California’s War on Chemistry, Science, and Liberty

California’s War on Chemistry, Science, and Liberty

Monsanto Co’s Roundup on display for sale in Encinitas, Calif., on June 26, 2017. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Roger Canfield

Roger Canfield


Updated: 3/28/2024

To many Californians, the word “chemical” is terrifying. Such fears legitimized tyrannical agencies protecting them from awful things hiding in air, water, and soil.

California’s Chemistry Police

California hunts down all possible dangers of chemicals through its Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).
Toxic chemicals cause less than 3 percent of cancer. Unless used recklessly, chemicals are minor pollutants of water compared to microbes, bacteria, and viruses.
Silicon Valley’s worst chemically contaminated water is 1,000 times safer than two glasses of wine. Compared to smoking, obesity, alcoholism, and drug abuse, manmade pollutants are insignificant hazards to health. However aesthetically bad they may look, taste, or smell, the most important chemical contaminants, pesticides and petrochemicals, pose no risk to health.
Whatever the State of California determines, there is little evidence that pesticides in drinking water are a cause of illness, except with very high concentrations, such as with a workplace spill or reckless use.
Within OEHHA, California’s ministry of politically correct science, is the overlord for the health risks of about 1,000 chemicals covered under Proposition 65. OEHHA penetrates deep into every imaginable business, telling each exactly which of hundreds of chemicals are permissible and which are not.
OEHHA and others have “determined” that firefighting foam causes cancer or reproductive harm. Note that the chemicals concentrated in chocolate cake are 250 times greater than typical risk guidelines for toxic chemicals. In one decision, the omnipresent OEHHA declared coffee safe and fish unsafe.
Born, nurtured, and grown to 1,000 employees, the DTSC incited public outrage over alarming stories of hazardous toxic chemical waste sites and road spills. Hundreds of industrial and military sites come under its authority. Citizens blame their bad health upon some dump, factory, farm, or refinery close by.
Cancer clusters have no scientific validity. They do provide perfect justifications for radical solutions and profitable lawsuits, e.g., Erin Brokowitz vs. PG&E. Hysteria has been costly to people, businesses, and communities having their locations designated toxic.
The Superfund solution has been totalitarian, never ending, and immensely profitable to lawyers and remediation companies. A toxic site employee can spend a 30-year career cleaning up two sites. Yet since complying with the law is complex and costly, politically favored solar panels are exempted.
DTSC has taken the lead in seeking safer alternatives to toxic chemicals used in nail salons. California has thousands working in hazard waste teams responding to spilled milk and overturned trucks.
DPR is a complex bureaucracy dedicated to smothering regulation and the nation’s most stringent laws banning and restricting the use of the Devil’s own pesticides. California is the breadbasket of the world. Yet pesticide restrictions limit crop yields and increase prices for nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Food price increases from 2000 to 2019 were higher than they should have been with the overall cost of living. The alternatives, “organic” foods, cost an additional 20 percent, not to provide food safety, but to serve an eco-religion.
Since chemicals and farmers are guilty until proven innocent, DPR and Prop 65 extort users to pay “mill” taxes to research and register a chemical. The agency certifies and regulates users of “economic poisons” to ensure they are not recklessly fondling, handling, inhaling, drinking, or eating poison.
There is no link between disease and pesticide residues on food. Recently listed food recalls of the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are entirely for microbes, pathogens, bacteria, and viruses, not pesticides. The usual nanogram traces of pesticides are not harmful; only tens to thousands of grams are unhealthy.
Naturally occurring plant-derived insecticides such as Rotenone and Bergamottin are the most powerful. In contrast, glyphosate, Roundup, found in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, would take very mighty doses—200,000 pints of ice cream—to kill. That’s roughly six pints a day for 100 years. One will run out of ice cream and life before dying from Roundup cancer. EPA says Roundup is not carcinogenic, a memo not gotten by hysterical and deceived California juries.
The pesticide-free world willfully, if silently, protects killer species of pests and microbes—fungi, malarial mosquitoes, bubonic plague rats, Ebola fruit bats, E. coli, salmonella, listeria, vibrio cholera, etc. The death tolls from diseases far surpass deaths by chemicals. The ban on DDT protects mosquitoes that transmit deadly malaria, killing 1 million every year; a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds. Mosquitoes also spread dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and West Nile virus.
In protest of the insecticide malathion, a never-identified group called the “Breeders” claimed to introduce the Mediterranean fruit fly to California in 1980, causing an agricultural crisis. The flies have a voracious appetite for fruits and vegetables. Malathion kills mosquitoes, lice, fleas, and fruit flies, but it has a relatively low human toxicity. Yet protests arose out of fears of monstrous malathion, until B.T. Collin, Gov. Brown’s chief of staff, drank a glass of the stuff. An aerial application of two to three ounces of malathion per acre ended the crisis.
After a long political battle, DPR, with the help of the United Nations, banned methyl bromide but exempted strawberry growers. DPR appropriately ramped up protections for farm workers.
A spokesman for Picker’s Pesticide Action Network (PAN) accused the USEPA of being cozy with Dow Chemical by refusing to ban chlorpyrifos, an insect killer used on 60 crops on nearly a million acres in California. Because of alleged dangers to children (puppies?), DPR consulted with PAN and Earth Justice on a ban on chlorpyrifos. Preventing the reckless use of pesticides, Dow has withdrawn chlorpyrifos from home use.

Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) prohibits the “taking” of the lives or habitat of any endangered or threatened species of wildlife. With the help of the Feds, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has driven many loggers, farmers, miners (gold, sand, gravel), cowboys, and land owners out of California.
The ESA’s absolutist law and tyrannical regulators violate the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution by routinely taking, reducing, the value of private property without just compensation and due process of law. Protection of the delta smelt and various salmon has taken water away from urban and rural Californians. California’s protection of the spotted owl has killed tens of thousands of logging jobs and 70 percent of sawmills.
Along with CEQA, despite shortages, the ESA has halted the building of adequate numbers of homes, roads, dams, etc.

Trash: A Trivial Pursuit?

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) works hard for a perfectly “Zero Waste” regime. Otherwise, California’s 100 million acres might run out of space for landfills.
Recycling and “repurposing” California, a trash gestapo collects a tax, a “California Redemption Value,” of a mere 5 or 10 cents on each of 10 billion or so soda, beer, and juice cans and bottles a year. That’s real money, $100 a family and $1 billion a year. Californians are increasingly less interested in driving across town, consuming the planet’s most expensive gasoline, to reclaim piddling cash back.
Fewer and fewer are feeling virtuous about giving their free labor picking rags, sorting trash, fondling “post-consumer” garbage, and diving into dumpsters. Yet disobeying the trash kings and county code enforcement officers can lead to nasty notices, neighbors, and fines.
Yes, recycling aluminum uses only 4 percent of the energy to produce aluminum from bauxite ore. The remaining recycled material—glass, paper, and plastic—is, well, worthless garbage. It is too costly to collect, sort, process, and sell. No wonder so much meticulously sorted trash quietly goes directly to a landfill.
Sand for making glass is cheap. Trees for making paper are renewable. California has the nation’s largest offshore and shale oil reserves for making plastic.
It takes a lot of indoctrination, technology, and phony analyses to justify massive recycling. More people recycle than vote. How’s that for environmental indoctrination?

A Root Cause?

California’s education system, a wholly owned subsidiary of the California Teachers Association (CTA), successfully maintains the highest teacher salaries and the lowest student performances. It has driven math, English, logic, science, and civics out of California schools, keeping the serfs too ignorant, tired, or intimidated to object to eco-tyranny or any other kind.

What’s at Stake?

The Green Regime, especially in California, actively opposes the principles and institutions of the American Founders. In pursuit of eco-topia, environmental lords of the air, water, and land routinely violate the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that are mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as well as the explicit protections of individual rights in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The Green Regime, in spirit and practice, is contemptuous of American civilization and concepts of self-government.
Like King George, the Green Regime has “sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
It acts as if it were representative of either the divine rights of a sovereign king or a feudal noble lord, rather than ruling by the consent of a governed free people. Operating under absolutist rules, regulations, and laws, environmentalists care little about the rights of ordinary citizens.
By their words and deeds, the sovereign lords of environmental organizations and their regulations reveal their values. They hate capitalism and freedom, as proved by their assaults on automobiles, gasoline, cheap electricity, affordable single-family homes, cheap food, private property, corporations, agribusiness, factories, “dirty” jobs, hunting, mass recreation, industrialization, the U.S. Constitution, and American civilization.
In short, the natural rights in the Declaration of Independence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are loathsome things. The Green Regime hates human beings eating, drinking, bathing, and breathing. The Regime insists it is the “green” savior of Mother Earth from human desecration. Advocates of an eco-topia, they are often progressives or socialists. Their eco-topian ends justify totalitarian means.
These policies have destroyed the economy of California and the rights of its people. Environmental advocates declare that cheap food grown on large farms with pesticides is dangerous. They insist that milk, cow farts (methane), is destroying the ozone layer. They hold contempt for affordable “ticky-tacky” housing tracts where every fourth house is “a carbon copy.”
They attack the “perverse love” of the family car. They take private property, homesteads, and give them to favored species and a privileged few humans. They claim that plastic straws, bags, and tiny hotel shampoo bottles are polluting the Pacific Ocean.
They deify mud puddles, potholes, and ruts in the road as sacred vernal pools for fairy shrimp. They poke flags in dry streams and declare them “waters of the United States.” They insist they and only they are scientists, but they refuse to recognize inconvenient evidence from true sciences—meteorology, biology, medicine, pharmacy, physics, chemistry.
The Declaration’s answer is this: “When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
The Green Regime, buried deep within the American Republic, particularly on display in California, needs to be overturned. The rule of law will suffice, providing enough citizens have the courage to just say no in public, at the ballot box, and demand those reforms in law that are known to all who deal every day with Green Tyranny, particularly west of the Sierra, in California.
Roger Canfield

Roger Canfield


Roger Canfield has written four books on the political influence and intelligence operations of China inside the United States. He is a Navy veteran and has a bachelor's degree in political science and a doctorate in government from the Claremont Graduate University. He has twice been a Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress. His books can be found here:

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