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  • Skip the Green Fuzzy Feeling

    February 15, 2007
    The New York Times reports today that many consumers are turning to “green” cleaning products. If people are willing to pay more for these products—that's their choice. But the only thing they are like to get is a warm fuzzy feeling. There is no evidence that these so-called “green” are any healthier or better for the environment. According to a University of California, Berkeley study produced in 2006, some household cleaners might, in theory, pose a health risks. But everything in life poses risks—including the so-called green products. William W. Nazaroff, Berkeley researchers to led the report, told the New York Times: “I haven't seen any good evidence supporting the idea that something that is being sold as green is really good for the people who are using the products … There are good...
  • Your goals are China in your hand

    February 15, 2007
    Well, I never. China admits it failed to meet any of its environmental goals for 2006:
    China's environmental watchdog admitted Monday the country had failed to reach any of its pollution control goals for 2006 and had fallen further behind as the economy picked up speed. The State Environmental Protection Agency said the faster-than-expected economic growth meant that sulfur dioxide emissions increased by nearly 463,000 tons, or 1.8 percent, over the previous year, according to a report on its Web site.
    This is the exploding economy that will surpass the US as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases by 2009.
  • Will free trade be a victim of "fair" trade?

    February 15, 2007

    Inserting more stringent labor provisions into U.S. free trade agreements was a major focus at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing yesterday. Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and other Democratic policymakers pushed U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to ensure that trade pacts include enforceable labor standards based on core international standards.

    Legislators on both sides also blamed trade for the loss of U.S. jobs and called for more worker security.

    The day before (February 13, 2007), Congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and the Chairman and members of Ways and Means, sent a letter to President Bush urging him to take strong action to deal with the...

  • Greenpeace - climate obstructionists!

    February 15, 2007
    If global warming is the greatest and most urgent threat facing the planet, you'd think Greenpeace would be happy when a government takes steps to drastically reduce CO2 emissions, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong:
    A [British] High Court judge has ordered a rethink of the government's nuclear power plans, after a legal challenge by environmental campaigners Greenpeace.... Greenpeace said the ministers should "go back to the drawing board".
    Yes, Greenpeace is happy to delay moves to reduce CO2 emissions. Isn't this the only planet we've got?
  • The Net Neutrality ScareTicker

    February 15, 2007
    Gotta love the Net Neutrality ScareTicker: "It has been... 1548 days 12 hours 40 minutes ... without a "net neutrality" problem. Watch it live and up-to-the-second at http://www.netneutralityscareticker.com/. The Internet has somehow managed to get by without centrally managed price and entry regulation.
  • USDA projects an ethanol future -- Feed and food costs to rise

    February 14, 2007
    Each year the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases 10-year commodity projections to provide figures for the budget and to estimate the cost of farm programs. The latest report, “USDA Agricultural Long-term Projections to 2016,” was released February 2007 and includes some interesting projections about expected increases in feed costs and consumer prices with a shift to more corn grown for ethanol production. There are also implications for exports, as more corn is used domestically for ethanol. Here are some of the USDA projections:
    -- Farm-origin expenses rise less than the general inflation rate. Feed expenses rise the most as demand for corn for use in the production of ethanol competes with feed demand and pushes corn prices higher.
    ...
  • Much Toxic Ado About Nothing

    February 14, 2007
    Today, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) reportedly will introduce the Toxic Right-to-Know Protection Act, which would reverse recent EPA reforms to the Toxics Release Inventory. The program mandates that industry report “chemical releases” to the EPA and to the public. These lawmakers seem to believe that the EPA changes deprive the public of useful information.
  • Valentine pesticides story -- Media sends sweethearts a bouquet of toxic hype

    February 14, 2007
    The news media is sending a scary Valentine to American couples. They're claiming that Valentine's Day roses imported from Colombia may have been "dipped in a battery of potentially lethal chemicals," according to the Associated Press. But the only thing toxic this Valentine's Day stems from the boquet of shoddy science sent by the media. No matter how many times pesticide scares are debunked -- from Alar on apples to "deadly" DDT -- the media can't resist stoking fears and diverting attention away from the real risks of insect-borne diseases that pesticides combat. No matter how many authoritative bodies discredit the pesticides-cancer link, the media will give credence to any activist with a scare story. When it comes to pesticides, for the media, everyday is Halloween. But sweethearts shouldn't let the doomsayers ruin...
  • Need. More. TV. sez PFF

    February 14, 2007
    The Progress and Freedom Foundation's Scott Wallsten notes the urgency of franchise reform as the path to greater broadband access and availability. The FCC's recent order on the issue, as well as nearly every commentary on the subject, recognizes the problems created by legacy franchise monopoly power granted in the telecommunications industry. But ultimately, all providers--cable, telco, satellite and whatever emerges (video over power lines?) in the future--are going to benefit from a regime in which they are busy building infrastructure rather than running around seeking permissions of every sort from bureaucrats. There is a very limited amount for governments to do in this regard: anything else is needless interference. As Wallsten summed it up: "While cities understandably want oversight over some aspects of installing this infrastructure, such as digging up neighborhood...
  • Conservative in Daily Show Success Shock!

    February 14, 2007
    CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner was on "The Daily Show" last night to promote his excellent new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism) (currently #30 on the Amazon best sellers list). I have never seen a conservative handle Jon Stewart so well, nor have I ever seen Jon Stewart seemingly give the conservative position such credit. Check it out at the Daily Show site (scroll down in the Last Night's Highlights window). (Also in NRO's The Corner.)

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