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OpenMarket: March 2007

  • Global warming latest

    March 13, 2007
    A few days to catch up on, so here are quite a lot of global warming-related stories you may have missed:
    • China will not be engaging in carbon trading internally
    • Britain wants to debate global warming at the UN Security Council
    • ...while UK government departments are missing their own targets on emissions
    • A senior climatologist suggests that those scientists engaged in building climate models are in fact merely...
  • IP Block Connecticut

    March 13, 2007
    The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill that would require social networking sites, such as MySpace or Facebook, to verify the age of users of the site or face a fine of up to $5000 per day. One of the highlights of State Attorney General Blumenthals's testimony (a chief architect of the bill) now posted on the state AG's website, is this choicey tidbit, "If we can put a man on the moon -- or invent the Internet -- we can reliably check ages." The development expenses of an ID system, Apollo-like project or not, can be easily born by MySpace or Facebook, both multi-million dollar firms.  However, many smaller sites may have to be taken down altogether if they fail to meet this burden.  It seems that MySpace and Facebook would end up benefiting from this as...
  • Roberts' All-Too-Numerous Rules

    March 12, 2007
    CNN anchor Thomas Roberts has come forward with a story about how a Catholic priest abused him as a child. Roberts went through a terrible experience. By coming forward, he has shown tremendous courage. I admire him. His abuser, however, spent only 10 month in prison and another 8 in home detention. That just isn't enough. Like everyone else with a pulse and a moral center, I hate pedophiles. If it did not create a perverse incentive to commit murder, I would support the death penalty for all second-time child molesters. But the desire for "more laws to protect our children" has had the perverse consequence of confusing the entire issue. Child pornography, to my knowledge, has never been legal anywhere in the United States. Every state has an age-of-consent law. No school district, summer camp, or day care center...
  • Everyday Kerry

    March 12, 2007
    Call it a case of Oscar Envy or simply the road more well-traveled, but Saturday's Boston Globe featured a headline, "Kerry's new book hails everyday people saving the environment." The piece opens by noting that Kerry's “bitter” defeat inspired him to author an environmental tome about how each of us can do such little yet surprising things to save our planet. From the jet-setting super wealthy presumably. Heck, we just might be a couple more bitter Democratic defeats from achieving Eden. Or at least a full row on the bookshelf.Kerry menaces...
  • Selective Support for Democracy

    March 12, 2007
    In response to a federal appeals court's decision Friday striking down the District of Columbia's gun ban, the head of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which filed court briefs in support of the ban, denounced the decision. He argued that because the elected D.C. Council enacted the gun ban, the court's decision to strike it down "negated the democratically-expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia." That's a curious argument for the Brady Center to make, since it has often sought to circumvent both the will of democratically-elected legislatures and gun-rights measures enacted by voters in referenda. For example, it has fought to overturn laws, such as the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) passed by Congress, that protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits over gun crimes...
  • Martians United Aginst Global Warming

    March 12, 2007
    More evidence today that climate change could be the result of variation in solar luminosity, courtesy of the National Post (via Marc Morano at EPW):
    Mars's ice caps are melting, and Jupiter is developing a second giant red spot, an enormous hurricane-like storm. The existing Great Red Spot is 300 years old and twice the size of Earth. The new storm -- Red Spot Jr. -- is thought to be the result of a sudden warming on our solar system's largest planet. Dr. Imke de Pater of Berkeley University says some parts of Jupiter are now as much as six degrees Celsius warmer than just a few years ago. Neptune's moon, Triton, studied in 1989...
  • Who will foot Europe's emissions bill?

    March 12, 2007
    By now you've read about the EU's purported “binding” promise (again) to lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, during the announcement of which the ritual Euro-speak was on full, enthusiastic display. 'We can once again say to the rest of the world, Europe is taking the lead, you should join us in fighting climate change', said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. He called the deal ‘the most ambitious package ever agreed by any institution on energy security and climate change'.” Yes, you could say that. And most in Brussels generally do, no matter what the facts say. It appears that U.S.-based AP got carried away with EU self-congratulation in a way that German media, or the Polish...
  • The Devil Inside

    March 12, 2007

    When the White House published the Climate Action Report (CAR) in 2002, it did so in very misguided fashion.  This is because the document constitutes a catalogue of U.S. “policies and measures” relating to anthropogenic climate change, according to the Rio Treaty Articles 4.2 and 12.  This is a bad thing because the Administration believed that it could appease global warming alarmists without risk by leaving in controversial conclusions so long as it added qualifiers...
  • Cool reception to Australian Global Warming Program

    March 12, 2007
    An amusing story out of Australia: Execs at a television network are scratching their heads over why their fellow Australians didn't watch a show about how they can save the planet. Research showed viewers would be interested in watching a two-and-a-half hour long special on ways to save the planet, but ratings for the program were dismal. What were viewers actually watching that night? Grey's Anatomy and CSI.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity for Wal-Mart?

    March 12, 2007
    A poll commissioned by Wal-Mart (third item down) found that the negative publicity surrounding the world's largest retail chain has had hardly any effect on shoppers. Maybe groups like Wal-Mart Watch need to stop and think whether they're actually driving customers to the store. Maybe not. And I'm sure Wal-Mart would rather not have all the bad publicity. But it's interesting how the efforts against the chain have not done more damage. Could it be that people really do prefer to pay lower prices for the things they want to buy?


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