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Our Fragile Planet

With the decline of the USSR, communism has lost considerable respectability and is now repackaged as environmentalism and progressivism.

No Impact Man

University of Calgary, my employer, recently announced that this year it will require all newly-admitted students to read “No Impact Man,” the New York-based author Colin Beavan’s account of living for a year in Manhattan in an effort to strive for “zero environmental impact.” According to Dru Marshall, provost and vice president at the University […]

If For-Profit Oil is Evil, What’s the Alternative?

Controversy is heating up over an Obama administration plan to drastically reduce the amount of federal lands available for oil shale development in the American West. The Bush administration had set aside 1.3 million acres for oil shale and tar sands development in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The new Bureau of Land Management [BLM] plan […]

Interventions Beget Interventions

It has long been noted that government intervention seldom, if ever, accomplishes the stated purpose. When the failure of some regulation, subsidy, or program becomes clear, legislators respond with further interventions. As an example, consider the solar panel industry. Solyndra, which received more than $500 billion in federal loan guarantees, is only one of many […]

Big Oil: Please, Please Let Us Drill

The headline on said it all: “Big Oil’s promise: Let us drill, we’ll hire 1.4 million workers.” The article goes on to say: With job creation taking center stage in American politics, the oil industry Wednesday made a pitch for drilling more widely. With looser restrictions, the industry says it could deliver 1.4 million […]

The EPA’s RRP Rule isn’t About Safety

I wrote this in May 2010. It remains relevant. On April 22, 2010 an EPA regulation governing renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) took effect. The regulation governs any activity that will disturb paint containing lead and applies to all homes built before 1978 and “child-occupied facilities”. On Wednesday I took the certification course mandated by […]

Ethics of Energy Companies

Energy companies, particularly those producing fossil fuels—oil, natural gas, coal—are under attack by the environmentalists and their sympathizers in the media. It is one thing to criticize companies such as BP, deservedly, for lax safety procedures or lacking emergency preparedness that lead to disastrous pollution. But it is entirely different to attack these companies precisely […]

Wealth Creation and Property Rights: Good For the Planet

Last week, I was writing about the first UN World Happiness Report and how it pits wealth creation and wealth against happiness. I promised to discuss why wealth creation is not only good for people’s happiness but also for the planet. Wealth creation without the right to private property would be much diminished, for the […]

The Real Meaning of Earth Hour

The lights of our cities and monuments are a symbol of human achievement, of what mankind has accomplished in rising from the cave to the skyscraper. Earth Hour presents the disturbing spectacle of people celebrating those lights being extinguished. Its call for people to renounce energy and to rejoice at darkened skyscrapers makes its real meaning unmistakably clear: Earth Hour symbolizes the renunciation of industrial civilization.

The “Limits” of Economic Progress

A few weeks ago I caught a portion of a radio program in which a commentator argued that economic progress has limits.  He used a hamster as an example: For the first few weeks of his life, a hamster doubles in size each week. If he did this for a year, he would weight nine […]

No Easy Fix for Gas Prices

This month, as unleaded gasoline prices increased for 17 consecutive days (to a national average of $3.647 per gallon – up 11% thus far this year) and West Texas Intermediate crude joined Brent crude in breaking through a $100 per barrel level, energy prices emerged as a full blown political issue. While President Obama conveniently […]

SOPA/PIPA Denied: "Strike" One Against Censorship of the Internet

“Censorship” is a term pertaining only to governmental action. No private action is censorship. No private individual or agency can silence a man or suppress a publication; only the government can do so. The freedom of speech of private individuals includes the right not to agree, not to listen and not to finance one’s own […]

Environmentalism and Psychology: A Marriage Made in Hell

People who disagree with my political perspective sometimes tell me, “You shouldn’t comment on social or political matters. That’s not appropriate for a mental health professional.” The people who say this are always liberals, and never non-liberals, i.e. never libertarians, Objectivists, conservatives or anything like that. (Proving my point, once again, that most liberals simply […]

What The "Green" in the Green Movement Stands For

The U.N. has proposed that $2 trillion per year be provided to them to ensure the development of “green technologies” over the next 40 years. Failure to let the U.N. do this, according to them, will result in the end of the world as we know it. “Green” technologies refer to renewable sources of energy […]

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