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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • A socialist interpretation of biofuels issue

    April 12, 2007

    Among the many articles on biofuels proliferating recently, I came across this April 11 article in the magazine In These Times.

    While the writer David Moberg does point out some of the potential problems with the biofuels food-to-fuel rush, he thinks the answer is careful government regulation:

    Both sides in the debate marshal studies predicting promise or peril. Ultimately, the evidence suggests that biofuels could be one valuable source of renewable energy. But for biofuels to deliver on that promise, governments will need to both tightly regulate agricultural and land-use practices, and carefully tailor trade and economic policies. Most important, the world—especially the United States—will have to greatly increase how efficiently it uses energy.

  • Gore's new book will be "a visionary analysis"

    April 12, 2007

    Just saw on Amazon that former Vice President Al Gore has another book coming out soon. The new book, titled The Assault on Reason — due out May 22 — is just in time to balance John Kerry's new book, This Moment on Earth and Barack Obama's current bestseller, The Audacity of Hope.

    According to its description, Al's book will go far beyond the theme of global warming and provide —

    A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration [sic] of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason.

  • The Don Imuses of Environmentalism

    April 12, 2007
    Here are some outrageous and racist comments by environmentalists. These are compiled and documented in my book Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism Is Hazardous to Your Health. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club: Muir said American Indians are "mostly ugly, and some of them altogether hideous." They "seemed to have no right place in the landscape," he continued. Muir is still honored without qualification on the Sierra Club web site, which proclaims, "John Muir is as relevant today as he was over 100 years ago." Paul Ehrlich, influential "overpopulation" guru and professor of population studies at Stanford University: In his best-selling book, The...
  • Smearing Coal

    April 11, 2007
    Readers of the Wall Street Journal this morning will have noticed several really expensive ads depicting pretty faces smeared with coal dust and the headline "Face it: Coal is filthy." I wrote about this on The NRO Corner when these ads started running in Texas. They aren't financed by the usual enviro groups, but by a shadowy organization called the Clean Sky Coalition. As is its right, it doesn't reveal its funding, but the Austin American Statesman discovered that it is funded by natural gas corporations. It's as clear as case of bootleggers joining baptists as you could ever find. The...
  • More from Monbiot today

    April 10, 2007

    The Guardian columnist George Monbiot today has yet another article attacking global warming deniers — to wit: “There is climate change censorship - and it's the deniers who dish it out.”

    Not much new in the column — but the comments posted are often fun — from the slavish paraphrases of “Oh George, you're so insightful!” to those hoping that mankind will indeed erase itself from the earth --


    April 10, 2007 9:33 AM

    Rich and poor will all be affected if we allow our planet to die. This planet doesn't need us to keep it going it will carry on long after we are gone. But it would have freed itself from the flea like planet draining creatures such is mankind.
    There are, surprisingly, numerous comments from more informed...
  • Jogging with Laurie David

    April 10, 2007
    On the Huffington Post today, global warming campaigner Laurie David opines about the weather in Dallas as she takes her morning run:
    Time magazine had it right when they described the planet's illness from global warming as being sick with the flu and going from night shivers to a cold sweat. That is exactly what is happening. 70 degrees in January and 40 degrees in April.
    What's really interesting is that most of the comments take issue with her post. Here they are:

    Comments :

    Laurie I thought it was getting warmer not colder. We have a warm January and everyone says it's proof of global warming; we have the coldest February in a century and everyone says it proof of global warming. When it rains, it's proof; when it snows it's...
  • Not Good Enough

    April 9, 2007
    One of the baffling things about the IPCC Working Group II document released on Friday is how much it ignores mankind's ability to progress. Time after time it fails to take into account any increase in adaptive capacity as the world gets richer. Essentially, it assumes we spend all our money on iPods while our feet get wet. But it's even worse than that. Indur Goklany sums it up:
    In the few cases where they consider that existing technologies will be adopted more widely because of increasing wealth, these studies don't generally allow for new technologies. This is the case for some of the studies of agricultural production and hunger, for example. These studies estimate impacts for 2085 using technologies from the 1990s or earlier. This is like estimating today's food production and levels of hunger using technologies from the 1910s! You are bound to...
  • Misguided ethanol policy helps drive up food prices

    April 9, 2007
    Here's another article — front-page Wall Street Journal (subscription needed) — that notes the shift from food to fuel production (e.g., corn-based ethanol) is helping to drive up the cost of food worldwide and adding to inflationary pressures. While the article doesn't mention the U.S. government's policy of ethanol subsidies and tax breaks, it's surely a major factor in the ethanol boom. Check out recent posts on this issue here and here.
  • Hurricane forecaster calls Gore "gross alarmist"

    April 9, 2007
    In an article posted on WWL-TV in New Orleans on April 6, Dr. William Gray, the prominent hurricane forecaster, took aim at Al Gore's global warming predictions and was quoted as calling him “a gross alarmist.” Dr. Gray also made news in his final presentation that same day at the National Hurricane Conference in the city still stricken by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his speech Dr. Gray dismissed the linkage of hurricane activity to global warming and said that climate change was mostly due to ocean circulation patterns. Gray and his forecasting team are predicting a very active hurricane season this year -- 17 named storms, with nine of those becoming hurricanes.
  • Re: "Vanity, vanity"...

    April 6, 2007
    Regarding Fran's post earlier today on Vanity Fair's new "Green Issue" -- I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure it's all very fair and high minded. After all, the mag does have a section called "Fame & Scandal" featuring celebrity photos (including some of Annie Leibovitz's increasingly amusing exercises in visual...


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