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Reason Foundation

Reason Alert: Hollywood and Global Warming

March 16, 2007

Hollywood and Global Warming
In a column for the Orange County Register, Reason's Sam Staley, a Toyota Prius driver, points out that the "film and television industry runs second in total air pollution emissions, behind only petroleum refining" and asks, "Will Leonardo DiCaprio boycott studios that don't meet 'green' production criteria? Will Melissa Etheridge withhold her next CD unless its production, distribution, and marketing are carbon-neutral and pollution-free? While DiCaprio and Etheridge do more than most to live 'green,' including driving hybrid cars, most Hollywood executives and actors don't take these steps. In the real world, the people that will bear the real costs of proposals to fight climate change – things like restrictions on travel and household energy use - will be the vast majority of us with precious little discretionary income to pay carbon penance. No one offers you or me free transportation, or environmentally conscious products at prices well below their actual market cost. Instead of imploring us to do something, Hollywood should focus on its own pollution. Moviemakers should pioneer new technologies and strategies for protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gases that are both practical and cost effective. Those advances could then make it possible or more realistic for the waiters, bartenders and sales people who haven't been discovered yet to 'do their part' as the stars like to say."
» Staley and Balaker: 5 Myths About Suburbia and Our Car-Happy Culture
» The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think And What We Can Do About It

The Endless, Futile Work of the Border Patrol
In the April issue of Reason magazine, Malia Politzer finds, "While apprehensions are down, the number of Border Patrol agents has more than tripled since 9/11, to nearly 11,000 nationwide. The federal budget directed toward securing the borders has more than quintupled in the last 20 years. Yet there is little evidence that current approaches have been even slightly effective at slowing the flow of illegal crossings. In fact, the current undocumented population continues to grow by roughly the same number it did when the current strategy began in 1994: about 500,000 people per year, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center, a D.C.-based think tank. Fifty-seven percent of those are estimated to be Mexican, and 25 percent come from other Latin American countries."
» Immigration Policy Archive

Reviving the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Last week a federal appeals court struck down a Washington, D.C. gun law that banned most handguns. In his nationally syndicated column, Reason's Jacob Sullum writes, "If a court takes the position that Americans have a right to free speech, it is not interpreting the First Amendment broadly. If it says they have a right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, it is not interpreting the Fourth Amendment broadly. So why is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit 'interpreting the Second Amendment broadly' when it says Americans have a right to keep and bear arms? The court did not say Americans have a right to own anti-aircraft missiles or nuclear warheads. It did not even say they have a right to carry guns publicly (although that does seem to be implied by the 'bear' part). It said they have a right to keep guns in their own homes for self-protection."
» Gun Policy Archive

The Secret of The Secret
"In The Secret, a slickly produced cult-hit DVD that has sold approximately 500,000 copies since its release last April, a dizzying dream team of personal transformation specialists, spiritual messengers, feng shui masters, and moneymaking experts explain the 'law of attraction,' which basically states that if you think really, really hard, say, about vigorously cavorting with Salma Hayek on a soft, fluffy bed of Google Series A preferred stock, you will emit a magnetic signal to the universe that will make your vision a reality. Sound too good to be true? 'It's supported by science,' armchair physicist Larry King concluded on his CNN show recently. And if your idea is preposterous enough to enchant Larry King, well, then, success is imminent." - Greg Beato says if "there's anything our current bleak era needs, it's a little irrational exuberance. Perhaps The Secret is the Grand Genie of the Universe's answer to our prayers."

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