Since Richard Nixon founded the EPA in 1970 – presumably as a cynical bid to greenwash his tarnished image at the height of the last eco-craze – the organisation has been run by a string of useless placemen and placewomen, who’ve done little that actually helps the environment, but plenty to burden the economy, consumers and business alike with more pointless regulation.
Typical of these was its first Administrator William Ruckelshaus. A lawyer, by training, not a scientist, Ruckelshaus was the man responsible for instituting the America-wide ban on DDT. He did this on no scientific basis whatsoever. In fact, Judge Edmund Sweeney had presided over a seven-month EPA hearing, examining more than 9,000 pages of expert testimony, and concluded:
DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man…DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man…The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.
Ruckelshaus, who had not attended the hearings or read the report, overruled him. Which probably made not much difference in the United States. But the knock-on effects of the near worldwide ban that followed meant that DDT could no longer be used to control mosquito populations, which in turn led to an explosion in malaria, causing the death of millions.
Subsequently Ruckelshaus has distinguished himself by endorsing Barack Obama for U.S. president in 2008; and most recently, by heading the Washington Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. [Ocean Acidification, of course, being yet another scientifically dubious scare story designed mainly to prop up the lucrative global anti-carbon-dioxide industry]
Mind you, compared to some of the idiots who’ve taken the job of EPA Administrator since, Ruckelshaus must rate as a veritable Einstein.
Probably the worst were Obama’s appointments. First, was Lisa Jackson who had previously had a disastrous stint as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.