Environment

Man in a suit walking

They’ll pull us into a social credit system if they can.

By Justin Katz | May 13, 2022 |

A free people ought to reject some policies completely on principle, no matter what the practical arguments for them might be in the moment.  The Chinese Communists’ social credit system is one such policy, whereby the government leverages its power to grant rewards or impose demerits in order to control the population. The American spirit…

A man fuels his car

Biden’s ethanol fuel proposal makes no sense.

By Justin Katz | April 14, 2022 |

Sometimes when you’re busy and check in on the news, it seems nothing makes sense, so let me make sure I’ve got a complete picture, here. Immediately upon entering office, Joe Biden took deliberate steps that were certain to drive up the cost of fuel (restricting drilling, canceling a North American fuel pipeline, etc.), and…

Plastic shopping bags

Do you get the sense our legislators have completely disconnected from reality?

By Justin Katz | April 8, 2022 |

Somehow, I’d hoped that a silver lining of the pandemic would be a little more wariness among lawmakers about tripping over unforeseen circumstances.  But we’re back to normal, now, in ways good and bad, so the state Senate has returned to the pressing business of forbidding Rhode Island stores from offering customers the option of plastic…

Interactive art at the RI Dept. of Labor

Are we allowed to point out obvious truths about Putin, RI labor unions, progressives, and energy?

By Justin Katz | March 3, 2022 |

I don’t want to make too much of this, but sometimes we have to put the obvious on the table.  Otherwise, we’re apt to wander off in dense forests of complexity because we reject the ability to see in an open field. Journalistic writer Michael Shellenberger makes the so-obvious-it’s-easy-to-ignore point that the West’s throttling down…

A water drop and ripples

The United States is hobbling itself and its economy when it comes to energy.

By Justin Katz | February 28, 2022 |

As an emboldened Vladimir Putin causes mayhem on the global stage, it’s important to remember how much our own government is harming the prospects of the United States, as if deliberately humbling our country to bring us down: Upcoming federal oil and gas lease sales will be delayed as the Interior Department figures out how…

Solar farm in North Smithfield

Let’s start making the obvious connections between environmentalist news stories.

By Justin Katz | February 23, 2022 |

Whether I’ve been failing or succeeding, all these years, I’ll leave to others to judge, but one of my core objectives has always been to foster the habit of making the sorts of connections that are too often covered over for political reasons.  Let’s look at a big one. Perhaps with the mixed motivation of…

A water drop and ripples

How is global warming notch by notch?

By Justin Katz | February 17, 2022 |

A government activist’s comment related to a Rhode Island–specific report on climate change brought something to mind: The planet “is warming, it has been warming. The last two decades have been the warmest in the history of climate records,” Kenneth Kunkel said. This assertion made me wonder what the update was on the 15-year pause…

A Nipyata

Do we want to be defined by nanny-state bans?

By Justin Katz | January 19, 2022 |

Democrat state representative from Warwick David Bennett continues his long streak of bad legislation with an effort to ban nips — those little bottles of alcohol that have been a fixture of liquor stores for decades: Rep. David Bennett, D-Warwick, is tired of spotting discarded nips strewn along the side of the road whenever he…

RI's "extreme" sea level map.

Aren’t there any standards for checking a politician’s environmental claims?

By Justin Katz | January 12, 2022 |

As a follow-up to Tolly Taylor’s sea-level scare addressed in this space yesterday, WPRI handed editorial control over Democrat Senator from Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse, whom the reporter permits to claim without context that Rhode Island will see nine to 12 feet of sea level rise by the end of this century. Seriously, don’t the…

STORMTOOLS graphic of Barrington with 3 feet sea rise

A little skepticism about sea-level scares is needed.

By Justin Katz | January 11, 2022 |

Have you ever seen a mainstream news report that treated scary environmental projections with even an iota of skepticism?  Consider Tolly Taylor’s report for WPRI, which bears the headline, “Parts of Barrington will be underwater by 2035, sea-level data shows.” The first paragraph of the story gives the impression that the headline is a bit…