Monday, August 13, 2012

Observations From the Back Row

Bureaucratic Green Chemistry
California bureaucrats recently released their proposed regulations implementing the state’s 2009-passed “green chemistry” law. The law supposedly will make life safer for California residents by ensuring that all products are designed to be “green.”  But it is destined to fail — costing consumers without delivering benefits — because policymakers foolishly assume that bureaucrats are better situated than business to decide what makes a product safe. It’s the same fatal conceit on which the Soviets once based their failed economic policies.

 Is California Getting Too Much CARB?
“Californians recently have been learning about $54 million that was unspent by the Department of Parks and Recreation, and about $37 billion in ‘special funds’ throughout state government that is spent without oversight. But perhaps the biggest state bureaucracy that goes unaccountable is the California Air Resources Board, headed by Chairwoman Mary Nichols. Its yearly operating budget is $860 million. But even that figure pales in comparison with the immense powers it is assuming on Jan. 1, when it begins implementing a ‘cap and trade’ scheme in which greenhouse-gas emissions supposedly will be controlled by capping the total amount allowed in the state, but allowing high-pollution companies to buy extra capacity, in the form of ‘permits,’ from lower-polluting companies.”

Markets, Not Mandates, Are the Key to Sustainable Development
By Fred L. Smith, Jr., Michelle Wei - Originally published in Real Clear Markets
What exactly is sustainable development? Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, speaking at the United Nations' Stockholm Conference in 1972, described it as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."  Today's advocates of sustainable development, however, take a more short-sighted view of the concept. They believe resources are necessarily finite; thus, they call for caps on human activity. These advocates are asking for a return to a pre-industrial mindset - a path that will result in massive depopulation, poverty, and inequality.
Greenies look forward to your "showering behavior" being monitored
In the future, don’t expect any privacy. Every move, every purchase, even every thought — as personality profiling becomes more sophisticated — will be observed, logged, and analyzed. Big Brother will certainly be watching us.  We might expect our shopping and showering behaviors to be tracked as part of our individual carbon budgets. As you drive around a city, your combined congestion and pollution charge could vary depending on which route you take, on the time of day, and on how much you add to local air pollution. Globally, important conservation sites might be guarded, not by fences or rangers, but by remote sensors and cameras, monitored by teams of volunteers on the other side of the planet.

My Take - I do so wish that more people read Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell.


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