March 5, 2007So 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...
March 5, 2007A 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.
March 5, 2007
March 5, 2007Global 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."
March 5, 2007The 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...
March 5, 2007Lots of global warming-related stories you may have missed:
- Threat of Kyoto is leading to wholesale deforestation in New Zealand.
- U.N. climate talks aren't going anywhere.
- IPCC chief says it will be very difficult to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees C.
- Irish emissions rise.
- France opposes binding targets on renewable energy use.
- Scientific paper that suggested...
March 4, 2007Many libertarian economists and commentators have long criticized professional licensing as a protectionist scheme that restricts competition to the benefit of some (licensed) producers and to the detriment of their (excluded, unlicensed) competitors -- as well as to the detriment of consumers, who face fewer choices. That's bad enough. But now nanny state nags are trying to use licensing laws for another pernicious aim: To control individual behavior. At the great libertarian blog, We The People, Baylen Linnekin highlights this phenomenon in Alexandria, Virginia, where some politicians would like to withhold licenses from restaurants unless they ban smoking.
March 4, 2007Today's Washington Post "Outlook" section features an article by science fiction writer Bruce Sterling that needs to be read to be believed. Suffice it to highlight this quote for now. I don't think it needs any commentary.
"It's 2007, and the old world has backfired so comprehensively that a new era is truly at hand. I actually knew this would happen. I guess, for a prophet, this is what victory feels like! "Back in 1998, the Mexican state of Chiapas caught fire and the smoke from its rainless 'rain forests' stretched all the way to Chicago. In Austin, my home town, the sky was the color of a dead television channel. Living under that hideous gout of smoke, I realized that the much-anticipated greenhouse effect was as real as dirt. Most people didn't grasp that at...
March 3, 2007Today'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...
March 3, 2007Today'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...