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  • Ahoy There, EPA

    Hundreds of pages of bureaucratic micromanaging of the economy, all in the name of fighting global warming, make up the Environental Protection Agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR). Many of the agency’s ideas for reducing energy use and resultant greenhouse gas emissions seem unreasonable, to put it mildly. However, the effort to redesign ships is in a class by itself.

    EPA states that “innovative strategies for reducing hull friction include coatings with textures similar to marine animals and reducing water/hull contact by enveloping the hull with small air bubbles released from the sides and bottom of the ship.” The agency also suggests, as auxiliary power sources, “fuel cells, solar power, wind power, and even wave power.” EPA doesn’t say whether wind power means ships with wind turbines or a return to the use of sailing ships that dominated the seas up through the 19th century.

    Who knows, maybe EPA is right and sharkskin sailboats oozing bubbles will transform the shipping industry. But on the off chance regulators at EPA aren’t as good at designing ships as the folks who actually do it for a living, the ANPR has a 120-day comment period. Perhaps EPA’s suggestions will spark useful comments from shipbuilders, as well as comments from the many other sectors of the economy also covered.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Ahoy There, EPA

    1. Charles Calmbacher, says:

      I have been working in the environmental sciences for over 35 years and I am continually distressed by the naivety (read "stupidity") of the general public when it comes to environmental issues. When will the American people realize that EPA, along with other government agencies, are run by the incompetent who are swayed by the political? True science is ignored. Instead, the news media, politicians, and regulatory agencies influence the general public with the latest faddish palaver that makes them appear concerned and "in-the-know."

      Global warming is still being debated by those who have dedicated their careers studying such issues. Yet, a few less ethical and competent scientists will stir the pot of public fear to help them obtain funding that they would otherwise be incapable of acquiring.

      Shakespeare said, "There is nothing new under the sun." This is true with environmental issues as well. We are returning to the "green" era of the 1960's and 1970's. All the talk and hoopla is a retread of that era. But "green" begets green — looking environmentally friendly helps make money. The eleven-year sunspot cycle has changed and the hole in the ozone has changed with it. Politicians, prostituting "scientists," and the news media can no longer show how important it is to save the earth from the perils of lower ozone and higher ultraviolet rays. The ozone layer began to close as a result of natural phenomena with very little impact based upon human activity. The new cause of the liberal and "ecomaniac," lead very publicly by a non-scientist lawyer named Al Gore, is global warming.

      Mr. Gore should stay out of science. He doesn't have the mental wiring to apply unbiased logic to the analysis of the available data. He thinks, as a lawyer would, that if I make a sound argument for the way I want it to be, it will be that way. Mr. Gore has refused to discuss his data, his modeling,and his analysis with scientists that have studied global climate change. Over 13,000 scientists have said that there is no evidence of global warming. Why are they not quoted? Because conceding that there is no global warming would rob politicians of a cause, the news media of money-making headlines, and the marginally competent scientist of a source of grant money.

      Mr. Gore looked at the history of climate change for approximately the last 200 years. This is an insignificant time frame to determine global trends in climate change. Our last Ice Age ended around 10,000 years ago. We need to look at that as a geological time frame of significance.When viewed in this context, the global temperature variation being observed currently is within the range of variation seen today. In fact, the current temperature elevation is below that seen over numerous periods before the Industrial Revolution and the impact of modern culture.

      Mr. Gore's book and follow-on movie should be called "A Convenient Lie." Unfortunately, the public at-large will listen to Mr. Gore before they will lend ear to the legion of scientists knowledgeable about this subject. It is the popular impact of people and works such as this that have a harmful influence on public perception and regulatory reaction.

      The politicians and news media feed the people what is thought to be in their "best interest." This puts pressure on the government's legion of incompetent and unqualified scientists in the EPA (and other agencies)to "do something." The something must be newsworthy and "brilliant." So, we get a ban on tomatoes that don't carry salmonella and, advice on how to build ships that are "green." These can join all the hybrid vehicles that burn unavailable ethanol. The same ethanol that takes over a gallon of diesel to grow enough to produce one gallon of alcohol. That is just the growing. It does not include the energy required for fermentation, distillation, and distribution. What initially sounds good is an environmental abomination.

      EPA constantly ventures where it does not belong. It uses bad science to substantiate its views and political agenda. The Supreme Court even recognized this when they threw out the guidance and standards on second-hand smoke because the science was so blatantly bad.

      Everyone needs to watch this agency closely. More informed and fact-based comments need to be made by all citizens, not just interest groups. Throughout its history, EPA has shown that it is politically motivated and power hungry. They are incapable of effecting sound, unbiased regulatory requirements on Industry and the American public.

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