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  • Martians United Aginst Global Warming

    March 12, 2007
    More evidence today that climate change could be the result of variation in solar luminosity, courtesy of the National Post (via Marc Morano at EPW):
    Mars's ice caps are melting, and Jupiter is developing a second giant red spot, an enormous hurricane-like storm. The existing Great Red Spot is 300 years old and twice the size of Earth. The new storm -- Red Spot Jr. -- is thought to be the result of a sudden warming on our solar system's largest planet. Dr. Imke de Pater of Berkeley University says some parts of Jupiter are now as much as six degrees Celsius warmer than just a few years ago. Neptune's moon, Triton, studied in 1989...
  • Who will foot Europe's emissions bill?

    March 12, 2007
    By now you've read about the EU's purported “binding” promise (again) to lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, during the announcement of which the ritual Euro-speak was on full, enthusiastic display. 'We can once again say to the rest of the world, Europe is taking the lead, you should join us in fighting climate change', said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. He called the deal ‘the most ambitious package ever agreed by any institution on energy security and climate change'.” Yes, you could say that. And most in Brussels generally do, no matter what the facts say. It appears that U.S.-based AP got carried away with EU self-congratulation in a way that German media, or the Polish...
  • The Devil Inside

    March 12, 2007

    When the White House published the Climate Action Report (CAR) in 2002, it did so in very misguided fashion.  This is because the document constitutes a catalogue of U.S. “policies and measures” relating to anthropogenic climate change, according to the Rio Treaty Articles 4.2 and 12.  This is a bad thing because the Administration believed that it could appease global warming alarmists without risk by leaving in controversial conclusions so long as it added qualifiers...
  • Cool reception to Australian Global Warming Program

    March 12, 2007
    An amusing story out of Australia: Execs at a television network are scratching their heads over why their fellow Australians didn't watch a show about how they can save the planet. Research showed viewers would be interested in watching a two-and-a-half hour long special on ways to save the planet, but ratings for the program were dismal. What were viewers actually watching that night? Grey's Anatomy and CSI.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity for Wal-Mart?

    March 12, 2007
    A poll commissioned by Wal-Mart (third item down) found that the negative publicity surrounding the world's largest retail chain has had hardly any effect on shoppers. Maybe groups like Wal-Mart Watch need to stop and think whether they're actually driving customers to the store. Maybe not. And I'm sure Wal-Mart would rather not have all the bad publicity. But it's interesting how the efforts against the chain have not done more damage. Could it be that people really do prefer to pay lower prices for the things they want to buy?
  • How long until he changes his country's name to "Chavezuela"?

    March 12, 2007
    Today on National Review Online, I contribute to a symposium on Hugo Chavez.
    There is little the United States can do about Hugo Chavez's undermining of democracy in Venezuela. As long as high oil prices keep subsidizing his regime, he can survive. However, there is something that can be done to counter Chavez's efforts to throw his weight around Latin America: Improve ties with allies in the region by ratifying free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and Peru.
  • The Great Global Warming Swindle

    March 11, 2007
    Martin Durkin brings us the documentary answer to global warming alarmism - recently broadcast in the UK. Enjoy: [googlevideo]9005566792811497638[/googlevideo] UPDATE: The Telegraph has a story today on how some of the scientists interviewed for the film have received death threats and been subject to other forms of intimidation.
  • The Landmark Decision That Nearly Evaporated

    March 10, 2007

    In a ruling I discussed early on Friday, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. struck down Washington, D.C.'s gun ban. But the challenge to the ban very nearly failed on technicalities. Similar technicalities will keep many Washington, D.C. residents from relying on the court's landmark ruling that individuals have a right to possess and carry handguns in their homes for self-protection, making it risky to possess a gun even for self-defense.

    Bound by its past rulings, the federal appeals court ruled that to have standing to challenge a gun ban, you have to either (a) be specifically threatened with prosecution for possessing a gun in violation of the ban, or (b) have applied for an exemption to the ban and been refused by the government. It held that five of the six plaintiffs met...

  • Ted Kennedy says eliminate private sector from student loans

    March 10, 2007
    CEI would never argue that the current federal student loan programs are perfect. They are a mishmash of subsidies and regulations that cause distortions, not the least of which is to raise the sticker price of tuition significantly more than it probably would be otherwise. That being said, this doesn't mean that it's not possible for the student aid system to get worse -- even much worse. To Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who is once again chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, or HELP committee (a misnomer for a political body if there ever was one), the problem isn't the fact of government interference, but the fact that private banks are still involved at all. He wants to make student loans a 100 percent socialist system, because he and others claim that this would save money by...
  • Leave the wind to Uncle Sam?

    March 9, 2007
    A newish Congressional Research Service report raises some very interesting questions about current proposals that the federal government begin to provide wind insurance. Paired with existing federal flood insurance, wind (aka multi-peril) insurance would make the federal government the primary source of catastrophic-loss coverage for most homeowners in coastal areas. Given that a California Democrat, Maxine Waters, is currently the first listed co-sponsor, I'd suspect that the proposal could well evolve to include earthquake coverage as well. (For the moment, however, the bill looks unlikely to move forward.) Still, the idea has real appeal. In the short term, federally backed wind insurance would make a lot of people happy: this year, Gulf Coast Mississippi...

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