August 31, 2009


Environmentalists Slow to Adjust in Climate Debate (David A. Fahrenthold, 8/31/09, Washington Post)

It seems that environmentalists are struggling in a fight they have spent years setting up. They are making slow progress adapting a movement built for other goals -- building alarm over climate change, encouraging people to "green" their lives -- into a political hammer, pushing a complex proposal the last mile through a skeptical Senate.

Even now, these groups differ on whether to scare the public with predictions of heat waves or woo it with promises of green jobs. that--besides a more direct gas tax being preferable--all of the good arguments are on the other side of the political aisle:

The Pigovian: Taxing consumption rather than income

The Capitalist: The creative destruction of forcing the transition away from the petroleum economy


The Liberationist: Depriving the rotten--almost without exception--regimes that pump oil of the power that props them up

Wahhabism and Saudi Power (Dr. Irfan Al-Alawi, 8/31/09, Hudson Institute)

The Saudi Arabian kingdom could be the poster child for the Middle East as an area ruled by despotic governments that deprive their people of basic human rights.

The Saudi state and the royal family have not been directly and publically exposed as international terror financiers, although officially-subsidized Saudi charities and global missionary (da’wa) institutions have been identified as complicit in terrorism. In addition, the royal family includes factions that conceal their support, but still contribute to extremist violence. Funding of terrorism from Saudi Arabia continues, but now mainly originates from individuals as well as from charities and agencies that have evaded scrutiny. Aside from the terroristic violence visited on Shias and other minorities, Saudi Arabia itself is curiously immune from major terrorism, except against foreigners. The Wahhabi cult and its enablers prefer to export their worst fanatics to countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Terrorists who attempt to disrupt life in the kingdom itself are imprisoned and re-educated.

But neither authoritarianism nor human rights violations stops Western money from flowing to the Saudi royal family.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2009 7:18 AM
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