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Where’s Gore?

“The biggest environmental problem in the world today is not global warming. Not even close.”

So writes Thomas Rooney, president of Insituform Technologies in Chesterfield, Mo., the world’s largest sewer, oil and water-pipe repair company. He’d read our item this week on Christopher C. Horner’s new book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism.”

“The biggest environmental problem … in America makes 3.5 million people sick every year. Researchers at [University of California at Los Angeles] and Stanford say the number is even bigger,” Mr. Rooney writes. “That problem is, of course, broken sewer pipes polluting waterways, swimming areas and drinking water all over the world.”

The Environmental Protection Agency reported 73,000 sewer spills in the United States last year, he says, adding that the reason for the “epidemic” is simple: Most sewer pipes were built 60 or more years ago — but meant to last 50 years.

“Cities are neglecting them. And people are getting sick,” he says. “We’ve seen more bad pipes than anyone. But no one is connecting the dots. It’s the largest — and most ignored — environmental problem in America.”

Talking food

Tom Fitzmorris, the renowned New Orleans restaurant critic (he was born on Mardi Gras in New Orleans) will broadcast his long-running (32 years) radio show, “The Food Show,” this week from Acadiana, the popular Southern Louisiana-style restaurant on New York Avenue NW.

We read in the food critic’s bio that his “passion for eating began with his mother’s classic Creole cooking and grows in intensity every day.”

Mr. Fitzmorris’ first restaurant review was published in 1972. Since then, he has achieved the distinction of Certified Culinary Professional from the International Association of Culinary Professionals — one of only two CCPs, as they’re called, in Louisiana.

He also is past editor of the weekly newspaper Figaro and the monthly New Orleans Magazine.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washing