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  • One Light Bulb: $47.00

    August 23, 2007
    I came home Thursday to find an Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulb in my mailbox. I had ordered it on ebay and paid $47.00 for it. It's a five watt bulb that produces about a much light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb that costs about 70 cents to $2 or a 17 Watt compact florescent light bulb (CFL) that costs $5 to $10. A few observations: 1. I thought I was getting five light bulbs. (My fault for not reading better.) Instead, I got one bulb with five LEDs. So, unlike CFLs--which almost always save money in the long run--I will almost certainly not make my money back with this bulb unless energy prices soar. On the other hand, since it's in a lamp that I leave on almost all night every night, I will realize energy savings rather quickly. 2....
  • Battered Food Police and the Battle Against Trans Fats

    August 23, 2007
    The food fascists are every where. It's one thing for New York City to ban trans fats from city restaurants. But for the Great Indiana State Fair to do so is pure sacrilege. One might view this as a nod to making a healthier America, except for the fact that the foods served at the fair are decidedly--and thankfully--unhealthy. Reports the New York Times:
    The deep-fried Combo Plate may be a little more healthful this year at the Great Indiana State Fair. So say the fair's leaders, who, taking a step rarely seen in the realm of corn dogs and fried pickles, have banned oils with trans fats from all the fryers that line the grounds here...
  • Save the Planet, Reward Your Friends, Get Reelected

    August 23, 2007
    Is nothing sacred? Congress passes an energy bill in the name of fighting global warming, and what it best accomplishes is passing pork off to campaign supporters of leading legislators. Who would have imagined!?
  • Executive Summary of Peer-reviewed GW Science

    August 23, 2007
    Marc Morano has compiled a great list of the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies and quotes from scientists against alarmism. I have composed an executive summary from quotes from it for you all:
  • Markets Greener than Green Buidling Lobby

    August 23, 2007
    According to a story in today's Greenwire, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has conducted a survey showing that people in the real estate industry don't understand the cost-saving benefits of “green building.” Accordingly, the president of the organization concludes: "In order to achieve a step change in energy efficiency in buildings, there is a need for strongly supportive policies and regulatory frameworks." Hogwash. If such “green building” was saving money, there would be no need for government regulation and support. It is most likely that real estate professionals shun politically designed “green” building standards because they are foolish or even wasteful. CEI's study on the green building issue shows that, in fact,...
  • Is the Department of Pre-Regulation Coming Soon?

    August 23, 2007
    A disturbing development in the UK brings to mind CEI's own dystopian video, from this year's annual dinner. (Thanks to Megan McLaughlin for the news story link.)
  • State attorneys general target social networking sites

    August 23, 2007
    In the name of protecting teens from online predators, the nation's "worst attorney general" - Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal - is leading a crusade to force social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to verify the age of its users. See today's Wall Street Journal story, "Attorneys General Push To Shield Minors on Web." As if more pestering by state AGs will protect kids from harm! I debated Mr. Blumenthal on CNBC's "Street Sense" yesterday. He insisted that he's not seeking a heavy-handed government regulatory solution. Really? So what's the call for legislation all about then? The plans for forcing MySpace et al. to verify the age of its users? And the calls and subpoenas from the AG offices to...
  • A Lone Dissident Uncovers the Terrifying Truth Behind Government-Issued Carbon Offsets

    August 22, 2007
    What with the current mania for carbon offsets, I should have known it would happen eventually. In addition to the already burgeoning crowd of environmental outfits specializing in questionable science and creative economics, the ranks of carbon offset vendors has been joined by...the U.S. government. Thats right, fellow citizens, the U.S. Forest Service is now in the "voluntary" offset business. Just calculate your carbon footprint online and they'll quote you the price for your personalized indulgence, er, offset. My roughly calculated tab comes to $44.40 a year. Now that we know the price of our sinful energy consumption, all we have to do is write a check (or donate online!) to...
  • Alarming Waste

    August 22, 2007
    Today's Washington Post includes a story on bisphenol A, a chemical that has been used to make flexible, clear plastic products--including baby bottles--since the late 1950s. Numerous studies have found it poses insignificant risks, and no one has ever documented any adverse human health effects. The American Council on Science and Health provides an good overview of the science. Yet activist groups continue to hype the issue. In addition, a panel put together by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Health, says...
  • Jenkins in the WSJ on the subprime shambles

    August 22, 2007
    Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.'s piece in the Wall Street Journal today (“Payback,” subscription required) is a thoughtful and cogent assessment of some aspects of the subprime mortgage market. Jenkins notes that government policy to subsidize home ownership because “homeownership is a social blessing” expanded to focus on getting low-income families into homes they owned rather than rented. However, he points to research showing that those people may have been better off as renters in terms of having greater resources for possible upward mobility for themselves and their families. Holman also notes that “something” — partly a regulatory and legal problem — is making it difficult for holders of subprime mortgage paper to ask for forbearance on the underlying loans:
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