Environment

Eric Dreiband and Jeff Clark will finally get a floor vote

Featured image On Saturday, shortly after the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh, Majority Leader McConnell filed for cloture on the nominations of Eric Dreiband and Jeff Clark. Both have been nominated for Assistant Attorney General positions — Eric to head the Civil Rights Division, Jeff to head the Environmental and Natural Resources Division. For Democrats, McConnell’s move surely added insult to injury. The Dems bitterly oppose Eric and Jeff because both are strong »

About Those “Vanishing” Forests. . .

Featured image Most people think—and charlatan environmentalists are happy to reinforce the impression—that deforestation is taking place on a massive scale, that the world is literally going to run out of trees. I have noted from time to time the data from the United Nations Global Forest Resource Assessment (UNGFRA) that has found that deforestation stopped at least 25 years ago, and that net reforestation has been taking place. But the UN »

Today Straws, Tomorrow Balloons?

Featured image Did you think leftist do-gooders would stop after getting plastic straws banned in a variety of locations? Of course not! Next up, balloons: Now that plastic straws may be headed for extinction, could Americans’ love of balloons be deflated? The joyous celebration of releasing balloons into the air has long bothered environmentalists, who say the pieces that fall back to earth can be deadly to seabirds and turtles that eat »

Make Socialism Scientific Again!

Featured image Remember the good old days when socialism was “scientific”? Keep in mind that the orthodox Marxism of “dialectical materialism” was understood as a scientific doctrine of history, not advocacy based on the abstract principles of egalitarianism. But then socialism crashed and burned everywhere (except on college campuses), which is why today socialism comes to sight as a religious faith, a trait it always had from the beginning, which is why »

Getting the Lead Out at the NY Times

Featured image When the story broke a couple years back about the high lead levels in the public water supply in Flint, Michigan, I had intended to investigate the matter more closely, suspecting that from the little actual data reported in the media that the story was being hyped in the usual way to whip up hysteria and be used for partisan gain. (Flint is a city run by Democrats, but somehow »

On the Environment, Europeans Should Follow U.S. Lead

Featured image There was much gnashing of teeth over the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. That turned out to be nothing but the usual virtue signaling, as the agreement has since fallen apart, having turned out to be nothing but a stickup of rich nations by poor nations. Shockingly, the Western democracies weren’t actually interested in paying up. Meanwhile–one might ask–what has been happening in the physical world with »

The Last Straw

Featured image I’ve been wanting for several weeks now to post up an article on the current mania of the Green WeeniesTM to ban plastic straws, but I’ve been swamped with work, so let it slide. Fortunately, John Stossel  and the good folks at ReasonTV are on the job, and offer this short video which exposes the whole nonsense of this in a compact four minutes—definitely worth your time: So I guess we all »

A New Low In Corporate Virtue-Signaling

Featured image Someday, historians will analyze what caused American corporations to veer sharply to the left in the early years of the 21st century. It is a weird phenomenon, as exemplified by the case of WeWork: Office space sharing company WeWork says it is no longer serving red or white meat at company events. In an email to employees Thursday, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Miguel McKelvey said the company won’t serve »

Senate confirms Benczkowski; it’s time to confirm Dreiband and Clark too

Featured image On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Brian Benczkowski as head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Thus, a year and a half into the Trump administration, the Senate has finally confirmed one of Trump’s nominees to a key assistant attorney general position. Three other such key positions remain vacant. They are head of the Civil Rights Division (Eric Dreiband), head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (Jeff Clark), »

The Wrath of Mother Nature

Featured image I spent most of last week on the big island of Hawaii, and since the news media said that fear of the volcano eruption had depressed tourism, it was the obvious thing to do. Here is a short highlight reel of the eruption from a helicopter, which had to stay above 3,000 feet; the zoom-in shot in the middle is very shaky (the helicopter ride was quite bumpy) but you »

Breaking: Scott Pruitt Out at EPA

Featured image The campaign against Scott Pruitt at EPA (more stories in the New York Times than it ran on the scarcity of women at Augusta a decade ago—clearly planned and planted by the environmental establishment) has finally borne fruit: Pruitt has resigned today. I haven’t kept up with the running list of Pruitt’s alleged and real mis-steps, but the best account I heard of his tenure as EPA administrator is that »

Saving the Planet Through Virtue-Signaling

Featured image One reason I have long term optimism that we’re going to beat the left is that they flunk the humor test—over and over again. Here are the folks at College Humor making fun of the “locavores” who make farmer’s market shopping into a sacrament. Meanwhile, I’m heading off to a wine festival this afternoon. And planning to avoid every winery that boasts that it is either “organic” or “sustainable” (unless »

Today in Climate Follies

Featured image Those of you with subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal may enjoy my op-ed appearing this morning on “Climate Change Has Run Its Course,” which is causing indigestion amongst the climatistas. It’s already up to more than 600 comments, which is rather a lot before I’ve even finished my second cup of coffee out here on the Left Coast. As the article is behind the Journal‘s robust paywall, I’ll summarize »

Uranium mining and states rights

Featured image Four decades ago a massive uranium deposit was discovered in southern Virginia. This gave rise to one of my first assignments as a lawyer in private practice. Various interests wanted badly to have the uranium mined, but environmentalists were dead set against it. Cissy Spacek, star of the film “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” attended a public hearing at which opposition was vehemently expressed. My job was two-fold. First, help identify a »

Confirm Jeff Clark

Featured image For conservatives, the rolling back of oppressive, costly, and unnecessary federal regulations is probably the signature achievement of the Trump administration so far. This rolling back, if it continues and if it survives challenge, will deliver a major blow to the administrative state and provide the equivalent of a large national tax cut. EPA is the federal agency at the center of the rollback. Indeed, most of the “tax cut” »

Study Confirms “Green” Hypocrisy

Featured image In a finding that surprises, probably, no one, a new survey shows that the more a person claims to be concerned about global warming, the less likely he is to behave in environmentally friendly ways: Participants in a year-long study who doubted the scientific consensus on the issue “opposed policy solutions,” but at the same time, they “were most likely to report engaging in individual-level, pro-environmental behaviors,” writes a research »

The Great Earth Day Yawn

Featured image Wait—yesterday was Earth Day! I must have yawned right through it. Like most Americans, if you go by the surveys showing increasing public indifference toward environmentalism. I used to make a big deal out of Earth Day, pointing out for years that the data in rich countries showed an almost unbroken record of significant environmental improvement is just about every major category. This would send environmentalists into howls of outrage, »