Goodwill Hunting

In 2003, two companies in the Manchester neighborhood, Valero Refining and Lyondell-Citgo, "ranked among the top dozen in the Houston area for accidental releases of air contaminants." But "the men and women who live there rarely complain," writes the Houston Chronicle, perhaps because of the "free car washes, donated computers, elementary school essay contests and Easter egg hunts" the companies sponsor.


Greener on the Other Side

Project Evergreen, a "trade association formed by pesticide makers, applicators, garden centers and mower manufacturers," will launch a "national public-relations campaign this spring touting the health and lifestyle benefits of thick, green lawns." The campaign is partly in response to pesticide restrictions passed by 70 cities and one province in Canada. One Project Evergreen ad reads, "Legislation and regulations have been throwing the green industry some rough punches. ...


Rocket Fuel Is Good for You!

A National Academy of Sciences report says up to 20 parts per billion (ppb) of the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in drinking water could be considered "safe." Perchlorate affects thyroid function, with children believed to be especially vulnerable. The Environmental Protection Agency previously set 1 ppb as the "safe" perchlorate level; the Defense Department suggested 200 ppb.


Milloy Blames Environmentalists First

Steven Milloy, the self-proclaimed critic of junk science at Fox News, rarely misses an opportunity to bash environmentalists. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, he falsely claimed that the collapse of the World Trade Towers could have been delayed if only the builders had used more asbestos. He also has a habit of distorting other people's words when it serves his agenda. (A recent example of this was featured on RealClimate.org, a weblog for climate scientists.)

Milloy's response to the Asian tsunami is similar. In a column for Fox News, Milloy accuses environmentalists of exploiting the disaster by trying to blame it on global warming. In order to make this seem plausible, however, he has to misquote the environmentalists he is attacking.

Australia's Global Warming Skeptics

"Most scientists say that global warming is not only real, but is already contributing to extreme droughts, floods and the melting of the  polar ice caps," writes Melissa Fyfe. In Australia, however, skepticism about the science of global warming continues to find a home in the Lavoisier Group, a haven for engineers and retired captains of industry who think global warming is nothing to worry about.


Powell Lobbies for Chemical Industry

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is leading the charge against European Union plans to more closely control chemicals, the Independent reports. The EU directive called Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (Reach) would require registration and assessments of risks posed by chemicals to human health and the environment. Some 30,000 substances would have to be registered.



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