President Obama announced today to much fanfare (and to much angst on the right) that he is killing the proposed KeystoneXL pipeline, which would transport Canadian tar sands oil through the United States. But as much as he would like to claim the mantle of environmentalism (this is the man who promised to slow the rise of the oceans, after all) the president is giving himself a little too much credit here. For President Obama is not killing Keystone; the economics of oil are.Read more
Pope, President, Prices and Paris. That covers just about everything you need to know about the next step in the battle to prevent what has come to be called climate change, the title now preferred to “global warming” by those who worry that CO2 emissions are causing, er, global warming.Read more
The president is taking Air Force One to Florida this week. He is going there, unsurprisingly, to make a speech. On Earth Day, about climate change. He could make the speech in Washington, of course, but he needs a prop—in this case, will be the Everglades, which he describes as “one of the most special places in our country.Read more
Despite growing support from some conservative policy wonks, the idea of taxing carbon dioxide emissions, even as an alternative to the sort of heavy-handed greenhouse regulations promulgated by the Obama administration, has failed to garner much enthusiasm on the right.
The idea remains almost untouchable for Republican politicians, and the notion that there’s any chance that could change in the near future has been dismissed as “wishful thinking” by left-wing outlets like Mother Jones.Read more
Last week was good for environmentalists, and perhaps even for the environment. President Obama doubled down on his effort to increase the likelihood of the success of the 2015 UN climate change conference in Paris, claiming the U.S. has “a special responsibility to lead. That’s what great nations do.” He took the occasion of the UN meetings in New York to put the heat on China, the world’s largest polluter, to match the steps the U.S. is taking to reduce its CO2 emissions.Read more
The Scrapbook was dimly aware that the U.S. Army was reengineering its ammo but still was taken aback to read that it took 15 years and an estimated $100 million to come up with a new 5.56 NATO round for our infantrymen. It cost so much and took so long because, you know, it’s not easy being green. Today’s bullet is lead-free—made from copper with a steel penetrator.Read more
Hot and Bothered: When Liberals Want Conservatives to Talk About Climate Change Instead of the Middle Class
"Everything reminds Milton of the money supply," Robert Solow once said of his fellow Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman at a symposium. "Well, everything reminds me of sex, but I keep it out of the paper."Read more
The fracking euphoria had to end. For three reasons. First, the claims for its benefits were wildly exaggerated, ensuring eventual disappointment as even a cheerful reality could not meet the imaginings of the pro-fossil-fuel gang. Second, environmental groups were not going to sit idly by, their formidable political weapons holstered, while fossil fuels received a new lease on life in America.Read more
The administration has made climate change its signature issue until something better comes along. This means that the the EPA will be walking point. After all, no new environmental legislation will be coming out of Congress. President Obama didn’t ever try for that when his party had majorities in both the House and the Senate.
Of course the weather was nicer back then, so Washington may not have felt the urgency.Read more
A new Gallup poll shows the American people say climate change is one of the problems they worry about the least.
The polling firm asked Americans how much they worry about 15 separate issues facing the country, with the economy, federal spending, and health care ranking at the top. Fifty-nine percent said the economy and jobs were an issue they worried about "a great deal," and 58 percent and 57 percent said the same for federal spending and health-care affordability, respectively.Read more
In recent days, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, took to Twitter to express deep concern about the practice of a local Japanese tradition.
"Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries," Kennedy tweeted.
Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries.Read more
The EPA awarded $461,368 in grants this week for various environmental projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. About half of the funds went to projects in Calexico, CA and Phoenix, AZ, but the remaining $230,000 went to two cities on the Mexican side of the border, Nogales and Ensenada.Read more
Although CO2 is considered a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to climate change, if the Energy Department (DOE) finds partners to capitalize on the research of one of its laboratories, someday cars might run on sunshine. Technically, cars would run on the product of sunlight, CO2, and water using a "two-step solar thermochemical cycle" developed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico government lab.Read more
At a fundraiser last night in Chicago, President Barack Obama signaled that he's interested in his legacy as a president and insisted that he's willing to work with anyone.Read more
While American environmentalists focus primarily on saving field mice and frustrating development and energy production on the home front, there’s a growing need for genuine conservation and stewardship to protect the natural habitats of the world’s grandest animals. Take the cases of the rhino and the elephant.Read more
A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency lost a string of high-profile lawsuits brought by environmentalists challenging the Bush administration's regulations. And in certain circles, it was fashionable to cite those as proof of the Bush EPA's incompetence if not its utter corruption.Read more
An anti-Occupy Wall Street movement (who call themselves "Occupy Occupy D.C.") protested bird killing wind turbines today at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. The group gathered "to highlight the threat that wind, a celebrated alternative energy source, poses to the American bird community," according to a press release sent out by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which sponsors Occupy Occupy D.C.Read more
The anti-Occupy Wall Street movement—or Occupy Occupy D.C., as they call themselves—held a rally today at Freedom Plaza to call for a “Cease Fire in Obama's War on Nature.” In particular, the rally goers in favor of freedom came out today to protest “the Obama Administration's new policy to kill the barred owl in deference to the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest,” according to a press release announcing the event.Read more
Yuval Levin: "Romney and Bain"
Wall Street Journal: "Republicans can turn media bias to their advantage"Read more
In 1950, real estate developers looking to satisfy postwar America’s burgeoning demand for housing decided that Assateague Island, a sandy slice of land off the Maryland and Virginia coasts, would make a good place for a new neighborhood. Using federal and state funds, they built a road running almost half the length of the island and leveled land for houses. It was not the first development effort in the area. In the 1930s, the New Deal-era Army Corps of Engineers opened a navigation channel to improve shipping and expand beaches in nearby Ocean City, Maryland. Other federal programs encouraged fishing and the construction ofRead more
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