Environmentalism

Earth Day Open Thread

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Tomorrow is Earth Day, the Festivus of the environmental movement.

What do you think about it?

Go here for a list of reason's previous articles and comments on ED.

If you must read one reason Earth Day story, in Gaia's name, make it Ron Bailey's tremendous May 2000 cover story, "Earth Day, Then and Now: The planet's future has never looked better. Here's why." A snippet:

[Like the original sponsors of Earth Day,] many contemporary environmental alarmists are similarly mistaken when they continue to insist that the Earth's future remains an eco-tragedy that has already entered its final act. Such doomsters not only fail to appreciate the huge environmental gains made over the past 30 years, they ignore the simple fact that increased wealth, population, and technological innovation don't degrade and destroy the environment. Rather, such developments preserve and enrich the environment. If it is impossible to predict fully the future, it is nonetheless possible to learn from the past. And the best lesson we can learn from revisiting the discourse surrounding the very first Earth Day is that passionate concern, however sincere, is no substitute for rational analysis.

NEXT: Menino smokes a cigar/ steps out of his state-issued car/ and says, "Boys, we need a ban on this site."

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  1. It was going to come and go without me noticing, but now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m going to spend the entire day littering.

  2. To celebrate Earth Day TWC will fire up his politically incorrect 500
    inch Chrysler Vee-Eight
    . It sucks gas like a long freight train pulling the Grapevine.

  3. I will spend it in a dank basement in front of a computer. Fuck you, grad school.

  4. Yeah, I wouldn’t have noticed either.

  5. Bailey writes: “Such doomsters not only fail to appreciate the huge environmental gains made over the past 30 years, they ignore the simple fact that increased wealth, population, and technological innovation don’t degrade and destroy the environment. Rather, such developments preserve and enrich the environment. ”

    Okay, that’s just a remarkably stupid thing to say. Hey! Bailey! Look at China! How’re those rivers doing? And the air quality?

    These things *may* preserve and enrich the environment *if* the society (and, hey, markets!) desires it to be so, and *if* entrenched interests aren’t able to rig the system to ignore or dismiss popular demand for improved conditions.

    If society and markets decide that they don’t really care if the world turns into a smoggy, smokey, shithole, then that’s what will happen. And probably very quickly.

    And just because things are going pretty well today doesn’t mean the environment couldn’t take a turn for the worse.

    Sheesh.

  6. This kind of describes my feelings about the holiday;

    http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/06.04.19.FarceNature-X.gif

  7. Two words: Panda barbecue.

  8. Okay, that’s just a remarkably stupid thing to say. Hey! Bailey! Look at China! How’re those rivers doing? And the air quality?

    Worth noting that the environment was given equally short-shrift when the real commies were running the place. I remember an anecdote by an economics prof that there was a river in the Soviet Union that was so polluted with oil runoff, that one day it spontaneously exploded.

  9. Okay, that’s just a remarkably stupid thing to say.

    Sorry man, I was alive back in the bad old days when you couldn’t even see the Hollywood sign in LA through the smog.

  10. I meant the Hollywood sign in Peking, er, ah, Bejing.

  11. Worth noting that the environment was given equally short-shrift when the real commies were running the place. I remember an anecdote by an economics prof that there was a river in the Soviet Union that was so polluted with oil runoff, that one day it spontaneously exploded.
    Same thing happened to the Cleveland River.

  12. there was a river in the Soviet Union that was so polluted with oil runoff, that one day it spontaneously exploded.

    More likely, like the Cuyahoga River it was ignited by a spark or a flame like a cutting torch.

    Spontaneous combustion is rare, though I suppose it might happen if the right chemicals were mixed.

  13. Speaking of mistakes and lakes, you don’t need to look any further than Lake Erie to see the environmental improvement of the last 40 years. It, like, supports life now and stuff.

  14. Warty,

    Compare its fate to that of the Aral Sea.

    Anyway, in the West the issue is how important government regulation has been re: environmental improvement as opposed to markets. I have no idea how one would make such assessment.

  15. Of course, improvements like to air quality in LA (and to Lake Erie, I assume) are not the result of “increased wealth, population, and technological innovation”, at least not directly – they wouldn’t have happened without environmental regulation.

  16. jayro,

    I thought that air quality had gotten a lot better in a lot of Western cities prior to air quality regulations?

  17. Grotius –

    I guess I hadn’t heard that for cities in the west. The first CA pollution controls kicked in really early (50’s and 60’s), so it would be hard to separate things out in that case.

    But unless auto manufacturers would have voluntarily reduced VOC and NOx emissions from their cars – and it’s be pretty ludicrous to assume they would – there’s no way LA air quality would have improved as much as it has the past several decades.

  18. Stop & Shop had a sale on GE compact flourescent light bulbs, so I bought a bunch of them in order to smug it up in front of my coworkers next week.

  19. One of the biggest boons to environmental quality via government regulation in the US has been OSHA. They’ve helped to drive lots of US manufacturers to the third world.

  20. jayro,

    By “Western” cities I meant, well, Europe, the U.S. and Japan.

  21. I’m going to celebrate Earth Day by taping all the episodes of “Planet Earth” on the Discovery Channel (except the two I already have), which is having a marathon. I’ll probably watch some of them too.

    If you haven’t seen the series, I urge you to watch it.

  22. Uh, we may have to ask Ron for an update that takes into account his current views on anthropogenic global warming.

  23. These things *may* preserve and enrich the environment *if* the society (and, hey, markets!) desires it to be so, and *if* entrenched interests aren’t able to rig the system to ignore or dismiss popular demand for improved conditions.

    The abundance and convience that markets create allow people more free time to learn about the environment, and more resources to actually devote to it. As opposed to deciding which of their young to eat before they die of malaria.

    The places with the best environmental integrity are the places that a) have freer and more industrialized economies, or b) human beings don’t live in yet.

    And just because things are going pretty well today doesn’t mean the environment couldn’t take a turn for the worse.

    And just because all life on earth hasn’t been wiped out by a massive asteroid impact lately doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen tomorrow.

  24. I’m going to spend Earth Day planting geraniums, weeding the flower beds, and scouting for a place to put a Meyer lemon tree. Am I virtuous or what?

  25. Hugh writes: “The abundance and convience that markets create allow people more free time to learn about the environment, and more resources to actually devote to it.”

    What they learn about the environment is not necessarily anything that will lead to environmental conservation. Maybe they’re listening to James Inhofe, or some fundie who believes God made the world for us to wreck.

    “And just because all life on earth hasn’t been wiped out by a massive asteroid impact lately doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen tomorrow.”

    My point was that, just because we’re richer and more populous and more technologically advanced than we were 40 years ago doesn’t mean we can throw out everything we’ve been doing to improve the environment and go all laissez-faire and not expect there to be any repercussions.

