Tag Archives: Documentary

EPA study finds that water in Dimock, PA is safe to drink despite fracking

Here’s an excerpt from the EPA press release that exonerates fracking:

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has completed its sampling of private drinking water wells in Dimock, Pa. Data previously supplied to the agency by residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cabot Oil and Gas Exploration had indicated the potential for elevated levels of water contaminants in wells, and following requests by residents EPA took steps to sample water in the area to ensure there were not elevated levels of contaminants. Based on the outcome of that sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.

[…]Overall during the sampling in Dimock, EPA found hazardous substances, specifically arsenic, barium or manganese, all of which are also naturally occurring substances, in well water at five homes at levels that could present a health concern. In all cases the residents have now or will have their own treatment systems that can reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to acceptable levels at the tap. EPA has provided the residents with all of their sampling results and has no further plans to conduct additional drinking water sampling in Dimock.

The Washington Times explains the context of this report.

Excerpt:

Closely watched tests by the Environmental Protection Agency have found that the drinking water in Dimock, Pa., is safe to drink, despite concerns from some residents and environmentalists that nearby fracking had contaminated supplies.

For the past seven months, EPA sampled water at private wells serving 64 homes in the small northeastern Pennsylvania town, the primary setting of the anti-natural-gas documentary “Gasland.”

EPA found hazardous substances such as arsenic and manganese in water supplies at five of the homes in question, but said Wednesday that the residences have or will soon have treatment systems “that can reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to acceptable levels at the tap.”

Agency officials also said EPA will conduct no further testing and will stop delivering fresh water to Dimock residents.

“The sampling and an evaluation of the particular circumstances at each home did not indicate levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action,” EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said in a statement. “Throughout EPA’s work in Dimock, the agency has used the best available scientific data to provide clarity to Dimock residents and address their concerns about the safety of their drinking water.”

[…]In its Wednesday announcement, EPA made clear that the pollutants it identified occur naturally in the area.

Remember the EPA is one of the most politicized, anti-business agencies in the government. If I were President, the first two agencies I would eliminate are the EPA and the federal Department of Education. And yet even the EPA could not find anything wrong with fracking. That means that there is nothing wrong with fracking.

Why do people think that secular leftists are guided by reason and science? It seems to me that they are always embracing fashionable nonsense that isn’t proven out by the experimental data. Let’s make our policy based on what the experimental evidence shows.

John Stossel explains what’s great about America

Here are all the parts of the documentary. (H/T Timmy from Rational Theism)

Here’s the quick summary of what the documentary is about.

Part 1 of 6.

Part 2 of 6.

Part 3 of 6.

Part 4 of 6.

Part 5 of 6.

Part 6 of 6.

You may also like this video by Dennis Prager explaining the American trinity.

Happy Independence Day!

More John Stossel stuff

Melissa previews the new Illustra Media ID documentary

From Hard-Core Christianity.

Excerpt:

Last summer, I had the privilege of attending lectures by one of the scientists featured in the upcoming Illustra Media documentary, Metamorphosis. Dr. Paul Nelson explained the science behind this unique argument for intelligent design theory, and I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the film’s resease ever since!

The intelligent design argument presented by the film (which I understand isn’t discussed until the third part) is the enormous problem that insect metamorphosis poses for the theoretical neo-Darwinian descent pathways. In plain language, neo-Darwinism claims that random genetic mutations coupled with natural selection acting over greats spans of time are responsible for a caterpillar’s physical ability to transform into a butterfly. There’s an insurmountable obstacle for this alleged process, however.

When it enters the pupa phase, in which it forms a hard chrysalis around itself, the caterpillar’s body totally liquefies. Subsequently, an entirely new body plan is constructed from this chemical soup, and what emerges from the chrysalis is absolutely nothing like what went in. Now, according to neo-Darwinism, mutations that equip an organism for such a spectacular metamorphosis are cumulative. The mutations that dictate chrysalis formation would come first. Next would come mutations that cause body-liquefication. Next would come—uh-oh—do you see the problem here? If a caterpillar goes into a pupa stage without the necessary genetic information to build the new body structure and GET OUT OF the pupa stage (an “escape plan,” if you will), it would simply die inside the chrysalis, never to emerge. Thus, there is NO ADVANTAGE for natural selection to act upon, and the process of metamorphosis could never evolve. What would be needed here is for the caterpillar to acquire ALL the mutations necessary for the pupa phase and ALL the mutations necessary for the architecture of a survivable adult body plan AT THE SAME TIME. Based on what evolutionary biology teaches about how mutations accumulate, this simply isn’t going to happen. This is a case of all-or-nothing that argues strongly for intentional, intelligent design.

If you want to see the first three in the series, look here:

About Melissa:

Melissa is a graduate student at Biola University, studying for the Master of Arts in Science and Religion. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and worked in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research for five years after obtaining her undergraduate degree. She has spent more than a decade studying the science and philosophy pertaining to the origins debate and is also currently working toward her certification in general Christian apologetics from Biola. She directs The Woodlands chapter of Reasonable Faith and welcomes opportunities to speak and teach on scientific apologetics.

She also is a homeschooling mom, which is the best kind of mom.

John Stossel documentary on public school costs and performance

I found this documentary on the Prof Blog.

I recommend that you watch Clip 4, then Clip 5, then Clip 6.

