California: Where 7 x 13 = 28
By: Hector M. Barajas
No wonder California kids suck at math and critical thinking.
Just look deep inside the bureaucratic bowels of California government, where mathematically logic is repeatedly twisted into insane, nonsensical pretzels configured to create phantom problems necessary for justifying regulatory and policy solutions . . . oh, and let’s not forget government jobs.
It is reminiscent of a classic Abbott & Costello skit where the comedians are so passionate and determined to convince us that 7 x 13 = 28.
We can find this lack of appreciation for math in any number of California agencies, where mush-headed proposals are currently under consideration.
In the Los Angeles region, for example, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is hell bent on killing off metal finishing businesses by erroneously suggesting that the industry is spewing dangerous levels of hexavalent chromium.
The AQMD is taken to task in the Compton Herald, where a local chamber representative wrote: ‘In the past few months, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) decided to randomly adopt an emission limit 1,000 times lower than anywhere else in the world. The SCAQMD also changed its enforcement policy and began bullying companies with indefensible notices of violations.”
But bad science is rampant elsewhere, too, and it is threatening other businesses, like farming in the case of a risk assessment proposed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) relating to chlorpyrifos. The pesticide is used safely to protect crops from damaging insects in the United States, Europe and throughout the world.
The only place chlorpyrifos is causing heartburn is, you guessed it, California.
Why? Well, let’s get back to the fact the CDPR is using discredited science and ridiculous assumptions to proposing buffer zones that will take farmland out of production.
Basically, the folks at the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) have created the following model for assessing risk: Chlorpyrifos is dangerous to children assuming that for 21 straight days a 2-year-old is standing near a field being treated with chlorpyrifos.
Wow. That makes a lot of sense.
These bureaucrats either have never raised a 2-year-old or farmed. Kids would never stand in one place for 21 straight days. And if a farmer is spraying pesticides for three weeks straight, he’s likely fighting zombies and going broke in the process.
And consider that California is hanging its hat on one discredited study and not the body of science.
Honestly. This is how businesses are being regulated?
Come on California. We’re better than this.
Hector M. Barajas is a public affair expert and political analyst for Univision.