    If we go back to shitting our nest as badly as we used to, things *will* backslide, and start getting worse. If you tell people they can dump garbage and waste in rivers at will, they will do so, because that would generally be the cheapest disposal method. Why bother paying to ship your city’s trash to a landfill when there’s a river right in the middle of town. Why bother putting your industrial byproducts in sealed 50 gallon drums for proper disposal when you can dump it in the river.

    Bailey’s column is talking like ‘Gaia’ and the Invisible Hand will keep the environment nice, no matter what we do from now on. Just because. Like magic.

  26. I think it goes without saying, but I’m not Jon H.
    I’m a Jon H, but not that Jon H.

  27. Jon H,

    Grocery shopping at Ralph’s is cheaper than buying organic, fair-trade, locally produced goat food at Whole Foods, but some people still prefer the latter. For that matter, eating at McDonalds is cheaper than eating at some snooty tapas place, even though they both acheive the same result.

    Price is not the ultimate determinant. People might pay to ship the garbage elsewhere because they enjoy a clean river. Sorry to report, but not everyone in the world except you is a brainwashed right-wing zombie.

  28. You can’t shit in your own nest, dude.

  29. I’ve got some places in China I’d like to take Ron Bailey to.

    Ditto for the US. Anyone remember a little place called Love Canal?

  30. I’m impressed by the restraint when the Cuyahoga was brought up.

    Needless to say, it’s about 5000% better than it was when it caught fire.

  31. I will be cutting down four months worth of growth in my neighbour’s back yard. He’s been away on business for quite a while and some of the weeds there are higher than his house. You have to love living in the rainforest.

  32. Ditto for the US. Anyone remember a little place called Love Canal?

    Bailey’s already done that beat:
    https://www.reason.com/news/show/34786.html. Suffice to say, the Love Canal was not the horror story the media made it out to be.

  33. I’m going to spend earth day laughing at all the tools who suck up massive amount of natural resources, gather in parks, and create litter by the ton. I will laugh even more when, with a complete lack of irony or self awareness, they lecture everybody else about conserving natural resources.

    Chances are in another five years I will be horrendously pi**ed of at self same bunch of tools as I clean up after or have to live with the unintended, environmentally damaging consequences of their pet policies and initiatives.

  34. people, I’ve seen what happens when a bunch of kiddies grow up in what is the equivalent of a toxic waste dump. My own family. All five kids on my mother’s side of the family of her generation. All five of them with weird chronic illinesses and short lifespans, while earlier family history has people regularly living into their 80s. All dead.

    Ron Bailey can go piss up a rope. Considering his airy discounting of what’s going on in China right now, I’m not going to place much credence in any analysis he’s doing of Love Canal.

  35. Yea, happy Lenin’s birthday to you too, with this yet another attempt to destroy the “Industrial Revolution” a few cycles behind the curve.

  36. Unfortunatly, the hybrid 1972 Charger (see last comment) has been moved to TN for the next year or so and I can not drive a few tanks of hydrogen through it for the environment. However, the hydrogen powered Jeep is available, so I will make due with that 😉

  37. Bailey notwithstanding, things are looking considerably grimmer for Caia these days .Why ?

    Well ,for one thing ,a lot of thoughtless folk like Gore have been mindlessly planting trees:

    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2007/04/offset_upset.html

  38. Karen, Geraniums? I’ll send you all mine. And go with Eureka Lemons…….

  39. You guys remember Dinesh D’Souza? Well, today he came out against babies going to heaven.

    http://newsbloggers.aol.com/2007/04/20/good-heavens-no-more-limbo/

  40. Much as I hate to defend D’Souza, he isn’t quite “against babies going to heaven.”

    From the article you quoted:
    “And so from now on Catholicism will teach that unbaptized infants–born and unborn–go straight to heaven. I like this idea better, although I’m going to have to throw out my old cathechism book.”

  41. I know, but close enough. It makes sense in his world that God makes babies, has them die and then suffer for a while for the way he made them. Being “against babies going to heaven” sounds funnier.

    Speaking of D’Souza, I saw his book Letters to a Young Conservative on a library shelf and picked it up expecting to see the rantings of a lunatic. Instead I found a well reason book with most of the classic defenses of conservatism. Some vague refrences to moral order and token opposition to gay marriage and abortion but nothing too theocratic.

    Was The Enemy at Home as crazy as its reviewers made it out to be? Anybody here actually read it?

  42. I’m going to drive my ’05 Mustang GT (with 300hp V8) all over the place, consume wildly (I have some Bose noise cancelling headphones, an iPod shuffle, new laptop battery and maybe an HDTV on my list), laugh at ideologues and eat a whole mess of animals.

    In other words, I will be doing nothing different for Earth day.

  43. You can’t compare free market and governmental environmentalism, because, well, there is no blue-print for the market-side.
    For example, if judges and courts worked like they should do, then private citizens would sue the industries polluting air and rivers for physical damage and long-term injuries.

    However, we don’t have such a system, so it is not right to say that free-market wouldn’t have solved the problem.

  44. I’m gonna flex my muscles in the mirror, then go out and beat up a homeless person, and then… go burn fossil fuels all day long. Because I’m against whatever anyone else is for.

  45. it is not right to say that free-market wouldn’t have solved the problem.

    But it’s naive to think that it would have.

  46. I’ll probably do what I normally do on Sundays. Get my read on and take a nap.

    Seriously, on the continuum from, at one extreme, libertarian policies that would definitely work and should be instituted immediately (such as school vouchers) to, at the other extreme, those that could work in theory, in a differently evolved society (such as having private businesses create and administer all laws), leaving it up to the market to put a brake on “hard” negative externalities (dumping poo in rivers etc.) seems IMHO to be closer to the latter than the former end of the continuum. I wouldn’t say it can’t work, but it seems to require a good many other changes before it could become viable.

  47. “Ron Bailey can go piss up a rope. Considering his airy discounting of what’s going on in China right now, I’m not going to place much credence in any analysis he’s doing of Love Canal.”

    The environment was in worse shape during Mao’s time. Since China has gone fascist, allowing markets to exist as long as they serve national interests, the environment has certainly not worsened. It hasn’t gotten a lot better, but in time, if following the patterns of other market oriented countries, it might get better; but that depends on the degree to which the pols in power determine a cleaner environment will serve state and their own interests.

  48. I’m going surfing. I cannot guarantee that I won’t piss in the Atlantic Ocean today. For the good of the dolphins and Al Gore’s children, I will try my best.

    Hope that sticky-bumps is biodegradable…..

  49. TWC, my husband bought the geraniums, and at least got’em in an amazing dark red color. I’m forgiving him since he also bought a purple bougainvilla. Our front yard is on a hill and faces west, so pretty much anything we plant has to be able to survive blast-furnace heat. Besides the potted geraniums, french lavender has been the most successful out there. At least their plants are courageous.

    As for the lemon tree, it’s a new Texas A & M variety developed specifically for our horrible climate. (Not too many places on Earth require plants to withstand both freezes and 105+ summer heat.) And it smells good. I’ll keep an eye out for the Eureka variety, too. If I get a couple lemons a year I’ll be happy. Mainly I want the flowers.