Part 1:

Guest Ben Chavis: (who runs a charter school)

  • Ben explains how bad schools teach self esteem and victimology
  • Ben explains how good schools teach knowledge
  • Ben took the worst school in Oakland and made it the best
  • Ben talks about the importance of firing bad teachers
  • Ben talks about the importance of discipline
  • Ben explains how students that miss school have to come on Saturday
  • Ben explains how his school gets the least of money
  • Ben explains how class sizes and teach certifications don’t matter
  • Ben says that public schools don’t need more money to perform

Guest Andrew Coulson: (Cato Institute)

  • public schools spend 4 times more per pupil (K through 12) than in 1974
  • but the reading success rate has stayed the same

Part 2:

Guest Ron Packard: (K12 online school)

  • using a public school curriculum delivered online
  • 70,000 students are learning online at their own pace
  • they have more poorer students and yet score higher than average
  • flexible schedules allows more time for sports and activities
  • the unions attacked the online schools even though they are better
  • the politicians listen to the unions and limited the number of students

Part 3:

Guest Janine Turner: (Founder of “Constituting America”)

  • children need to learn about the founding documents of the USA
  • children need to understand what America unique
  • children need to understand the notion of limited government
  • the founding documents are basic to understanding everything else

Guest Colin Hanna: (Founder of “Let Freedom Ring”)

  • the Constution is very important for people to read out loud
  • it’s also good to read it with others

Part 4: (A debate! Between Michelle Rhee and some lazy union thug!)

Guest Michelle Rhee: (Superintendent of Washington, D.C. schools)

  • public school tenure means having a job life regardless of performance
  • you can judge how teachers are performing look at test score improvement
  • you can’t look at teacher performance reviews they are always good
  • you have to look at the test score improvement year over year
  • it is almost impossible to get a teacher fired even if they are awful
  • Rhee fired lots of administrative people and costs went down
  • scores went up, and now DC is no longer the worst school system
  • more money doesn’t make students learn better
  • DC used to spend the MOST money, and had the WORST performance
  • the key to improvement is holding people accountable to perform

Guest Noah Gotbaum: (NYC Local School Board President/son of a union boss)

  • teachers aren’t to blame! most of them are excellent!
  • firing bad teachers is a bad idea! that won’t solve anything!
  • the DC schools haven’t improved! test scores don’t measure improvement!
  • we need more money! money will solve everything! it’s for the children!
  • you’re scaring the poor teachers when you talk about firing them!
  • Michelle Rhee is evil! Evil! She’s a witch! Burn her! Burn her!
  • those gains in test scores are not real! You can’t measure results!
  • test scores going up doesn’t mean that the students are doing better
  • the causes are more complicated and systemic but give us more money!

(I snarkified everything the union guy said – he didn’t really say that stuff like that)

Part 5: (Q&A)

  • Question for Noah: How much money is enough?Noah: well, other schools spend lots of money!
  • Question for Ben: Where does more money go?Ben: its impossible to tell how much is spent on administration vs teachers
  • Question for Noah: What about a voucher system?Noah: no! don’t let parents choose! that would deprive bad teachers of lifetime jobs!Noah: vouchers aren’t enough to cover a private school education!

    Ben: top private schools cost 10,000 a year less than half of NYC public schools

  • Question for Andrew: Is there any legislation to provide vouchers?Andrew: yes there is legislation to create voucher projects
  • Question for Ben: Are you cherry-picking the best students?Ben: every kid who applies is accepted there is no cherry pickingBen: we have more poor students than the average school

(I snarkified everything the union guy said – he didn’t really say that stuff like that)

Part 6:

John Stossel:

  • Americans spend way way more than other countries and we score much lower
  • teacher unions are still complaining for more money
  • teachers average 50,000 in salary a year for 9 months of work
  • teachers make way more than chemists, computer programmers and nurses
  • and school administrators waste tons of money on school
  • we spend four times as much per pupil since 1974
  • the real problem is lack of competition
  • the public school system is a government monopoly
  • monopolies are bad for consumers: less competition = high cost and low value
  • monopolies create worthless junk that no one wants
  • competition makes service/product providers accountable

Awesome! Down with government monopolies! The segment on online schools gives me hope – maybe there is a way to turn the young people away from secularism (= moral relativism) and socialism. This is another sign that there may be a way to turn this thing around if we can just get the government out of the education business and let parents choose schools that produce marketable skills. How did we ever let these union thugs produce worst test scores that poor countries with a billion times more money spent? Is this the United States of America? These unions are UNAMERICAN. They should be outlawed. First the public sector unions, then any private sector union that influences politics.

More John Stossel stuff

John Stossel documentary on entrepreneurs in America

Here’s the intro video. (H/T The Blog Prof)

And the remaining parts:

  • Part 2: The commuter vans entrepreneur debates against the head of the transport union
  • Part 3: How government regulates and sues entrepreneurs who want to start and run businesses
  • Part 4: How governments and big businesses force entrepreneurs to get licenses they don’t need
  • Part 5: How governments pass regulations to insulate lobbying businesses from competition
  • Part 6: Q&A with some of the guests
  • Part 7: Stossel’s conclusion

This documentary explains how government regulations get in the way of people who have great ideas.

The best clips were 3 and 6.

More John Stossel stuff