Loose Ends (38)

Got a large backlog of news items to catch up with.

In the “News You Can Use” Department:

Study Says Drinking Alcohol Is Better Than Exercise For Living a Longer Life

[Excerpt] After her team analyzed the data from the study, they concluded that individuals who consumed two glasses of wine or beer per day reduced their risk of an early death by an astonishing 18%. To compare that statement, individuals who exercised between 15 to 45 minutes per day cut the exact same risk, but only by 11%.

This new found research suggests that consuming alcohol could be the secret to living a longer life. But this study isn’t the first to link alcohol to a longer life though. A 2015 study published in the journal BMJ Open found that those suffering from mild Alzheimer’s and moderately drank were less likely to die.

I knew it all along. Now, where’d I put down my morning whisky? I got some catching up to do with my health food.

The Economist this week has a typical major-media thumbsucker on how terrible it is that American politics is polarized along “tribal” lines, and describes one of those Kumbaya exercises where “facilitators” try to bring together left and right to see if they can’t get people on the right to become liberals (which is the true agenda of all such “bipartisan” exercises). But in the middle of the story, in the course of describing what liberals—the “blue team”—imagined are the red team’s critique of liberal views, is this terrific slip-up:

The blue team’s members were more educated and self-critical. They imagined the reds thought Democrats a bunch of smug, godless, politically correct traitors to the constitution. They confessed there was a bit of truth to much of that.

How did that slip by the editors?

From Robert Bryce’s latest terrific column on energy trends, this takeaway:

Over the past decade, merely the increase — I repeat, just the increase — in US oil and gas production is equal to seven times the total energy production of every wind turbine and solar project in the United States.

Read the whole thing. It’s delicious, but devastating to the green energy cheerleaders.

Chaser: I’d love to see this idea catch on, especially in California:

At a time when most of New England is charging ahead with renewable energy, New Hampshire policymakers are hanging back and painting renewables as a costly luxury.

The Republican-led General Court has sent a bill to Gov. Chris Sununu (R) that would require utilities to calculate, and print on people’s power bills, the cost of complying with the state’s renewables targets.

Sununu, who’s running for re-election this year, supports the bill, H.B. 1550. “New Hampshire’s ratepayers are entitled to understand the factors driving some of the highest electric rates in the nation,” he said in a statement released last week.

The average retail price of electricity in New Hampshire is 15.66 cents per kilowatt-hour, well above the U.S. average of 10.41 cents/kWh, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The only problem with this idea is that electric utilities have lots of incentives to lie about what renewables cost to consumers, so it would be better to have some kind of outside audit of the cost.

Surprise, surprise, surprise: this story gives a whole new meaning to “pot hed”:

With tax revenue from legal pot sales in California falling short of projections, a financial analysis firm estimated Tuesday that total sales this year will be $1.9 billion, significantly less than the $3.8 billion the company expected.

The firm, New Frontier Data, had also estimated that total sales in California would reach $6.7 billion by 2025, but now says it is more likely the industry will generate $4.72 billion by then.

Gee—I wonder why this might be? Perhaps, like illegal liquor in dry counties around the country, the old pot “bootleggers” don’t want to pay taxes and conform to regulations?


New Frontier Data’s report could boost pending legislation that would lower the state excise tax on marijuana sales from 15% to 11% to make it more appealing to Californians who are still buying cannabis on the black market.

Heh. You can get black market pot suppliers are dead set against the tax cut. See: Bootleggers and Baptists.

Chaser, from Bloomberg News:

Bearish bets against global pot boom rise to record US$2.1B

The pool of bearish wagers on a pot bust is increasing.

The total value of short positions in global marijuana-related stocks has climbed to a record approaching US$2.1 billion, according to Sam Pierson, an analyst at IHS Markit in Boston. Short sellers have increased their positions amid concern that the sector is overvalued, and it’s becoming easier to find shares available to borrow for companies with a large market capitalization, he said.