    Oh, and I got up early this morning and made whole wheat banana-nut bread. I’m not sure that really counts as Earth-friendly, but it smells good.

  50. Totally off-topic, but this is pretty cool. I suppose since it ties into another recently invented holiday (Talk Like a Pirate Day) I can kinda sorta claim relevance.

  51. increased wealth, population, and technological innovation don’t degrade and destroy the environment.

    I would say they don’t necessarily destroy the environment, but are a necessary but not sufficient condition for environmental preservation.

    Quick, name one country in the last 30 years which has improved its environment. The only ones I can think of are First World nations (and possibly Iraq, what with the marshes being restored and all).

    The richer you are, the more you can afford luxury goods like a clean environment. The more technology you have, the more you can do to reduce your eco-impact.

    The only other route to a better environment is radical depopulation.

  52. I will be working. Weekends on for me.

    But, I am appearing on a public access tv show debating global warming with two environmentalists tonight.

    I guess that qualifies as my contribution to Earth Day.

  53. “Such doomsters not only fail to appreciate the huge environmental gains made over the past 30 years, they ignore the simple fact that increased wealth, population, and technological innovation don’t degrade and destroy the environment. Rather, such developments preserve and enrich the environment. If it is impossible to predict fully the future, it is nonetheless possible to learn from the past. And the best lesson we can learn from revisiting the discourse surrounding the very first Earth Day is that passionate concern, however sincere, is no substitute for rational analysis.”
    And of course, Bailey’s own resistance to global warming (along with many other hardcore Libertarians) came (and comes judging from past threads here) not from any passionate concern (like ideology anyone?) but from rational concern only…Uh-huh…
    Secondly, Bailey nots how much progress has been made “in the past 30 years.” I would submit a HEAP of that progress can be attributed to some basic governmental regulation and oversight, prompted by some of that passionate concern. I mean, entire harbors and rivers were completely ruined back in laissez faire days, and many have been slowly and painstakingly reclaimed and/or protected. This was NOT due to magical mystical markets and the self interested action of businesses for pete’s sake.
    This is not to undercut what I hope is Bailey’s major point, that prosperity can be good for the environment at some level (if only because it creates the kind of populace and culture that then wants to safeguard things).

  54. Hey! Bailey! Look at China! How’re those rivers doing? And the air quality?

    These things *may* preserve and enrich the environment *if* the society (and, hey, markets!) desires it to be so, and *if* entrenched interests aren’t able to rig the system to ignore or dismiss popular demand for improved conditions.

    If society and markets decide that they don’t really care if the world turns into a smoggy, smokey, shithole, then that’s what will happen. And probably very quickly.

    Society and markets can only improve the environment if they have an impact on the ecology. In a country like China, where the government controls everything including society and the market, social and market forces are paralyzed.

    In the U.S. there were government regulations that made a difference in the environment. But those regulations were the result of environmentally sensitive citizens petitioning Congress and voting for environmental representatives. Imagine the fate of a Chinese peasant who writes the government and bitches about a river exploding.

    Wealthy and technologically advanced countries make environmental progress because their society effectively demands their government provide it.

  55. libertreee — Is your debate going to be available on the Interweb?

  56. Given that the Three Gorge Dam is being built by the Chinese government…

    Most (all?) of the dam and water projects that environmentalists complain about (and rightly so in many cases) in the U.S. were also the result of government efforts.

  57. Looks like Google has decided to inject their liberal politics onto their sign-in screen. This really makes me mad. Take a look.

    http://marklerner.blogspot.com/2007/04/google-takes-stand-on-global-warming.html

  58. I think of Earth Day as a Holy Day of Obligation for Neo-Pagans.

    Yes, Love Canal was hugely overblown. Back in the mid-80’s, CH2M Hill conducted the Love Canal Habitability Study (EPA funded) to once and for all characterize the environmental quality of the Love Canal neighborhood. Previous studies had lots of QA problems and limited data sets. One vexing problem that the came up during the Habitability Study was that one of the control areas (to compare the Love Canal data to) was as “contaminated” with low levels of VOCs as the Love Canal area. But that couldn’t be made public because it might have forced the EPA to do lots more home buy-outs.

  59. You know, it is neither an accident, nor should it be a secret, that ‘earth day’ happens to be the birthday of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin). Well, it does seem to be a ‘secret’ because the MSM, as well as the rest of the Leftist press, choose to keep it that way.

    In other ‘news’, speaking of the MSM, it appears that that Cho fellow purchased two 10 round magazines on eBay and the MSM is having a fit wanting to bring back to the Brady Bill. Just like with ‘earth day’ the MSM is fairbanksing. The Brady Bill is what gave us 10 round magazines to begin with.

  60. It’s that time of year again?

  61. I’m going to take my neighborhood electric vehicle for a spin. The line to kiss my ass starts to the left. But then again, I’m going to drive my SUV to Ikea later, so I guess I’ll let you all off with a couple of air-kisses, only one cheek.

  62. Guy,
    So the fact that the media doesn’t publicize the fact that Earth Day is Lenin’s birthday is proof that Earth Day is a celebration of Lenin’s birthday. If it was a celebration of Lenin’s birthday, wouldn’t they celebrate it?

    I can’t wait to hear your theory of how stoners are really closet Nazi’s for their annual celebration of Hitler’s Birthday.

  63. I mean, entire harbors and rivers were completely ruined back in laissez faire days…

    Yes, and who, exactly, was it that was dumping the raw sewage into the waterways? Why, it was the government. And who, exactly, failed to provide for or enforce property rights, the net result of which was to allow gross polluters to savage the environment? Right again. And who built the dams, the diversion projects, and the water system in California that turned the Central & Imperial Valleys into fertile farm country? Right again, that very government that is now afforded a great deal of the credit for solving the very problems it is responsible for creating in the first place.

  64. “Ron Bailey’s tremendous May 2000 cover story”

    Because nothing has changed in Ron’s views in the last 7 years?

    This is the “must read” article on environmentalism in Reason?

    Really?

  65. So the fact that the media doesn’t publicize the fact that Earth Day is Lenin’s birthday is proof that Earth Day is a celebration of Lenin’s birthday. If it was a celebration of Lenin’s birthday, wouldn’t they celebrate it?

    No, that is not what I said at all and I doubt directing you to read the articl I linked to will result in any better comprehension on your part.

  66. Mark, The Google folks, like many in the environmentalist crowd, are more than happy to avail themselves of the very technology that they decry as earth unfriendly. From electricity to automobiles, dedication to principle extends no further than personal comfort dictates.

    Most live in cities and suburbs where every last remnant of native species has been safely bulldozed and paved over while whining that my neighbors might disturb the mating habits of the local fly population by building a home.

