March 27, 2015
Mark Steyn reminds us: Regulations can kill (WTC edition)
Safety third, people. Safety third.
…it should cause us to reflect on whether we have spent too much time in the last 14 years controlling things – doors, items you take on the plane – and not enough time looking at psychological motivations…
As a general rule, when something happens at 30,000 feet, the government regulators aren’t up there with you, and what determines whether anyone survives or not is whether the fellows who are present have the freedom to act – or whether the regulatory regime has put too many obstacles in the way. On the Germanwings flight, the captain might well have saved the plane – but the impenetrable door was too big an obstacle to overcome.
(Richard Fernandez points out a similar death-by-doors on September 11th – 200 people died in the elevators of the World Trade Center because it was assumed that the safest thing to do when an elevator stalls is immediately to disable the doors and keep everyone inside until the professionals can get to them.)
PS an oldie but goodie: Ooops! Thanks, enviro-wackos!
The use of asbestos ceased in the 1970s following reports of asbestos workers becoming ill from high exposures to asbestos fibers. The Mt. Sinai School of Medicine’s Irving Selikoff had reported that asbestos workers had higher rates of lung cancer and other diseases. Selikoff then played a key role in the campaign to halt the use of asbestos in construction.
In 1971, New York City banned the use of asbestos in spray fireproofing. At that time, asbestos insulating material had only been sprayed up to the 64th floor of the World Trade Center towers…
Levine’s company, Asbestospray, was familiar with the World Trade Center construction, but failed to get the contract for spraying insulation in the World Trade Center. Levine frequently would say that “if a fire breaks out above the 64th floor, that building will fall down.” (…)
Selikoff was certainly right to point out that some workers heavily exposed to certain types of asbestos fibers were at increased risk of disease. But Selikoff was wrong to press the panic button about any use of or exposure to asbestos. For example, no adverse health effect has ever been attributed to Levine’s technique of spraying wet asbestos, according to Harvard’s Wilson.
We may now be paying a horrible price for junk science-fueled asbestos hysteria.