May 14, 2008
One of the biggest power grabs in American history
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 7:25 PMMost people do not realize what has just happened. By listing the polar bear as endangered, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Department of Interior has just given itself the power to essentially nationalize the economy.
This is not hyperbole. The polar bear was listed as endangered not because populations are dwindling. They are, in fact, increasing. They were listed because its habitat is allegedly being threatened by anthropogenic global warming.
FWS now has the power to "preserve" its habitat, and to control activities that are threatening its habitat. What are these activities? Everything we do that generates carbon dioxide (CO2), which is everything we do — every production process, our living and travel decisions, all the energy we consume, indeed our very existence generates CO2.
This listing has given the FWS more power over our lives and freedom than ratification of Kyoto would have ever granted our government. That is because Kyoto at least had a closed-ended target — this decision leaves it all up to the eco-fascist bureaucrats that run the Interior Department. And remember, the Interior Department that made this decision is in the executive branch. Last I looked that was controlled by Republicans.
Polar Bears and FWS
Posted by Daren Bakst at 4:46 PM
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has decided
to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered
Species Act (ESA). According to the FWS, the loss of sea ice
threatens the polar bear's habitat.
As much as the FWS and the Secretray of the Interior Dick
Kempthorne try to stress that the ESA is not intended to regulate
greenhouse gas emissions, this agency decision opens up the door for
such regulation. From the FWS press release:
"In making the
announcement today, Secretary Kempthorne reiterated President Bush’s
statement last month that the ESA was never intended to regulate global
climate change. 'Listing the polar bear as threatened can reduce
avoidable losses of polar bears. But it should not open the door
to use of the ESA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from
automobiles, power plants, and other sources,' said Kempthorne.
'That would be a wholly inappropriate use of the ESA law. The ESA
is not the right tool to set U.S.climate policy.'"
That's nice in theory, but the door has been opened--it has been opened by Secretary Kempthorne.
I haven't studied this late breaking development, and am stil trying to
figure out what it all means. One thing is clear: This is a
victory for global warming hysteria.
BTW: The number
of polar bears has increased from about 5,000-10,000 in the 50s and
60's to 20,000-25,000 today. I wonder why Secretary Kempthorne
didn't mention this little fact.
The Mindless Menace of Junk Mail
Posted by Daren Bakst at 3:58 PM
Recently, in response to some John Locke Foundation mailers sent to
various fans of the organization who have either moved or ceased their
interest, we got two, count them two, letters from a company out of
Durham, called Self-Help, requesting that we take two gentlemen off our mailing list. They stated:
Dear Marketing/Circulation Associate,
Our organiation has become increasingly concerned about the amount
of waste we generate each day and the subsequent environmental impact.
We select products with reduced and/or recyclable packaging, and
recycle whatever materials we can. We realized that after all our
efforts in reducing waste, we are still discarding large amounts of
unwarrented mail as well as unsolicited catalogs. It is our intent to
to be part of the solution, not part of the problem [Emphasis mine].
In this spirit,
we respectfully request that you remove the attached name(s) from your
mailing list, as this person(s) is no longer employed by Self-Help.
Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Administrative Services Coordinator
Besides the litany of good enviromental deeds done by said Self-Help, and the absurb pseudo-religious
terminology of "in this spirit," one can only ponder if the best way to
fight junk mail is with more junk mail? Cannot they be joyous in the
fact that they didn't fall into the same sin that we did, "Bless me O
Lord that I am not like those polluters." But they did. I guess picking
up the phone and calling must add to one's personal CO2 emissions...
It is funny that even holier-than-thou environmentalists fall into the old false maxim of the lesser of two evils. Pity.
RE: McCain and global warming ignoromics
Posted by Daren Bakst at 3:57 PM
In his climate speech on Monday, Mr. McCain exhibited (as the press usually does) a complete lack of consciousness of the fact that evidence of warming is not evidence of what causes warming. Yet policy must be a matter of costs and benefits, adjusted for the uncertainties involved. Which brings us to today's irony: He who finds a six-figure earmark an affront to humanity is prepared to wave through a trillion-dollar climate bill without, as far as anyone can tell, a single systematic thought about costs and benefits.Read more here.
He who sees "corruption" behind every campaign check goes all compliant when GE, DuPont and Ford chant that climate policy "will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy."
Mr. McCain argues that green energy mandates will leave us better off whether or not man-made global warming is real. This is an error that Mr. Romney wouldn't make – and one Al Gore makes all the time. Yes, hole-digging can be profitable if government subsidizes hole-digging. For society, however, there is only cost – measured in the labor and resources diverted to hole-digging from activities that actually fulfill the wants and needs of people.
McCain and global warming ignoromics
Posted by Jon Sanders at 1:43 PM
For all of the last century, the profit motive basically led in one direction — toward machines, methods, and industries that used oil and gas. Enormous good came from that industrial growth, and we are all the beneficiaries of the national prosperity it built. But there were costs we weren’t counting, and often hardly noticed. And these terrible costs have added up now, in the atmosphere, in the oceans, and all across the natural world. They are no longer tenable, sustainable, or defensible. And what better way to correct past errors than to turn the creative energies of the free market in the other direction? Under the cap-and-trade system, this can happen. In all its power, the profit motive will suddenly begin to shift and point the other way – toward cleaner fuels, wiser ways, and a healthier planet.
