From Harvard to Hong Kong, stakeholder capitalism is gaining popularity at elite business schools worldwide. Followers of this trendy concept believe that a corporation, instead of primarily operating to benefit shareholders, should work to benefit all interested parties — or “stakeholders” — including suppliers, local communities, and governments. Stakeholder capitalism largely overlaps with efforts to advance so-called “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) outcomes — a vaguely defined trio of left-wing priorities.Read More
The recently-passed Virginia budget for fiscal years 2023-2024 includes legislation delaying implementation of state bans on polystyrene for five years. The ban, sponsored by Delegate Betsy Carr (D-Richmond) required large food vendors to stop using the packaging material by July 2023, and all vendors by July 2025. But those deadlines are now July 2028 and July 2030, respectively.
After the ban’s final passage in 2021 under Democratic control, Virginia earned praise for its position from environmental groups. At the time, restaurant lobbyists warned that restaurants needed the containers amid an increase in takeout due to COVID-19. At the same time then-Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill, he also signed a ban on executive branch agencies using single-use plastics, which was reversed this year by Governor Glenn Youngkin.Read More
In March 2019, The New York Times ran a shocking story exploring why many prominent US cities were abandoning their recycling programs.
“Philadelphia is now burning about half of its 1.5 million residents’ recycling material in an incinerator that converts waste to energy,” Times business writer Michael Corkery reported. “In Memphis, the international airport still has recycling bins around the terminals, but every collected can, bottle and newspaper is sent to a landfill.”Read More
The federal government has assembled a 21-agency working group to study and assess the environmental impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The “Interagency Working Group on Environmental Damage in Ukraine” — which was assembled by the Department of State and includes officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Defense — has met weekly for about a month, Axios first reported Friday.Read More
Almost exactly 76 years ago, on March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of Great Britain, delivered one of the most important speeches of the century. Surveying the increasing despotic rule by the Soviet Russians over Central and Eastern Europe in the wake of World War Two, Churchill declared, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”
That phrase, “iron curtain,” stuck, helping to define the Cold War for the next five decades. In such a chilled environment, significant trade and normal exchange of any kind between the Free World and the Communist Bloc was unthinkable.
So now today, we can see that an iron curtain is once again descending; only time will tell if brave Ukraine will be held, once again, as a captive nation on the wrong side of this terrible barrier.Read More
Thousands are dying from Russian missiles and bombs in the suburbs of Ukraine.
In response, the Biden Administration’s climate-change envoy, multimillionaire and private-jet owning John Kerry, laments that Russian president Vladimir Putin might no longer remain his partner in reducing global warming.
“You’re going to lose people’s focus,” Kerry frets. “You’re going to lose big-country attention because they will be diverted, and I think it could have a damaging impact”Read More
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will hold a roundtable Thursday to discuss how officials can combat climate denialism and delay, The Washington Post reported.
The OSTP will host nearly 20 climate scientists, social scientists, economists and engineers from across the country for the first-of-its-kind event, the Post reported.
“Clearly, we see tangible evidence of climate change all around us with sea-level rise, increases in extreme heat, increases in drought, wildfires, ocean acidification (and) floods,” OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Jane Lubchenco told the Post, confirming the roundtable.Read More
With a dismissive wave of the hand, nuclear power opponents play their trump card to argue why they will never support this safe, dependable, carbon-free source of energy.
But in doing so, they reveal their ignorance. Nuclear ‘waste’ – in the form of spent uranium fuel rods – is not really waste.
The United States, which generates about a fifth of its electricity from nuclear power, produces roughly 2,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel each year, which must be securely stored in immense concrete and steel casks for hundreds of years. That sounds like a taxing task, but if you aggregate all of the spent fuel produced in the U.S. since the 1950s, it would actually fit on one football field stacked about ten yards high. Nuclear plant operators are more than capable of handling this amount for the foreseeable future.Read More
Carbon taxes, emissions caps, subsidies – these all seek to reduce atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases, yet regularly meet criticism and opposition. Is there a more efficient solution to achieving climate balance? Not only is the answer yes, but the potential benefits could far outperform what other strategies hope to achieve.
