Pundit Wire

Once Upon A Climate Change

SONY DSC I wonder what would happen if the world’s storytellers and artists were to throw themselves into making the 2014 summit succeed. Invite the wizards of digital creation and distribution, the social media entrepreneurs and software geniuses, the networks and studios, to lend their talents to a communication campaign. Imagine if film-, video- and game-makers, musicians, photographers, screenwriters, graphic novelists, comedians, actors, essayists and fashionistas were inspired to tell the tale of climate change. Think of what designers, logo makers, branders and advertisers could contribute.

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The Obamacare Apocalypse

aster It’s only a matter of time before a Sarah Palin names these death rocks “Obamacare asteroids.” A Ted Cruz also will liken Obamacare to an asteroid, assuring us Obamacare has a 100 percent chance of causing Armageddon. Some concern troll will say that the beleaguered White House “needs a Bruce Willis” to rescue it from losing the Senate and seeing its legacy repealed.

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Most Depressing Brain Finding Ever

LocationOfHypothalamusYale law school professor Dan Kahan’s new research paper is called “Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government,” but for me a better title is the headline on science writer Chris Mooney’s piece about it in Grist:  “Science Confirms: Politics Wrecks Your Ability to Do Math.”

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Pemexed Out

320px-Oil_platform_P-51_(Brazil)In 1938, Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas expropriated and nationalized the largely foreign-owned petroleum industry in Mexico. Since that time, Mexico has maintained one of the most restrictive legal frameworks for energy development in the world. The Mexican constitution virtually excludes participation by foreign energy firms, with the result that Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the national oil company, has a monopoly on the exploration and production of oil and gas.

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Over the Energy Cliff?

John Hofmeister America may have skirted the fiscal cliff, but don’t unfasten your seatbelts just yet. Looming ahead is the energy cliff, another avoidable crisis brought on by our own ignorance, complacency and lack of leadership.

That was the grim warning conveyed yesterday afternoon by veteran energy executive John Hofmeister at a meeting of the Houston chapter of the American Petroleum Institute. Mr. Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company, currently heads a public advocacy group called Citizens for Affordable Energy, devoted to educating the American people and our leaders on the need for responsible energy policies.

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Apocalypse When?

future_thumb On the last day of the year 999 A.D., old St. Peter’s basilica in Rome was packed with panicky worshippers, convinced that the world would end on the stroke of midnight. Many had given away all their possessions to the poor. Many had spent weeks doing final penance for their sins. Many had journeyed to Rome in sackcloth and ashes in order to meet God and his angels within the holy precincts of St. Peter’s.

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Gasland, Promised Land, Never-Never Land

Fracking Drill First, there was Gasland, a 2010 movie documentary that purported to show how producing natural gas through fracking would contaminate drinking water to the point that you could set it on fire at the tap. This claim was subsequently debunked by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Next, coming up in December, is a feature film starring Matt Damon called Promised Land. This movie, too, purports to show – despite all scientific evidence to the contrary – that fracking will turn America’s pleasant farm country into a chemical dump.

Why is the environmental community out to stop fracking?

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Milton Friedman at 100

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Tuesday, July 31, marks the 100th birth anniversary of Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006). One of the greatest economists of the 20th Century, Friedman will be long remembered for his contributions to economic science. More than that, he will be remembered as a champion of freedom.

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