Thanks to James P. Hogan, I just found a maddening and saddening article from the September 2001 issue of Access to Energy about the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. The steel columns of these magnificent buildings were designed to resist fire for at least four hours. So why did Tower One collapse after 1:40 and Tower Two after only 0:56? Because the New York City government, in its infinite wisdom, outlawed the use of asbestos to protect the steel columns (and anything else) at the time that construction had reached the 64 floor. When Herbert Levine, the inventor of asbestos, heard about this, he commented "If a fire breaks out above the 64th floor, that building will fall down."
Access to Energy editor Art Robinson comments:
Asbestos was an early victim of junk science and enviro fear propaganda. These enviros were joined by opportunistic lawyers and businessmen who reaped large profits from the anti-asbestos pogram. There was not a shred of evidence that insulating buildings with asbestos was harmful to human health. The American economy paid the price of this wasteful campaign and, on September 11, 2001, an additional 5,000 people in the World Trade Center paid with their lives.
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal