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  • When the Appeased become the Appeasers

    March 3, 2007
    Today's Journal also reports that the two environmental groups that endorsed the recent buyout of the utility TXU Corp. after the company agreed to not build several previously planned coal-fired power plants -- the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Environmental Defense -- are under fire from other green groups for not being even more stridently opposed to new energy production, and for allegedly falling for a TXU public-relations ploy.
    "Just days after two of the nation's leading environmental groups blessed an investor plan to buy TXU Corp. and take the controversial Texas utility in a new and "greener" direction, a battle has broken out in the environmental community over the terms of the deal. "The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense...
  • WSJ on Rent Seeking to Save the Planet

    March 3, 2007
    Today's weekend Wall Street Journal's lead editorial (available free online at OpinionJournal.com) addresses the Climate Action Partnership, reitarating some of CEI's arguments against this corporate rent-seeking exercise:
    "Senator Barbara Boxer touts all the jobs that would be created for people trying to game the system -- er, save the planet. 'And her colleague Jeff Bingaman calls cap-and-trade 'market based,' because, you know, people would trade stuff. "But for that to happen, the government would first have to put a cap on CO2 emissions, either for certain industries or even the economy as a whole. At the same time, it would allocate quotas for CO2 emissions, either based on current emissions, or on energy output, or some other standard. If a company then 'over-complied,' which means...
  • Spinach Contamination Confirmed As Organic

    March 2, 2007
    Last summer's outbreak of E. coli contamination in packaged spinach that killed at least three people and sickened more than 200 others has now been confirmed to have come from a 50-acre organic farm in California's San Benito County. According to the Associated Press, at a legislative hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday, California Department of Health Services officials said that "investigators identified the grower who was farming that plot, which was in the second year of a three-year transition to organic production." At the time, many observers speculated that such was probably the case, given that organic farmers may not use synthetic fertilizers and are therefore the primary users of animal manure on food crops. Still, that was not at all clear, given that the...
  • Yet More on Card Check

    March 2, 2007
    I noted yesterday that vetoing the Employee Free Choice Act, the mandatory card check bill that the House passed yesterday, would provide President George W. Bush a great opportunity to reconnect with and reenergize his conservative base. There's been plenty of righteous noise about this bill from conservative pundits -- but it's not all just from the Right. Vetoing mandatory card check could give Bush a boost among some in the political center. In today's Washington Examiner, James Kirchick of The New Republic takes organized labor to task for taking "a decisive turn in an anti-democratic...
  • Pessimist Alarmism vs Optimist Realism

    March 2, 2007
    David Ignatius is worried about the planet's vulnerability to climate change, citing futurist Peter Schwartz. I see David's Peter Schwartz and raise him an Indur Goklany. Things aren't as bad as he suggests. Yet even if they were, as a colleague noted, "Interesting that he makes the point that the poorest people of the world are most vulnerable to climate change but still seems to conclude that the usual tax & regulate plans will help these people more than wealth-building (ie less gov't corruption, more focus on reliable justice system, free markets, etc)." Precisely - the most vulnerable people on the planet are vulnerable not because of climate but because they have either rejected or haven't been allowed to...
  • House Checks Workplace Democracy at the Door

    March 1, 2007
    The U.S. House of Representatives today approved, by a 241-185 vote, the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800), which would destroy secret ballot protections in union organizing drives. As I commented earlier, this provides President George W. Bush with an opportunity to reenergize the conservative Republican base -- by vetoing this terrible bill. Now that the House Democrats have rammed this through, the conservative commentariat is making much indignant noise about this, which reinforces the argument that a card check veto presents Bush with a great political opportunity -- beginning with today's Washington Examiner...
  • Renewable Energy: Where Everything Old Is New Again

    March 1, 2007
    Behold: two news stories below. The first is from 1978, the second from 2006. I can hardly wait to see what the 2032 headline will announce. Amusing trivia of the day - the first story was written by the Journal's current personal tech guru/columnist Walt Mossberg. Thanks to Rob Bradley for passing this along.
  • Doesn’t Always Pay to Advertise

    March 1, 2007

    For whatever reason, when then-economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Andrei Illarionov, began touting an official 2002 UK document styled “Report of an Inter-departmental Analysts Group (IAG)” on greenhouse gas reductions that would be demanded under the Kyoto agenda, the document was suddenly not to be found on Internet portals where it had previously been available.

    Having recently stumbled back upon the report, it is worth reviewing the following chart (3.1, on page 31 of the document), which set forth HMG's expert view of what should be required of a “post-2012” global warming treaty, and which was of particular interest to Illarionov, revealing one possible reason why the document “disappeared”:

    ...
  • Broken Like the Wind

    March 1, 2007
    I received a press release this morning from Wind Watch, a group dedicated to opposing the menace of the wind. With windchill-adjusted temperatures in the single digits last week, I can see where they're coming from. In any case, they're reporting on yet another inconvenient truth related to climate change: whatever the problem might be, wind power is not the answer.
    An army of German turbines, possibly heading for Poland
    Wind power will not help in the fight against global warming, says National Wind Watch, a coalition of individuals and grass-roots groups from around the country. Although many environmentalists look favorably towards large-scale wind power, it has proven to be ineffective and...
  • 1950s Sci-Fi Movies Were Right, Take 2

    March 1, 2007
    Finally, a man who knows how to speak truth to power. Former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer has come out with the ideal solution to our oft-asserted climate crisis: alien spaceship fuel. Read what those spooks at Area 51 don't want you to know:
    "I would like to see what (alien) technology there might be that could eliminate the burning of fossil fuels within a generation ... that could be a way to save our planet," Paul Hellyer, 83, told the Ottawa Citizen. Alien spacecrafts would have traveled vast distances to reach Earth, and so must be equipped with advanced propulsion systems or used exceptional fuels, he told the newspaper.
    If this alien...

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