    And yes, I appreciate that we live in a complex modern culture that makes it difficult to get back to nature. However, I don’t particularly want to live in the Stone Age and lots of those guys seem to want company as they cruise back to Bedrock.

    That isn’t to say there aren’t problems, my pet bitch is that in Californicate the government continues to yank every trace of anything green in every riparian environment it can find so as to pave it with concrete. Again, that goes to just exactly who is the major environmental rapist.

  67. .. I’m going to take a ride on my dirtbike thru the National Forest before the enviro-nazis close the rest of the roads in them..

    .. Hobbit

  68. “Wealthy and technologically advanced countries make environmental progress because their society effectively demands their government provide it.”

    Thanks, Larry, for putting it better than I could have.

    Who knows, we may see something similar to Tienamen Square in the future, but with citizens demanding better accountability with regard to air and water quality.

  69. The Google folks, like many in the environmentalist crowd, are more than happy to avail themselves of the very technology that they decry as earth unfriendly

    Watching the Lord of the Rings, I was really struck by the irony of a story that was (at least tangentially) anti-technology made with so much CGI the pixels were dripping off the screen.

  70. Baked, agreed.

    Hobbit, we get a lot of dirt bikes around here, in fact, Riverside County is dirt bike heaven as well as home to all the big names in pro riding.

    I always wonder if those guys are also pretty much blind, they can’t seem to divine the meaning in No Trespassing.

    Talk about trashing the environment, boy howdy, don’t even get me started.

  71. Re: JRRT and anti-technology.

    I never got an anti-technology vibe from the LOR. There is a lot of “respect for nature,” but all the fetishism with elven technology doesn’t seem to be anti-technology. The elves, being immortal, did seem to have figured out sustainable technologies and economies.

  72. Crap. Just when I was beginning to think Earth Day was as dead as Dracula with a wooden stake through its heart and, for good measure (if not to mix cinematic metaphors) a silver bullet through its brain, along comes this global warming thing to preoccupy busybodies and Chicken Littles alike and ruin my Sunday. I do believe the Neanderthals themselves had an “earth day.” It was celebrated by hunting meat and trying to survive another day. Happy happy to those cavemen amongst us. I’m eating roast ostrich and gulping single malt to mark the holiday.

  73. I celebrated Earth Day by driving around downtown looking for the rumored Earth Day celebration, then giving up and getting a BK Veggie meal at the drive-through.

    Think globally, act locally.

  74. I don’t care much for the rah rah rah, but if Earthday makes people more aware of their impact (aware, not alarmed), then I’m not sure why all the disgust. As to the whole Lenin’s birthday thing, Hitler’s birthday was 4/20 but you don’t see anybody advocating we make pot illegal. That argument didn’t work out as well as I would have liked…..

  75. Guy Montag,

    Re: limbo, it was never an official teaching of the Magisterium (ie, the Pope and the other bishops), so the headline “Vatican Reverses Teaching on Limbo” is quite misleading. It was an idea cooked up by medieval theologians to reconcile the fact that Baptism is the primary avenue for salvation, and the apparent injustice of sending babies to hell just because their parents didn’t baptize them in time.

    The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church also gave limbo the cold shoulder, stating that those who die as unbaptized chidren will be judged by a standard known to God alone. Of course, JP2 went out of his way to suggest that mothers who repent of having abortions may meet their aborted children in heaven, lending credence to the “all babies go to heaven” meme. A mistake, from my POV, because it kind of undercuts the idea of original sin, but this isn’t the place to discuss that, I guess.

  76. Since Adam and Eve didn’t exist, where does “original sin” come from again?

  77. Grotius,

    I would dispute the validity of your initial assumption.

  78. I’ve been saving my flouocarbons for just such an occasion. I have stashed away cases of 1.1.1 triclorofloroethane. Maybe this is a good time to give my keyboard an effective, old fashioned cleaning.

    Seriously, the 1st world is cleaning up and taking all of the blame for 2nd and 3rd world irresponsibilities.

    The point is that without a prosperous economy (e.g. food on the table, shelter and medical care), the average person won’t give a damn about the belly up fish in the local waters. Without an education, they won’t even make the connection between pollution and quality of life. Prosperity and education are made possible by the wealth creared by the private sector.

    I agree that environmental regulations are necessary to avoid the “race to the bottom”. I am equally convinced that a significant part of th “Green Movement” has abandoned rationality for a religious like worship of a past that never existed. I think an intelligent, unbiased person would agree with the two previous sentences.

    BTW 1.1.1 triclorofloroetane really was a marveelously effective contact cleaner.

  79. Fuck Earth.

    Even if you subtract all pollution and other human effects on the planet, you’re at the mercy of chaotic weather and plate tectonics. A fraction of the land is habitable, let alone comfortable. The majority of the biosphere is toxic with poisons, viruses, venoms, caustics, corrosives, and plain old irritants. If you crack the crust, even just a little, you get magma floes, suffocating plumes, lethal clouds of ash, and radioactive dust. The atmosphere, on its best day, just barely shields us from the gigawatts of power constantly pouring from the Sun, and would offer no protection from Gamma bursts or even high-end solar activity. On top of that, the core is a big rapidly-spinning mass of liquid metal accumulating and releasing magnetic charge.

    Let’s terraform Mars and get it right. Even better, let’s get that Dyson Sphere started.

  80. I will also continue to use less than 20% of the energy that Mister Global Warming Al Gore does. I’m going to quite sanctimonious about that.

  81. crimethink,

    So where in the evolutionary chain of events did Adam and Eve exist exactly?

  82. Grotius,

    Sometime after the methanogens.

  83. “I agree that environmental regulations are necessary to avoid the “race to the bottom”. I am equally convinced that a significant part of th “Green Movement” has abandoned rationality for a religious like worship of a past that never existed. I think an intelligent, unbiased person would agree with the two previous sentences.:”

    Intelligent, unbiased persons being defined, it seems, as agreeing with J sub D ;^)

    I might quibble with “a significant part.”

    Their numbers are small like most fringe groups. ELF, ALF, Earth First et al, are not even as big as the fringe group commonly referred to as libertarians. I certainly hear a lot of lamenting around here about how libertarians are not significant enough in the policy debate.

  84. Jeff P.,

    No, I think you mean Pave The Earth.

  85. A read about what “intelligent, unbiased persons” agree on.

    “There are a lot of things that “everybody knows.” Everybody knows that Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, that 2+2=4, that most people have two eyes-and a lot of other things. If I were to go on, it would get tedious very fast, because, after all, these are things that everybody knows.

    But there are also a lot of other things that “everybody knows,” except that not everybody agrees that everybody knows them. For example, everybody knows not only that there has been significant global warming recently, but also that human beings caused this by burning fossil fuels. We know that evolution is as solidly proven as most of the rest of science, and that intelligent design isn’t science at all; that Iraq never had any weapons of mass destruction (after they destroyed them); and that the U.S. government had nothing to do with the destruction of the World Trade Center. Except that, for each of these things “we all know,” significant minorities insist that they’re false.

