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  • Global Warming Round-up

    March 7, 2007
    Some global warming-related stories you may have missed:
    • British companies involved in the Emissions Trading Scheme enjoy a $1.5 billion profits windfall while energy prices to the consumer increased 72 percent
    • Germany at odds with France over emissions reductions (uh-oh!)
    • Some Texas mayors upset by Houston mayor's emissions policies infringing on their cities
    • Bank of America sees the dollar signs involved in carbon trading (for an explanation of why this is a cartel, not involving new money, see...
  • The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister

    March 6, 2007
    A few of us from CEI attended an event today featuring John O'Sullivan, author of The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister. O'Sullivan is well-qualified to comment on the triumvirate (President Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) that brought down the Soviet Union--he covered the Reagan administration and was a special adviser to Thatcher. I haven't read the book yet, but if it's even half as interesting as John's talk today, it will be well worth the read. The reviews on Amazon are stellar.
  • Stop computer! You don't have a license!

    March 6, 2007
    Wired Blogs reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling which found that and, two sites offering low-cost legal advice, were essentially practicing law without a license.  Jayson Reynoso, one of the users of the newly-found-illegal service praised the service saying, "Now you no longer need to spend weeks studying bankruptcy laws."  Turns out you do, or at least your licensed counsel has to. While the ruling may reflect the letter of the law, it is also a blow to those who need cheap legal advice the most, namely those on the verge of bankruptcy.  This is yet another case where licensing requirements are not safeguarding consumers, but rather significantly harming them.  If the service is as...
  • The CPAC That Was: Photo Edition

    March 5, 2007
    CEI and Bureaucrash operatives paid a visit to CPAC 2007 on Friday to take in the annual cavalcade of conservative conferees and the ideas they were bandying about. We met up with some of our friends and appreciated the good messages; we were occasionally chagrined by some of the not-so-good messages. When we first got there, not all that much was going on. At one point we were worried that the talking anti-Romney dolphin would be the most noteworthy item of the day, then we heard that Ann Coulter had just dropped the other f-bomb on John Edwards in the auditorium. Be careful what you wish for. And now for a few photos:
  • No Cletus Left Behind

    March 5, 2007
    Last night's new episode of "The Simpsons" skewers the No Child Left Behind Act's testing requirements -- in only a few seconds. School district superintendent Chalmers, upon seeing a group of kids outside Springfield Elementary who are not enrolled in the school, asks principal Skinner why the kids aren't enrolled. Skinner answers that allowing the kids -- the children of local uneducated hillbilly Cletus -- into the school would bring down its test scores, "and we would lose our federal funding." (Education isn't one of the issues on which CEI works, but pop culture illustrations of bad government policies' unintended consequences are always welcome.)
  • “Reports of oil’s demise are greatly exaggerated”â€â€NYT

    March 5, 2007
    So goes a chart heading in an article on oil production in today's New York Times. The article points out that new technology, fueled by prices that encourage investment, is uncovering more oil in both old sources and new. Three-dimensional imagery, new seismic tools, steam-flooding technology, and horizontal drilling techniques are leading to new discoveries and higher production output from old sources.
    "Within the last decade, technology advances have made it possible to unlock more oil from old fields, and, at the same time, higher oil prices have made it economical for companies to go after reserves that are harder to reach. With plenty of oil still left in familiar locations, forecasts that the world's reserves are drying out have given way to predictions that...
  • NYT opines on civil liberties

    March 5, 2007
    A Sunday New York Times editorial, “The must-do list,” reviews the attacks on civil liberties in U.S. policies since 9/11. Worth a read, especially for libertarians.
  • Rewind to the future

    March 5, 2007
    Over at Planet Gore, Iain and our former colleague Peter Suderman have some further commentary on the silly Washington Post article by science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, which I also cited in an earlier post (though with less commentary).
  • Toronto Ice Sheet Decimated by Global Warming

    March 5, 2007
    Global warming deniers could perhaps dismiss the breakup of the polar ice caps as a far away phenomenon irrelevant to their daily lives. But now climate change is striking closer and closer to home, causing premature calving of the much-beloved Toronto ice sheet: "Police closed several major Toronto streets Monday after huge slabs of ice started skidding off skyscrapers in the city's downtown core."
  • Insider trading in TXU deal?

    March 5, 2007
    The Wall Street Journal's energy blog is reporting that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible insider trading in the TXU takeover deal. The deal was unusual in that there were early outside discussions with third-party groups, including environmental organizations. Developing...


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