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Posts from July 2011

Seasteading and Stewardship: An Introduction to a New Frontier

By Max Borders -- July 29, 2011

[Editor note: The growing importance of offshore mineral development (including oil and gas) makes property rights and the rule of law important for 21st century development.

In this post, Mr. Borders introduces us to this new frontier of human ingenuity. Cities of the sea will be way stations for a variety of commercial activities, including ultra-deep mineral development in future decades and centuries. ]

“History teaches us that we see incredible gains for civilization whenever a new frontier is developed. Seasteads represent a freedom frontier unique in the world: offering a chance to provide social, economic and political freedom to its citizens. Humanity will benefit from more places open to liberty, opportunity, free markets and innovation in everything.”

– Jim Von Ehr, founder and CEO, Zyvex Labs

When I tell people I’ve been working part-time as a scholar with the Seasteading Institute (see description below), I usually encounter polite skepticism.

Federal 'Clean Energy' Loan Guarantees: Crazy Dollars for Bubble Jobs

By Vance Ginn -- July 28, 2011

At a time when the federal government is debating whether to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is offering guaranteed financing to First Solar Inc. for three solar panel projects in California for $4.5 billion. Not million but billion.

Carefully analyzed, these projects do little to fund efficient energy production or create permanent jobs. Such largesse is one of many rich targets for immediate deficit reduction in any budget deal.

LPO specifically targets projects that promote clean energy and includes “job creation; reducing dependency on foreign oil; improving our environmental legacy; and enhancing American competitiveness in the global economy of the 21st century.”

Specifically, these loan guarantees promote projects that include biomass, hydrogen, wind and hydropower, advanced fossil energy coal, carbon sequestration practices and technologies, electricity delivery and energy reliability, alternative fuel vehicles, industry energy efficiency projects, pollution control equipment, nuclear, and solar power.

Towards a New Environmentalism (open criticism, midcourse correction, and scholarship needed)

By Steve Hayward -- July 27, 2011

MasterResource is home to a growing number of grassroot environmentalists who are challenging the Washington, D.C. establishment to reconsider industrial wind turbines. Jen Gilbert’s Dear Sierra Club (Canada): I Resign Over Your Anti-Environmental Wind Support and Jon Boone’s three-part The Sierra Club: How Support for Industrial Wind Technology Subverts Its History, Betrays Its Mission, and Erodes Commitment to the Scientific Method of what Robert Bradley has summarized in his post, Windpower: Environmentalists vs. Environmentalists (NIMBYism, precautionary principle vs. industrial wind)

My piece for National Review (reprinted below) looks at the bigger picture of how reasoned criticism and intellectual diversity have struggled to penetrate the environmental mainstream. The result of such intolerance has been Faustian bargains such as the Sierra Club going all-in for wind power (see their response to Robert Bryce’s recent op-edin the New York Times).

Wind Turbines and Whooping Cranes: Going Soft on Soft Energy (politically correct environmental damage)

By Tom Tanton -- July 26, 2011

2011 U.S. Temperature Update: Alarmism Not

By Chip Knappenberger -- July 25, 2011

The Crisis of Interventionism (Mises's 1949 wisdom speaks to the limits of government- forced energy transformation today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 22, 2011

Ending Windpower Subsidies for Deficit Reduction (failed promises have consequences)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- July 21, 2011

The Shale Gas Hit Piece: The New York Times (minus public editor Brisbane) Doubles Down on a Bad Bet

By Chris Tucker -- July 20, 2011

Exhausting the Reserve Fund: The Big Picture of the Limits to Big Government (Part II)

By Richard Ebeling -- July 19, 2011

Exhausting the Reserve Fund: The Big Picture of the Limits to Big Government (Part I)

By Richard Ebeling -- July 18, 2011