Environment roundup

  • “Everything would be all renewable all the time if we could just pass the right laws.” The wishful underpinnings of the Green New Deal [Cato Daily Podcast with Caleb Brown and Regulation Magazine editor Peter Van Doren]
  • “The U.S. rail system is optimized for freight, vs. European and Japanese systems that are optimized for passengers (it is hard to do both well with the same network). The U.S. situation is actually better, much better, for energy conservation.” [Coyote]
  • Federalist Society discussions of climate litigation based on public nuisance theories: National Lawyers Convention panel with David Bookbinder, Eric Grant, James Huffman, Mark W. Smith, moderated by Hon. John K. Bush; “Originally Speaking” written debate with John Baker, Richard Faulk, Dan Lungren, Donald Kochan, Pat Parenteau, David Bookbinder; Boston Lawyers Chapter panel on municipal litigation with Steven Ferrey, Phil Goldberg, Donald Kochan, James R. May, Kenneth Reich] Climate nuisance suits have met with an unfriendly reception in American courts and there is no good rationale for filing copycat claims in Canada [Stewart Muir, Resource Works]
  • “Public Universities Exploit Eminent Domain Powers with Little Oversight” [Chris West, Martin Center]
  • Many pro-market reforms would reduce the risks to life and property from natural disasters, climate-related and otherwise [Chris Edwards, Cato]
  • “On patrol with the enforcer of DC’s plastic-straw ban” [Fenit Nirappil/AP via Peter Bonilla (“Welcome to the worst ride along ever”)]


  • The solution is simple to plastic waste from fast food operations. Require anyone wishing to eat at any restaurant in DC to bring a M-1942 US Army mess kit. It’s completely self-contained and reusable. No more plastic straws, plastic or foam food containers, or other one use plastic or paper. Just que up, and let Cookie plop a serving spoon of SOS, or scrambled eggs, or beans, or (the dreaded) mystery meat onto your kit, and you can then shuffle to your bench seated table. Speak only when spoken to. Eyes front, Customer! You’re in the Restaurant, Now. And, don’t “Sir” me, I’m the Food Court Cop. Now, drop and give me 10, Dogface.

  • I’ve been anticipating that the situation described by Wfjag will be fairly close to the only acceptable end state for the “Enviro-Cops”…I can see a time when everyone will have to carry along a knapsack of non-disposable eating and drinking containers and (of course) reusable washcloths to replace those wasteful paper napkins…

  • Off topic–today the Supreme Court denied cert. on the University of South Carolina free speech issue. I guess, as a practical matter, the First Amendment prohibits “prior restraints” generally in the Fourth Circuit, with an exception for state university officials who want to order students to stand mute in the face of an investigation.

    I get that the Supreme Court is busy etc., but doesn’t each acquiescence in the face of an erosion of rights risk the tyranny our founders warned against. If government officials can order people to be quiet on the pain of some adverse government action, aren’t we all a little less free?

    Maybe it’s time for SCOTUS to work a little harder.

    • That’s why the 2nd Amendment is so important (And No!, this isn’t a call to arms)

      • Don’t worry–Kozinski said the same thing.

        With respect to this issue, the better answer is to subtly fight back against the lese-majeste ethic that we have in this country towards the bench. At the end of the day, the Supreme Court in this case tolerated the clear abuse of the rights of a free citizen. That’s a problem. If we want to wax poetic about the “majesty of the courts” and all that hooey, then how is this casual tyranny acceptable? What answer would there be if the student showed up and asked one of the Justices, “Why did you tolerate a government official ordering me not to speak? Why weren’t my rights important enough for your time?’ There really isn’t an acceptable answer.

        To borrow my sentiments from an earlier post (about Roberts and Trump), what business does Roberts have trying to hector the rest of us to respect an institution, i.e., the federal courts, that tolerate (nay, affirmatively endorse) a government official ordering a citizen not to speak?

        Everyone makes mistakes—but it’s hard to believe that the Fourth Circuit’s mistake here was in good faith. The law on prior restraints is very clear. Shouldn’t Roberts be doing more to stop this than lecturing Trump about the supposed irrelevance of who appointed the judges (which we all know, of course, is NOT irrelevant).