Most solutions seek to reduce emissions –abruptly or over time– or attain carbon neutrality by utilizing renewable power sources, but increasingly we hear that carbon neutrality is not enough. We must find new technology and techniques to reduce greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, which will require meaningful investments in research and development. One solution is voluntary carbon offsets.
Carbon offsets are certificates for purchase intended to counteract operational emissions or capture legacy emissions from the past. This is done by paying for a given quantity of CO2 to be neutralized through investment in offsetting projects or technology. Whether the certificates are directed towards conservation efforts, renewable energy, or carbon capture or removal, purchasing carbon offsets provides one party investor satisfaction and the other party an infusion of funding intended to finance a carbon-reduction strategy. When purchasing high quality offsets, these serve as a down payment and incubator toward the best climate solutions available in the laboratory or in the field.Read More
A California environmental regulator approved a measure banning new purchases of small off-road engines including leaf blowers and lawn mowers beginning in 2024.
The measure will also affect portable generators and recreational vehicle engines which will need to meet “more stringent standards” in 2024 and zero-emission standards in 2028, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announcedThursday. The vote was part of the state’s aggressive climate program and goal to achieve a “zero-emission future” as outlined by an executive order Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in September 2020.
“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”Read More
Canadian energy firm Pembina Pipeline Corp. pulled the plug on a years-long project that would have led to greater natural gas exports from to Canada to the U.S.
The multi-billion-dollar Jordan Cove project included plans to construct a marine export terminal, which would have been the first of its kind in the continental U.S., and a 230-mile pipeline across Oregon, The Associated Press reported. The terminal would have liquefied up to 1.04 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for export and hosted two full-containment storage tanks on site, according to previous federal permit records.
But the project, which dates back to 2004, was fiercely opposed by environmentalists while state officials created permitting roadblocks that Pembina struggled to hurdle. In 2020, the Republican-majority Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project, but the agency rescinded approval in January, upholding Oregon’s rejection of the plans.Read More
In the context of the massive attention paid to climate change, nations around the world have committed to substantially reducing and even eliminating their carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving these goals relies on several ‘green’ technologies that would form the basis of a future energy system. As envisioned, mass deployment of these technologies will encounter fundamental physical limits that call into question their ability to function as replacements for their equivalents in the current energy system. By placing firm targets, nations around the world have committed to terminating their carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 to offer confidence that a better world is achievable if only society implements the right policies and employs the correct technologies. This assumption is inaccurate, based on a view that is at odds with nature.
Due to unavoidable physical constraints, future green technologies offer little promise for achieving economies of scale. Many of the improvements suggested to improve their performance remain marginal and frequently come with the environmental costs of additional embedded energy requirements, extensive land use and greater material complexity. The outcomes achieved under laboratory conditions are not guaranteed to be viable at the scale necessary for them to make a significant difference.Read More
After the 2020 summer of riots, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations stood up Task Force One Navy (TF1N) on July 1, 2020. After a six-month effort, the final 142-page report was submitted on January 28, 2021 Its two operating assumptions are, first, that the Navy, as an institution, is systemically racist, and, second, that “Mission readiness is stronger when diverse strengths are used and differing perspectives are applied.” Notwithstanding several key military principles—such as unit cohesion, strict discipline across the chain of command, and, well, uniforms—the Navy is now ideologically committed to the mantra that “diversity is strength.”
Not surprisingly, considering the key entering assumptions, the task force report identified problems with Navy systems, climate, and culture; and submitted almost 60 recommendations aligned with four lines of inquiry: Recruiting, Talent Management/Retention, Professional Development, and Innovation and STEM (as well as a fifth line for miscellaneous recommendations).
One should be skeptical, however, about the entire exercise and the recommendations that flow from it. It inaccurately depicts the proud institution of the United States Navy as systemically racist—a slander that has more potential to undermine morale, good order, discipline, and military effectiveness than any geostrategic adversary.Read More
The Biden administration rolled out broad new regulations that it said will substantially reduce U.S. methane emissions within 15 years.
