Spindle Time

Airline purgatory over the last 36 hours—every one of my four flights was disrupted or cancelled on a round-trip coast-to-coast itinerary—ended up with me in the wrong city on the wrong day, and all out of clean clothes to boot.  Oh, well, as the old saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.  But it has put me way behind on the news.  I hear there was some kind of criminal trial in Florida, or something?

So here’s “the pile” of items worth noting:

Jimmy Carter says the Zimmerman verdict was correct?  Didn’t he get the talking points from MSNBC?  Well, sort of.  He thinks the prosecution blew it, and that Zimmerman should have been convicted of something.

But Jesse Jackson doesn’t disappoint!  He’s calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the Zimmerman case.  But of course.  Jackson has an unerring instinct to turn every tragedy into farce.  Every time.  Good business, I suspect.

Save a turtle, go to jail.  So the loathsome Robert F. Kennedy Jr. rescues a sea turtle, but is then told he’s violated (perhaps criminally) the Endangered Species Act.  Two things are utterly predictable here.  First, he will face no legal consequences for his acts for the obvious reason, and second, neither he nor his fellow enviro-tyrants will ponder the perversities of environmental law that make it a crime to improve the environment by, for example, saving a rare animal as he did, or restoring a wetland without a costly permit.

—Meanwhile, did you know the Environmental Protection Agency building in Washington is being named for Bill Clinton today?   The same Bill Clinton who didn’t lift a finger to help push the Kyoto Protocol when it was finished in 1998? Al Gore was unavailable for comment.

—While we’re on the subject of the dismal science (no, dummy, not economics—environmentalism), there was probably no greater outrage by Ronaldus Magnus than his view that trees cause pollution.  But he was correct, as usual.  He had some details out of proportion: the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 didn’t spew more sulfur dioxide than human sources. But he was right about the central point concerning ozone: plants emit a lot of isoprene, a non-methane hydrocarbon that contributes to ground level ozone.  There’s some other research of note on this out of Europe, and, a little further back, in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.  The good news is that human agricultural activities, and increased CO2 levels (heh), reduced biogenic isoprene emissions by about 24 percent over the last century; the bad news is that our misbegotten mania for biofuels may cause isoprene emissions to rise again.


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