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Dayton Approves Huge Raises for Government Employees On His Way Out the Door

Gov. Mark Dayton has approved large pay increases for 22 government officials, including 7 employees of the Metropolitan Council, who already make well over $100,000 per year. This is why people have little faith that their government is working for them, and not the other way around. According to a CBS news report, Minnesota law says local governments cannot pay employees more than 110 percent of a governor’s salary, which is $127,000. But they can apply for a waiver. The state does give permission, but not often: out of hundreds of requests, it has agreed to only 77 times in the last 21 years:...

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Guess Who’s to Blame for the Rise in Catastrophic Wildfires?

California Congressman Tom McClintock gives the answer in an illuminating op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal.  Turns out our forests have become dangerously overcrowded ever since Congress passed costly environmental regulations in the 1970s. As a result 80% less timber is harvested from federal lands and fire now destroys a proportionally increased amount of acres.  For a good chunk of the 20th century foresters paid for the ability to harvest excess timer, the forests thrived, and revenues supported forest management. Now land management is an expensive government cost and our beautiful forests have become a deadly firetrap. A half-century of environmental regulation hasn’t...

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German Co2 Emissions Remain Stubbornly High

A lot of people I talk to about renewable energy in Minnesota think of Germany as a great example what we should be doing here. Green groups in the U.S. constantly characterize Germany's aggressive attempts to increase the amount of electricity generated by wind and solar as a smashing success, but unfortunately, these accounts fail to tell the whole story. In reality, Germany's "energy transition" has stalled, according to YaleEnvironment360. "Today, the Energiewende finds itself stalled and floundering. Germany’s carbon emissions have stagnated at roughly their 2009 level. The country remains Europe’s largest producer and burner of coal, which generates more than one-third of Germany’s power supply....

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Tempering the Alarm About Sea Level Rise

This article was written by Judith Curry, a climate scientist who was formerly a Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. New report on Sea Level Rise and Climate Change challenges the alarming predictions of 21st century sea level rise. “Antarctica meltdown could double sea level rise”. “The planet could become ungovernable”. Such headlines reflect the growing alarm over sea level rise. How worried should energy companies be about sea level rise? There are 287 energy facilities in the U.S. at coastal locations that are within 4 feet of typical high-tide level. More than half of these facilities are...

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New data shows which Minnesota counties saw economic growth…or not

Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its prototype estimated for Gross Domestic Product by County for the years 2012 to 2015. True, they are only prototypes and cover a limited and fairly historic set of years. But they represent the first attempt to quantify this economic variable - GDP - at the county level, which is important for state economic analysis. ...

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Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980

The following article originally appeared in Reason. Humanity is enjoying a world of increasingly cheap and ever more abundant mineral, agricultural, forestry and energy resources reports a brilliant new study, the Simon Abundance Index. This analysis by Marian Tupy,* editor of Human Progress at the Cato Institute, and Professor Gale Pooley from Brigham Young University – Hawaii uses data on 50 different commodities to track their price trajectories over the past 37 years from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. They find in real price terms their basket of commodities decreased by an average of 36.3 percent between 1980 and 2017. That's great, but their...

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