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CARBON TAXES - MYRON EBELL
On the face of it, a carbon tax seems to have no chance of being enacted. However, its proponents have a clever strategy. They are trying to convince fiscally conservative Republicans to support a carbon tax as part of a much larger tax and budget deal that will reduce the federal deficit. The appeal of a carbon tax is not its minimal contribution to saving the planet from global warming, which has no appeal to Republicans in Congress and little appeal to the American public. Rather, the case for a carbon tax is that it would raise a huge amount of revenue.
GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE - MARLO LEWIS
With Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) citing Hurricane Sandy as a reason to have another go at climate legislation, to say nothing of the media spin depicting Sandy as punishment for our fuelish ways, it’s useful to look at some actual science.
In a study published in the journal Climatic Change, scientists Michael Chenoweth and Dmitry Divine analyze the history of tropical cyclone activity in the Lesser Antilles from 1638 to 2009.
An obvious implication of the study, although not spelled out by the authors, is that natural variability dominates tropical storm activity in the Atlantic to the point that any global warming influence, if it exists, is still undetectable.
IMMIGRATION - DAVID BIER
This Friday, the House of Representatives will vote on the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429). The bill would allocate 55,000 green cards for foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities with Doctorate and Master’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, but it also eliminates all 55,000 visas under the Diversity Visa Program. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) warned that the bill will actually hurt legal immigration.