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Washington DC, via South Shields
Director at libertarian think tank CEI
Recent Activity
"While it is true that latter Saxon England was Christian, there can be no doubt that Christianity only truly took root in the post-Roman era after the conquest of 1066." I suggest you read the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, finished some 300 years before the Norman Conquest.
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If you like Arnie, you're one of very few. His approval rate hit a new low of 17% this month, with 80% disapproval. http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollTrack.aspx?g=f298166f-5e01-41ff-8e79-ee7303f9ec07
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2010 on US conservatives warm to Cameron at international
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And which the Spanish Government has now admitted was accurate. http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/leaked-spanish-report-obamas-model-green-economy-a-disaster-pjm-exclusive/ Meanwhile, the NREL study was done at the behest of the Wind Lobby. http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2010/03/03/bombshell-obama-admin-caught-red-handed-working-with-big-wind-energy-lobbyists-misleading-american-people/ As to your points about unusual methodology, see here http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2009/09/03/the-nrels-flawed-white-paper-on-the-spanish-green-jobs-study/
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Best of luck to Jeremy!
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"Generally very reasonable" Are you sure? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/03/21/GR2009032100104.html
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2009 on Obama attacks blogs at CentreRight
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Was Bush unpopular in 2004? He was getting 45-50% approval ratings in 2004 (see here). That's the same level as Obama has been getting in recent polls.
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Isn't the entire point of having a police force supposed to be that we *can* leave our doors unlocked?
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Sure his name's not actually Alan B'Scard?
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Up to a point, Lord Copper. The approval index subtracts those who strongly disapprove of the President's performance from those who strongly approve, giving a good indication of how passionate people are about the President. His current approval rating is -9. Today's tracking poll from Rasmussen of likely voters shows the President has 49% approving and 51% disapproving of his performance to date. Details here.
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I defer of course to His Grace on the relevance of sola scriptura to the Church of England, but I would have expected by now someone to have mentioned Article VI: "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." As His Grace implies, this is something different.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on sola scriptura at CentreRight
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Would have been even better if they'd added: 'And we'll get out of the way. We'll reform CAP and make it easier to trade.'
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2009 on 'One World Conservatism' at thetorydiary
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Perhaps I was too lax in my use of the term 'conservative movement.' Over here in the US, the term includes everyone from Tom Ridge to Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, and I would suggest the latter is more classically liberal than IEA has ever been. A UK equivalent would surely include the IEA. I did try to emphasize that I was not talking about party politics, but advancing the cause of free markets. These days, that has to be done as much within the conservative movement as without, I am afraid to say. Yet that does involve dabbling in small-p politics, campaigning and the like. The idea that "If you build it, they will come," doesn't work very often and almost certainly does not work in politics any more. It certainly didn't work with the IEA's website, which has been as ineffective as you suggest precisely because they didn't seem to know what to do with it (compare the ways in which the Heritage Foundation made their website a daily destination). Of course content is vital, but that content needs to be crafted in the right way, and that way needs to understand the value the medium adds to the message. As for reaching for the skies, an Olympian director such as you suggest would only advance free markets if lightning strikes him. Instead, he should be throwing a few bolts around (as befits an Olympian figure). Free markets need advocates, IEA should be such an advocate, and advocacy requires an understanding of, and use of, modern communication tools. Otherwise, why not just stand in Speaker's Corner?
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2009 on Whither the IEA? at CentreRight
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Brazil is very different to most S/C American countries - like having Egypt represent Africa.
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Why Africa but not South/Central America?
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Did Steve Bruce vote?
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2009 on Local elections live blog at thetorydiary
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You can believe in everything the scientists say in the WGI report of the IPCC (which is, as I'm sure you know, very different from what Al Gore says) and still believe that the approaches governments are taking to the problem are likely to cost more than the benefits. An example: unchecked climate change will lead to $22 trillion worth of damages. Stern's approach will reduce warming damages to around $9 trillion, but at a cost of $24 trillion (Nordhaus). That's the road both main parties are trudging down, and Peter Lilley is right to warn people about it, whatever the science says.