    Those dissenters, however, don’t matter much when it comes to most journalism, reference, and education. Society forges ahead, reporting and teaching things without usually mentioning the dissenters, or only in a disparaging light. As a result, certain claims that some of us don’t accept end up being background knowledge, as I’ll call it. If you question such background knowledge, or even express some doubt about it, you’ll look stupid, crazy, or immoral. Maybe all three.”

    http://edge.org/3rd_culture/sanger07/sanger07_index.html

  86. J sub D:

    are you sure you’re not thinking of 1,1,1-trichloroethane?

    either that, or you’re missing a number from the name. it could be 1,1,1-trichloro-2-fluoroethane.

  87. crimethink,

    I don’t see Genesis saying anything about that.

    _____________________________________

    The oddest thing is a God which waits billions and billions of years (over 13 billion I guess) for humans to develop on this planet and then creates Adam and Eve? Of course I guess this so-called God doesn’t experience time, etc. though somehow this God can interject itself into the physical world.

  88. Grotius,

    The purpose of the book of Genesis, like the rest of the Bible, is to explain Judaism & Christianity, not to function as a biology or cosmology text. So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff that went on in the first 10 billion years or so of the universe’s existence that didn’t make it in.

  89. Grotius,

    “The oddest thing is a God which waits billions and billions of years (over 13 billion I guess) for humans to develop on this planet and then creates Adam and Eve?”

    That’s just weak argument (I expect better from you).

    You need to refute the idea that God started the process wherey Adam and Eve came about. It took (by your estimate) over 13b years to come to fruition, but that is orthogonal.

  90. Another good article on beliefs and their intersection with policy…
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=13&articleID=E7327616-E7F2-99DF-38F214BFD77FE010

  91. crimethink,

    The purpose of the book of Genesis, like the rest of the Bible, is to explain Judaism & Christianity, not to function as a biology or cosmology text.

    I’d say the purpose of the text is whatever the writers and editors of the text thought that it was. I seriously doubt that any of them that they were explaining Christianity. I suspect they thought they were in part explaining the genesis of man, the Earth, etc. like the authors of other “genesis accounts” in other “holy texts.”

    When you read the Bible (or the Gilgamesh epic or Aristotle’s Politics) you read it in the context of the time that it was written in and only in the context of its time.

  92. I will spend the day pissing on pics of Rachel Carson, while masturbating to the thought of dying ecosystems and radical planetary upheavals.

  93. Neu Mejican,

    You need to refute the idea that God started the process wherey Adam and Eve came about.

    Well that right there brings up the Epicurean problem of evil.

  94. Grotius,

    Genesis goes all the way up to the Jews (at that time called Hebrews) moving to Egypt ca. 1200BC, so it would seem to be written with Judaism in mind. In particular, in the two creation narratives there are a lot of moral “lessons”. I don’t know how one could read the story of the Fall of Adam without thinking that the author intended to communicate some religious/moral ideas.

  95. Neu Mejican,

    Anyway, it isn’t a “weak argument” from the viewpoint of the sort of claims made by revealed religion about miracles, etc. Indeed, it directly addresses a particular concept of God.

    You have presented a different concept of God, a God which apparently doesn’t directly intervene in the world, but one which either by its conscience will or by its very essence or being set off a process which ended with us as we exist today. The latter notion is something like what Spinoza thought.

  96. crimethink,

    Genesis goes all the way up to the Jews (at that time called Hebrews) moving to Egypt ca. 1200BC, so it would seem to be written with Judaism in mind.

    Sure, it was written long after those events though.

    I don’t know how one could read the story of the Fall of Adam without thinking that the author intended to communicate some religious/moral ideas.

    No one contested that, did they?

  97. Of course I ain’t the first person to state that Moses didn’t write the pentateuch; that’s been around in I guess rabbinical scholarship since at least the 12th or 13th century.

  98. …getting a BK Veggie meal at the drive-through…

    I’m roasting a pork roast over mesquite. Not for Earth Day though, just because it’s Sunday and we’re going to have a nice dinner together.

  99. I plan to get seriously polluted…

  100. I read the article before I posted my comment Guy and remain unconvinced. It sounds like a paranoid rant, is chock full of innuendo and lacks any evidence beyond “college professors are Marxists”. People don’t want to move the day, BFD.

  101. Speaking of France:

    Centre-right Nicolas Sarkozy will meet Socialist Segolene Royal in the run-off of France’s presidential election on 6 May, according to initial results.

    Mr Sarkozy, a former interior minister, came first with 30%, ahead of Ms Royal, who is bidding to be France’s first woman president, on about 25%.

    Hmm…popular tough-on-crime maverick vs. third-way socialist and first serious female candidate. Sound familiar?

  102. While I agree with the general sentiment that richer societies and economic growth can contribute to improvements in the environment, I think many of the claims people make concerning this are heavily exaggerated. The reason that American rivers are no longer catching on fire is in part because of improvements in technology, but even more so because we have simply exported most of our dirtiest industries to China.

    China, of course, will adopt the cleaner practices as their wealth rises…but how many more times can the rest of the mess be passed on to someone else?

    There are a number of environmental issues that need to be addressed far more strongly than we currently are (global warming, persistent pollutants, habitat destruction among others). Like it or not, environmental issues are a classic case of the tragedy of the commons, and in many cases is best handled by government at some level.

  103. Karen, on second thought, don’t know if Eureka lemons will take much cold. Your Agggie modified Meyer is probably a good fit for your climate (duh, you just said that).

  104. Grotius,

    Original sin come from the same place as “certain inalienable rights.”

  105. “You know, it is neither an accident, nor should it be a secret, that ‘earth day’ happens to be the birthday of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin). Well, it does seem to be a ‘secret’ because the MSM, as well as the rest of the Leftist press, choose to keep it that way.”

    holy fifth column, batman!

  106. On top of that, the core is a big rapidly-spinning mass of liquid metal accumulating and releasing magnetic charge.

    And, if I am to believe a recent tv show I saw, it is starting to slow down, which will lead to us being fried and losing a good portion of the atmosphere. The show tried to be fair and balanced by presenting what positives could result from a weakened magnetic field, but the best they could come up with was that northern lights will be visible at lower latitudes. Weak.

  107. Dead Elvis: How long before environmentalists find a way to blame the slowing of the Earth’s core on SUVs?

  108. TWC, we don’t got a whole lot of cold weather, but we do get at least one nasty freeze each year. (Last year, we got only one freeze, and it was April 7. Killed the already-dismal peach crop.) This year, we had quite a bit of cold weather. I’ve never seen a Eureka lemon in any of our garden stores, and that probably explains why.

    In other Earth-related news, we have two nesting pair of purple martins, a house wren on the back porch, and the four strawberry plants are just covered in fruit.

  109. And, if I am to believe a recent tv show I saw, it is starting to slow down, which will lead to us being fried and losing a good portion of the atmosphere.

