CEI Today: Global warming - media coverage, public opinion; and the federal transportation monopoly
MEDIA ON GLOBAL WARMING - WILLIAM YEATMAN
Earlier this week, I wrote about how Washington Post Wonkblog contributor Brad Plumer misread a report on which he blogged. Today, his colleague Ezra Klein devoted another Wonkblog post to an erroneous thesis—namely, that opposition to climate policies like cap-and-trade is a strictly partisan matter.
GLOBAL WARMING - MYRON EBELL
"Four years ago, climate change was a hot issue and politicians from both sides seemed poised to act. Today public opinion on the climate issue has cooled considerably. Politicians either ignore it or proclaim their skepticism. What’s behind this massive reversal? On Oct 23, FRONTLINE goes inside the organizations that fought the scientific establishment to shift the direction of the climate debate."
CEI's Myron Ebell explains why questionable science and the war on affordable energy have made more Americans doubt global warming alarmism.
THE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION MONOPOLY - MARC SCRIBNER
Mr. Mead correctly identifies three major problems facing infrastructure funding: nimbyism, cronyism and an outdated vision of what infrastructure ought to be. However, there is a greater underlying problem: the concentration of infrastructure spending decisions in Washington. For example, the national highway system's major corridors are funded 80% by the federal government and only 20% by the states.
The stated purpose of federal funding of transportation infrastructure is to promote interstate mobility. But this funding arrangement reduces local accountability, leading to pork-barrel infrastructure investments of dubious value at the expense of maintaining or reconstructing existing infrastructure. These misallocations reduce the long-run efficiency of the network, costing more than just government largess.
If all infrastructure investment decision-making were to be devolved to the states, investment in wasteful projects would still occur but not with the same high frequency as under the federal status quo. Removing Washington from the equation is the only way for Mr. Mead's 21st-century vision to be realized.