The Risk-Monger

Cancel Rio+20

The UN’s Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference is promising to be an entirely politicised, misguided event already hijacked by the eco-activists, certain to achieve nothing and cause great environmental destruction in the process. Cancel it!

Posted by David Zaruk

Generation AIDS

At the time of my coming of age, those like me got hit with the AIDS crisis. This had a strong influence on how we look at the world, ourselves and each other. I am a member of Generation AIDS and as we are slowly taking over from the baby boomers as societal leaders, we need to consider how we had been influenced by the AIDS crisis, and how this is influencing the levers of power we are starting to pull.

Posted by David Zaruk

Last week, 16 eminent scientists signed an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal that acknowledged that the climate models are badly erroneous, that the world has not warmed anywhere near the amount predicted over the last two decades and that “climate scientists” have exaggerated the relationship between climate change and CO2 levels. Conclusion: stop… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

What is sustainability? We have a lot of lofty definitions, hyperbole and weighty normative responsibilities tied to this concept, but what does it mean? In honour of Rio+20, coming in June 2012, the Risk-Monger thought this word should be more deeply analysed. Some people might not be happy with his conclusions. Back in September, I… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The mobile phone industry is busier chasing profits than ensuring that their 4G technology is safe. The Risk-Monger laments that, as an industry abandons ALARA, regulators don’t seem too concerned.

Posted by David Zaruk

Policymakers are developing a reflex to require that the research community determines the scientific consensus on certain issues, climate change and electro-magnetic fields being recent examples. Should we be surprised that scientists are rarely able to deliver a clear consensus or that they resent that their debates are interfered with? At the recent European Commission… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

This is electro-magnetic field week in the European Commission in Brussels. For risk analysts like the Risk-Monger, such a meeting of emotion-rich, evidence-poor debate on the science of EMFs is just like an early Christmas. I admire the Commission for relenting to these public consultations with people who so vehemently hate each other. I have… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The world did not celebrate the arrival of the seven billionth member of humanity. Rather, it shuddered. Seven billion mouths to feed with an unsustainable agriculture. Seven billion polluters crowding into impoverished cities. Seven billion violators of the planet’s fragile biodiversity. Seven billion flames to heat the planet and emit carbon. A billion people ago,… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

Denmark has introduced a fat tax on foods high in saturated fat. It won’t work, sends the wrong message and hurts the poorer population. It is as politically incorrect as taxing fat people, which the Risk-Monger finds more workable.

Posted by David Zaruk

Green Indulgences

The plan is pretty simple. Forest product companies pay WWF undisclosed sums, memberships, donations and country fees to be part of a forest network. They buy the right to put a panda logo on the back of their loggers’ shirts. And then: Chop! Chop! Chop! To celebrate the 20th anniversary of WWF’s Global Forest and… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

There has been an insidious shift recently in environmentalist thinking that is both clever and dangerous: that the planet (biodiversity) has rights that must be respected. Man’s actions that have an effect on the balance of nature are judged morally repugnant and that man living sustainably (without having an impact on the planet) is the… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

Climate Ninnies

The Risk-Monger relentlessly holds to the belief that people do things for good reason. When reasons are unclear, he either admits that he doesn’t understand or judges that people are not very rational. With those determined to implement costly measures to try to stop global warming, he is beginning to judge towards the latter. This… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

Can you be bought?

This is the first part of a summer series on ethics and environmentalism. In a lobbying course I have just finished, I posed the question to my students: Can you be bought? The answer was easy; the challenge was “How much?” The more disquieting question I then threw at them was: “Should you sell your… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The Big Lewandowski

Shocking! Outrageous! Unacceptable! Barroso has to fire Lewandowski, point! Such are the cries of EU environmental activists concerning recent remarks by EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski. His crime? The Commissioner made certain remarks in an interview that were factually correct but counter to what NGO climate activists have been saying. And rather than engaging in… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk