You are here

OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Vote for Alternative Energy with Your Feet

    October 19, 2006
    Tokyo rail users will now be expected to not only pay for their own tickets, but also to power the machines that sell them. "A Tokyo rail company has put footstep-powered generators under its ticket-vending machines; the tread of passengers generates electricity to power the machines." Another wonderful thing from Boing Boing.
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Revisited

    October 18, 2006
    Marc Morano over at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is drawing our attention today to an op-ed in L'Express last month by distinguished French geophysicist Claude Allegre making the scandalous claim that "the cause of climate change remains unknown." I guess Mr. Allegre didn't get the memo that every scientist in the world has already agreed otherwise, as we are constantly reminded. One wonders how many dozens of prominent climate skeptics will have to crowd onto the public stage before the alarmists acknowledge that they exist.
  • The Newest/Oldest Lesson: Why Energy Is Bad

    October 17, 2006
    In reference to my previous post about morally righteous (anti-) global warming celebrities, I suggested that those who are horrified by CO2 emissions should curtail al energy-intensive activities until some technology such as cold fusion is perfected. A dedicated reader reminded me, however, that the global warming alarmists aren't so much energy future optimists as they are anti-energy Malthusians. Good call. One of the best examples of this truth is a quote from one of our old sparring partners, Paul Ehrlich. Prof. Ehrlich, a man, by the way, with a worse public gambling record than Bill Bennett, when confronted...
  • It's Tough Out There for a Morally-Consistent Performer

    October 17, 2006
    Tired of loosely-informed celebrities nagging you about global warming? It's beginning to look like the most hard core among them could end up taking themselves out of the fame game of their own accord. The lead singer of Radiohead, Thom Yorke, has suggested that taking a band on tour is immoral because of all the atmosphere-killing CO2 that is emitted in the process - even when the hip kids on the bus have purchased carbon credits to offset their emissions. Clearly, he's on to something here. Anything that uses any energy is evil - taking a rock band on a world tour and flipping on a lightswitch is merely a difference of scale. Thus, performing and making music (or movies, or whatever) is itself essentially immoral. Until the alternative energy crowd brings us the magic technologies that are perenially "just around...
  • A Storm of Scientific Controversy on Capitol Hill

    October 17, 2006

    The CEI email server is abuzz this morning with news of an upcoming briefing on global warming and hurricanes being put on by the American Meteorological Society. Will the assembled panel give us real data and empirical observations, or a lot of emotionally-fueled nonsense? Only attendees will know for sure. If you plan on being in the vicinity of the Russell House Office Building this Friday between noon and 2pm, stop in for an unpriced buffet lunch and lots of climate talk.

    For our take on the global warming, hurricanes and the (public policy) aftermath of Katrina, see this, by Marlo and Iain.

  • When Cosmic Rays Attack

    October 16, 2006

    Our friend Steve Milloy has an excellent column on a new global warming study out of Denmark, and the unsurprising reasons it doesn't seem to be getting the coverage every alarmist publication does.

  • Making Decisions on the Fly

    October 13, 2006
    Our occasional journalisitic nemesis George Monbiot, as part of the promotional flurry surrounding his new book, is taking the presidents and directors of big green groups in the UK to task. Are they not working hard enough? As it turns out, they're working all too hard, traveling all over the globe for conferences and speeches and - you guessed it - emitting that ole devil called CO2 everywhere they go. Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth responded to the scolding with an appeal to necessity, saying “We do all we can to cut travel but we need to do some flying to make decisions.” It's not clear why airborne decision making is so essential to running a large organization, but I guess that...
  • Tobacco Litigation Update

    October 3, 2006
    In Schwab v. Philip Morris, a federal judge in Brooklyn recently approved a class-action racketeering lawsuit against tobacco companies on behalf of millions of smokers of "light" cigarettes. Up to 30 million smokers will be able to sue based on allegations that the tobacco companies exaggerated the health benefits of smoking “light” rather than regular cigarettes. Many smokers compensate for the reduced nicotine in light cigarettes by inhaling more deeply or smoking more cigarettes. That offsets much of the health benefits of light cigarettes. The tobacco giants apparently suspected as much but didn't tell the public. This ruling has triggered debate, since the Federal Trade Commission arguably approved the tobacco companies' use of the “lights” label, as the Illinois Supreme Court concluded last year when it quashed another class action lawsuit against the tobacco companies. But...
  • Liveblogging an Environment Debate

    October 2, 2006
    The Conservative Party Conference in the UK are discussing the environment this afternoon. The Conservatives have rebranded themselves as a green party, fully in favor of restrictions on carbon emissions. The spokesman in favor of these policies is terribly posh. Questions from the floor have been very hostile to new taxes, and have pointed out the economic costs of higher fuel prices and air travel. One lady pointed out that she went to the Alps by train. The "opposition" spokesman pointed out those trains are powered by nuclear power, which the Tories are also against.
  • "Until some of these scientists are dead."

    September 25, 2006
    Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York City, became a darling of the left by claiming that the Bush Administration tried to censor or suppress his personal opinions on global warming public policy questions. (If they did, they did a poor job.) But Dr. Hansen has quite a record of trying to suppress the expression of opposing views. This summer he refused to testify before a House committee hearing on the grounds that the committee had invited a scientist (Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville) who made the mistake of not conforming his views to Dr. Hansen's. On a television debate broadcast on October 24th, Dr. Hansen complained that one of the five panelists held views that he considers objectionable. He also told the Associated Press in a story published Sept. 24th that "Some of this noise won't stop until some of...

Pages

Subscribe to OpenMarket: Energy and Environment