Environment roundup

  • Oh, George Takei, must you approvingly link to conspiracy site saying Zika virus microcephaly is caused by Monsanto? [archived]
  • Texas lawyer who blew GM trial sued over alleged BP compensation scam [Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg Business Week]
  • “Enviros Plan To Militantly Shutter World’s Major Coal Plants” [Daily Caller]
  • Obama administration has been on a tear imposing compulsory energy efficiency standards on consumer products, but a bill in Congress would halt that trend [Paul (“Chip”) Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, Cato]
  • From the vaults: Ted Frank notes how historic preservation laws can lead owners to pre-emptively demolish a building for fear that exploring options to save it could lead opponents to organize and seek an injunction [Point of Law]
  • “Obscure Taxpayer-Funded Program Bankrolls Anti-Pipeline Activists” [Inside Sources]
  • Pressed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says Exxon’s claimed climate denial has been referred to FBI [Grist, I get a mention]


  • In re the Heritage commissions. The “incentives” are the same for land owners whose property may end up becoming endangered species habitat if they let the forest grow a bit longer – better to log it off BEFORE the critters move in and all value is lost.

    Now…..we as a society should be asking: Are these policies optimized to actually maximize the (presumably desirable goal of) preserving historic buildings, or saving endangered species?

    I have a question if they are.

    Perhaps another way to get more habitat would be to pay landowners to create habitat that is suitable for endangered species. That is, align positive incentives with the desired outcome. Or pay building owners an ongoing stipend for preserving the historical aspects “as is”.

    • That will never fly, it makes far too much sense to be attractive to politicians.