Environment

A Whole New Meaning of “Green” Olympics

Featured image I’m not getting in a lot of viewing of the Rio Olympics—actually, none at all—but I gather the Rio folks wanted to be “green” in the conventional environmental way. But it looks like maybe they’ve taken it a bit too far: the swimming pools are turning green from algae: As reported in the Daily Mail, the Olympic organizers “don’t know what happened,” but suspect that strong ultra-violet radiation of the »

Behold the Power of Power Line

Featured image I’m still digging out from two long weeks in Washington DC teaching two concentrated summer school courses, so I’m slow catching up with everything going on at the Republican convention. John and I mulled over the idea of attending the convention with press credentials, but decided against it. But maybe we should have turned up. PoliticoPro (subscription only) reported this yesterday: GOP platform aims to turn EPA into commission By »

Frack This

Featured image About a year ago there was the usual fanfare about a new study that purported to show that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas led to unsafe levels of local air pollution and increased cancer risk. Newsweek covered it, for example: Living near to active fracking sites could increase the risk of cancer as the process harmful chemicals into the air, a new study has found. Researchers from Oregon State »

Follow the Science, They Say

Featured image When it comes to the climate uber alles crowd, environmentalists insist we “follow the science.” Well let’s see whether Greenpeace follows this science. This morning in Washington DC there will be a press conference where a petition by 107 Nobel laureate scientists will call on Greenpeace to cease its reactionary opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Washington Post reports: 107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs By »

England Giving Up On Wind Power

Featured image Hugh McNeal, chief executive of the British wind industry’s trade body, has acknowledged that with subsidies at an end, there won’t be any more wind turbine projects in England. Why? The wind doesn’t blow hard enough: We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new plants in England. The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it. Then, of course, there is “the cost of »

Why Solar Energy Is Bad for the Environment

Featured image Everyone knows that solar energy is unreliable and expensive. The point that isn’t made often enough (although Steve has written about it here on quite a few occasions) is that solar energy is also bad for the environment. Which raises the question, what, then, is it good for? Investigative reporter Tom Steward records what happened when residents of rural Buffalo, Minnesota got an up-close view of “green” energy: The project’s »

Better Living Through Chemistry: The Settled Science

Featured image If I still dressed up for trick or treat on Halloween, I think I’d don a costume for the most frightening thing imaginable to the Greenie left: I’d dress up as a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Go with Frankenfood when Frankenstein won’t do. Yesterday the National Academy of Sciences released a 407-page report on genetically engineered crops that debunks most of the frothier claims of the anti-GMO crusaders. From the »

Does an Accurate Climate Model Exist?

Featured image Global warming alarmism is predicated not on observation and empiricism, but on models and religious faith. The problem is that the models have now been around long enough to be either confirmed or falsified, and they are refuted by observation. The alarmists have tried to blur this fact by surreptitiously changing land temperature records to make the past look cooler and the present warmer, but this is at best a »

Getting the Lead Out of Flint Disinformation

Featured image I’ve been wanting to circle back around to the story about the leaded water in Flint, Michigan, for some time now, on the suspicion that a close look at the data would show that the blood lead levels turning up in children are likely much lower than was typical of the majority of American children just 40 years ago, when airborne lead levels from leaded gasoline were very high. According »

Lost in the Ozone

Featured image I’ve been wanting to revisit the whole Volkswagen emissions testing scandal for a while now, but haven’t had the chance yet. But Volkswagen’s announcement earlier this week that it will buy back diesel cars from unhappy owners is a perfect moment to wade back into this. While everyone is “outraged” about Volkswagen gaming the emission testing system, keep two things in mind. First, anyone still driving a car that is »

The Greening of Planet Earth

Featured image A couple of decades ago, I had a VHS tape titled “The Greening of Planet Earth” that expounded on the virtues of more CO2 in the atmosphere. I lost it somewhere along the way, but the point is evergreen, so to speak. Carbon dioxide is plant food, as those who studied photosynthesis in junior high school know. More CO2 means more plant life. This basic truth has now been admitted »

Happy Earth Day!

In all the excitement today (Fox Business News appearance this morning, then graduation ceremonies on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu for the 2016 class at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Public Policy), I almost forgot that it’s Lenin’s birthday Earth Day! Actually Earth Day has become quite a bore, and the sheer repetition of reminding folks of the invincible ignorance and malice of environmentalists is equally tiresome, but »

Someone Remind Greens: Electric Light Is the Most Efficient Policeman

Featured image Justice Louis Brandeis wrote: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Greens in Östersund, Sweden acknowledged the truth of that adage when they canceled Earth Hour for the sake of crime prevention: A Swedish town has refused to turn its street lights off for just an hour amid fears that women will fall victim to sex attacks. Police in Östersund have taken »

Radiophobia on the Rocks?

Featured image Over at Instapundit Ed Driscoll reminds us of the person checking out at a Whole Foods somewhere who was overheard demanding that “I need to read the numbers on the barcode aloud to you. I don’t want any lasers touching my food.” This is your brain on liberalism. Any questions? Just wait till this person finds out that “Instant Noodles Can Make Babies Gay.” Of course, for a politically-correct liberal, is »

An Island of Rattlesnakes: What Could Go Wrong?

Featured image There was a time when human beings had a pretty clear idea of who their friends and enemies were. Rattlesnakes were definitely in the latter category. Political figures like Ronald Reagan and Rick Perry earned credit by shooting them, as I recall–or at least being prepared to do so. But that was then, and this is the bizarrely perverse now. In Massachusetts, government officials worry that they don’t have enough »

Being a Bureaucrat Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Featured image We have covered the Gold King Mine environmental disaster here, here, here and here. Briefly, the EPA and its contractor spilled three million gallons of toxic liquid contaminated with lead, arsenic, cadmium and aluminum into the Animas River. The spill turned the river orange and inflicted environmental damage for many miles downstream: In response to the spill, the EPA has been uncommunicative and unhelpful to the impacted communities. It has »

William Tucker, RIP

Featured image Sad news yesterday of the passing of William Tucker, one of the great freelance journalists of our time. I didn’t know Bill especially well, but we spoke on the phone now and then, visited a few times in Washington, and were together just last September at an event at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, speaking about energy and environmentalism. I always learned something useful and original from him every time »