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Posts from December 2010

John Holdren’s Big Science, One Science Directive (so what has this smartest-guy-in-the-room said in the past?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 30, 2010

“Some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century.”

–  John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, “What We Must Do, and the Cost of Failure,” in Holdren and Ehrlich, Global Ecology (1971), p. 279.

“As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”

–  Paul Ehrlich, The Machinery of Nature (1986), p. 274

“We have been warned by our more cautious colleagues that those who discuss threats of sociological and ecological disaster run the risk of being ‘discredited’ if those threats fail to materialize on schedule.”

– John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, eds., Global Ecology (1971), p. 6.

“John Holdren (like Paul Ehrlich) has done much to discredit himself by both his failed forecasts and his angry response to his critics….

Virginia Renewables: Taxpayer Santa

By Charles Battig -- December 29, 2010

Bridging the gap between the insightful analyses at MasterResource and what emanates from the halls of government remains a challenge. No matter how clear the issue might be to those who follow this and similar logic-based web sites, the formulation of public policy seems to rely on overt political calculation and tailored science in the service of a political objective.

Free market logic needs to reach beyond our own “choir of believers.” And this means improving our penetration with the general media, a challenge indeed.

In Hoodwinking the Nation, Julian Simon noted that even after he had so convincingly debunked the “vanishing farm land” scam, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture reversed its original position, the press largely ignored the correction. Simon ruefully noted “false bad news” sells.

In the case of the official position of Virginia, as documented in the 2010 Virginia Energy Plan, one sees the 2007 plan scripted under a Democratic Governor carried forward under a proclaimed conservative Republican governorship.

Regs for Rigs: Update, EPA’s Diesel Truck Fuel Economy Standards

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#mlewis">Marlo Lewis</a> -- December 28, 2010

In two recent posts (here and here), I examined EPA’s and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) rationale for establishing first-ever fuel-economy standards for trucks. Today’s post provides additional evidence that what the agencies call the trucking industry’s “under-investment” in fuel-saving technology is an unintended (although not unforseen) consequence of EPA’s ever-tightening diesel-engine emission standards. The declining fuel economy of 18-wheelers is a case of government failure, not market failure. Conveniently, EPA’s role in holding back heavy-truck fuel economy is never discussed in the agencies’ proposed rule.

The trucking industry is highly competitive, profit-margins are thin, and fuel is the single biggest operating expense. Consequently, truckers, especially those who haul freight long distances in “combination tractors” (semis), have a strong incentive to purchase vehicles incorporating cost-effective improvements in fuel economy. 

MasterResource Turns Two

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 27, 2010

Three Cheers for Holiday Lighting! (“let it glow, let it glow, let it glow”)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 24, 2010

Energy at the Speed of Thought (Part 4: Free-Market Alternatives in Illumination and Transportation Energy)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- December 23, 2010

Energy at the Speed of Thought (Part 3: How Oil Rose to Prominence)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- December 22, 2010

Energy at the Speed of Thought (Part 2: Individual Planning in the Pre-Petroleum Illumination Market)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- December 21, 2010

Energy at the Speed of Thought (Part I: The Original Alternative Energy Market)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- December 20, 2010

“Clean Energy Standards”: The Sky is the (Price) Limit

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#r_donway">Roger Donway</a> -- December 17, 2010