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This weekly newsletter, focused on environmental issues,
highlights relevant analysis done by the John Locke Foundation and other think
tanks, as well as items in the news.
1. Spain dumping its subsidies for renewables -- $31 billion in
According to Bloomberg.com, Spain is pulling
its subsidies for wind power and solar power, so-called renewable forms of
Spain halted subsidies for
renewable energy projects to help curb its budget deficit and rein in power-system
borrowings backed by the state that reached 24 billion euros ($31 billion) at
the end of 2011.
"What is today an energy problem could become a financial problem,"
Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said in Madrid. The government passed a
decree today stopping subsidies for new wind, solar, co-generation or waste
This news is particularly telling because Obama has cited
Spain as the model for his green jobs initiatives. Studies have shown that for
every job "created," or should we say forced, by Spain's subsidies,
the rest of the economy lost
2.Green toilets create pools of yellow at Florida high school
'It was pretty disgusting,' school
board chairman Frank Barbieri told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
'The girls had to step over a river of urine. I could smell it as soon as I
walked into the hallway.'
Spanish River High School in Boca Raton Florida decided to
go green by installing waterless urinals in their men's rooms. Unfortunately,
the installation of these toilets and their subsequent use set off a series of
chain reactions that led to corroded
pipes and urine-soaked floors and walls.
Students at a high school in Boca
Raton, Florida, must step over rivers of urine and endure the stench of rancid
waste after a plan to bring 'green' waterless urinals into bathrooms backfired.
But with no water moving through the school's copper pipes to flush the urine
into the sewer system, the waste produced noxious gases that ate through the
metal, leaving leaky pipes that allowed urine to drip into walls and flow onto
Now, the school district, which was hoping to save $100 a year in water costs
for each waterless urinal, must pay $500,000 to repair the damage and replace
the appliances with the traditional flush variety in four high schools.
3. No news to JLF
followers: Ozone not correlated with hospitalization
Several years ago
the John Locke Foundation looked at the relationship between childhood emergency
hospitalizations for asthma in the state of North Carolina and numbers of high-ozone
days. To our surprise, we found that the relationship was negative. That is,
the counties with the highest number of high-ozone days actually had the fewest
emergency hospitalizations for asthma. Of course this goes counter to the
argument that high levels of ozone, or at least ozone levels that exceed the
federal standards, stimulate more asthma attacks.
Steve Milloy over
at Junk Science.com has decided to take a similar look at the smoggiest
county in the country, Los Angeles, CA. In particular, he looked at admissions
for asthma at the VA West Lost Angeles Medical Center. Interestingly enough,
there was no correlation between hospitalizations for asthma and ozone levels. He
did the same for fine particle particulate matter (PM2.5) and got the same
results. The conclusion?
These results indicate that maximum
ozone and fine particulate matter levels in the Los Angeles area were not
correlated with admissions for asthma at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center
for the period January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.
Los Angeles metropolitan area has some of the worst air quality in America.
If ambient O3 and PM2.5 were associated with hospital admissions for asthma,
one could reasonably expect to find a correlation in these data. But we did
Here's another interesting fact. Over the last 30 years, incidences
of asthma in the United States has been on the rise. Over that same period
ozone levels in every state have fallen dramatically. While it is a well-known
principle of statistics that correlation does not imply causation, it is the
case that lack of correlation does imply lack of causation.
So how do environmental advocacy groups like the American Lung Association
reply to all this? Easy: they ignore it. Can't let the truth get in the way of our
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