It is with sadness that we learn of the passing of Michael Crichton, who passed away earlier today at age 66 after a bout with cancer. Most people know him as the uber-well-known author behind Jurassic Park and for being one of the creators of the long-running series “ER.”
Dr. Crichton advocated caution against “consensus science,” which he argued is the driving force of global warming alarmism. Con census science is made up of the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of science at a particular time. Crichton argued that proponents of global warming were doing consensus science and not actual science (the kind based on the scientific method rather than polling scientists).
This is a major blow to those of us who are wary to jump to unfounded conclusions about anthropologic global warming. It certainly isn’t a popular position, particularly among celebrities. Crichton was a valuable ally and his loss will be mourned.
Over at GreenWatch we now have archived an interactive list of the “worst environmental prophecies of catastrophic doom.” It is a list of eleven of the most interesting and pointed cases of environmental activists raising the red alert, and the unintended fall out from it.
This week we burst the bubble of “water scarcity.”
Alarmists fear poor countries and people will run out of fresh water because Western nations are consuming more water than ever. This false prophecy fails to recognize that lack of infrastructure, not supply, is responsible for inadequate fresh water supplies in the less-developed world. Alarmists also oppose well-drilling, irrigation, and dam-building to tap into existing water supplies.Another technique, desalinization of ocean water, has provided the arid Middle East with potable water for more than 40 years. Water-saving markets and technologies can address this problem: In drought-stricken regions market-driven volume pricing cuts the subsidy of flat rate below-market pricing to heavy users of water.
Climate change is happening faster than previously predicted according to a new World Wildlife Fund can help. report. Do you want to do your part to stop climate change and save the planet? Then send money to the World Wildlife Fund, because they can help!
Why do people believe this stuff? The WWF is obviously interested in promoting climate change as a problem because they are raising money to combat it. Yet people are blind to how self-serving WWF’s tactics are. In 2006, they took in $162,536,877.00. That is a lot of money to raise! Given that the new report states that climate change is an even greater threat than previously thought, it is all the more important that they receive more money this year.
You may recall another recent discussion of the World Wildlife Fund on this blog. It also highlights just how self-serving the WWF really is. Ignoring the huge amounts of emissions given off by planes, WWF is organizing a $65,000 trip around the world for its wealthier donors. Private jet, luxury accommodations, etc. How will they offset the carbon emissions from this trip? They don’t say. They probably don’t care, as long as the money comes in.
The hypocrisy of the World Wildlife Fund is out of control. They use environmental causes to raise incredible amounts of money that they put into research that confirms that they need more money to keep fighting the good fight. All this money being pumped into WWF and the like and the only thing coming out are fear mongering climate change reports and global warming alarmist claims. Why don’t they actually do something to help fix the environment, if that is really what they care about? Obviously, not doing anything pays better.
Environmentalists harass man for defending himself.
Jim West, of British Columbia, Canada, was attacked by a bear on October 4th as he inadvertently walked between the bear and her cubs. The bear knocked West down multiple times before he was able to grab a large stick and bludgeoned the bear to death. Conservation officers later put down the bear’s cubs.
Since the attack, emails impersonating West have been sent to members of the local press by animal rights activists claiming that he maliciously killed the bear and that he could’ve easily escaped the situation. He’s also been receiving phone calls.
“One woman asked me why I killed the bear and why I didn’t run away. Well, you can’t outrun a mother bear,” said West who is recovering from the 60 stitches to his skull, upper lip and left arm he received in the attack.
“It was a matter of survival and I’m sorry people are upset about it, but it was live or die.”
Apparently, the animal rights activists involved in this smear and harassment campaign believe that human beings would make better bear food than healthy, contributing members of society. This is an excellent example of environmentalism gone crazy. Even PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), typically the vanguard of such ridiculous campaigns, has denied any involvement in West’s case. It’s scary when even PETA is on the side of common sense.
At GreenWatch we now have archived an interactive list of the “worst environmental prophecies of catastrophic doom.” It is a list of eleven of the most interesting and pointed cases of environmental activists raising the red alert, and the unintended fall out from it.