    The earth’s magnetic field has completely reversed itself many, many times during the past few billion years, including about 600,000 years ago when hominids were around. If losing the magnetic field led to the earth losing its atmosphere/being fried, we wouldn’t be here to worry about it.

    And TBH we wouldn’t be able to tell if the earth’s core slowed down anyway. Indeed, we’re not even sure what the core is made of, or whether it’s spinning at all; the dynamo theory, while the most plausible explanation, has never been proven.

  110. If dead_elvis’s comments about the Earth’s magnetic field are exemplary of the level of science knowledge held by the commentators here, then I would say it’s no wonder you can disbelieve in GW: 1) The Earth’s magnetic field has flipped many many times in the past and we see no correlation with any large extinctions of life. 2) What keeps the Earth’s atmosphere around isn’t the magnetic field; it’s this little thing called GRAVITY that you may have heard of.

    Please, people, don’t watch The Core and think it’s a documentary.

  111. joe,

    Yes, from humans.

  112. Someone above mentioned Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, and anti-technology. I don’t know if Tolkien was anti-technology, but from what I’ve read, he did have an anti-industrial streak. The main example I’ve heard given is the “Scouring of the Shire” chapter from The Return of the King, where Wormtongue and Saruman (bad guys) have come to the Shire with men and established smoke-belching factories. They are driven out by the Hobbits (good guys who lead romanticized agrarian lives).

  113. “Yes, and who, exactly, was it that was dumping the raw sewage into the waterways? Why, it was the government. And who, exactly, failed to provide for or enforce property rights, the net result of which was to allow gross polluters to savage the environment? Right again. And who built the dams, the diversion projects, and the water system in California that turned the Central & Imperial Valleys into fertile farm country? Right again, that very government that is now afforded a great deal of the credit for solving the very problems it is responsible for creating in the first place.”

    Uhh, yeah. And no businesses, now or then, ever dumped their crud into any river or into the air? None? And none were detered by the government regs? I’d like to have whatever wine you are drinking WC (absinthe?)…Anybody else like to sell that crazy here, that in the absence of government regulation there would be LESS pollution? I mean, sure, Tenacious D sang that the government is “f&*(ing up the environment”, but they meant this in jest brotha!
    I’d like to know why in the world libertarians are so down on environmentalism? What difference does it have from tort and contract law, both of which are government programs (the courts and cops enforce them) which makes markets and society livable and viable? There are very few environmental principles that do not correspond to tort ones (you can’t run over my foot, nor may you dump filth into the air I breathe and the river I fish in).
    I think I already know the answer: the corporations who fund the shills that “define” libertarians for most folks don’t let their shills talk about that…

  114. Sorry, I’m not a Bailey fan, but I am a fan of Earth Day, although a 24-hour period is hardly enough recognition. But if you have at least 3 billion people making a difference, well, now; I’m just trying to reduce my “ecological footprint”. Now if I can only keep my corn from glowing in the dark…

  115. If dead_elvis’s comments about the Earth’s magnetic field are exemplary of the level of science knowledge held by the commentators here, then I would say it’s no wonder you can disbelieve in GW:

    Read it and weep…

    Fairly different takes on the earth’s magnetic field(s) and reversal, summary:
    How long since the last reversal – 1 million years, or 700,00 years, or less than 30,000 years ago.
    How often – Every 250,000 years, or every 500,000 years, every 1 million years, or randomly.
    Effect – Will have bad effects on climate, or probably not a problem, or some (not most) may have caused extinctions. Atmosphere could be ‘blown away’ by solar wind if there were no magnetic field (i.e., Mars) (which isn’t the same as field reversal), or maybe not (i.e. Venus).

    +++
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,837058,00.html
    Sun’s rays to roast Earth as poles flip
    ‘Earth’s magnetic field has disappeared many times before – as a prelude to our magnetic poles flipping over, when north becomes south and vice versa,’ said Dr Alan Thomson of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh.
    ‘Reversals happen every 250,000 years or so, and as there has not been one for almost a million years, we are due one soon.’

    ‘These solar particles can have profound effects,’ said Dr Paul Murdin, of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. ‘On Mars, when its magnetic field failed permanently billions of years ago, it led to its atmosphere being boiled off. On Earth, it will heat up the upper atmosphere and send ripples round the world with enormous, unpredictable effects on the climate.’

    +++
    http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=523

    For example, lava that solidified 30,000 years ago shows that the magnetic field was in the opposite direction at that time.

    One effect that may occur during a magnetic reversal is that the Earth may not be protected from charged particles streaming from the sun. …This could be a problem, but most likely the atmosphere is thick enough to protect the Earth’s surface.

    Although the recent movie The Core tells the story of the Earth’s magnetic field dissipating, causing the entire atmosphere to disintegrate, you don’t need to worry about that happening! The magnetic field will exist as long as the outer core is liquid – and that will be for a long long time!

    +++
    http://istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/earthmag/magnQ&A1.htm#q6
    HOW LONG AGO: about 700,000 years, according to the “tape recorder”
    HOW MANY TIMES: Many, about half a million years apart on the average.

    +++
    http://geomag.usgs.gov/faqs.php
    However, before the last reversal, which was about 780,000 years ago,
    Reversals are random events. They can happen as often as every 10 thousand years or so, and as infrequently as every 50 million years or more.
    The magnetic field of the Earth does protect us from fast-moving charged particles streaming from the Sun, but so does the atmosphere. It is not clear whether or not the radiation that would make it to the Earth’s surface during a polarity transition, when the magnetic field is relatively weak, is sufficient to affect evolution, either directly or indirectly, and cause extinctions, such as that of the dinosaurs. But it seems that the radiation is probably insufficient.

    ++++

    At least these guys aren’t pretending that they can predict the future climate, much less the weather next month.

  116. Ken,

    So government caused environmental disasters don’t matter? It is OK to ignore the substantial amounts of environmental damage government has caused?

    That seems to be what you are saying.

    Libertarians and conservatives oppose ineffective, counterproductive, expensive, government environmental policy. Don’t confuse that with opposition to environmental protection.

  117. Karen, I spent most of Earth Day undoing the global warming damage to my bougainvillea. For the first time in memory we had a hard freeze that was hard enough to kill a lot of stuff to the ground. Killed three bougainvillea outright and the rest were severely damaged. A lot of the stuff is coming back now, the Mexican Sage, Society Garlic, Blue Salvia and the like. Because cold air drains we didn’t get much damage on the hillsides and the lemon tree survived.

  118. crimethink,

    Guy Montag,

    Re: limbo, it was never an official teaching of the Magisterium (ie, the Pope and the other bishops), so the headline “Vatican Reverses Teaching on Limbo” is quite misleading. It was an idea cooked up by medieval theologians to reconcile the fact that Baptism is the primary avenue for salvation, and the apparent injustice of sending babies to hell just because their parents didn’t baptize them in time.

