From deep within the bowels of America’s most beloved bureaucracy:
In the past few years, there have been shows about Louisiana alligator trappers, exterminators, sheriffs, prisoners, brides, shrimpers, nutria hunters, mixed martial arts fighters, garbage collectors, “bad girls,” overnight millionaires, run-of-the-mill rednecks and pawnshop owners (about whom there are multiple shows). There are more shows on the way, prompting the question of whether there actually are any interesting people left in Louisiana. …
The tax credits are certainly a big part of why the state seems to attract so many shows, people in the industry said, and there is quite a bit of simply following what has already worked. But there is also general agreement that Louisiana is just more interesting than other places, with an ideal mix of Deep South exotica and regular folk accessibility. And Louisianans like to talk.
“It’s like a two-dog race between Louisiana and Alaska,” said Brent Montgomery, the owner of Leftfield Pictures, which produces “Cajun Pawn Stars,” “Swamp’d!” and many other shows. “When you’re in Louisiana,” he said, “it’s like every single person there is employed by the state to tell you how great the state is.”
If you shut your eyes for just a moment while reading this latest HuffPo post by Robert Kennedy, Jr., you can almost hear the gobs of spittle smacking his monitor as he wrote. There’s really nothing like the pungent aroma of blue blood at full boil.
As you may recall, Kennedy is an attorney, activist and Senior Staff Luddite with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He also serves as president of RiverKeeper, an anti-fracking activist group that has benevolently saved New York State from the ravages of shale gas jobs and prosperity.
In his stream-of-semi-consciousness screed, Kennedy blames Republicans, conservatives, Climate skeptics and religious fundamentalists for a lack of progress on the Left’s environmental agenda. But he reserves a special place in hell for “Big Oil” (although it doesn’t really know who Big Oil is). It’s all a conspiracy, you see: Big Oil are the puppetmasters standing between us and the Green Future Kennedy envisions.
Filled with quasi-religious zeal, Kennedy apparently dispensed with the laborious process of fact-checking, editing and proofreading before clicking “Publish”. The results are nothing short of comical.
UFO expert, Dr. John Malley, of the U.N. Panel on Extraterrestrials:
Dr. Malley has been touring the globe, speaking to governments about the ongoing alien invasion (which he believes will last until December 2015) and how to best confront the aliens. “We have to behave in a proper way when dealing with the Gootans. If not, we are doomed,” Malley said. Continue reading
Here we go again: In a press release from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Obama Administration unabashedly takes credit for the nation’s surging oil and gas production, without a scintilla of evidence that any of their policies or proposals is actually responsible for said surge. Continue reading
[Easy. Start with €10 million.]
… Europe’s carbon market, a pioneering effort to use markets to regulate greenhouse gases, is having a hard time staying upright. This year has been stomach-churning for the people who make their living in the arcane world of trading emissions permits. The most recent volatility comes on top of years of uncertainty during which prices have fluctuated from $40 to nearly zero for the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide.
More important, though, than lost jobs and diminished payouts for traders and bankers, the penny ante price of carbon credits means the market is not doing its job: pushing polluters to reduce carbon emissions, which most climate scientists believe contribute to global warming.
The market for these credits, officially called European Union Allowances, or E.U.A.’s, has been both unstable and under sharp downward pressure this year because of a huge oversupply and a stream of bad political and economic news. On April 16, for instance, after the European Parliament voted down the proposed reduction in the number of credits, prices dropped about 50 percent, to 2.63 euros from nearly 5, in 10 minutes.
Moreover, our focus on solar and electric cars diverts us from the world’s most deadly environmental problems. In wealthy countries, most environmental indicators are getting better. We have cleaner air and cleaner water, and we suffer fewer environmental risks. But air and water pollution kill 6 million people each year and harm billions worldwide. …
Poor countries should have the same opportunity to develop — so they, too, can have clean drinking water and switch to cleaner energy sources, instead of using dung and twigs for fuel. …
Earth Day also presents an opportunity to recognize our own environmental achievements. In spite of decades of political wrangling, which failed to produce a meaningful global climate policy, it was ultimately the shale gas revolution that curtailed U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
Fracking has caused a dramatic transition to natural gas, a fuel that emits 45% less carbon dioxide than burning coal. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that in 2012, carbon dioxide emissions was 12% lower than the peak in 2007. The shift from coal to natural gas is alone responsible for a reduction of between 8%-9% of the entire U.S. CO2 emissions. In fact, it amounts to twice the reduction that the rest of the world has achieved over the past 20 years. …
This Earth Day, we need a dose of realism about real environmental challenges — such as the air and water pollution that make life so miserable for billions — and the real opportunities that exist for environmental innovation, to make our planet a better place.
Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.