16 Aug 2012

Anything but water

  1. James Surowieki defends Bloomberg's ban on large sodas. Hint: reference points.

  2. A fascinating article [$] describing the effort to eliminate mosquitoes with genetic engineering. Best part: etymologists entomologists agreeing "there's no ecological loss from the extinction of mosquitoes."

  3. The federal government is abusing the concept of "irrational consumers" to justify new regulations. This post goes even further in exploring the move from trusting citizens to know what they want to trusting regulators to tell citizens what they want.

  4. Michael Giberson highlights the economic failures of alternative energy: the federal solar power subsidy does not pay for itself and wind power fail: one and two. Here's some accounting on the nightmare payback periods for wind power: 56 thousands of years!

  5. Dan Ariely describes how a "few little lies" can turn into a failed nation. Greece is there. Italy is there. The UK has problems, but the US may be further along that path -- via lying political attack ads, Faux news, etc.


Matthew Heberger said...

What makes a specialist in word origins qualified to comment on biodiversity?


M. Wein said...

The notion that CAFE standards are an abuse of irrational consumer conceptions is more than a bit overdone. They are by far one of the best regulations that the US has imposed, IMO, anyway. How, exactly, do you determine the energy security percentage of the benefit anyway? I'm sure there's some explanation, but I'm also sure it's mostly smoke and mirrors. It is a simple fact that the US would benefit greatly on many fronts--including national security, energy security, economic security, and possibly ecological security--by considerably reducing its oil requirement. Just sayin'

-- Freude Bud

David Zetland said...

@MH -- Arg. Gets me everytime!

@FB -- CAFE has produced many distortions (e.g., Toyota's move into SUVs, to "take up the slack" from its smaller cars). Just tax gasoline.

freude bud said...

Taxing gasoline is regressive and REALLY difficult to do politically. It took more than 30 years for even CAFE standards to be upgraded since they were originally put in place. So I'm afraid I disagree.

-- Freude Bud

David Zetland said...

You think CAFE standards come without a cost? You know that the Federal Hgwy Trust fund is "borrowing" from teh general budget? You know that gas int eh US is half theprice of Europe, which may explain why Americans are the biggest contributors to global warming? It's not "politics" but irresponsible pandering. We lack of leaders -- and perhaps voters who can add 2+2, but that's a longer discussion...

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