Environment

France faces lawsuit for rescinding harsh carbon tax

Featured image Four NGOs, including Oxfam and Greenpeace, have initiated legal proceedings against the French government, claiming that France has defaulted on its environmental obligations by eliminating, under intense pressure from “Yellow Vests,” the stiff carbon tax it had imposed. The initial filing gives the government two months to formulate a response, after which the organizations can choose to move forward with their lawsuit in administrative court. To an American lawyer, the »

Videos of the Week: Electric Boogaloo

Featured image Elon Musk is getting his usual attention for his latest gee-whiz stunt of running a mile of tunnel under Los Angeles and proposing to solve the city’s legendary traffic congestion by turning Angelenos into commuting Mole People—with electric cars, or course, and guess who makes those? I wouldn’t rule out the idea, and in general think that Musk gets more shade than he probably deserves. But surely he deserves some. »

Libs oppose Manchin becoming Energy Committee’s ranking member

Featured image Sen. Joe Manchin is the leading contender to become the senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin, however, is pro-coal, as befits a Senator from West Virginia. And when Manchin ran for the Senate in 2010, a campaign ad featured him shooting a bullet through a piece of “climate change” legislation. The left wasn’t amused then, and it isn’t amused now. Tom Steyer has joined environmental »

They’re Coming for Your Steaks and Hamburgers

Featured image The Lancet used to be a respected medical journal. Now, while it still publishes technical articles on medical topics, it is more concerned with the left-wing hobby horses of the day. Pseudo-science can be influential, so the Lancet’s current editorial–We Need to Talk About Meat–should be taken seriously as an early warning. The emotionally charged debate over the ethical suitability of meat consumption may never reach a conclusion, but it »

Environmental law and the Constitution

Featured image Last week, I had the honor of attending the swearing-in of Jeff Clark as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the Justice Department. Jeff was sworn in by Judge Danny Boggs for whom he clerked. Matthew Whitaker and Ron Rosenstein both spoke, as did Jeff Wood who was in charge of the ENRD for 21 months while Jeff waited for the Senate to confirm »

About Those California Wildfires

Featured image As everyone knows, wildfires have burned out of control in both northern and southern California. Some have been killed and many more are missing. The fires are a human tragedy, one that seems to have become more common in California in recent years. Liberals, predictably, have blamed global warming–and therefore conservatives–for the fires. California Governor Jerry Brown, for one, has specifically said that global warming skeptics are partly responsible for »

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 »