The government has recently appointed an expert group to sort out the details of a proposal to CITES to permit legal trade in rhino horn. Meanwhile, I’ve been reluctantly convinced that a state-owned monopoly might be what should be in that proposal. How does a free-marketeer fall so far, so fast?
Last week was the 12th anniversary of the 19 March 2003 invasion of Iraq, by a “coalition of the willing” led by the United States. At the time, despite considerable reservations, I supported the war, and defended the politicians who bumbled their way into it. I was wrong to do so.
These are strong words, but they’re no exaggeration. By whipping up groundless fears about genetically engineered foods and misinforming governments in developing countries, Greenpeace and other anti-GMO lobby groups are condemning millions of people to easily preventable malnutrition and death.
In the grip of a prolonged and severe drought, several states in Brazil, including the major cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are running out of fresh water. The state-controlled company responsible for water could learn something from that country’s largest beer producer.
It looks like I might be autistic. Before ‘Rain Man’, I didn’t even know autism existed. Now, it seems almost every child, and most adults, have it. We know vaccines didn’t do it. So what, if anything, did?
Last week, the WWF released a technical report on the economic feasibility of shale gas production in South Africa. One should distrust environmental activists as much as one would distrust corporate spin, and this is doubly true when they prognosticate on matters other than the environment. However, this report proved to be surprising.
Whenever environmental doomsayers run out of arguments, they turn to the sea for hope – or rather, fear. Fish stocks are collapsing, and if climate change doesn’t get us, ocean acidification will. But how true are these claims?
Gunning for Eskom? Fracking could solve your problem
Police commissioner Riah Phiyega and her spokesperson, Solomon Makgale, did not take kindly to a recent IRR report entitled the Broken Blue Line. This report claims serious crime committed by police officers remains a big problem, and efforts to combat it have been ineffective. So, who is right?
Because it is hard to assess the cancer risk of, say, e-cigarettes or fracking, we are often content to trust what the media, lobby groups or scientific papers say. But while we may not be masters of sophisticated risk assessment tools, a little common-sense understanding goes a long way to debunking many scary claims.