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  • 1950s Sci-Fi Movies Were Right

    March 1, 2007
    It turns out that the Earth actually is being attacked by cosmic rays. New research is strongly suggesting that warming trends on this planet can be explained by a similar warming trend on our neighbor, Mars, and the theory that both are linked. National Geographic gives us the lowdown:
    Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-induced—cause, according to one scientist's controversial theory. Earth is currently experiencing rapid warming, which the vast majority of climate scientists says is due to humans pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Mars, too, appears to be enjoying more mild and balmy temperatures. In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey...
  • Buying Global Warming Indulgences

    March 1, 2007
    CEI's very own Fred Smith was on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show yesterday talking about Al Gore and his notorious carbon footprint. Take it away, Fred: [youtube]RLAVluikalw[/youtube]
  • Free Choice for Whom?

    March 1, 2007
    The misleadingly named "Employee Free Choice Act" (H.R 800) reaches the House floor today. This bill would essentially do away with secret ballot elections in union organizing drives by requiring the National Labor Relations Board to recognize "card check," an organizing process whereby a union is automatically recognized as the monopoly bargaining agent for employes at a workplace if a majority of them sign union cards out in the open, exposing workers to high-pressure tactics that the secret ballot is designed to avoid. It also would mandate third-party arbitration if an employer and a union have not reached a cotract after 90 days of the union being recognized. In short, the bill would destroy workers' right to a secret ballot in deciding whether they want union representation, and undermine freedom of contract. The Democratic majority will likely push this through, but it faces a...
  • Step One: Crush and Zap. Step Three: Profit.

    March 1, 2007
    We've weighed in on the debate over "e-waste" - discarded electronics and computer parts - before, most notably via the work of our talented and chaming adjunct fellow, Dana Joel Gattuso. Now there's an interesting development out of China which suggests a new technology, amusingly tagged as "crush-and-zap," could help recover vastly greater amounts of metals from trashed mother boards while reducing pollution from PCBs. This new technology may not save the world, but it's a lot better than an e-recycling mandate.
    Waste no more!
    Link nod to...
  • More Evidence that Fish is Healthy and Politics Isn't

    February 28, 2007
    Yesterday's New York Times reports on a new study published in the Lancet, which questions those who advise pregnant women to cut back on fish consumption for fear of poisoning their babies with methylmercury. According to the Times, "the researchers found that the children whose mothers ate less than 12 ounces of seafood a week were about 45 percent more likely to fall into the lowest 25 percent in I.Q." Says study author Joseph R. Hibbeln of the U.S. Public Health Service, "The risks of methylmercury in seafood, many scientists think, have been radically overestimated in an effort to protect children. ... The problem with the formulation of the advisory is that there was no calculation of the benefits of...
  • Let Them Eat Cornish Pasties

    February 28, 2007
    Prince Charles made headlines earlier this week when he suggested to the staff of a diabetes clinic in Abu Dhabi that McDonald's fast food should be banned for health reasons. It turns out Charles knows a little something about selling food - he sells his own retail line of packaged organic foods. One interesting item is a Cornish pasty, which, as it turns out, has more fat, salt and calories than a Big Mac. The Evening Standard's graphic design people break it down for us:
    Apparently the aura of hereditary monarchy makes the pasty fine for...
  • Gore's award hurts integrity of documentary category

    February 28, 2007
    In selecting Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" as the winner for best documentary, the Academy Awards sent a disturbing message to aspiring documentary makers. The message they sent is: "Don't bother doing the hard work of capturing events as they happen and gathering a range of interivews. Your work will be trumped for recognition should a politician decide to make a slide show with some fancy cartoons." I'm not taking issue so much with the politics of "An Inconvenient Truth," but with its techniques and treatment of the facts. Many documentary nominees this year had liberal viewpoints. Some were very critical of the war in Iraq. But they adhered to traditional fact-based documentary standards to tell their stories. An Inconvenient Truth, on the other hand, with its use of frightening and speculative cartoons, was more appropriate for the animation category with this year's Oscar...
  • Prince Charles brain flash - Let's just ban McDonald's!

    February 28, 2007
    In the news today, a brilliant idea by Prince Charles -- Let's just ban McDonald's so that people eat healther! This is what happens to a man with no gainful employment. He runs around pushing his la-la notions of what the little people ought to be doing. Myself, I'm no fan of Mickey Dee cuisine, but I know a lot of parents who look to the burger chain as a fast, efficient, pleasing way of feeding the kids (who clamor for "McDonald's!"). Even when Chuck's children were in grade school, come on-- he had nannies! It's not like his family was in a huge time or budget crunch
  • All pain, no gain?

    February 28, 2007
    The issue of global warming has attracted much attention over the past decade. CEI analysts such as Marlo Lewis have argued that regulations aimed at greenhouse gases tend to be all economic pain and no environmental gain, costing the economy trillions while having little effect on greenhouse gases (much less overall climate change). The public also seems to be skeptical of imposing taxes on activities that result in greenhouse gas emissions. In a poll by the Washington Post Express newspaper (the version of the Washington Post distributed free to Metrorail commuters) found that even among this relatively pro-regulation demographic (which includes people who work at government regulatory agencies), 75 percent of respondents said that they would not be willing to "pay a tax to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions." The...
  • Lead Paint Travesty

    February 27, 2007
    On February 26, a Rhode Island court ruled that the paint industry is liable for a statewide "public nuisance" because long ago, paint companies sold lead paint in Rhode Island, at a time when doing so was perfectly legal. The paint companies have been collectively held liable based on their share of lead paint sales in America as a whole, not Rhode Island in particular. Under the court's decision, an out-of-state paint manufacturer is liable even if there was no proof that any building in Rhode Island actually contains paint that it sold. Moreover, the trial court specifically instructed the jurors who held the paint companies liable that "the act or failure to act by a Defendant need not be intentional or negligent to impose liability." The paint companies' lack of wrongdoing didn't stop former Rhode Island attorney general Sheldon Whitehouse from hiring greedy trial lawyers, who...


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