    The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church also gave limbo the cold shoulder, stating that those who die as unbaptized chidren will be judged by a standard known to God alone. Of course, JP2 went out of his way to suggest that mothers who repent of having abortions may meet their aborted children in heaven, lending credence to the “all babies go to heaven” meme. A mistake, from my POV, because it kind of undercuts the idea of original sin, but this isn’t the place to discuss that, I guess.

    What the hell are you talking about or who are you talking to?

  119. Ken, I wasn’t drinking anything. I believe that I specifically said the following:

    And who, exactly, failed to provide for or enforce property rights, the net result of which was to allow gross polluters to savage the environment?

    You seem to be arguing against what I said while confirming it.

    It is the classic libertarian argument, and you of all people should know that. The government does not recognize property rights in air or water. No property rights = tragedy of the commons = dumping shit in the rivers.

  120. Ken,

    You may not be aware of this, but up till the 1830’s or so, polluters routinely did get assessed for damages in court. Pollution, under common law, was treated as a form of vandalism and trespass.

    For example, a factory owner could expect to be sued by people who lived downwind of his smokestacks and forced to pay damages for the damage his soot caused. To prevent this factory owners did start investing in primitive emission control systems.

    Then the courts began to rule differently, stating bluntly that the advantage to society provided by factories outweighed the benefits of people not having their property polluted.

    In effect, the government courts gave businesses a carte-blanche to pollute. And, pollute they did. Freed from having to pay for the damage they did, factory owners began to treat the world around them like a garbage dump. In fact, they had to; an ethical factory owner who allocated precious capital to pollution control processes from his production systems automatically placed himself at a competitive disadvantage.

    Modern environmentalism takes the same approach; instead of respecting private property rights, it seeks to have the courts define “ecological diversity” or “environmental conditions” as taking precedence over both the privilege to pollute that the government granted to factories, and the private property rights of land-owners.

    Speaking for myself, this is why I am down on mainstream environmentalists. They are, in their own way, behaving just as immorally as those whom they claim to oppose. To use a much abused analogy, just because I oppose George Bush’s War on Terror, does not mean I support Al Queda.

  121. “Then the courts began to rule differently, stating bluntly that the advantage to society provided by factories outweighed the benefits of people not having their property polluted.”
    I’m with you all the way there. I’ve read many of the cases you refer to. But I will say this: there was a time when common law took it to polluters, then they backed off, but environmentalists pushed for regulation which deterred polluters, and I think that is all good. I don’t like people dumping crap in my air and water, and if the government is stopping that, then more power to them! In fact, I may not have the time or wherewithal to find out who is dumping what, so three cheers for the EPA for doing it for me.
    You’ve correctly IDed a source for trouble: when private property rights conflict with “ecological concerns.” We agree (I think?) on the idea that the government should step in to protect our property rights (they can do so with tort law or with enviromental law it seems to me). But what happens in the latter case? If there is only three blue furred minx, and I think my kid should be able to see a blu furred minx, but two of them live on your land and you want to kill ’em and build a Starbucks…Well, I say maybe the majority should be able to vote to disallow you from doing your plans, but that should be a taking and you should be compensated…I mean, you don’t get to make that decision about what my kids want to see…
    “It is the classic libertarian argument, and you of all people should know that. The government does not recognize property rights in air or water. No property rights = tragedy of the commons = dumping shit in the rivers”
    WC, I’m not sure where you are coming from…The gov currently works hard to keep people from dumping anything in any river or air (their tort law protects water and air, to a certain degree). Is that not a good thing?
    TJIT: “Libertarians and conservatives oppose ineffective, counterproductive, expensive, government environmental policy. Don’t confuse that with opposition to environmental protection.”
    So what environmental protection do you support? I imagine that it will be similar to what an “environmentalist” supports. I imagine this because it’s reasonable to not want people to dump sh*t in the air you and I breathe, and the rivers we fish and drink from. And this is actually what the government does… There is of course some tension when the government acts for purely “ecological reasons”, i.e., to protect “nature” in ways that do not “directly” affect humans. I’m curious, which species would you not care about if they went extinct, and what government restrictions would you support to keep such extinctions from happening?

  122. A thought on the Earth’s magnetic field flipping in the near future. I’m speaking totally ex rectum but hear me out.

    It’s been mentioned here that a possible driver of cloud formation is cosmic radiation. (More high-energy radiation leads to more ionization in the upper atmosphere, more ionization in the upper atmosphere leads to more cloud nucleation sites, more sites leads to more clouds…) The Earth’s magnetic field currently screens us from a large amount of radiation. If flipping the Earth’s magnetic field will temporarily lessen the intensity of the magnetic field, won’t that increase the number of charged particles interacting with the upper atmosphere? And won’t that lead then to more cloud formation, raising the Earth’s albedo, and possibly lead to temperatures decreasing?

    Or is it that our magnetosphere doesn’t have much of an effect the highly charged particles that are implicated in driving cloud formation, so altering the magnetosphere won’t have any impact good or bad for cloud formation? I’d wonder if ice ages track with polarity flipping but if Le Muir is right, it seems that science can’t agree within an order of magnitude when pole flipping occurs.

  123. Ken,

    I don’t quite agree; I’m one of those free market anarchists that thinks we should get rid of the government entirely! Obviously, without a government to promulgate them, in my utopia there would be no governmental regulations. 🙂

    This is not an area I’ve really considered in depth, but I would suppose that the response depends on the localizability of the pollution. The act of polluting falls on a continuum; At one extreme, would be one man dumping garbage in his neighbor’s yard; At the other extreme you have every internal combustion owner pumping CO2 into the atmosphere (I don’t consider CO2 to be a pollutant, but for the purpose of this posting let’s assume it is).

    Now in the case of the man dumping garbage, it’s very easy to assign a victim and an aggressor. This is just the thing that courts can handle easily (historical anarcho-capitalist societies have had courts: the courts were limited in enforcement mechanisms and lacked monopoly power), so this is not of concern.

    But the other end of the continuum is quite a problem. It’s hard for a victim to prove that they were damaged. It is also hard for a victim to identify who emitted the CO2 that injured them.

    So I don’t see courts as being able to handle this. What I would expect would be that market processes would handle it based on how much of a nuisance this diffused pollution is.

    If it is a nuisance that impacts vast numbers of people, they will boycott the polluters. So, let us assume that CO2 caused 60% of the population to have runny noses. Of course, they hate it, so they start boycotting car-manufacturers, some of the car-manufacturers (many of whom also have runny noses from the pollution their products cause) try to gain a competitive advantage by marketing reduced CO2 cars and nature takes its course.

    On the other hand, if only 1% of the population suffers from runny noses, their boycott will probably get them no where, so they will have to find some other way to mitigate the damage, perhaps by buying CO2 filters for their noses, or living out in the Ho rainforest or something.

