- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gore is right?

” ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ the new movie centered on former vice-president Al Gore’s famous global warming slide show, will open in select theaters May 24. The movie trailer warns: ‘If you live on this planet: If you love your children: You have to see this film.’ Gore declares that man-made global warming ‘is really not a political issue so much as it is a moral issue.’ At the conclusion the words ‘Nothing is scarier than the truth’ appear on screen and then Gore portentously intones: ‘Our ability to live is what is at stake.’ …

“In the end, the debate over global warming and its obverse, humanity’s energy future, is a moral issue. Global warming may well harm humanity by disturbing the environment, but forcing the world’s poorest people (2 billion of whom have never even turned on a light bulb) to use more expensive and technically challenging fuels would also cause great harm. In a sense, Gore is right: What is at stake is our ability to live.”

— Ronald Bailey, writing on “Inconvenient Uncertainties and Moral Ambiguities,” Wednesday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Anti-sprawl snobs

“[W]hat explains the power of today’s anti-sprawl crusade? …

“Class-based aesthetic objections to sprawl have always been the most important force motivating critics. …

“There is an obvious class bias in these judgments. … ‘Sprawl’ means subdivisions and shopping centers for middle- and lower-middle-class families. …

“Another misunderstanding grows out of the provincialism of critics living in fast-growing urban areas. Many such people have the impression that the entire country is fast being paved over. But in truth, cities and suburbs occupy only a small percentage of our country’s land. The entire urban and suburban population of the United States could fit comfortably into Wisconsin at suburban densities.”

— Robert Bruegmann, writing on “How Sprawl Got a Bad Name,” in the June issue of the American Conservative

Putin’s fear

“Relations between the United States and Russia have come under close examination from a number of quarters as of late. The recent anniversaries of the Allied victory in Europe and Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech provided the kindling for the fire set by Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticisms of Russia during his visit earlier this month to the former Soviet Union. Russian president Vladimir Putin responded in kind by attacking the United States in his May 10 state of the nation speech. These developments have caused many to ask whether the United States and Russia are reverting to their old Cold War ways. …

“Vladimir Putin … maintains a great sense of fear of the West. In his Annual Address to the Federal Assembly in the Kremlin, Putin noted that the United States spends 25 times that of Russia on defense. He subsequently warned against the Cold War mistake of trying to compete with the United States in absolute defense expenditures as Russia’s ‘responses must be based on intellectual superiority’ and ‘will be asymmetrical.’ It thus seems that Moscow is determined to regain its wide deterrence capabilities and not fall farther behind the United States in terms of military power.

“Moscow has drawn its line in the sand and made it clear that the interests and ideologies of Russia and the United States are incompatible in many areas.”

— Robert T. McLean, writing on “Fulton in Moscow,” yesterday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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