The Environment and Energy News

There’s quite a bit of news centering on energy and the environment today.

Scientists from 113 countries have released a report on human-caused global warming today. The American Enterprise institute has offered scientists and economists each a $10,000 award for critiques of the report.

Surprisingly, Exxon-Mobil has posted a $39.5 billion annual profit for 2006—the largest in the company’s history. Rent-seekers-in-chief Archer Daniels Midland’s 2nd quarter earnings grew 20%, buoyed by ethanol revenues. Can anyone think of a good reason that we should be subsidizing corn-based ethanol production, especially when such production may actually consume more oil than it replaces?

Michael Dell, who recently re-assumed the CEO job at the company he founded, has proposed allowing any customer purchasing a Dell notebook or desktop computer to donate a part of the proceeds towards planting a tree. Whether this is actually a good idea or not from a global-warming standpoint may depend on where the tree is planted. In the tropics—good idea; in the northern part of what we in Chicago laughingly call “the temperate zone”—not so much.

I’ve put a few thoughts on what we should do here in the United States up at The Glittering Eye.

I think it would be prudent if the United States were to become a little “greener”. How we should get there is a matter for substantial dispute. Ideas?

FILED UNDER: Climate Change, Environment, , ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. anselm says:

    50 cent/gallon gas tax (less drastic than what many are proposing).

    Drive rail initiatives forward in all major commuter corridors with timeline-specific federal funding.

    Invest heavily in much-needed maintenance to and restructuring to the electrical grid. Restructuring to focus on regionalization and localization.

    …which ties in to localized power derived in large part from wind farms and hydro. The end product of these sources (electricity) should be subsidized by the gas tax (above).

  2. M1EK says:

    Carbon tax – not just on gasoline, but also on coal. Gas tax ought to be 50 cents for Iraq, a buck for global warming. The rest will take care of itself, which appropriate investment shifts (less on roads, more on rail).

    Drop CAFE while you’re at it. It’s stupid; it gives me (Prius driver) no incentive to drive less; while a gas tax incents me _and_ the Hummer driver to use less gas.

  3. Steven Plunk says:

    Rather than subsidize research even more offer prizes for innovative energy technologies.

    Pebble bed reactors.

    Rail is dead. Not only is it a nineteenth century technology in a twenty first century world it’s just too dang expensive. Modern just in time delivery systems will fail using rail. Commuter rail fails because of inflexibility, high cost both to build and run, and the fact people will not use it even if it is built.

    Modern development codes for cities and counties are anything but “green”. They require excess parking areas (too much asphalt and run off) and they encourage too much driving by not allowing market forces to determine siting locations.

    Thinking forward instead of backwards would help a lot. Too many people look to force our society back to “a more simple time”. That type of misguided effort will yield us nothing.

  4. RJN says:

    1. Kill the subsidy on ethanol.

    2. More pebble bed reactors.

  5. God, how I love all these proposed takings and subsidies for the benefit of the proles. Stupid free markets. Apparently Hillary Clinton said she wants to take all of ExxonMobil’s profits today. Kind of reminds me of Willie Sutton’s response when he was asked why he robbed banks.

  6. TJIT says:

    If you are really interested in helping out the environment the following steps would help tremendously.

    1. End all farm subsidies

    2. End mandated biofuel usage

    3. End sugar tariffs

    These actions would substantially improve environmental conditions worldwide. It would also raise the third world standard of living and revitalize rural economies in the United States.

  7. libhomo says:

    I have to laugh at the commenter that thinks “rail is dead.” Amtrak is by far the fastest and most comfortable way to travel from NYC to DC and back. People don’t include all the extra time airports take before you even get on the plane.

    Amtrak should be expanded, especially in situations where you have 2 major cities fairly close to each other.

    Also, I’ve been on enough crowded subway trains to know that commuter rail is far from dead. Some San Francisco suburbs bought into that nonsense when BART was being planned and originally opted out. They sure regretted it and joined in later at a higher cost.

  8. M1EK says:

    Stevem, your comments about rail are retarded. Every single one of the last ten or so light rail starts in this country have been smash successes (at getting people who previously wouldn’t get out of their cars to take transit to work).