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OpenMarket: April 2007

  • Careful What you Wish for, Sheryl

    April 23, 2007
    Sheryl Crow should be careful what she wishes for. Iain's post on her green evangelist mission with Laurie David reminds me of a similar proposal that the late Frank Zappa made back in 1979, at the height of the Iran oil crisis: outlaw music. Remember, that was before CDs, so the way to buy music was on vinyl records, but LPs weren't the only thing in the music business consuming oil -- there's also the gas-guzzling buses and trucks that performers use to move themselves, and their equipment, around on tour; and don't forget about all the energy expended during an average concert to power amps, lights, etc. As Frank put it in the...
  • Re: You would need a heart of stone

    April 23, 2007
    Rationing toilet paper isn't all that Sheryl Crow is pursuing to save the planet. She recently told People magazine that she intends to ration...her taking showers.
    On a more serious note, Crow told PEOPLE: "When I learned how serious global warming is, I wanted to do something to help. So when [Laurie] and I were talking about what we could do, well, my answer to everything is to get on the bus and take it to the people, in true troubadour fashion." And what is Crow doing to be eco-friendly? "I try to wash my clothes in cold water as much as I can," she said. "I turn off lights in rooms that I'm not using. I drive a hybrid. I'm getting solar panels for my house." Joking with her guitarist, Tim Smith, she added...
  • Exposing Ethanol in the Centennial State

    April 23, 2007
    Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi has an excellent piece today on ethanol and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's enthusiastic embrace of it as a solution to virtually all of the state's energy and environmental problems. He gives particular notice to a new study by Stanford University's Mark Jacobson on the environmental downside to ever increasing ethanol use:
    [Gov.] Ritter claims E85 - an 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline blend - will help reduce imports, lower emissions, benefit corn growers and stimulate the economy. Only one of those contentions is provable: the corn-lobby benefits. [Prof. Mark] Jacobsen found that an E85 vehicle reduces atmospheric levels of two carcinogens, benzene and butadiene, but increases two others...
  • I've Certainly Got Laughter in My Heart

    April 23, 2007
    Iain, I agree that only the most humorless wretch could refrain from laughter in the face of the Sheryl Crow/Laurie David juggernaut of pretension. But as we know, these two green colossi do not stand alone. Following quick on Sheryl's suggestion of a maximum limit of three squares of toilet paper per restroom visit, come comments by venerable ABC newslady Diane Sawyer:
    Let's talk trees. The average American rips off three feet of toilet paper in each visit to the bathroom. Stack up the rolls of toilet paper and those 2,025 rolls of paper towels you've seen and the average lifetime of newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, and I alone, in my lifetime, will have chopped...
  • You would need a heart of stone

    April 23, 2007
    ...not to laugh at the sanctimony and earnestness displayed by the Global Warming Sistas Laurie David and Sheryl Crow in their blog. Here's Crow:
    Crow (4/19, Springfield, Tenn.): I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with...
  • Fun with Emissions Calculators

    April 23, 2007
    Inspired by John Whitehead, I decided to use the EPA emissions calculator to find out how much CO2 my household emits.Total emissions for my family of two adults and two children came out at 30,502 lbs of CO2. I used actual kwh and so on rather than price to base the calculations on, so that is a pretty accurate figure. It's actually probably too high as it includes a figure for unrecycled newspapers, and we don't get any. Average for a family of two is 41,500 lbs. Given that I am contributing 4.5 metric tons less social damage to the environment than the average family of two, never mind four, using Sir Nicholas Stern's figure of $85 per ton, I reckon I should be getting a check for $385 from a carbon offset company any day now to...
  • How Did You Celebrate Earth Day?

    April 23, 2007
    Iain raises an interesting question over at Planet Gore, and it's a good idea to follow up with it here. Yesterday was Earth Day, celebrated around the world by Hippie and Crunchy Con alike. Now, we might not have all celebrated in the same tribal drum-circle kind of way, but we all did something with yesterday's 24 hours. Below, Open Market contributors will be adding their experiences, starting with Iain's. Feel free to email in to with your own stories of what you did on the planet's Special Day:
  • Commercial Broadcast Radio with...No Commercials?

    April 23, 2007
    The New York Times Business section has an interesting story this morning on how one of Clear Channel's stations in Dallas is eliminating all of its 30 and 60 second commercial spots, because they've finally come to the conclusion that people hate listening to them. To replace that revenue, they're signing up sponsors for hour-long blocks of programming and tasking their DJs with working their products into conversation. Think something like this: "And that was 'Leaving on a Jetplane' by John Denver. You know, when I need to leave on a jet plane, I choose Southwest Airlines, and here's why..." This is obviously a response to the...
  • Africans in DC: Kick Bob Mugabe to the Curb

    April 20, 2007
    I tagged along with Team Bureaucrash this afternoon while Crasher Mercalic took some great video footage of today's anti-Mugabe rally in front of the Zimbabwean Embassy on New Hampshire Avenue. As it turns out, it wasn't just us here in DC who are fed up with the statist thug. Edinburgh University is being pressured to revoke an honorary doctorate they bestowed on Mugabe 23 years ago, as is the University of Massachusetts, which gave him an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1986. See the Flickr photos series from the rally here. ...
  • CEI Alumnus Superstar

    April 20, 2007
    Former Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow Tim Carney has distinguished himself yet again, this time with a fancy book award. He's the winner of the Laissez Faire Books Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty. That means that his excellent tome on big business rent-seeking, The Big Ripoff, is 2006's best book on liberty. Get your copy (at 36% off!) at the Laissez Faire Books website today.
    Big Ripoff cover


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