ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Green is a state of mind

This one showed up on the Drudge Report this morning…

From the Times of London:

Ruling on NightJack author Richard Horton kills blogger anonymity

Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.

In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of the NightJack blog. The officer, Richard Horton, 45, a detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary, had sought an injunction to stop The Times from revealing his name.


In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”.

The judge also said that even if the blogger could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, the judge would have ruled against him on public interest grounds.

Obviously, I got no cloaked dog in this electronic hunt.

My only question is, no matter how it came to be, if those of you that blog anonymously were to be forced to swap the clever-sounding pseudonyms for your real names, would you continue on with the blogging routine?

Just curious.

Gort, I read your succinctly stated comments on the Keystone Opportunity Zones, and I feel the need to weigh in on this one. Not to take issue with you, just for the hell of it.

First of all, our local, state and federal politicians love to remind us of how many local jobs were created in these tax-deferred zones. Admittedly, the vast majority of these new jobs are not what one would normally call well-paying jobs. Mind you, you can earn more than minimum wage. But if you are gainfully employed in one of the many plants in our many hustling and bustling industrial parks, the odds are far better than even that said job is not your only job. Just for the sake of accuracy, the local industrial parks should be reclassified as being Living Wage Free Zones.

Still, the self-absorbed politicos keep yammering on and on about all of the jobs they created by way of the always encroaching and always expanding KOZ programs. Jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs. According to them, it sounds as if we’re struggling to keep our heads above the rising tide of new jobs in the area.

Now, you could argue that without the zones, there would be darn near no jobs at all in NEPA, which would not be a wildly inaccurate argument. Scary, but, perhaps true.

Still though, I think after factoring in inflation, working in these warehouses would be akin to what your forbearers were faced with: working low-paying jobs throughout the entirety of their lives. Sure, you could delude yourself into thinking you’re a highly trained and highly skilled worker because they trust you with the keys to a forklift. But, in actuality, when things are adjusted for the omnipresent inflation, are you not little more than the modern day equivalent of the low-paid coal miners, the seamstresses, the brewery workers, or the train conductors?

In my opinion, the only people that benefit from KOZs are the publicity-seeking vote-for-me elected people claiming credit for their creation, as well as the creation of jobs nobody really wants to apply for. They get the credit, they get the adulation, they get the campaign donations, they get reelected and we are provided the “opportunity” for work for far less than we could have ever imagined ourselves working for.

In effect, despite being better educated than our descendants, and despite thinking we’re so much better informed than they were, our collective localized earning potential is not much more than theirs was. Myself excluded, of course.

If that’s progress, please, count me out.

Anywho, them’s my thoughts on the Keystone Obfuscation Zones. Further proof that it doesn’t take very much to get my vortex spinning violently off it’s bent axis.

I received a particularly nasty e-mail from what I’ll call my “green e-mailer.”

Oh, yeah, an e-mail that she demonstratively stated she did not want published on these pages. Fine, but here’s my rebuttal based on the best available training in the industry, many years worth of hard-earned expertise and an ongoing commitment to excellence.

First of all, what I happen to do for a living does not in any way destroy the earth. What I apply is applied to a depth of no more than 12 or so feet. And the products I apply, in large part due to billions upon billions having been spent on research and development, bind with the soils they come in contact with almost immediately when correctly applied.

When applied correctly, legally by a certified, heavily trained and expertise-laden applicator such as myself, they do not leach off into the ecosystem only to be consumed by any tree huggers anywhere. When applied correctly, they go no further than a couple of feet out from the structure’s foundation they were applied to.

And if I even remotely suspect that something might go amiss based on the structure, the landscape, the soil type or the immediate environs, I then call the treatment off pending a more exhaustive investigation. I do. Me. I need not call anyone in any office anywhere for further advisement. Based on conditions, the weather, unidentified subterranean utility lines or perhaps perplexing construction anomalies, I make the call right on the spot.

So before you read anyone else in my industry any of your environmental riot acts borne completely of abject ignorance, you might want to refer to some reference materials much, much, much more current than the long-accepted and wholly inaccurate bible of the misinformed protectors of the planet everywhere…Silent Spring.

For example, thanks to Rachel Carson’s attack on the use of DDT, that product was banned. And since the banning of DDT, the number of malaria deaths vectored by mosquitoes, once very few and very far between, have been escalating ever since. The millions and millions and millions upon millions and millions of needless deaths of mostly impoverished people in third world countries the world over can and have been directly attributed to the banishment of one single, but effective pesticide.