The one below is my favorite, recycling did help, and may be emotionally virtuous and self-gratifying, but it may also be a giant waste of time and energy resources. (Video link: caution adult language, ear-muffs for the under-age readers.)
Al Gore was once a garbage alarmist.In the 1980s he worried that America would run out of space to handle its garbage. Gore claimed the U.S. was “running out of ways to dispose of our waste in a manner that keeps it out of either sight or mind.”The actual problem was skewed data: In the 1980s the waste disposal industry did close many small landfills, but it began to open large high capacity landfills as well as explore new methods of incineration and recycling. Environmental alarmists ignored this development.Recent data indicates that with fewer but larger landfills, the United States can accommodate at least 25% more trash with no danger of running out of future waste storage space.
Recently, the state of Pennsylvania passed the Clean Indoor Air Act (it became law on September 12, 2008). Like most smoking bans, it prohibits lighting up in most public buildings, such as restaraunts, parts of casinos, bars, and workplaces. It comes as no surprise that this act passed, as smoking bans are passing all over the country. However objectionable, from a libertarian standpoint, these bans are, they have so far left the home relatively untouched.
The law in Pennsylvania contains a clause that prohibits foster parents from smoking in their houses or cars whenever a foster child is present. One problem is that the law went into effect immediately, which means that some foster parents can no longer smoke around their foster child(ren). Since they are committed to the foster child(ren) already, it places a burden on the parents that they did not have to originally consider. If this results in foster parents getting in trouble, this is a problem. The terms of a contract can’t change after the contract is signed unless everyone agrees, which they haven’t.
The bigger issue I have with this law is that it breaks previously hallowed ground by introducing government interference inside the home. In a time that big, intrusive government seems to be very popular (the government is buying bank stock!), we run the risk of seeing a marked increase in laws that govern how people must act inside their own homes. The argument in favor of this sort of law is easy: “For the good of the children!” This is appealing on a base-emotional level, but it isn’t a good idea because it justifies some terrible laws.
Consider the founding principles of this country. They pretty clearly protect liberty and property. Yet this is an example of the government disregarding liberty and property rights. Why not extend the ban to trans fats, as some cities have done? Or high fructose corn syrup? If we are really worried about the children, maybe we shouldn’t let them eat any of these substances. I’ve heard caffeine stunts growth – so let’s ban that as well. Red meat might be bad. Or eggs. Or milk. Of course these suggestions are ludicrous, but it is what lies further down the slippery slope that we’ve embarked upon. Liberty must be defended vigilantly, which is exactly what the founding fathers were after. My guess is that they would be extremely disappointed to see a law like this one on the books.
October 1, 2008 saw the expiration of the moratorium on offshore drilling. It was lovingly dubbed “Energy Independence Day.” As noted in an early post, accessing domestic offshore oil takes a long time (at least 6 years). Permits, inquiries, studies, comment periods, and lots of red tape prevent oil producers from accessing oil. It turns out that getting 6 years worth of paperwork done is the easy part. Suffering the litigation put forth by wealthy environmentalist groups is the hard part. On that note, I’d like to introduce the beluga whale.
Today, the federal government declared the beluga whale endangered. This means that any offshore drilling in the Cook Inlet area of Alaska is nearly impossible now. Yet again, a small group of radicals prevents America from accessing its own natural resources. The Center for Biological Diversity, a member of CRC’s Gang Green, is the ultra-liberal environmental group that spearheaded the efforts to have the beluga whale listed on the endangered species list. This is very likely the beginning of a long string of roadblocks to energy independence that result from litigation from radical environmentalist groups.
I wonder if Vegas runs odds on which animal goes next?
A state-run oil company in Cuba announced that it has approximately 20 billion barrels of oil in its offshore fields, which is more than double its previous estimates. If correct, it would make Cuba the 20th largest oil producing nation in the world and bring “unprecedented wealth” to Fidel Castro’s tiny, backward island. Drilling could begin as soon as the middle of 2009.
