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  • Defending the Indefensible

    February 22, 2007
    A Guardian correspondent attempts to defend his admitted alarmism over global warming. In the comments, climate change economist Richard Tol dismantles his arguments:
    First, you tend to describe climate change as catastrophic, although it is in fact a process of slow change over centuries. The better impact studies tend to find that climate change is important, but not as important as all the other changes that are going on. The impact of climate change on yields, say, will be small compared to the impacts of technological change; and all the negative effects of climate change on tropical agriculture can be offset by doing away with the Common Agricultural Policy. Second, you call for drastic emission reduction. In fact, it is quite sufficient to...
  • "Decent capitalism" -- a "new" idea?

    February 22, 2007

    First we had anti-globalization activists calling for “fair trade.” Now it seems not just trade is the problem but capitalism itself. Harold Meyerson in today's Washington Post is calling for “decent capitalism” instead.

    And what is his vision of “decent capitalism”? He calls it a “vastly more benign” system than Russian socialism. Well, that should convince us to get on the bandwagon.

    Meyerson also suggests it should be a global policy since it's not easy to have “decent capitalism” on a national level in a globalized economy.

    Free-trade skeptics such as I believe that these domestic reforms, while overdue, are not enough. We argue that there need to be rules for the global economy that protect workers no...

  • Is concern about the environment "5 minutes ago"?

    February 22, 2007
    There are signs that caring about the environment is becoming a little passe. This is from an uber-cool British gossip email:
    Having nearly as bad a week as Britney... 2. Polar Bears. As yet another celebrity concert to save the environment is announced, their fate is sealed as people realise that while cute, no animal species is worth having to endure any more second-rate and has-been musicians resurrecting their careers for the sake of the planet.
    Perhaps Live Earth won't be the success people assume it will be after all.
  • Foolish and Dangerous Advice

    February 21, 2007
    Editorial writers in today's Orlando Sentinel say they oppose Department of Homeland Security regulations that attempt to beef up security at the nation's chemical plants to reduce the risks of terrorist attacks. They want Congress to legislate the issue. They complain because the administration focuses on managing chemical risks through improved security measures only. The Sentinel, like many activist groups, wants Homeland Security to pursue a green agenda that would force the elimination or drastic reduction of so-called “dangerous” or “toxic” chemicals. They also oppose Homeland Security's attempt to preempt states from passing such silly regulations. Frankly, I would have to agree with the Department of Homeland Security on this one. I...
  • Videos: The bad and the Ugly

    February 21, 2007
    Have you got a minute for Greenpeace's youth wing? [youtube]BY7875_rv1s[/youtube] I think he wants your lunch money as well.
  • Deadly Asian Killer Hornets

    February 21, 2007
    The endless list of calamities laid at the feet of global warming just got a little longer - witness the invasion of France by the terrifying Asian Hornet:
    Global warming has largely been blamed for the survival and spread of the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, which is thought to have arrived in France from the Far East in a consignment of Chinese pottery in late 2004. Thousands of football-shaped hornet nests are now dotted all over the forests of Aquitaine, the south-western region of France hugely popular with British tourists.
    The story, by the way, is from The Telegraph, which explains in part why they're more worried about British tourists than the actual French...
  • Minorities Suffer from Green Hype

    February 21, 2007
    The Contra Costa Times reports today that minorities in the San Francisco Bay area suffer disproportionately from air pollution coming from industrial plants. The "evidence" is contained in a report released by environmental activists, titled "Still Toxic After All These Years." This report finds that Latinos, African Americans, and Asians or Pacific Islanders compose 62 percent of people living within a mile of industrial facilities that report "toxic air emissions" to the federal government.

    Is this an injustice? Hardly. All it actually shows is that some minorities chose to live in more affordable housing near these facilities. There is no evidence that their health suffers as a result. If any suffering is involved, it stems from the...

  • Videos: The Good

    February 21, 2007
    British web-based advocacy group/ think tank/ TV station has released an ad on 'A World Without America.' It makes the case for technological adaptation powered by America's free market system very well.
  • Bruce Yandle on Baptists & Bootleggers

    February 21, 2007
    I listened to this podcast on my way in today and I don't think there's a better introduction to our regulatory issues, especially to the bootlegger/baptist concept. They go into the MSA in depth as well.
  • More on Unions, in IBD

    February 21, 2007
    I'm quoted in today's Investor's Business Daily on organized labor's struggle to remain relevant in the private sector, where its numbers have been declining precipitously.
    One thing Big Labor is doing is "thinking more strategically," said Ivan Osorio, labor policy analyst at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute. "And in those sectors where they do fight, they are much more aggressive."
    Aggressive indeed!
    As labor has gotten smaller, it has come to rely more on public-sector unions, CEI's Osorio notes. According to the BLS, 36.2% of government workers are unionized vs. 7.4% in the private sector. AFSCME, which mainly represents the public sector, gained about 10,000 members last year, Booth said. That also has helped...

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