I know, unintended consequences. Basically, shamefully, the needless and untimely deaths of millions can be summed up by the self-important eco warriors with a single Oops!!!

If given a vote, I’m betting those people would have opted for the use of DDT over the untimely demises the environmentalists inflicted upon them.

And as far as “green” products are concerned, there are really only two varieties of green pesticides. And both, in my opinion, amount to imaginary pest management. There are the natural products, mostly culled from herbs, oils and extracts. And while a guy making a sales pitch may tell you they are the next great thing, plus they protect the environment, your pets and your brats, you need go no further than the people who make the applications to know that they are less effective than the pesticides not touted as being green.

Then there are the “green” products that amount to nothing more than the old product, only now watered down and relabeled as green. It’s smoke and mirrors. The old product, the old active ingredient, let’s say Fiprinil, used to comprise .06% of the total product, combined with inert ingredients. But now, the new and improved and heavily advertised green product has a total of .03% active ingredient. In other words, it won’t be as effective as, or have as long a residual impact as the original product.

And this watering down process so as to call a product “green” also applies to very many household cleaning products making the rounds on the video advertising box. It’s supposedly safer only because it’s weaker. It isn’t as effective as the original more “dangerous” formulation.

“Green” products as advertised on television, are almost always a sham to some degree.

Consider these facts. Organic products, organic foods that is, are closely regulated, monitored and inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (Organic Foods Protection Act of 1990) so as to guarantee they are authentically organically grown or produced. The USDA even goes so far as to publish a regularly updated “National Organic List” of approved organic-certified products. In effect, if a product label makes the organic claim, you are perusing a legitimate organic product.

But there is no governing body to ensure that “green” products are what their manufacturers claim they are, or what they claim they can accomplish. There is no legal basis to any claims of a product being a green product. Catch that? When it comes to very much of the green advertising you are being pounded with, green is a state of mind with no legal basis.

As far as I’m concerned, a “green” product in the hands of an untrained person can be just as dangerous as can be a clearly labeled pesticide, simply because the person with no training typically thinks the green product is much safer to apply and tends to then apply more of it. So how is the weaker product of the two safer when you’re actually applying more of it? Sounds like a wash to me.

As with everything, you need to know what you’re talking about before you go lecturing others about the dangers associated with the application of pesticides, herbicides or termiticides. I know it’s popular, it’s the politically correct and the en vogue thing to do by classifying yourself as a devout green warrior. But, as with most people who are disproportionately passionate and noisy about what they believe they know, they have been sold a threadbare bill of goods.

As for my approach to the application of termiticides, I always, always err on the sides of both caution and safety. And as I have trained those who came after me just as I was trained by the guy who came before me, “If you’re not sure, don’t do it.”

And therein lies the best of all possible approaches whereas protecting the environment, people, animals and the water supply is concerned. When in doubt, do not apply. Training plus experience equals safe applications.

Please, save any further chastisements for the little-trained and poorly-equipped franchisees listed in your local yellow pages. You know, my competitors.

In review: Green is a state of mind.

Read it, know it and stop wasting your time trying to live it.

Sez me.



Tom Carten said...

>>>If those of you that blog anonymously were to be forced to swap the clever-sounding pseudonyms for your real names, would you continue on with the blogging routine?<<<

I always sign my name to what I write (exception: my music column in the CV, but there's a reason for that). I think a pseudonym is ok if your identity would cause whatever problems with your day job (see CV, above), or you are blowing the whistle.

Other than that, I can see no reason for using a made-up name. I know it's one of the treasured customs of the Internet, but I'd much prefer to meet people online in the sunshine.

Of the people who have flamed me on the broadcast boards for being able to sign my stuff, I really doubt many of them really need to hide behind a board name.

Absent being fired or your home pipe-bombed, take responsibility for your opinions by signing your stuff.

IM very HO.

D.B. Echo said...

When I first started blogging, I used the name "D.B. Echo" so I could create a voice that was not necessarily the same as my own, that could say things that I might not say in real life. But I also saw it as a pen name - and a very poorly shielded one, much like Mark Twain to Samuel Clemens. As time went by, the voice that emerged on Another Monkey was my own, but the pen name stuck, and has become a part of the blog. I freely use the name "Harold" in comments on many sites that don't default to my blogging name, and enough people refer to me by that name in comments on my blog that I can say my veil of anonymity is pretty thin.