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See comment above for why I decided not to correct this typo...
Toggle Commented May 15, 2009 on It's Time For The Plan at CentreRight
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You know, ordinarily I'd change such a typo, but you're right! An avalanche of abolitions it is!
Toggle Commented May 15, 2009 on It's Time For The Plan at CentreRight
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Hear, hear, Therese Coffey has been a dedicated party stalwart for a long time and deserves her chance. She'd make a fine MEP.
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The tribunes should beard the fathers when the fathers so blatantly grind the low.
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A moat. A moat... Are you fracking kidding me? A moat!?
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Drat and double drat, my link to Niles didn't work. http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-summer/property-rights-electric-grid.asp is the direct link.
Toggle Commented May 8, 2009 on Mrs Thatcher and the Environment at CentreRight
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Isn't the entire point of encouraging "clean energy" picking winners? I suspect, however, a no regrets approach that removes barriers to innovation will get a better result than subsidy etc. Even just allocating property rights for rights of way can help by encouraging distributed power(see Niles here, which is almost certain to be less emitting, even if coal is used. In the US especially, there are a lot of rights to be allocated or homesteaded before we even get to the air (which I freely admit is a sticky problem, but so was the American west before the invention of barbed wire, as Terry Anderson et al have shown). And of course you're right that if you don't know the size of the problem, then you can't set policy accordingly, unless those policies are genuine no regrets policies, which provide substantial benefits for the economy whether or not global warming turns out to be a problem. That's why I believe true no regrets policies have the best potential for dealing with the small risk of catastrophe. I'll certainly post my paper here. Thanks for this refreshingly focused discussion, by the way.
Toggle Commented May 8, 2009 on Mrs Thatcher and the Environment at CentreRight
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It's not an original idea. I used in in my book which came out before Lord Lawson's, but I cannot claim to have invented it. Offset firm Terrapass was moaning about how widespread the comparison was back in 2006. I suspect it occurred to several people separately at around the same time when offsets began to take off.
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Not sure where you get the "false choice" from. Here's a quote from the article I link to, which includes a quote from Mrs T herself: n fact, Thatcher makes it clear that she regards global warming less as an "environmental" threat and more as a challenge to human ingenuity that should be grouped with challenges such as AIDS, animal health, and genetically modified foods. In her estimation, "All require first-rate research, mature evaluation and then the appropriate response. But no more than these does climate change mean the end of the world; and it must not either mean the end of free-enterprise capitalism." (Statecraft, p.457) I can't improve on that. As for specific solutions, we could have a long debate over the appropriateness of Pigovian taxes in specific situations (and I believe Coase knocked Pigou for six), but to even begin to apply Pigovian taxes you must have a clear idea of the social cost involved. The literature on the social cost is all over the map, with Stern a major outlier, but the general indication of the most recent research is that the social cost is pretty low, with a small risk of catastrophe (see Tol), and probably low enough that any genuine Pigovian tax would do little to spur (or fund) the development of alternative technology. Which brings us back to the question of whether there is a climate crisis worth bothering about, and I suspect Seldon's general warning about trying to correct every externality should be heeded here. Moreover, Indur Goklany's work suggests that there is an exceptionally high opportunity cost involved in any of the solutions currently being advanced by the "mainstream" on this issue. That's why I believe that the small risk of catastrophe should be managed alongside emissions by a no-regrets approach of the kind I've often written about before. It may be that we need a no-regrets-plus approach, with significantly increased investment in basic energy research, but a no-regrets approach that removes barriers to innovation should help spur that, given the rewards that will accrue to the people that develop affordable clean power. I've got a paper forthcoming from NCPA in Dallas outlining ten policy steps we could adopt tomorrow that would reduce emissions or mitigate possible harmful effects of global warming without burdening the economy. I'd be interested in your feedback when that comes out.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2009 on Mrs Thatcher and the Environment at CentreRight
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