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Sierra Club: Stop Obsessing About Recycling

The Sierra Club recently published an article that will surely make waves. The crux of the argument is that recycling doesn't always make sense, and often times it is better for the environment to throw items in a landfill than it is to recycle them. Rather than maximizing recycling, we should be optimizing it, recycling items that make economic and ecological sense and landfilling items that don't. It's almost as if we should allow private companies and businesses, operating in a market, to decide which materials should be repurposed for other uses, rather than having government-run recycling initiatives that are not responsive...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 3: Would You Rather Mine in Venezuela? I Didn’t Think So

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. While anti-mining activists say they don't want mining in Minnesota, what they are really saying, if they are not willing to forego the items made with these metals and minerals, is that they want mining, they just don't want it here. But if not here, where? I often write about the state of the cobalt industry, where 40,000 children have...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 2: In Soviet Russia, Air Pollutes You

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about air quality in the United States, versus some other countries that have adopted more command and control economic systems. Russia/Soviet Union If command and control economies are cleaner because capitalism incentivizes pollution, then we should be able to look at examples of countries that were less capitalistic, or even hostile to capitalism, and see...

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Like It Or Not, You’re Paying $2.6 Million For Brooklyn Park’s Solar Panels

Brooklyn Park made headlines earlier this week after announcing the completion of their 6,000 solar panel project. The City claims they will now operate on 100 percent "clean energy," even though this is patently false. Furthermore, their mayor, Jeff Lunde, even bragged that the City paid nothing for the solar panels. Of course, all that means is that you are paying the $2.6 million price tag for Brooklyn Park's new solar panels, whether you like it or not. 100 Percent Renewable is 100 Percent Baloney Although the media is claiming the solar installation will make Brooklyn Park 100 percent renewable, it actually won't.  As...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 1: Wealth Makes Health, Eventually

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about a phenomenon which is often referred to as the Environmental Kuznets Curve. The theory behind this idea can be summed up in these three steps: 1. When an economy is primarily pre-industrial and agrarian, the environment is usually clean and untouched by pollutants from industrial economic activities. 2. As the economy shifts towards development and...

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Plymouth Steps Back From Controversial GreenStep City Program

It was supposed to be a done deal. The resolution to make Plymouth Minnesota’s newest "GreenStep City" was slipped into the city council’s consent agenda, clearing the way for expected approval by voice vote without discussion, along with no-brainer items like a temporary liquor license for the Lions “Live at the Hilde” event and minutes from the previous meeting. After all, the staff pitched it as a free, feel-good "continuous improvement framework" for the thriving suburb. The City will claim credit for having implemented and will work at its own pace toward implementing GreenStep best practices that will result in energy use...

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Flanagan and Senjem To View The German Energy Failure Firsthand

Tomorrow, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and State Senator Dave Senjem, along with several other members of a Minnesota delegation including Jessica Hellman, Steve Kelley, and members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission head to Germany for a weeklong visit that will include an  energy seminar. I wrote about this last week but it bears repeating: Germany energy policy is a failure by every objective metric and we should not copy their bad policies here. Today I'm posting a blog post that highlights these failures in a new way. Many advocates of renewable energy point to Germany as the example of how to...

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IAEA Discusses The Potential Of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

Several member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Pitesti, Romania in late June to discuss the future of green energy and ways to achieve CO2 emission reductions. Their discussion – which included 46 participants from 14 member states – focused primarily on small modular reactors (SMRs). SMRs are nuclear power generators, only far smaller in comparison to traditional nuclear facilities found throughout the world as they generally have a maximum output of 300 megawatts (for comparison, the Monticello nuclear facility in Minnesota is 671 megawatts). The below article was originally published by IAEA on July 8 and details...

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My Trip To the White House

Yesterday I made my first ever trip to the White House to hear President Trump talk about the great progress the United States has made on making sure we have clean air and clean drinking water. This point is incredibly important to make because most Americans seem to think that the environment is always getting worse, when if fact just the opposite is true. The environment in the United States has been improving for decades. https://youtu.be/4XrHi1ldxso?t=2048 President Trump mostly stayed on script, letting several cabinet secretaries talk about the achievements that have been made since the President took office. Despite claims that the...

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