Tuesday, September 25, 2007

interesting article

You know how you are told to give your kids organic food because pesticides will give them cancer? Well, it’s technically true that there is a link between the chemicals and illness, but the risk is miniscule in any well-regulated country.
There is another threat that you haven’t been told much about. One of the best ways to avoid cancer is to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Organic items are 10% or 20% more expensive than regular produce, so most of us naturally buy less when we “go organic.”
If you reduce your child’s intake of fruits and vegetables by just 0.03 grams a day (that’s the equivalent of half a grain of rice) when you opt for more expensive organic produce, the total risk of cancer goes up, not down. Omit buying just one apple every 20 years because you have gone organic, and your child is worse off.
My intention isn’t to scare people away from organic food. But we should hear both sides of any story.
Consider a tale that has made the covers of some of the world’s biggest magazines and newspapers: the plight of the polar bear. We are told that global warming will wipe out this majestic creature. We are not told, however, that over the past 40 years – while temperatures have risen – the global polar bear population has increased from 5,000 to 25,000.
Campaigners and the media claim that we should cut our CO2 emissions to save the polar bear. Well, then, let’s do the math. Let’s imagine that every country in the world – including the United States and Australia – were to sign the Kyoto Protocol and cut its CO2 emissions for the rest of this century. Looking at the best-studied polar bear population of 1,000 bears, in the West Hudson Bay, how many polar bears would we save in a year? Ten? Twenty? A hundred?
Actually, we would save less than one-tenth of a polar bear.
If we really do care about saving polar bears, we could do something much simpler and more effective: ban hunting them. Each year, 49 bears are shot in the West Hudson Bay alone. So why don’t we stop killing 49 bears a year before we commit trillions of dollars to do hundreds of times less good?

read the rest here


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