Environment

Meet “Eco-Modernism”—The New Face of 21st Century Environmentalism

Featured image For a long time I’ve been arguing that environmentalism needs its own Protestant Reformation, with a Martin Luther figure to nail a new 95 Theses to the front door of the Sierra Club (on recycled paper, of course).  The first attempt at this was Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus’s 2007 book Breakthrough: Why We Can’t Leave Saving the Planet to Environmentalists.  Though Michael and Ted are left-leaning figures, they broke »

Americans to Environmentalists: Yawn

Featured image Gallup is out with its annual poll of environmental issues.  I’ll just go with their headline: In the U.S., Concern About Environmental Threats Eases Among the key findings: Consistent with the decline in worry about specific environmental problems, Americans have become more positive about the quality of the environment in recent years. If Americans perceive the environment to be in relatively good shape, it follows they would be less concerned about potential »

Is “Sustainability” Sustainable?

Featured image I recall taking in a British comedy sketch on TV over in London many years ago that featured the familiar device of an “interview” with a historical figure—in this case, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. The deadpan interviewer asked, “I suppose you’ll be going around doing your usual miracles again—raising the dead, healing the sick, turning water into wine, and so forth? To which Jesus replies with a qualification: “Yes—but »

Why No One Trusts Environmentalists

Featured image It didn’t start with global warming: environmentalists have been distorting (and sometimes fabricating) facts for a long time. As a result, most people have learned to view environmentalists’ claims with skepticism. Here is a case in point. A group called Environment Minnesota started a petition campaign against Flint Hills Resources, which operates the Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota. Pine Bend is one of two refineries in the state. Environment »

The Obama Administration’s Attack on the Constitution: Part 2, Environmental Protection Agency

Featured image The Environmental Protection Agency has long been in the forefront of Obama administration lawlessness. Don’t forget: before Hillary Clinton’s secret email server came to light, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was conducting government business off the books as “Richard Windsor,” which, she explained when caught, was the name of her dog. The EPA’s current usurpation, an effort to remake America’s power supply system, is much more serious. The EPA has proposed »

Jay Leno Hates Ethanol

Featured image And so should you.  From Jay’s column in Autoweek: CAN’T WE JUST GET RID OF ETHANOL? There have been a lot of old-car fires lately. I went through the ’70s, the ’80s and most of the ’90s without ever having read much about car fires. Suddenly, they are happening all over the place. Here’s one reason: The ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10 percent in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through »

Of Bottled Water and Bobbled Heads

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s “Notable & Quotable” section this morning flags one of Don Boudreaux’s typically insightful posts from his CafeHayek blog (very much worth reading for basic booster shots of economic literacy) about the emergence of bottled water a couple decades ago: I remember back in the late 1970s or early 1980s when I first noticed that still water began to be offered for sale in single-sized bottles.  I »

Conversations on the Environment

Featured image Last month I trekked up to Syracuse, New York, where global warming had brought temperatures around minus 10 F for my visit (that’s why I’m wearing a sweater in the thumbnail photo), for a conference on environmentalism broadly considered that was sponsored by SUNY’s School of Environmental Science and Forestry.  One of the things I did there was tape a broadcast of their “Conversations” series with Prof. Scott Turner, a »

Drowning in An Ocean of Misinformation?

Featured image The oceans are dying, says . . . just about everyone. Well at least the New York Times, which reported last month that “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says.” And the Times never makes any factual mistakes; I checked to make sure this story wasn’t from Gail Collins. But to my amazement, there’s a broad study out in the latest issue of BioScience, a premier journal in the »

Return to Yucca Mountain

Featured image In my opinion, the Obama administration’s decision to block the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is a major and under-reported scandal. It represents the triumph of raw politics over the public good. As the Washington Post’s editors explain, our nuclear power plants generate large amounts of radioactive fuel that needs to be stored. For decades, the plan was to store this material in a permanent geologically isolated facility »

Power Line on the Road: The East Coast Tour

Featured image Since Scott has mentioned his upcoming lecture about “Rathergate Ten Years Later” at Lyon College on Thursday, I may as well post up my speaking schedule this week, for the benefit of any Pittsburgh or Syracuse-based readers who need something to kill time between the Super Bowl and the start of Spring training. Tuesday I’ll be at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, speaking at noon on “The Climategate »

The Prediction Racket

Featured image One of John Kenneth Galbraith’s better and more sound witticisms was that economic forecasting was invented to make astrology look good. He should have lived long enough to take in climate change predictions. While we continue Beta testing our Climate Change Cliché Counter and scoreboard, we are pleased to take note of a new website that will surely be indispensable: ClimateChangePredictions.org. This group effort looks to be a one-stop shopping »

Is Russia Financing the Anti-Fracking Campaign?

Featured image The production of natural gas by fracking has been an enormous boon to America’s economy and to its hard-pressed consumers. Yet there are some who oppose fracking, and these opponents are lavishly funded. By whom? Investigations by the Washington Free Beacon and the Environmental Policy Alliance indicate that the answer may well be: the Russian government and Rosneft, the world’s largest oil company. The Russians’ motive to suppress American natural »

To BPA or Not to BPA, That Is The Question

Featured image In between gasps about the hottest year ever, and palpitations over fracking, environmentalists have been worked up for a long time now about BPA—bisphenol-A, an ingredient in many plastic products.  Environmentalists want it banned, because Rosie O’Donnell or something.  Well, European environmental regulators, who typically ban things before breakfast, have given BPA a clean bill of health.  They found . . . oh heck, why not let Ron Bailey, the »

Pass Out the Eggs: There Are Some Faces That Need Some

Featured image I know, keeping track of failed environmental doomsday predictions is such bad form, and is too easy besides. But it is necessary to remind everyone anyway. Over at Fox News Maxim Lott reminds us of five predictions for the year 2015 that don’t looks so good right now: 1) UN overestimated global warming by 2015 2) All Rainforest Species Will Be Extinct 3) Oil will run out by 2015 4) »

For New York leftists, Pottersville represents a wonderful life

Featured image In response to my post “Bedford Falls or Pottersville,” my conservative cousin from New York advises me that, in his state, the left has already opted for Pottersville. He writes: In 21st century New York, George Bailey and his buddy the wealthy manufacturer Wainwright would be seen as environmental terrorists trying to build a manufacturing plant that could pollute the Bedford Falls water supply. By contrast, Henry Potter’s gambling dens »

“Green” Cars Are Actually Very Brown

Featured image Seth Borenstein, environmental writer for the AP, notes a new study out Monday from the National Academy of Sciences that finds electric cars have a strongly negative air pollution effect if they are run in states that generate most of their electricity from coal: People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make »