I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
So it took a $125 million payoff ...
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:39 PM
... to lure a business to the Global Transpark?
Perhaps Spirit AeroSystems executives have not read this (or this or this).
Re: Local politics, pigs, oinking, etc.
Posted by Jon Sanders at 1:15 PMHal, I'm not sure whether your problem would rate a C, D or F on the government transparency grading scale, but more to the immediate concern, here's a handy tool to help you with future online communiqués with your local leaders:
Georgia Advances Charter School Movement
Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 10:38 AM
While North Carolina keeps the charter school movement under more and more regulations, Georgia is moving ahead. Yesterday Gov. Perdue signed three bills to boost charter schools. One allows for the state to give matching funds to charter schools for capital improvements or construction. Another bill makes the staff at charter schools eligible for the state health benefits. The third bill is the most exciting. Now charter school applicants which are rejected by their local boards of education can seek approval from a newly formed State Charter Commission. Currently there are 70 charter schools operating in Georgia, and as many as 100 are expected to open next year.
Center For Education Reform praises the state with their press release. Allowing for the advancement of charter schools needs to be a topic for North Carolina campaigns this year.
I Like Calling North Carolina Home
Posted by Hal Young at 10:35 AM
I needed to send a message to a county commissioner this morning and found this on the contact form:
Notice: In an effort to combat Spam form submissions, you will need to answer the question below correctly to submit this form online. This allows us to determine that it is a human being completing the form and not a Spambot. Please type the answer as shown, but without any quotation marks. Thank you for your understanding.
Does a cow "meow", "bark", "moo", "oink", or "bray"?
The Dirty Dozen
Posted by George Leef at 09:55 AM
Not the old movie, the new book by William Mellor and Robert Levy -- their list of the twelve worst Supreme Court decisions of the last century. Here is an audio clip with the authors.
As a consequence of the Supreme Court's willingness to tear up the Constitution in favor of political expediency, we are today a much less free and much more contentious society than we would otherwise be.
McCain and global warming
Posted by George Leef at 09:23 AM
In today's Wall Street Journal, Holman Jenkins devotes his column to perhaps the worst of McCain's numerous weak spots, namely his embrace of much of the "green" agenda.
Jenkins hits some optimistic notes, though. "And yet every journalistic tendril senses that the fuss over warming is about to cool. Global mean temperatures have been flat for a decade. The biofuel folly has chased away any easy belief that we can centrally plan our way out of reliance on fossil fuels."
Of course, if those sixth graders should read what he has to say, Jenkins will get a load of letters all telling him that he's a terrible man.
Re: Politicized CA 6th Graders send letters to Heartland Institute
Posted by Donna Martinez at 08:55 AM
Roy, it's interesting that some of the letters reference the kids' concern over what they describe as air pollution's negative impact on a fetus. I wonder if their teacher also is explaining to them, with equal zeal, about the indisputable, horrific impact a mother can have on a fetus, due to something called abortion.
More teacher pay lunacy
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:31 AM
First there was Deborah Ross who said,
The Raleigh Democrat says her biggest goal for the budget is a raise for teachers and state employees, though she did not have a specific amount in mind. Now Grier Martin is getting into the act. Under the Dome reports,
"I don't want to give a number because then they'll be mad at me because I didn't say a high enough number," she said. "I'm hoping that we can do as well as we did last year."
He does not think Gov. Mike Easley's proposed 7 percent pay raise for teachers and 1.5 percent raise for state employees is enough, though he declined to give a specific percentage that he would like to see. I would really like Ross and Martin to ballpark the raises they have in mind. Should teachers and state employees receive an additional 10 percent? 25 percent? 54.3 percent? 77.892 percent?
"We need more," he said, "but we've got to figure out how we're going to pay for that too."
Wake Forest researcher helps lead efforts to battle war wounds
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:56 AM
Anthony Atala and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine earn a profile in the latest Newsweek.
Will questions McCain's climate claims
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:51 AM
George Will's latest Newsweek column lobs a number of pointed questions at the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, including the following climate queries:
You say that even if global warming turns out to be no crisis (the
World Meteorological Organization says global temperatures have not
risen in a decade), even unnecessary measures taken to combat it will
be beneficial because "then all we've done is give our kids a cleaner
world." But what of the trillions of dollars those measures
will cost in direct expenditures and diminished economic growth—hence
diminished medical research, cultural investment, etc.? Given that
Earth is always warming or cooling, what is its proper temperature, and how do you know?
Perhaps Sen. McCain needs a little more background information.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:39 AM
Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report on Wake County commissioners' deliberations over a potential sales-tax increase.
John Hood's Daily Journal takes aim at policies that limit competitive elections.
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