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Are New Government Guidelines For Genetically Engineered Products Going Far Enough?

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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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Not many plumbers become known worldwide for significant fossil discoveries but self-taught paleontologist and archaeologist Harley Garbani did just that, finding skulls of the youngest-known Tyrannosaurus rex and the youngest-known Triceratops in a distinguished citizen science career.

His finds are on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and other places.   Garbani was citizen science before it needed a name - a time when scientists were not primarily academics.    Mostly he liked to hunt  for fossils in the Badlands and his knowledge was based on experience.
What happens when you subsidize technology and then have a deficit in government?  You tax the people you just paid.

In Washington state, after years and millions of dollars in tax breaks to purchase electric (and hybrid) vehicles to make it at least close to economically feasible for mainstream drivers, the government has realized something horrible - those drivers aren't using enough gasoline, which means they aren't paying enough in gasoline taxes and, with a $5 billion deficit, that is bad.

Plus, if you're an electric vehicle owner, you can't really object when a politician - especially one you voted for - says you still aren't doing your fair share for the environment.   
You might think that those who are skeptical (or downright intransigent) on a CO2 basis for global warming are bigger wasters of energy or greater polluters than those who accept climate science.

Not so.   Skeptics are just as green.   Their reasons may simply be different.
Many might want to believe the United Nations, a world political mediation body created in the aftermath of World War 2, would be a friend of climate science since they are the governing body behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - but they are instead advocates.
  
When advocates take center stage and make cringe-worthy statements over and over again, they actually hurt the science they are advocating.   The UN has said baffling things to such an extent they have hurt the reputation of climate science, resulting in backlash about climate change because no one knows what to believe any more.
   
If you're not one of the 172,000 Japanese people living within a dozen miles of the Fukushima Daiichi plant who have been advised (read: forced) to leave, you are breathing a sigh of relief while you hope things turn out okay.

But a new analysis carried out by Nature and the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center at Columbia University says two-thirds of the world’s 211 nuclear power plants have more people in the same radius than the ones who have had to flee their homes in Japan.  They're not all on known earthquake faults, obviously, but disaster concerns are an important public policy issue in times of disaster.
It's Earth Day tomorrow, a day when environmentalists want to remind you that you are a parasite ruining a pristine ecology and there should be less of us.   Well, by 'us' they mean you - they can't be killed or no one would be around to care about the environment.