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Today: Sun, September 25 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
13 September 2016
The Environment’s True Friends are Libertarians
by David S. D’Amato
 sub-topic» General

In the final analysis, then, we face a choice between a competitive, decentralized system and a centralized one, in which a privileged monopolist, that is both a major resource owner and a rule-giver, may waste property and resources quite without a thought to the costs associated therewith.

The results of such a system of moral hazard accord with the predictions of libertarian theory. In For A New Liberty, Murray Rothbard advised his fellow libertarians not to ignore the problem of pollution, not to cede the moral high ground on the issue to anti-market leftists. Rothbard understood that we must not put our pro-market, pro-private property “stamp of approval on those industrialists who are trampling upon the property rights of the mass of the citizenry” through reckless pollution. The amelioration of environmental problems requires a devolution of power: first to more directly accountable local bodies, and ultimately to individual proprietors, who have the strongest incentive to conserve.

03 August 2016
“Sustainability” is Fishy
by Don Boudreaux
 sub-topic» General

It’s depressing that those people who today are most likely to worry about resources being “unsustainable” – people who are most likely to prattle publicly about “sustainability” – are those people who also are most likely to disparage private property rights and to argue for government policies that weaken and attenuate such rights. Such people are those who are most likely to wish to further collectivize the provision not only of environmental amenities such as park space and animal conservation, but also of health care, of education, of housing, and of a host of other private goods and services. Such people also are those who are most likely to protest prices made higher by market forces, and to applaud rent-control and other government-imposed price ceilings on a variety of consumer goods and services.

26 April 2016
Why has the RSPB fixed its sights on the mighty eagle owl?
by Sir Ian Botham
 sub-topic» General

I am encouraged that my You Forgot The Birds campaign – which I wrote about first in The Mail on Sunday 18 months ago – has helped start a process of change within the RSPB.

I hope that, after the climbdowns discussed above, it will do more to protect vulnerable eagle owl nests from visitors and predators, and – just as vitally – that it will take quick action when eggs are abandoned.

Yet I don't think that substantial change will come until the Charity Commission stops sitting on the fence and instead transforms itself into a bubo bubo and swoops down on the RSPB's inept trustees.

In sport, in politics and in business repeated failure means that you get the chop to allow better people to take the opportunities. The RSPB is one charity which would be improved by a cull.

11 March 2016
Restitution is the Pollution Solution!
by Mary Ruwart
 sub-topic» General

The best way to protect the environment is to deter polluters with restitution. If those who polluted had to clean up their messes, they wouldn’t make them in the first place. Cleaning up pollution is much more time-consuming and expensive than prevention.

19 January 2016
An incandescent light bulb, the most efficient bulb
by Lubos Motl
 sub-topic» General

It is a form of a terrorist attack for someone to try to eliminate the incandescent light bulbs or fossil fuels or anything else from the spectrum of competing technologies. People trying to ban whole segments of technology must be treated as Luddites and on par with other terrorists.

02 October 2015
It's an inconvenient truth, but the global warming zealots are to blame for the deadly diesel fiasco
by Stephen Glover
 sub-topic» General

Amid all the reporting of Volkswagen’s rigging of emission tests on its diesel cars, one inconvenient truth has been overlooked by the BBC and many media organisations. It is that we very largely owe the prevalence of these death-traps to the pernicious tyranny of the Green lobby.

21 September 2015
If We Burned All Our Fossil Fuel
by David Friedman
 sub-topic» General

Very, very rough estimate: A five degree increase in maximum temperatures would make about seven million square km intolerably hot. What would we get in exchange?

Antarctica and Greenland would be ice free, for a total area of about sixteen million square km. How much of that would be warm enough to be habitable I do not know. Siberia is about thirteen million, Canada about ten million. Parts of both are presently habitable, but large parts are not. Similarly for Sweden, Norway, and Finland.

I conclude, from my very rough estimates, that the total habitable area of the Earth would almost certainly go up, not down. I leave to someone more ambitious the task of a more careful and precise calculation. A lot of people would have to move—but a thousand years is a very long time.

17 September 2015
Reproducibility will not cure what ails science
by Daniel Sarewitz
 sub-topic» General

Like a divorced couple bitterly fighting over the custody of their child, both sides in the Secret Science debate insist that they have only the interests of science at heart. Republicans are using a narrow, idealized portrayal of science — that it produces clear and reproducible findings — as a weapon to undercut environmental and public-health regulation of the private sector. But many scientists, environmentalists and Democrats have long used similar portrayals to justify the same regulations, and to bash Republicans as anti-scientific when they did not agree.

13 September 2015
A Prayer for the Earth: Answering the Pope’s Call. A One Act Mini-Play
by William M. Briggs
 sub-topic» General

Penitent: “It was just one can, and—”

Father: “That’s how it starts! A can is tossed into the wrong bin might seem like a small crime, but it’s a gateway. It opens the door. It starts you on a dark path. Today it’s a can, tomorrow you use a large wattage light bulb when you could have got by with one half as bright. And once you do that, what’s to stop you switching on the air conditioning? Next thing you know you’re leaving the car on idle at red lights, forgetting, even, that you have a carbon footprint. You mustn’t forget that your behavior influences others. If everybody threw cans away, the planet itself could face global warming! We could see a temperature rise of nearly a quarter of a degree by the century’s end. And then where would we be?”