The sweeping regulations would cut methane emissions, which account for roughly 10% of the greenhouse gasses emitted by the U.S., by 41 million tons between 2023 and 2035, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday. Such a reduction is equivalent to 920 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the amount emitted by all cars and commercial aircraft in 2019.
“As global leaders convene at this pivotal moment in Glasgow for COP26, it is now abundantly clear that America is back and leading by example in confronting the climate crisis with bold ambition,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.Read More
For many, thinking about the future of our planet is terrifying. According to a global survey reported by the BBC, 56 percent of young people believe that humanity is doomed because of climate change and 45 percent say that their anxiety about the climate affects their daily lives. Here in the US, the story is much the same; three-quarters of Americans believe that climate change will result in the extinction of man, and one in five millennials believe that that extinction will occur within their lifetime.
A college student recently wrote the following in a campus newspaper about her climate anxiety:
I stay up into the early hours of the morning, Googling some variation of “Is there hope for climate change,” and “Biden climate change plan good?” (…) I fret over every piece of waste I encounter, wondering whether I should trash it or wash it and hope it qualifies for the recycling bin. What if I wash the aluminum foil I heated leftover lasagna on, does it become recyclable then? The anxiety is crippling.Read More
House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.
The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.
The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.Read More
We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.
We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.
And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.Read More
With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.
Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths.
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.
House Democrats blocked a Republican attempt on Monday to require any proposed climate change legislation to also include its projected cost.
Under the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) rule, any additional government spending proposed must be accompanied by tax increases or separate cuts. After a push from several lawmakers in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, however, the rules package for the 117th Congress states PAYGO will not apply to legislation relating to the necessary economic recovery or U.S. efforts to combat climate change.Read More
Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the government has reduced air pollution by 7%, declared Superfund sites safe again at a record pace, and directed tens of billions of dollars to ensuring clean water, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Thursday in a speech marking the agency’s 50th anniversary.Read More
An important new book by Michael Shellenberger, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, attempts to counter the common belief that climate change poses an imminent and existential threat to humanity and the planet. At 285 pages, this is a relatively short and very readable book, but it covers a lot of ground. And with an additional 125 pages containing over 1,000 footnotes, Shellenberger’s arguments are well documented.Read More
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that it would waive environmental laws so it could build gates between sections of border barriers in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. The waiver posted online lists 11 locations where the government plans to install gates in existing fencing. DHS has in…Read More
by Tim Pearce Cobalt mined under harsh conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a key component in items such as electric vehicles and iPhones sold around the world. Congolese freelance workers venture into dangerous mines to collect the valuable mineral with nothing more than shovels and picks. Many…Read More
by Tim Pearce Federal investigators are probing into a 2017 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report that claimed refurbished trucks emitted significantly more pollution than new models. The EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced Tuesday that it would look into allegations that EPA officials improperly colluded with truck manufacturer Volvo to…Read More
by Jason Hopkins Law enforcement ended a lingering standoff with an anti-pipeline camp site, arresting five protesters and destroying all the makeshift homes that were built. Intense opposition has centered around the Trans Mountain pipeline project, an expansion proposal that will ultimately stretch from Alberta to British Columbia’s west coast.…Read More
by Michael Bastasch The battle over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to repeal an Obama-era regulation has been reignited. The Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and Center for Biological Diversity sued EPA on Tuesday to prevent the agency from repealing regulations on refurbished truck engines, called glider kits. Their suit…Read More
by Jason Hopkins Outright bans on plastics have an overall negative effect on the environment, and recycling initiatives make for better solutions, according to an Independent Institute report. As climate change becomes a larger political issue, more consideration is being given to bans on plastic products. France became the…Read More
by Alexander C. R. Hammond Recently on the BBC, Deborah Tabart from the Australian Koala Foundation noted that “85 percent of the world’s forests are now gone.” Luckily this statement is incorrect. Moreover, due to afforestation in the developed world, net deforestation has almost ceased. I’m sure that Tabart had nothing…Read More
Reuters A coalition of conservation groups sued the Trump administration on Thursday, accusing the government of slashing protections for migratory birds. At issue is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which the National Audubon Society and other plaintiffs say has been undermined. In the past, the act helped hold parties…Read More