Fred Smith

Warren Buffet, one of the most respected investors in America, recently purchased Burlington Northern, one of the nation’s largest railroads with some 32,000 miles of track.  BN like almost all railroads carries coal – lots of it from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to the nation’s electrical power plants.  But President Obama and his Green allies are trying to end the use of coal in America.  If they succeed, the rail sector will collapse.

Buffet, according to the Wall Street Journal weekend edition is “betting on good old fashioned stuff – such as grain, coal for power plants and consumer goods imported from Asia – and the need to move it.”  Let’s hope he knows something we don’t – perhaps, Obama is about to do a “Clinton” reversal.  That would be good for America, for affordable energy and (ironically) also good for the Democratic party.  We can hope.

Russian Voting Tinged with Green

This Washington Post headline from earlier this month illustrates one of worrisome side-effects of authoritarian rule.  Political freedom is denied the citizenry but the pressures to allow some form of dissent remain.  Religious dissent often is treated more liberally – and the eco-theocratic values of today are the dominant religion of our secular society.  The risk the Russians face is that in their effort to escape Red tyranny they may rush into the hands of the Greens.  That would be tragic — Virginia Postrel noted long ago that she preferred the old Reds to the new Greens.  Both restricted economic and individual freedom but, at least, the Reds aimed at helping humanity.  That goal is rarely given much priority by green zealots.

One Down, Six to Go!

by Fred Smith on April 8, 2009

in Blog

Oh the Worries of Our Modern Malthusians! In Washington this week, the Anarctica and Arctic Councils met for the first time.  Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, used the occasion to discuss the problems that global warming was “causing” in these areas.  Among the myriad disasters is the possibility that the region’s energy resources will become available and that an all-year passage around the pole might open.  

As I recall my history, European explorers spent centuries searching for a Northwest Passage.  Given the massive increases in global trade, the efficiencies that this would provide could give our flagging global economy a significant boost – and reduce energy use also.  And increasing access to new secure energy reserves (especially given that Norwegian and Alaskan activities have already shown we can extract such resources safely) would do much to address energy security concerns.  But to our Modern Malthusians, these are problems! 

As I remember geography there were seven continents – North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, and Anarctica.   Since humanity never reached the latter continent, it had no real defenders and, thus, in 1959, the global Antarctic Treaty, transformed it forever into a ward of the United Nations.  The treaty suggests the global goals of our Modern Malthusians. 

There is a total ban on economic activity, even though continental drift over the eons has meant that Anarctica might well have extensive fossil fuel reserves.  The treaty forbids almost all economic activities but does authorize residency by “scientists.”  This illustrates another bias of the left – “Research good, technology bad!”  In her speech however, Hillary went further calling for tourist restrictions (so much for eco-tourism).  One begins to understand – to protect the planet, we must wall it off from humanity!  

An ambitious goal but one that shouldn’t be ignored.  Malthusians have now captured one continent – only six to go!