Keystone Tea Leaves Today? (Updated)

Featured image Lots of “folks” (as Obama quaintly calls his fellow citizens) have puzzled over the language of Obama’s State of the Union speech—especially its omissions—to try to get a clue about what he may be thinking about the Keystone pipeline.  Canada is increasingly public in its fury about the delay in the decision, and when soft-spoken Canadians are publicly complaining, you know they’re really really angry. Ben Geman, a solid environmental »

Hayward vs. Hill, et al., Round 2

Featured image The head of the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District, Larry Allen, has joined Adam Hill in complaining about my Forbes.com article.  Here’s his complete letter, followed by my reply: Mr. Hayward – you ought to check the accuracy and credibility of your information source(s) before you publish an article in a national magazine. Absolutely none of the information you’ve published here in this opinion/attack piece regarding me and »

So This Is Fun

Featured image I’ve been totally off the Power Line grid all day today, partly because the first week of classes last week (Con Law II, and a new course on environmental policy) went so well that I really needed to step up my game in week two, but mostly because a full-scale firefight has broken out in San Luis Obispo County about my Forbes column this week, which is derived from a »

It’s Enough to Drive You Bananas

Featured image My post yesterday about the perils of “di-hydrogen monoxide” and all the scary-sounding chemical compounds that occur naturally in bananas prompted faithful Power Line reader Jerry Heyman to direct our attention to this three-minute clip from Penn & Teller’s cable show whose name I can’t use on our family-friendly website (after all, the show is on premium cable), where a petition gatherer ropes in a lot of people to oppose »

Film Festival Censors Science: Should We Care?

Featured image The Frozen River Film Fest in Winona, Minnesota, has canceled a scheduled showing of FrackNation, a pro-fracking documentary. The cancellation, which the festival organizers concede is an instance of viewpoint-based censorship, has gotten some publicity: The documentary, FrackNation, was scheduled to be shown alongside Gasland Part 2, a factually suspect film attacking hydraulic fracturing as environmentally destructive. The showing of the anti-fracking film is, of course, going forward. “We definitely »

Don’t Go Bananas Over Chemicals

Featured image You’re probably heard of all the people who die each year in the U.S. on account of that dangerous chemical known as di-hydrogen monoxide.   As the official website for di-hydrogen monoxide explains: Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound.  Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of »

Bill Gates’s Second Career

Featured image Microsoft’s legendary Bill Gates has taken up a second career reading and reviewing books.  He’s not bad at it in some ways, and he’s taken some heterodox positions that depart from his comfortable Seattle liberalism, such as praising just about everything written by Vaclav Smil, author several fine books on energy policy and other subjects. But it’s a good thing Gates made his fortune in computer software already, as I »

The Environmental Movement: How Corrupt Is It?

Featured image We have written many times about the corruption of the global warming movement. Billions and billions of dollars are being poured into the pockets of global warming alarmists, because they perform such a valuable service: they help to persuade voters that governments should be given greater control over the world’s economies. What’s a few billion dollars when trillions are at stake? We have written mostly about the corruption of Greens »

Green Weenie of the Year: The Wind-Talkers

Featured image Connoisseurs of environmental lore may recall the time Fred Hartley, the then-chairman of Union Oil, was skewered for his comment to a Senate committee in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that “I’m amazed at the publicity for the loss of a few birds.”  He was widely skewered for his insensitivity to nature, at a time when Americans were shocked and outraged at the front-page photos of »

Arab Media Do Another Job American Media Won’t

Featured image I’m currently reading Paul Sabin’s new book The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth’s Future, just out from Yale University Press.  It was a genius idea to write a book about this epic clash between the neo-Malthusianism at the core of modern environmentalism and one of its most persistent and profound critics, the late Julian Simon.  Simon won that famous bet with Ehrlich, of course, and »

Two New Sites of Note

Featured image Two new info-rich websites are worth noting and bookmarking for frequent visits (after Power Line, of course).  The first is HumanProgress.org, a project of the Cato Institute.  It is an ambitious project aimed at debunking the relentless gloom of the neo-Malthusianism of everyone who wants to extend more and more political control over people and resources.  As the title suggests, the real story of the human race is relentless progress.  »

Windmills, 600,000; Bats, 0

Featured image Let’s face it: wind power is bat—- crazy.  As we’ve noted here before, windmills are the Cuisinarts of the sky, with an avian mortality rate that would shut down any other industry.  (Quick question: which kills more birds: wind power, or offshore oil spills?  Wind power takes the prize by orders of magnitude.) A new report says that windmills in the U.S. killed an estimated 600,000 bats last year.  I »

Greenpeace Update

Featured image So we’ve noted before here and here how Greenpeace is starting to learn that you can’t get away with their antics in Russia.  Well, here’s the latest evidence: »

Greenthugs Update

Featured image When last we checked in on the saga of Greenthugs Greenpeace—the John Birch Society of the environmental movement—they were facing potentially long prison sentences for piracy in Russia. (See here, and here.)  Not only do the Russians appear ready to go forward with piracy charges, but the latest from the BBC is that Russian police have found drugs on the impounded Greenpeace ship.  Greenpeace is crying “plant!” and I’m sure »

Scary Bananas? Yes

Featured image Most of the lavishly produced TED Talks skew left or are at least relentlessly trendy.  But here’s one by South African journalist Ivo Vegter that is well worth its 17 minute length. Vergter has written a book called Extreme Environment: How Environmental Exaggeration Harms Emerging Economies.  The obvious caveat here is that environmental exaggeration harms developed economies–like ours–too.  Still, for all of the lefty talk about concern for the developing »

It’s Not Easy Being Green, but It’s Easy to be Annoying

Featured image According to the old saw, the problem with socialism is socialism, while the problem with capitalism is capitalists.  The latter half of this quote is widely attributed to Herbert Hoover, which perhaps is one indication of why this statement is backwardly wrong.  Capitalists may be greedy, but they can’t compel people by force to engage in commerce with them (unless they get the government to compel people to buy their »

Maybe Greenpeace Should Try Somalia?

Featured image Update: When last we checked in on the seafaring antics of Greenpeace, we found that they weren’t faring so well up in Russian waters.  The no-nonsense Russians said they were ready to open fire on Greenpeace ships that interfered with their Arctic energy projects. Better than firing on a Greenpeace ship?  Arresting and charging them with piracy.  From the Wall Street Journal today: MOSCOW—Russia has opened a piracy case against »