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 »

Bee of Good Cheer

Featured image We take the brief time out from the climate apocalypse in Paris—also known as “thermageddeon”—to make note of the official cancellation of the “Bee-pocalypse.” From the Washington Post: Call off the bee-pocalypse: U.S. honeybee colonies hit a 20-year high You’ve heard the news about honeybees. “Beepocalypse,” they’ve called it. Beemageddon. America’s honeybees are dying, putting honey production and $15 billion worth of pollinated food crops in jeopardy. The situation has »

Goodbye, Keystone

Featured image TransCanada’s application for permission to build the Keystone XL pipeline has been kicking around the Obama administration for nearly seven years. Recently, TransCanada sought to withdraw its permit application, presumably on the theory that the Obama administration would never grant it, and it would be easier to start fresh with a new administration than to try to overturn a negative decision by the current one. Today President Obama responded by »

China Reverses Course: Malthus, Ehrlich, and McKibben Hardest Hit

Featured image China announced today that it is ending its coercive one-child policy, and will now allow couples to have two children. That’s mighty white of them. Don’t get your hopes up that this represents a turn toward more respect for fundamental human rights by China’s ruling Communist Party. The change is being made for simple demographic reasons: China is getting old very rapidly, and like other social democracies it needs a »

Liberals Ignore the Fracks of Life

Featured image Let’s take stock. Liberals oppose fracking because of geological uncertainties. Haven’t you heard it has caused earthquakes in Oklahoma? (It turns out earthquakes in Oklahoma and elsewhere are related to improper deep well injection wastewater disposal rather than the fracking charges, but that kind of nuance is lost on the left.) Also, right now the relicensing of California’s last operating nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon is being held up »

Nine Myths About the Environment

Featured image Peter Kareiva is the former chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy, and today is the head of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. With those prior advertisements, you might not expect him to write a terrific article entitled “Back to School: Unlearning Nine Environmental Myths.” But he has. Buckle up: Myth 1: Human population is growing exponentially and it’s ruining the planet. Myth 2: Biodiversity is declining everywhere. »

Cleaning Up the Clean Power Plan

Featured image As John noted on Friday, a federal appeals court has blocked for the time being the EPA’s brazen extension of the Clean Water Act. What about its equally brazen extension of the Clean Air Act into a lever for the de facto nationalization of the nation’s electric utility industry? It is facing a legal challenge, too, and the legal arguments are typically arcane. I have no idea whether it will »

A Setback For the Administrative State

Featured image One of the Obama administration’s many instances of administrative overreach was the EPA’s “Clean Water rule,” which expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” as used in the Clean Water Act. Some say that the definition is so expansive as to give the federal agency jurisdiction over your back yard. Eighteen states sued to enjoin enforcement of the EPA’s rule, and today, a three-judge panel of the 6th »

Revisiting Robert Nisbet on Environmentalism

Featured image Since I’m in a mood to beat down on environmentalists today, I decided to dust off the late Robert Nisbet’s charming 1982 book, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary. The book was a direct emulation of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary, and the entry on environmentalism is not to be missed. Samples include: It is entirely possible that when the history of the 20th century is finally written, the single most important social movement »