Ironies 

Evils of Renewable Energy: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick calls the Evergreen Solar Panel manufacturing plant in the town of Devens "the leading edge of our clean energy economy," but neighbors continue to complain vociferously about the dizzying, 24-hour-a-day noise. According to a June Boston Herald story, farmers report that their horses are developing ulcers and that other animals are behaving strangely. 

Four hundred goats have mysteriously died since the installation of eight noisy, 24-hour-a-day wind turbines in the Penghu region in Taiwan, according to a Council of Agriculture official cited in a May Reuters report.

Sexual Confusion: Researchers from the University of British Columbia nursing school reported in December that lesbian and bisexual high school girls are seven times more likely to get pregnant than other girls. A leading hypothesis is that those girls may try to disguise their sexual identity by uninhibited heterosexual behavior.

Addressing a conference in Hobart, Australia, in May, professor Julie Quinlivan, dean of the University of Notre Dame Australia's medical school, said that for disadvantaged teenage girls, becoming pregnant is a good thing, teaching a sense of responsibility that may otherwise not develop. Such teen mothers were more likely to stop smoking, stay in school and find jobs.

Even though life and health insurance companies now routinely penalize smokers with higher premiums (or by refusing their business), the companies themselves own tobacco company stock worth at least $4.4 billion, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine report. Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 400,000 Americans die prematurely each year due in part to smoking (burdening life insurance companies but perhaps sparing health insurers from having to pay out over longer lifetimes).

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