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Reason Foundation

Reason Alert: Damn the Salmon

May 31, 2007

Damn the Salmon
In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Reason Foundation policy analyst Shikha Dalmia writes, "If anything, the radicalization of the environmental movement is the bigger obstacle to addressing global warming than the allegedly gluttonous American way of life." Dalmia details environmentalists' opposition to wind power (kills too many birds), solar power (places ugly mirrors in beautiful deserts), and geothermal energy (requires use of federally protected lands). Dalmia also questions efforts to tear down the Klamath dams in the Pacific Northwest, which provide cheap, renewable energy to 70,000 homes in Oregon and California, because of falling numbers of salmon. Dalmia concludes, "Thus, even in the face of a supposedly calamitous threat like global warming, environmentalists can't bring themselves to embrace any sacrifice - of salmons or birds or desert or protected wilderness. Its strategy comes down to pure obstructionism - on full display in the Klamath dam controversy. Yet, if environmentalists themselves are unwilling to give up anything for global warming, how can they expect sacrifices from others? If Al Gore wants to do something, he should first move out of his 6,000 square-foot Nashville mansion and then make a movie titled: 'Damn the salmon.'"

Reason Magazine's Presidential Scouting Reports
Reason magazine's editors have provided an early cheat sheet for the 2008 presidential elections.

On Hillary Clinton: "Of all the major candidates, Hillary Clinton is the one whose presidency is easiest to visualize in detail. No wonder we feel sick to our stomachs."

On Barack Obama: "He’s the most charismatic politician to seek the presidency since Reagan. But where Reagan’s priorities were crystal clear, Obama’s are obscured by beautiful, meaningless rhetoric. What is the 'audacity of hope,' anyway?"

On John Edwards: "The only thing connecting Edwards’ policy switches has been popularity. He was for war when it was popular, against it after it became unpopular."

On Rudy Giuliani: "Giuliani might be the most socially liberal figure to make a serious run for the GOP mantle since Nelson Rockefeller. He also might be the most personally authoritarian Republican candidate since Richard Nixon."

On Mitt Romney: "Romney has the most impressive management experience of anyone in the race. Unfortunately, the impressive parts came before he entered politics."

The full feature, with analysis of all the candidates, is here.

School Choice Produces Choice Schools
In the June issue of Edutopia magazine, Reason Foundation's Lisa Snell finds, "California has 2,215 schools labeled 'needs improvement' by federal standards under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). And though many critiques and arguments have been voiced over the fairness of measuring public schools under NCLB, most reasonable people can recognize that something is wrong at a school such as Compton High School, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, where fewer than 6 percent of tenth-grade males can read at grade level and less than 1 percent can do algebra." Snell reveals how reforms like school choice and the weighted-student formula recently made San Francisco the "highest-performing urban district in California" and helped Oakland's test scores improve "30 points in one year on California's 2006 Academic Performance Index."
» Reason's Education Research and Commentary

Lobbying Transparency Act
In his nationally syndicated column, Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum says the new Lobbying Transparency Act is "perpetuating the illusion that a political system free from the corrupting influence of money is just one reform away." Sullum says we don't need campaign finance reform, we need deregulation: "In addition to restoring our First Amendment rights, campaign deregulation would address one of the main concerns about bundling: that it gives incumbents an unfair advantage. If challengers could collect unlimited amounts from wealthy individuals, it would be much easier for them to mount credible campaigns, and we might be spared candidates whose main qualification for office is a fat bank account."

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