    I actually think the Carbon Offsetts market is a very interesting attempt to handle this problem. Again, I personally think these markets are an attempt to fix a non-problem, but looking at it from an economic perspective, this is a classic case of private environmental protection, where a charity collects money from supporters, and sends that money to persuade people to behave in ways that the supporters wish.

    Now for ecological preservation, it really comes down to the landowners’ choices. So, if I owned some forest, and thought an owl species was worth preserving, I would preserve it. If I wanted to harvest wood from my forest an kill the owls, I would do that instead.

    In the case of your blue-furred minx example, I categorically disagree with you. If you want your kid to see the animal, buy it from me. Or buy the land. But invading my land and threatening to hurt me if I use it in a way that is not to your liking is actually quite monstrous! Before you protest that you don’t want to invade my land, consider what would happen to me if I were to defy your blue-minx killing law. When a person is arrested and jailed, they are in effect kidnapped at gunpoint and held for many years.

    But, in the absence of such violence, I think one would see free market attempts at species preservation. For example a charity would go out and negotiate with landowners and pay them to protect cute or popular species on behalf of their supporters in a manner similar to carbon offset markets.

    As to my personal preferences about species preservation, I have very minor demands. I would like to see blue-jays, cardinals, chikadees, parakeets, dogs and cats preserved. Based on the conversations of Koko the gorilla and signing chimpanzees, I am inclined to recognize their “human rights”, meaning that they should be allowed to own property, guns, etc. However, again, this is an inclination rather than a conclusion, perhaps its the result of reading L. Neil Smith and David Brin at an impressionable age. 🙂

  124. “What, O Earth, I dig out of thee, quickly shall that grow again: may I not, O pure one, pierce thy vital spot, and not thy heart!” (Hymn to the Godess Earth, v.35, Atharva Veda.
    Note: our advanced civlization is doing exactly the contrary. One considerate if it is not purposely.

  125. Quick impression:

    I can’t believe no one’s mentioned this at Reason.

  126. No Reason dispatch from the Capitol File party or the DC Corrospondant’s dinner?

    Heard Cheryl Crowe tried an uncusseful coup attempt on Carl Rove. One would think a loud-mouth like her would actually know . . . er, never mind, I am reminded of her toilet-paper scheme and one should not expect her to know anything but a chord set.

  127. Oops! Make that Karl Rove above. Don’t want any Humanaties Department students going on a rampage over spelling something wrong.

  128. Tarran
    Let’s skip runny noses and try carcinogens being pumped in the air. But, as you say, its subtle, and the market won’t pay to sniff out who is dumping what (has it ever?). So there is no boycott or backlash, and no end to the pollution and many, many people die (btw-most companies would not mind a boycott by 60% of the population, they go for little niches and do just fine).
    Once you grant courts the power to resolve the obvious tort issue you mention, even if “not in a a monopoly” (whatever that means), why not give the government power to police the pollution in the first place?

  129. Whoa. That was weird.

  130. Another correction:

    In other ‘news’, speaking of the MSM, it appears that that Cho fellow purchased two 10 round magazines on eBay and the MSM is having a fit wanting to bring back to the Brady Bill. Just like with ‘earth day’ the MSM is fairbanksing. The Brady Bill is what gave us 10 round magazines to begin with.

    That should be the old Assault Weapons Ban (no longer in effect), not the Brady Bill (which is still in effect). Cho was still following the AWB even though it is no longer the law.

  131. Guy Montag | April 23, 2007, 7:49am | #

    Oops! Make that Karl Rove above. Don’t want any Humanaties Department students going on a rampage over spelling something wrong.

    you misspelled Humanities

  132. you misspelled Humanities

    Then I need to go into hiding before some crazed pacificist comes out to get me.

  133. Ken said, “the market won’t pay to sniff out who is dumping what (has it ever?)”

    One counterexample comes to mind. Consumer Reports is run with no government support (other than 501(c)(3) tax breaks, I assume), and it gathers, digests, and disseminates lots of data on, e.g., the reliability of used cars going back years. I don’t see any reason why a similar publication couldn’t arise for disseminating pollution information that no one person could gather on his own. I’d pay $50 a year to subscribe to such a thing if I felt it was reliable.

  134. BTW, 2 questions if anyone is still reading this thread:

    1. Tarran, your discussion above regarding the common law and pollution is very interesting to me. Would you be able to direct me to any source(s) on that history?

    2. Anyone — what is the best source (online, book, whatever) for understanding the global-warming-is-real-and-will-be-bad-and-requires-action-today argument? Something written for a well-educated non-scientist who’s not afraid of statistics.

    Thank you.

  135. Anyone — what is the best source (online, book, whatever) for understanding the global-warming-is-real-and-will-be-bad-and-requires-action-today argument? Something written for a well-educated non-scientist who’s not afraid of statistics.

    All of that should be in the DDS 813 section, but they keep tossing it out as non-fiction.

    Try that Albert Gore, Jr. movie along with some of his wacky books. He seems to have explained it in a manner to convince many folks that it is for real. He has been saying that we only have 10 years left for over 20 years now and his followers never give up on him.

    For the equivelant on Anthropology see the writings and movies by Erich Von Daniken.

    In other news, for Earth Day, the Festivus of the environmental movement, I had a Cheesesteak sandwich, hold the swiss I prefer provolone thank you, fries and about 9 huge Fosters drafts.

  136. jp,

    In Feb 2007, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a summary of its recent report for policymakers. That’s on line.

  137. Ken,

    I oppose policies like biofuel mandates. They are sold as a way to improve the environment and rent seeking companies get legislation to mandate the use of biofuels. The end result is the “green” regulations cause more environmental destruction then doing nothing would have. The article below give an example of this.

    What about the land

    Quote from the aricle.

    Farther south, another biodiversity hotspot is being rapidly cleared to plant a biodiesel crop. Nearly 80 percent of Brazil’s Cerrado region — a woodland savanna mix — has been cleared for agricultural production, mostly for soybeans, according to a Conservation International report.

    Too many environmental advocates ignore the consequences of the policies they push. They would be disgusted with their ignorance if they realized the damage it causes.

  138. “Fuck big government.”

    I say that every Halloween and Secretary day also.

  139. …9 huge Fosters drafts.

    As one Australian friend tells me “Fostuhs is ‘strylyun fuh piss”.

    But you’re not getting the original Melbourne flavor anyway. The Fosters you can buy is brewed in Toronto and has been formulated to appeal to the American palate.

  140. Sadly, I was too busy to do anything to piss up the leg of the status quoers yesterday. Usually, I start up my lawnmower* and let it run until it runs out of gas. Didn’t even get a chance for a BIG, lighter fluid drenched BBQ fire. It’s a sight to see; looks like Napalm going off.

    *No blades of grass are harmed during the running of the mower.

  141. *No blades of grass are harmed during the running of the mower.

    You should have the blade sharpened.

  142. Almost forgot. I did the modified Rachael Corrie pancake breakfast with a waffle and straberry glaze.

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