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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Scientists disprove Impressionism

    December 11, 2006
    The term "impressionism" was originally meant as an insult, alleging that painters such as Claude Monet merely slapped a few strokes of paint onto a canvas until they had an "impression" of their subject. Many of the painters agreed, and adopted the soubriquet. How, for instance, did the impressionists tackle colors and sunlight?
    Instead of creating smoothly blended colors, the impressionists placed separate touches of vibrantly contrasting colors directly onto the canvas, sometimes without prior mixing on the palette, and allowed their brushstrokes to retain the liveliness and seeming spontaneity of a sketch. As a result their work appeared unfinished to many viewers, including the critic Leroy. Manet had encouraged this tendency in his paintings of the 1860s, in...
  • Black marketeers rejoice at UK government plan

    December 11, 2006
    The UK government is seriously thinking of introducing individual carbon rationing:
    Every citizen would be issued with a carbon "credit card" - to be swiped every time they bought petrol, paid an energy utility bill or booked an airline ticket - under a nationwide carbon rationing scheme that could come into operation within five years, according to a feasibility study commissioned by the environment secretary, David Miliband, and published today. In an interview with the Guardian Mr Miliband said the idea of individual carbon allowances had "a simplicity and beauty that would reward carbon thrift".
    It's hard to think of a crazier plan. The UK has a very small black market in comparison to most countries, but this would almost certainly make it a...
  • Cows Are Destroying the Earth

    December 11, 2006
    And I thought the IPCC Fourth Assessment (see below) was good news. Now I know that we humans really are off the hook when it comes to destroying the earth, the climate and everything. Turns out cows are to blame:
    Meet the world's top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane, or even George Bush: it is the cow. A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.
    I haven't taken the time to read through...
  • Thanks, UN, for Shrinking My Carbon Footprint by 25%

    December 11, 2006

    The latest iteration on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report on global warming it being eagerly awaited. While we bide our time, however, the leaks have begun. According to the Telegraph, it contains some bad news for the alarmist crowd:

    Mankind has had less effect on global warming than previously supposed, a United Nations report on climate change will claim next year.

    The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent.

    So this means past...

  • Do global warming fears justify protectionism?

    December 10, 2006
    Ever since the United States decided to push for "sustainable development" concepts to limiit free trade under the Shrimp-Turtle decision (for internal political reason - the traditional Baptist and Bootlegger phenomenon that Bruce Yandle long ago developed), thoughtful proponents of free trade have been aware that the WTO (World Trade Organization) rules were open to a form of pernicious green protectionism. The Shrimp-Turtle Case (see, for example, here ) was a dispute between the United States and several southeastern Asian nations regarding our desire to limit imports of shrimp from these nations. Our "case" was that their shrimp harvesting practices (their "failure" to use TEDs, turtle exclusion devices) were endangering "endangered" sea turtles (...
  • Marlo responds to Al Gore

    December 8, 2006
    CEI's Marlo Lewis' appearance on Oprah's show on Tuesday, Dec. 5, opposite Al Gore was via a taped two-minute segment juxtaposed against Gore's 30-minute plus live appearance.
    While Marlo's riposte was right-on, Gore -- in the studio with Oprah -- discounted Marlo's views with no opportunity for debate. Here's Marlo's response to Gore's statements -- posted on YouTube.
  • EIA: Fossil fuels will provide same 86% share in 2030

    December 7, 2006
    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts continuing strong demand for fossil energy. EIA's just-released Annual Energy Outlook 2007 states: “Despite the projected rapid growth of biofuels and other non-hydroelectric renewable energies and the expectation of the first new orders for nuclear power plants in over 25 years, oil, coal, and natural gas are nonetheless projected to provide roughly the same 86 percent share of the total U.S. primary energy supply in 2030 as they did in 2005 absent changes in existing laws and regulations.” This is all the more surprising given that EIA also projects ethanol use to grow "from 4 billion gallons in 2005 to 11.2 billion gallons in 2012 and 14.6 billion gallons (about 8 percent of total gasoline consumption by volume) in 2030," and projects real world crude oil prices in 2030 "to reach over $59 per barrel in 2005 dollars, or...
  • Look Out for Hurricane Fred

    December 7, 2006
    Our fearless leader, Fred Smith, is on the road again, spreading the good news of free markets and limited government. Yesterday he spoke to a student audience at Furman University, hosted by the campus group Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow.
    Fred engaged the audience on "The Politics of Climate Change," and the kids were nice enough to thank him with a lovely framed watercolor of what I assume is the campus and its surrounding area in Greenville, South Carolina. And they say the youth of today have no manners.
  • Let Them Use Solar

    December 7, 2006
    It's a heart-warming ad, literally. A poverty-striken mother and daughter sit freezing in their unheated home in the dead of winter, trying to warm themselves with a small cooking stove. But then a fuel truck pulls up and a band of smiling deliverymen pile out and fill up the family's oil tank. Now they'll be warm. The tagline, if I remember it correctly from when I saw the tv spot earlier this week, is “low-cost oil for those in need, brought to you by the good people of Venezuela and Citizens Energy.” Now there's been quite a bit of controversy over Hugo Chavez's program to distribute discount-priced oil to the needy in this country. But I've got a question about...
  • To Play the King

    December 6, 2006
    Prince Charles has decided his staff should bicycle everywhere and that he himself should practice what he preaches, up to a point:
    Although aides have been looking into his catching an ordinary commuter train from Kemble station, near his Highgrove estate, Gloucs, they said yesterday that he was yet to use it. Travelling by public transport would the most environmentally-friendly mode for the prince, who has said it was his desire to reduce carbon emissions — and not his advancing years — that led to his decision to give up playing polo, because time restrictions forced him to catch a helicopter to games. But, inevitably, there are security issues. A first-class carriage would have to be sealed off and guarded. Royal accounts show that it...

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