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OpenMarket: Lands and Wildlife

  • House Republicans' Shortsighted Proposal to Fund Roads through More Drilling

    November 16, 2011
    Recently, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed opening up more federal land and offshore areas to natural resource extraction. Such a move would both increase domestic energy production and raise government revenues through royalty payments. During the current economic slump and resulting fiscal crunch, anything that can increase the quantity of energy supplied and reduce government deficits should be lauded. But what some Republican members of Congress propose to spend these revenues on is far from laudable. Led by House Speaker John Boehner, some in the Republican caucus wish to pour oil and natural gas lease revenues into the Highway Trust Fund, which has suffered from severe shortfalls for several years now. Right now, a six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal ("the...
  • Seven Billion People

    October 31, 2011
    Sometime today, the UN estimates that world population will hit 7 billion people. Some people are worried about how those 7 billion mouths will be fed.
  • White House Involved in FDA Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon?

    October 13, 2011
    A couple of days ago, Talking Points Memo's Jim Kozubek reported that the Food and Drug Administration had finally decided to approve AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, and that the "evaluation is now under review at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget." I'd seen the TPM article, but didn't write about it at the time because premature reports of FDA being on the brink of approval have been filtering out through the media for several years now. (I filmed a TV interview for Fox News's “Your World With Neil Cavuto” way back in 2005, when it looked like an approval was right around the corner, for example. And I talked about it again on...
  • Green Zealots Target Maryland Students

    September 1, 2011
    The Maryland State Board of Education passed a new curriculum requirement on June 21, 2011. Instead of gaining competence in math or science, students are now required to graduate with a proficiency in "environmental literacy." This is merely a euphemism for indoctrination into climate alarmism and a "green" agenda -- both are tools the left uses to justify intervention into the market economy. As I write in The Washington Times:
    According to the program’s curriculum, environmental literacy means turning children into central planners. For instance, it instructs students to “[d]evelop a strategy for fair distribution of a limited amount of energy available within a community,” and to create a “plan for the fair consumption of goods” and “eliminate…unnecessary consumption of goods....
  • An Alaskan Mining Project: One Example of How Environmental Regulations are Strangling the U.S. Economy

    June 2, 2011
    Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government notes here that one of the reasons the American economy is stuck in neutral is that investors in new projects are being stymied by environmental regulations. The example he gives is a huge proposed new copper and gold mine in Alaska called the Pebble Project that is being studied to death. The co-owners of the Pebble Project are a British and a Canadian company. They want to invest billions of dollars in a mine that would probably create close to a thousand high-paying jobs for at least fifty years. It would also add tens of billions of dollars to the American economy and pay billions of dollars in royalties to the State of Alaska, which owns the land and subsurface rights. The Pebble Project's owners have reportedly...
  • Greenland Flourishes Due to Global Warming and Climate Change

    May 16, 2011
    Alarmists have been decrying the effects of global warming on Greenland for years, even though Greenland was greenest during the Medieval Warm Period, and Greenland's Vikings, who flourished during that warm period, died out when cold temperatures returned, reducing them to starvation. (It was warmer in the year 1003 than 2003.) Now, the residents of Greenland, the world's largest island, are once again profiting from global warming, reports the Washington Post:
    “Rather than...
  • Prince Charles Says, "Let Them Eat Organic"

    May 5, 2011
    HRH the Prince of Wales delivered the keynote address at The Washington Post's "Future of Food" conference yesterday at Georgetown University. Tim Carman, from the Post's Lifestyle section, offers some brief thoughts on the Post blog here. Carman calls the speech "inspiring", quotes an organic advocate who was "really impressed" with it, and links to the prepared text, which you can find here. I thought it was a load of organic fertilizer, personally, so I submitted a lengthy comment, which I reproduce in full...
  • It's Nothing Death, Poverty, and Ignorance Can't Fix

    May 5, 2011
    The New York Times "Room for Debate" frets today about overpopulation (h/t Don Boudreaux). Julian Simon and liberty have long since come to the rescue, in case anybody's listening. As Fred Smith at the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out, people are not just mouths and stomachs; they're also hands and brains. So free them.
  • Human Achievement of the Day: Tree-Bombing Planes

    March 8, 2011
    As our frenemies over at Treehugger wrote last October about how Lockheed Martin had come up with an ingenious idea for its 2,500 decommissioned Hercules cargo planes: mass-planting of trees. As The Guardian reports, while these planes were once used for aerial assaults, they can now drop sapling-containing cones instead of land mines -- about 3,000 cones a minute or about 900,000 a day. According to Peter Simmons from Lockheed Martin:
    Equipment we developed for precision planting of fields of landmines can be adapted easily for planting trees. ...The tree...
  • Human Achievement of the Day: Turning Plastic Waste Back into Oil

    March 7, 2011
    This “human achievement of the day” is a true example of why we at CEI and many others around the world choose to celebrate the ingenuity expressed when individuals can exploit resources. Apart from increasing personal wealth and improving the quality of life for humans around the globe, it is technology, not “conservation,” that results in more “environmentally friendly” technologies. The machine that turns plastic waste into oil is just one example of this. The miracle of plastics: The invention of plastic is arguable one of the most important contributions to the improving quality of human life. Plastics are used in...

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