November 16, 2006 9:27 AM
The lede of this Washington Post article ["Loudoun Excluded From Utility Route"] is jarring to me:
Dominion Virginia Power has excluded most of Loudoun County as a potential route for a power line in northwestern Virginia, putting to rest fears that steel lattice towers and high-voltage cables would slice through parts of the county with deep natural and historic significance.
We're supposed to feel "fear" because of pretended offended aesthetics? What about the "historical significance" of electric power itself? Iain Murray's oped ["What Will We Do When America's Lights Go Out?"] on the sorry shape of our electricity...
November 15, 2006 3:04 PM
Some may think that; we couldn't possibly comment.
November 15, 2006 1:43 PM
In Kelo v. New London (2005), the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 that private property (like your home) could be seized by the government for use by a politically-connected developer. That eroded property rights a lot.
The 3 conservative justices (Rehnquist, Thomas, and Scalia) dissented from this ruling gutting property rights, along with one “moderate” (O'Connor), while the 4 liberal justices and one “moderate” (Kennedy) joined in the majority opinion gutting property rights. (Since then, two of the dissenters have retired or died).
Now, thanks to the GOP's loss of the Senate, there won't be any conservative appointments to the Supreme Court for a long time. At least, that's what Democratic leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) promises. He says the Senate's new Democratic...
November 15, 2006 12:30 PM
Today's Washington Post carries a full-page ad by BP boasting that the company, which calls itself “beyond petroleum,” is “investing up to $8 billion over the next ten years in solar, wind, natural gas and hydrogen to provide low carbon electricity.”
“By 2015,” the ad continues, “we estimate that our business will eliminate CO2 emissions by 24 million metric tons a year. It's a start.”
Let's put this in perspective. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), world CO2 emissions in 2004 totaled 27,043 million metric tons. EIA projects that world CO2 emissions will increase to 33,663 million metric tons by 2015. So BP is investing $8 billion to eliminate 7/100ths of 1% of annual CO2 emissions in 2015...
November 15, 2006 11:09 AM
Tony Blair is resisting demands from the environmental pressure groups and, err, the Conservative Party to impose annual targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the quite sensible reasons that this will be disastrous for British industry. The other party speaking sense on the issue is the UK Independence Party, which is now the closest thing the land of Margaret Thatcher has to a libertarian party.
Coincidentally, a Conservative MP described global warming in the following terms today:
"Climate Change is the defining issue of our age. Previous generations had to deal with the rise of Nazism or communism. This is the issue on which my...
November 10, 2006 11:51 AM
Jacob Sullum over at Reason reviews two of the latest books on weight loss industry and the obsession with the obesity "epidemic" in America. He summarizes his reaction with the simple plea: "Lay off the fatties. They're not hurting anybody - maybe not even themselves."
Link from Arts & Letters Daily.
November 10, 2006 11:25 AM
A new study finds an increasing number of doctors using information from Internet searches to help diagnose illnesses:
The internet search engine Google has added another impressive string to its bow - by helping doctors diagnose illnesses, according to a new study.
Researchers found that almost six-in-10 difficult cases can be solved by using the world wide web as a diagnostic aid.
Doctors fight disease by carrying about two million facts in their heads but with medical knowledge expanding rapidly, even this may not be enough.
November 10, 2006 10:58 AM
Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has a bracing take on the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change today:
[Based on the report's findings] no one could fail to conclude that we should conquer global warming instantly, if not sooner. Who could disagree? Well, me. Stern's headlined conclusions are intellectual fictions. They're essentially fabrications to justify an aggressive anti-global-warming agenda. The danger of that is we'd end up with the worst of both worlds: a program that harms the economy without doing much to cut greenhouse gases.
Let me throw some messy realities onto Stern's tidy picture. In the debate over global warming, there's a big gap between public rhetoric (which verges on hysteria) and public behavior (which...
November 10, 2006 8:10 AM
Barbara Boxer is slated to replace James Inhofe as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and she's got big plans for global warming legislation. According to the Associated Press, "a top environmental aide at the White House signaled Thursday that the administration would work with Boxer."
November 9, 2006 11:52 AM
One of the least mentioned election day stories is that California - yes, California - rejected a punitive tax on oil production that would have funded alternative energy research:
Proposition 87 was portrayed as a battle between liberal Hollywood and Big Oil in a state that has long blazed a trail in environmental causes and has one of the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction laws in the world.
But the measure, which was bankrolled in large part by real estate heir and Hollywood producer Stephen Bing and would tax oil production in California for the first time, was criticized as likely to raise energy prices for consumers.
And Californians, who already pay some of the highest gas prices in the country, were seen as reluctant to tack on another tax, even in the name of progress...
Even the Los AngelesTimes,...