10 September 2015
Bicycles don’t belong on busy city streets
by Jeff Jacoby
 sub-topic» General

But that doesn't deter the bicycle lobby, which could give lessons in brass to Donald Trump. Advocates demand more and more access to city streets, no matter how frustrating to the vast majority of drivers for whom those streets are designed. On many major roads, lanes for cars have been shrunk in order to carve out cycling lanes. "Share the Road," signs pointedly admonish drivers, as though sound traffic management calls for treating flimsy, slow, and distracting bikes as the equal of faster, more powerful motor vehicles.

And "sharing" the road, increasingly, isn't enough: Signs now decree "Bicycles May Use Full Lane," warning motorists that the biker ahead of them causing traffic to crawl has every right to be in the middle of the lane. And if there's only one lane of traffic in each direction, so that traffic on a city street is effectively reduced to the speed of a lone cyclist? Too bad.

20 February 2015
The science is settled, eggs are good for you
by Rick Manning
 sub-topic» General

The science-is-settled crowd got a little more uncomfortable as the settled science of cholesterol being bad for us is being dismantled by the U.S. government’s top nutrition advisory panel.

That’s right. After more than fifty years of government and public health harpies hectoring against eating eggs, with many Americans resorting to eating the dreaded egg substitute in a cardboard container as a result, the feds are issuing a gigantic never mind.

12 September 2014
The EPA's phony 'environmental justice' caper
by Paul Driessen
 sub-topic» General

When it comes to energy, climate change, justice and transparency, the Obama Administration and its Environmental Protection Agency want it every possible way. Their only consistency is their double standards and their determination to slash hydrocarbon use, ensure that electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket,” expand federal government command and control, and “fundamentally transform” America.

15 August 2014
More scams
by José Duarte
 sub-topic» General

The title is wildly false as a description of any reality or profile of person – it's also quite defamatory and unethical. There's no data, no analysis, to support it. The abstract is false in linking free market endorsement to rejection of these uncontroversial facts, and will only become more false if we clean the data. The body of the paper repeats these false associations, speaks of "denial", and conceals this stark data in overly complex SEM models that we will not be able to validly reproduce (longer story.) Virtually none of their analyses will survive evaluation. This paper must be retracted. The fact that these false links are very damaging to people, to large swaths of the population, makes an even stronger case for retraction (if we needed one.) When a headline is false, when an abstract is false, when a paper is false, we must retract that paper. When it smears innocent people and falsely attributes ludicrous and damaging beliefs to them, there is no excuse to not vacate it. It's unethical to invite people to participate in a study and then do this to them.

11 August 2014
Why Roger contradicts himself
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

If we were to take the objectives at face value, it would be illogical systematically to oppose the means of achieving them. In the case of Roger, and maybe some others like him, however, I think I detect signs of a deeper, more fundamental motive. At heart Roger is conservative. He dislikes the pace and complexity of modern life, and yearns for the measured rhythm of a simpler life. He has constructed a somewhat fanciful picture of the past which overlooks some of the disease and squalor that accompanied it. Roger wants us all to live more simply because at heart he dislikes change and the unsettling effect it has on people like himself. Those of us who are comfortable with change and the benefits it brings will beg to differ…

24 June 2014
Indictment Against the Greens
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

It isn’t just that they are lying; in essence, committing perjury. It isn’t just that they are doctoring the evidence, as with the temperature record. Nor is it merely that they call us realists nasty names like “deniers,” and publish psychological studies claiming that we are mentally deranged, or conspiracy-theory kooks. No; it’s far worse. In direct contradiction to any kind of due process of law, they are treating us as guilty until proven innocent.

16 April 2014
Cut back on eating baked beans to reduce smelly emissions
by Matt Chorley
 sub-topic» General

A study this week recommended eating baked beans every day, to help significantly reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart diseases.

Wind and bloating were among the side effects of those eating the daily portion, although this subsided after a while, said lead researcher Dr John Sievenpiper from St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto.

31 December 2013
Evaluating Controversial Claims
by David Friedman
 sub-topic» General

The clearest case is the population hysteria of the 1960's. Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, published in 1968, confidently predicted mass famine in the third world over the next decade, with hundred of millions of people starving to death. Not only did it not happen, the real world moved in the opposite direction, with calorie consumption per capita in the third world going up, not down. That is very strong evidence that Ehrlich can not be trusted. It is somewhat weaker evidence that the movement of which he was part, whose members generally took him and his arguments seriously, can not be trusted.

17 December 2013
Our Fragile Planet
by Walter E. Williams
 sub-topic» General

Let's examine a few statements reflecting a vision thought to be beyond question. "The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile." "The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis." Here are a couple of Earth Day quotes: "Remember that Earth needs to be saved every single day." "Remember the importance of taking care of our planet. It's the only home we have!" Such statements, along with apocalyptic predictions, are stock in trade for environmental extremists and non-extremists alike. Worse yet is the fact that this fragile-earth indoctrination is fed to our youth from kindergarten through college. Let's examine just how fragile the earth is.