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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Regular readers of this blog already know (see here, here, and here) that I’m not a big fan of the new “CFL” light bulbs that we will be forced to use in a couple of years.

In a more entertaining fashion, here’s a video from a few years ago, featuring a Republican Congressman railing against the new bulbs.

Repealing the idiotic mandate for these inferior bulbs should be a gimme for the new Republican majority. Somehow, though, I predict they’ll screw up and leave the requirement in place.

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Here’s a new video from the Taxpayers Alliance in the United Kingdom exposing how left-wing environmental groups get funded by government handouts.

David Cameron supposedly is being tough on spending, but I’ve already revealed that overall spending is climbing at about twice the rate of inflation under his new budget. And I’m not holding my breath that he’ll reduce the taxpayer handouts shown in this video.

But we Americans can’t be smug because the federal budget also is riddled with all sorts of giveaways and subsidies to left-wing groups. Labor unions, AARP, and Planned Parenthood are just a few of the groups that have their snouts in the public trough. And I would be shocked to learn that environmental groups haven’t figured out how to scam taxpayers as well.

Back in the 1990s, GOPers had a campaign to “defund the left.” Whatever progress they made, though, had since been completely erased. As Republicans in the House try to figure out ways to restore fiscal sanity, eliminating handouts for left-wing groups would be a great place to start.

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I was interviewed by CNN about the issues relating to Congressman Barton’s apology to BP. The network only used one of my quotes from the interview, and I was happy to see that I was not taken out of context (always a danger when you are taped in advance).

To augment my limited quote from the story, my main gripe with the $20 billion fund is that compensation claims should be part of the regular legal process and not the result of pressure from the White House. That being said, I won’t be too agitated about the fund – assuming that the money does not become a piggy bank for White House vote buying. On the broader issue of BP and the spill, protecting people from harm (either intentional harm, which is addressed by the criminal justice system, or unintentional harm, which should be addressed through the tort system) is one of the few legitimate functions of government.

One final comment. The CNN story, shortly after the 2:00 mark, makes it appear as if polling data shows the American people favor Obama’s approach. That is not the case. The polling data simply shows that people don’t think the spill is under control and that they think BP should pay all damages. That’s not contrary to Obama’s position, but neither is it contrary to the libertarian position.

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That’s my reaction to Robert Reich’s crazy idea to put the nation’s least competent people in charge of British Petroleum. I’m not a big fan of BP, especially since it oozes political correctness (just think of their stupid ads where they claim BP stands for “beyond petroleum”), but mangers and shareholders at the firm have a huge financial incentive to fix the problem. Giving politicians control of the company, by contrast, is a recipe for incompetence and bungling.

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I suspect this is a marketing gimmick, but this story I saw linked on Marginal Revolution will be a good test of incentives. A hotel is offering meal vouchers for people who “produce at least 10 watt hours of electricity” by riding an exercise bicycle. There is a 99 percent chance that I would cycle for 15 minutes in exchange for free meal, but mostly because I’m cheap rather than susceptible to faux environmentalism (indeed, I’m sometimes tempted to throw towels on the floor because I get nauseated by hotels trying to mask cost-saving strategies in environmentally-sensitive rhetoric):

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen says the idea is to get people fit and reduce their carbon footprint. Guests will have to produce at least 10 watt hours of electricity – roughly 15 minutes of cycling for someone of average fitness. The hotel already produces renewable energy with solar panels on its facade. Guests staying at Plaza Hotel will be given meal vouchers worth $36 (26 euros; £23) once they have produced 10 watt hours of electricity, hotel spokeswoman Frederikke Toemmergaard told the BBC News website. “Many of our visitors are business people who enjoy going to the gym. There might be the odd person who will cycle just to get a free meal, but I don’t think people will exploit the initiative overall,” she added.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8621038.stm

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I shudder to think how many American politicians and bureaucrats squandered our tax dollars by attending the enivornmental boondoggle in Copenhagen last December, but the behavior of one EPA official is a perfect illustration of how the political elite have no intention of abiding by the rules they want to impose on the rest of us. The hypocrisy of Ms. Jackson is offensive, but her callous disregard for tax dollars also deserves comment. She had free use of “environmentally sensitive” cars, but she rented a car (and driver!) for more than $1,000 per day.

At last December’s UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ran up a $13,000 bill for conventional combustion engine cars, a private driver, and old-fashioned baggage vans, according to government records. The EPA paid more in two weeks for cars than most Americans make in a month. Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, chose to ignore Copenhagen’s readily available crunchy alternatives, like hybrids or algae-fueled vehicles that were available — for free — to VIPs and governments through the Danish Foreign Ministry, or demonstration cars that ran on new green fuels produced by California companies. Jackson rented from the very conventional Avis, and drove around in a 158-horsepower, 16 valve conventional gas-powered Ford Mondeo. The car that Lisa Jackson and her driver used in Copenhagen would have failed the president’s new fuel efficiency standards released yesterday of 35.5 miles per gallon. Her Mondeo only got 25.2 miles per gallon. Copenhagen isn’t Los Angeles, where mass transit is as prevalent as ice storms. All UN delegates received free passes for public transport throughout the Danish capital… Ms. Jackson charged taxpayers $8,732 for a car — and driver — over six days, as she conventionally crawled through traffic congestion in downtown Copenhagen. An additional $3,457 went towards another Ford and at least two vans to carry the delegation’s baggage.
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/epa-wasted-13000-on-low-mpg-car-rentals-in-copenhagen-%E2%80%94-were-offered-free-zero-emission-cars-pjm-exclusive/ 

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When politicians talk about the human cost of global warming, we now know what they mean. According to the Daily Mail, an Argentinian couple killed themselves, one of their kids, and wounded another supposedly because of fears of climate change. Notwithstanding the title of this post, I don’t think Al Gore should be held responsible for the lunatic actions of this couple, but I can’t help but wonder whether this would have received more attention if a depressed taxpayer did the same thing and blamed Obama’s proposed tax hikes. My guess is that there would be front page stories about the irresponsible rhetoric of pro-taxpayer organizations: 

A seven-month-old baby girl survived three days alone with a bullet in her chest beside the bodies of her parents and toddler brother. Argentines Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their children before killing themselves after making an apparent suicide pact over fears about global warming. Their son Francisco, two, died instantly after being hit in the back.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1254619/Baby-girl-survives-shot-chest-parents-global-warming-suicide-pact.html

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