive emission-reduction targets. He further noted that technology can help deal with rising sea levels or changing weather patterns “that may or may not be induced by climate change.” Tillerson added, “Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity. I know that is an unsatisfactory answer to a lot of people, but it’s an answer that a scientist and an engineer would give you.”

To compound his sins, Tillerson then rejected calls to invest in faddish renewable energy schemes such wind and solar saying, “We choose not to lose money on purpose.” According to the above article, the audience broke out in applause.