Tag Archives: Dana Milbank

Dana Milbank speaks to Experts

A few weeks ago Dana Milbank wrote a column for the  Post where he had some suggestions on how to combat global warming.

I’m glad he has used the access to experts afforded to Post staffers to learn:

 “To remove carbon from the atmosphere, we could bury wood and agricultural waste…”.

 This is called land filling, it’s where most trash goes.

I’m not an expert, but perhaps he could use the vast resources at the Post to learn if paper is made from wood. (And paper products, too?) Next, find another expert to learn if most paper is made from 1000 year old redwoods or 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation trees grown on tree farms. (Yes, I am aware that the Post does buy its paper from unsustainably managed virgin tropical and boreal forests, but most paper is more locally produced). Then, find another expert to explain about the energy inputs (all of the inputs) required to recycle paper. Another expert will be needed to explain land fill capacity. (Hint: landfills aren’t forever, Hint 2: What’s with all that space in “flyover country”? ) Finally, find yet one more expert to put it all together.

Here are some potential outcomes from the final expert’s analysis.

  1. Recommends that landfills be re-named “carbon capture facilities”.
  2. Tells you that if you’re the sort of person who believes a trace gas like carbon dioxide is in any way a significant climate driver, you should stop recycling paper and wood based products.
  3. Mr. Milbank may learn that a large portion of the trash in the DC area is burned, so stopping paper recycling would have fewer benefits there.

Mr. Milbank will need to be careful to ask only experts. If one does this oneself, one may stumble on to sites like epa.gov, where information can be misleading and contrary evidence is omitted. Make sure to ask the right experts though. Don’t ask the ones who made predictions about the swine flu. Or hurricane activity. Or Arctic ice extent. Or the ARRA keeping employment under 8%. Or President Obama’s health care reform reducing premiums