(Last month,) I attended the 18th annual meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. This group was formed some 20 years ago to help people prepare for a nuclear disaster. As time has gone on, the major thrust has changed to urge the adoption of nuclear power, and to dispel myths of a variety of chemophobic nature, where the world is wasting time and energy fruitlessly, worrying about the wrong things.
The first two sessions were on radiation and hormesis (stimulation of an organism by low doses). The main point was that the general public has an irrational fear of radiation. When in fact:
1. Because of close monitoring of the nuclear industry we now have extensive health records that show decreased cancer levels, when compared to the general population, who aren't exposed to more than background levels.
2. Canadian studies (National Health Service) indicate that long term annual X-raying of women for TB resulted in lower breast cancer rates than experienced by women who were not X-rayed for TB.
The next two sessions were on global warming and the Kyota Treaty.
The major point made here was that there is still no scientific evidence of any current global warming trend. It is true that worldwide temperatures have increased 1 degree Celsius in the last 100 years. However, this increase took place prior to 1945. Since then there has been a slight cooling. Particularly, satellite readings of the past 20 years show no warming trend.
The administration makes much of the fact that 2,500 scientists have signed on to a report supporting global warming as a fact. Another fact is that many of these "scientists" are dependent on government grants. On the other hand, the media largely ignores the fact that 17,000 scientists have signed a report saying that there is, so far, no scientific evidence of global warming.
Most importantly, recent studies show that North America is not adding to global CO2. Readings on the East Coast show lower CO2 in the atmosphere than on the West Coast. This indicates that with prevailing westerly winds, CO2 is being absorbed as the air crosses the continent. Despite this, the administration is asking the Senate to ratify the Kyota Treaty, and estimates are that it would cost the U.S. some $5 trillion over 20 years to reach full compliance. To adjust our CO2 levels to accommodate most of the rest of the world is, at best, a dubious cause.
So far the Kyota Treaty has not been ratified by any major country, yet the administration is implementing it, bit by bit, without Senate approval.
The luncheon speaker, Peter Huber of the Manhattan Institute, gave an interesting talk of the deforestation, and the reforestation of the U.S. Prior to World War I most energy was muscle energy man and animals. Between them, they took over one third of all cropland for food and fiber. Thus America was busy cutting forests just to convert to cropland and to furnish ties for the railroads, one of the major reasons that President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Forest System. Prior to 1900, six acres of agriculture and eight acres of grazing were required for each urban acre.
Since 1900, fossil fuels used for cultivation, fertilizer, insecticides, fungicides permit us to grow eight times as much per acre. This reduction in demand for cropland has permitted us to allow the reforestation of large areas of the U.S. particularly in the East.
If anyone would like any more statistics on the above subjects, I have more notes and statistic sheets, and can be reached at 474-6181.