Category Archives: United States

The Environmental Apocalypse Isn’t Coming Any Time Soon

The world is ending. We’re running out of natural resources, the population is growing, and someday we won’t be able to feed all those people. Genetically modified frankenfoods are causing nightmares of all sorts, and the climate change we’re creating will lead to a global meltdown. Or at least that’s what many want you to believe.

But not Ronald Bailey. The Reason magazine science correspondent offers a full-throated retort to these “doomsters” in his excellent new book The End of Doom, seeking to dispel a wide range of apocalyptic notions.

Much of the book follows up on arguments made by economist Julian Simon. Those who have read the the man’s work will appreciate this worthwhile update to many of the points Simon made famous decades ago.

The book kicks off with a rebuttal to the doom-saying Neo-Malthusians, those who feel the planet simply cannot feed the world’s current or future population. Bailey makes clear that humans are not like other creatures. When faced with food shortage, we have the ability to innovate to increase yields and feed a population well beyond some calculated “carrying capacity” for the natural environment.

Read the full review of The End of Doom at the PanAm Post.

New Orleans’ education reforms: What we know and what we don’t

New Orleans’ education reforms have been praised by school choice advocates for expanding choice and improving student outcomes. Meanwhile, teachers unions have mostly opposed reforms.

Douglas Harris, director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, was on hand at the conservative American Enterprise Institute Wednesday to separate fact from fiction. Harris’ group is a research organization based at Tulane University in New Orleans.

After Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana took control of many of the traditional public schools in the state, converting them into independent public charter schools. Now, New Orleans is an all-choice school district where nine in 10 students attend a charter school.

Here’s how well it worked out:

To find out, read the full article at the Washington Examiner.

Erie’s 10-year ‘comprehensive plan’ consultants cost over $100,000

Hoping to leap into the future, Erie will spend over $100,000 to pay consultants to draw up a 10-year comprehensive plan to revitalize the city and “bring it into the future.”

The total amount of $137,880, approved preliminarily by the city council in February, will be paid to consulting firm CZB, an Alexandria, Virginia-based urban planning firm.

As revealed in a 2005 presentation by Pennsylvania Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, the main purpose of these plans is to give a city “priority consideration in state funding,” meaning it can get better access to the state’s coffers to fund its projects.

The background analysis for the comprehensive plan conducted last March by Peter J. Smith & Company, another urban planning firm, reveals the top project areas to be tackled in the city-level plan. That includes marketing the city “as a destination and community of choice for residents, businesses and investors and visitors,” states the report.

Chief among them is the recurring problem of housing and urban development, but also the decreasing population and effect of climate change. The analysis says the city should be prepared to promote more public transportation and invest in alternative energy resources.

It makes no mention of addressing tax reform or lowering taxes.

Read the full article at Watchdog.org.