Imagine if free market principles were at work in Cuba. If there was an incentive to generate profits, an oil company would have long ago discovered these stores of oil. Why? Because making money is a heck of a motivator. Money would be flowing into Cuba now, raising the standard of living for millions of people. They would’ve been able to make money, oodles of it, when oil cost $140/barrel. They can only make half-oodles now that oil is around $70/barrel. It is better than nothing though.
State-run institutions do not have the drive to innovate or drive creative destruction because the incentive structure is more of a disincentive structure. Working hard won’t be beneficial because you will still get paid in the state-run company. With oil resources of that magnitude, Cuba could be one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Instead, well, you know. Likewise, Venezuela could be one of the world’s wealthiest nations given its oil supply, but instead, Hugo Chavez squanders the hope and future of his country and its people.
The moral of the story is simple: State-run institutions don’t work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the bank.
If you haven’t already done so, meet David Suzuki. He is Canada’s version of a more personable Al Gore. Suzuki is the face of Canadian environmentalism and he is having a bad week in the wake of the Canadian elections. Why? The centerpiece of the Liberal party’s platform during the recent Canadian elections was a very expensive Green Shift carbon tax plan and the election results point towards a resistance among Canadians to embrace a massive new carbon tax.
In other words, common sense has prevailed in Canada!
At least a little bit, for now.
Conservative opposition to the Green Shift carbon tax plan outlined the terms of the political discourse early on in the election process and were able to pitch the tax as a massive tax rather than an environmental issue. The election results do not necessarily mean that the tax won’t pass in the near future or that common sense will continue to prevail, but it offers a bit of hope and an important lesson for those of us who openly oppose oppressive obligations on our wallets in the form of environmental policies. Shift the discussion to highlight the tax burden and huge price tag rather than letting the feel-good environmentalist arguments prevail. The problem with feel-good environmentalist arguments is that they care little for the burden it places on people. Fiscal conservatives need to reconquer the language of the debate and rephrase it in real, economic terms. We need to make people understand that the environmentalists are pushing for policies that are disastrously expensive and will cripple the U.S. economy and stifle future growth.
We simply can’t afford to lose this battle in the coming months and years.
Ultra-liberal billionaire George Soros, recently dubbed the owner of the Democratic Party on Saturday Night Live and founding father of the very secretive Democracy Alliance, has recently, and very clearly, stated his goals for the future of the economy. Use the environment as a vehicle to install a New World Economy. Here is a short excerpt from an interview with Bill Moyers that took place last week:
GEORGE SOROS: You see, for the last 25 years the world economy, the motor of the world economy that has been driving it was consumption by the American consumer who has been spending more than he has been saving, all right? Than he’s been producing. So that motor is now switched off. It’s finished. It’s run out of — can’t continue. You need a new motor. And we have a big problem. Global warming. It requires big investment. And that could be the motor of the world economy in the years to come.
BILL MOYERS: Putting more money in, building infrastructure, converting to green technology.
GEORGE SOROS: Instead of consuming, building an electricity grid, saving on energy, rewiring the houses, adjusting your lifestyle where energy has got to cost more until it you introduce those new things. So it will be painful. But at least we will survive and not cook.
BILL MOYERS: You’re talking about this being the end of an era and needing to create a whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world, right?
GEORGE SOROS: Yes.
This quote has everything: climate change alarmism, socialism, and hypocrisy. Soros says we need a new economic model. There are two things are striking about this comment. First, it is hard to tell from the interview how much Soros really cares about improving the environment as opposed to using the environment as an effective tool of social and economic change. He can use the environment as the new ‘motor’ that drives the economy. The second striking point, far scarier than the first, is his agreement that we need a “whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world.” This is radical stuff. Soros, now that he has made his billions, wants to overthrow the system that made him wealthy. Does George Soros want to be the only wealthy one left standing? Then he really could own the Democratic Party. Talk about life imitating art!
I have a solution to offer, but it is only temporary. Why don’t we devise some method of using the hot air that constantly spews from Mr. Soros’ mouth as a source of alternative energy? On a good day he could fuel much of the Northeast. Feel free to check out a bit more of the interview, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.