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  • Better Halloween Through Science

    October 31, 2006
    It turns out that Monsanto, the occasionally controversial biotech company, is hard at work on more than just wheat and maize. They're also experimenting with how to improve other crops like...pumpkins:
    [Monsanto scientist Bill] Johnson said customers want deep orange colors and dark green stems that don't snap off when you use them to carry the pumpkin. His job is to breed varieties with those qualities with other strains that are resistant to certain viruses or the dreaded powdery mildew. Monsanto has thousands of breeding lines of pumpkin stock, Johnson said. Most [of] the work is done in California and Florida greenhouses using traditional breeding techniques of mating the best plants with one another over generations. We don't always realize it, but even as we go about our day-to-...
  • What balance?

    October 30, 2006
    When a journalist publicly declares he doesn't believe in balance on a particular issue, you know things are really bad. When I was a journalist, I had it beat into me to get both or however many sides of the story there might be. Well, ABC News' Bill Blakemore (a network reporter!) told an audience at the recent Society of Environmental Journalists conference that he doesn't “like the word ‘balance' much at all” in global warming coverage. Blakemore was debating Senate Environment and Public Works communications director, Marc Morano, who reported on the dialogue in today's Majority Fact of the Day. Seems to me that Blakemore has been hoodwinked by the liberal enviros and he doesn't even realize it. Correction: Blakemore made the...
  • Kazman vs. Cupcake

    October 30, 2006
    CEI's Sam Kazman had the quote of the day. It happened during a debate on CNBC's Morning Call over whether NYC should ban restaurants from using artificial trans-fats. His opponent showed a 25-year-old cupcake as proof that trans-fats are bad for us. Sam's classic response? Press play to find out!
  • The world will not end tomorrow

    October 30, 2006
    Or in a hundred year's time, for that matter. Today's Stern Review from the British government has been marketed as saying global warming means economic catastrophe if we do not decarbonize our economy now and is therefore being used to justify green taxes in the near future. Well, let's take a look at what the Review actually says. I applauded the announcement of the review because it was obvious that the economic assumptions on which global warming models are based needs to be questioned. Yet the review missed the point and just took these assumptions as read. Actually, they did even less than that. As Tim Worstall show, they only picked one economic scenario (IPCC...
  • The U.S. Secretary of Shady Land Deals

    October 30, 2006
    Judith Burns of Dow Jones' MarketWatch reports on the latest shareholder activism from our friends Steve Milloy and Tom Borelli over at the Free Enterprise Action Fund:
    Goldman [Sachs'] donation of 680,000 acres of remote Chilean forest in 2004 continues to chafe the pro-business Free Enterprise Action Fund, which says the gift hasn't benefited Chile or Goldman shareholders. Fund managers, who raised concerns about the deal at Goldman's 2006 meeting, petitioned the Wall Street investment bank on Friday to have its board review the gift next year as part of a broader study of Goldman's "sustainability" projects. […] Goldman's decision to donate the land to a preservation group appears "...
  • World Series the model to follow?

    October 30, 2006
    George Monbiot — the green activist whose perceived wackiness inspired the label “Moonbat” — is at it again. This time he says sport is killing the planet. In this respect, surely Monbiot should give America some credit. After all, we always hear how no-one outside America is interested in Football, Baseball or Hockey. It's soccer, cricket and rugby that involve the most international travel, to say nothing of Track and Field and Formula One. If more countries played only their own sports, perhaps shared with a couple of close neighbors, this problem wouldn't be as significant. Of course, Brits and Australians would have less understanding of India and Africa, but that's a small price to pay, surely. Monbiot has a recommendation for a sport instead: Ultimate Frisbee. That “Moonbat” label becomes a bit clearer now...
  • The UK Takes An Alarmingly Stern Look at Global Warming

    October 30, 2006
    The international media is in a tizz this morning (afternoon in the UK) over the release of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. The British government commissioned advisor Sir Nicholas Stern to assess the economic impact of global warming and boy, did they get their money's worth. According to his projections, disruptions from a changing climate could end up consuming as much as 20% of global GDP. That's serious. Except that maybe it's not. We sent out a statement earlier today on the Review, and in it, Myron has this to say:
    The report's estimates for reducing...
  • Another American Bird Species Faces Extinction

    October 30, 2006
    It's been a popular visitor and resident in many American front yards for decades, but there is now the very real chance that the pink flamingo may be going the way of the dodo. AP business writer Mark Jewell reports that the Massachusetts company which has manufactured the iconic plastic lawn ornaments since the 1950s may be going out of business: [T]he original version of the plastic flamingo may be singing its swan song after inspiring countless pranks — and being alternately celebrated as a tribute to one of nature's most graceful creatures and derided as the epitome of American pop culture kitsch. Union Products Inc. stopped producing flamingos and other lawn ornaments at its Leominster factory in June, and is going out of business Nov. 1 — a...
  • I'd Have Settled for a Statue in Antwerp

    October 30, 2006
    According to The Wall Street Journal this morning, Al Gore and his take on global warming have become all the rage in...Belgium. It's seems the Belgian Prime Minister was so taken with Mr. Gore's recent visit promoting An Inconvenient Truth that he invoked the former VP's name when introducing a package of new "enviromentally friendly" taxes. This package has been dubbed "the Gore tax," which I can only assume pleases him mightily.
  • Bean Counters Caucus in DC

    October 30, 2006
    The American Financial Services Association is holding its 90th annual meeting here in Washington this week, and attendees are tackling a number of challenges including the threat of identity theft to customers, the multiple levels of regulatory control over member companies and calls for the industry to "do good" in addition to doing good business. A lot of these are issues CEI has worked on as well. For more, see Wayne and Brooke's paper on identity theft, Wayne's latest installment of 10,000 Commandments on regulatory overkill, Isaac's take on "corporate social responsibility" and business do-gooders, and John's work on financial...

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