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  • Live blogging from Al Gore's hearing testimony

    March 21, 2007
    At a joint hearing of two House committees (Energy and Commerce, Science), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has raised two parliamentary points of order. First, why does the chair, John Dingell (D-Mich.), not allow members of the full committee to sit on the dias -- why must they sit in the audience? Second, the rules of both committees require testimonies to be submitted 48 hours in advance (or in some cases at least 24 hours in advance). The minority received Gore's written testimony only at 7:00 a.m. this morning. The majority received it at 1:00 a.m. Barton says because of his affection for the chair, he is not going to press these points, but he will in the future if these rules are ignored. Dingell then quotes from the rules a paragraph allowing the waive the rule.
  • Me Want Cookie!

    March 21, 2007
    Fred -- Your reference to my personal hero Cookie Monster reminded me of a rumor I had heard that he was going to become "Veggie Monster" and stop eating cookies. This had a ring of truth because many people -- including my former boss Bill Frist--have shown up on Sesame Street to forward the fight against childhood obesity. Contrary to what I had heard, however, it appears that Cookie Monster will, for the most part, remain his true cookie-loving self. Score a point (or at least half a point) for the war against the Fun Police.
  • They take our property here, too!

    March 21, 2007
     
    
    Iain's recent post on the Exchequer taking over dormant accounts in the UK deserves a U.S. perspective as well.  Under varying state banking laws, a deposit account that has had no activity during a certain period of time — state laws range from 12 months to 25 years — is considered dormant.  If an account is dormant, the bank sends a notice to the customer at his last known address, and the customer generally has to affirmatively state that he owns the account.  If the customer doesn't reply, the bank remits the funds to the state treasury. This takeover of dormant accounts doesn't apply to deposits at national banks, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — the regulator of federally chartered...
  • When One Is Saving the World, the Rules Do Not Apply

    March 20, 2007
    As regular Open Market readers will know, we've been skeptical of former Vice President Al Gore's climate crusade for some time. The news right now (via the Drudge Report) is that his planned testimony for tomorrow before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has broken all records for demanding special treatment, and even when it was granted, has gone on to break committe rules for public hearings. From the EPW blog:
    Gore first demanded to be granted an unprecedented 30 minute opening statement to the Senate EPW Committee for Wednesday's (March 21) global warming hearing scheduled for 2:30 pm ET. The GOP minority on...
  • Climate Crisis Action Day in Review

    March 20, 2007
    Today, in preperation for the latest installment of The Al Gore Show on Capitol Hill, (anti-)global warming campaigners staged a rally in front of the Capitol to get the troops revved up. Special attention was shown to the Arctic, which is allegedly in deadly peril from a slightly warmer world. One might think that the coldest place in the world could use a few additional degrees, but, according to several of today's speakers, that would be an insensitive, Western imperialist way to look at things. Or something like that. In any case, see the photos (with irreverant captions!) after the jump:
  • The Cookie Monster Concept of Censorship

    March 20, 2007
    The Sesame Street generation has found their champion in James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who claims to have been muzzled, censored, and suppressed. Censored? Suppressed? How many more interviews could anyone do over one period? He can't truly be worried about censorship - more likely he's worried that others aren't being censored! Hansen is the Cookie Monster of global warming alarmism - he wants all the media attention! Sorry, James, this isn't Russia, nor yet is it a PC-Europe, which jails people who don't toe the party line....
  • Beyond parody

    March 20, 2007
    I cannot put it better than Stephen Pollard, who sums up this article with the well-known oxymoron, "We're from the Government, we're here to help."
  • All property is (ripe for) theft

    March 20, 2007
    Latest wizard wheeze from Her Majesty's Government - if you've left money unused in a bank account for a while, you obviously don't need it , so the Exchequer will take it for good causes. I could easily be a victim of this smash-and-grab raid.  I am pretty sure I have a small amount of money left in a UK bank account, but keep forgetting to look into it when I'm over there. Anyway, how would it go?  First they came for the unused bank accounts...
  • How to Build a Better Mosquito

    March 20, 2007
    Malaria, a disease that kills over a million people a year, might just have a potent new foe. A new insecticide, perhaps? Actually, just the opposite - a new mosquito:
    The effort to eradicate one of the world's deadliest diseases has received a significant but controversial boost with the creation of genetically modified mosquitoes that cannot pass on malaria. Trials indicate the genetically modified mosquitoes could quickly establish themselves in the wild and drive out natural malaria-carrying insects, thereby breaking the route through which humans are infected.
    Better living through science, folks. If you'd like to thank Prof. Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, the research team leader, for his excellent work, you can find his contact info...
  • Re: Energy Sources

    March 19, 2007
    Eli, that table actually refers to the generating capacity of new facilities - c.1300 MW over the next few years. There's not really any way these small facilities can be described as "power stations." The average capacity of an oil-fired facility (and a lot of them are fired by petroleum products like coal-to-liquids and waste/residual oil) is 17 MW. Compare that to natural gas (average 79 MW per facility), Coal (220 MW) and Nuclear (1015 MW). Of course, they're still more significant than renewables (13 MW per facility)... A further EPA table illustrating capacity additions and retirements during 2005 can be found here. As can be seen, significantly more small petroleum capacity was lost that year than gained. I think that's been the pattern for a while. So yes, petroleum is a very small part of the mix,...

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