Daniel Hannan considers fracking and its opponents:
When I spoke in the European Parliament in support of fracking, most of the negative comments I received did not focus on specific safety concerns. Rather, they complained in general terms that fracking would ‘poison the planet’ or ‘bleed Mother Earth’ for no higher cause than ‘greed’. What is meant here by ‘greed’ is the desire for material improvement that has driven every advance since the old stone age… ‘Greed’, in this sense, is why we still have teeth after the age of 30, why women no longer expect to die in childbirth, why we have coffee and computers and cathedrals. ‘Greed’ is why we have time to listen to Beethoven and go for country walks and play with our children. Cheaper energy, on any measure, improves our quality of life. But this is precisely what at least some Greens object to.
What they want, as they frankly admit, is decarbonisation, deindustrialisation and depopulation. They regard the various advances we’ve made since the old stone age – the coffee, the computers, the cathedrals – with regret. What society needs, they tell us, is not green consumerism, but less consumerism. Which is, of course, precisely what most Western countries have had since 2008. The crash brought about all the things that eco-warriors had been demanding: lower GDP, less consumption, a decline in international trade. Yet, oddly, when it happened, they didn’t seem at all satisfied.
As the reliably wrong ecological doomsayer Paul Ehrlich told the Los Angeles Times in 1989, “It’d be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. Like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” Ehrlich’s fellow activist Jeremy Rifkin added, “It’s the worst thing that could happen to our planet.”
Tim Worstall on a certain, clearly evil, coffeehouse chain:
Why Starbucks isn’t paying the corporation tax due on its profits is thus explained: it’s not making any profits that it has to pay corporation tax upon. But such is the moral panic that people are still shouting at them. As to where the money is going that is simple enough. Try reading Ricardo on rent....or if that’s too much for you, read Tim Harford’s first chapter in Undercover Economist. Which uses London coffee shops to explain Ricardo on rent. The competition for the land and or sites which get a lot of passing thirsty traffic is such that rents soar and the landlords get all the money. Which they are indeed taxed upon as rents are one of those things that you really cannot shift about in and out of a tax jurisdiction. Starbucks isn’t paying tax this is true: but the economic activity of coffee shops is, it's just through the landlords.
And Heather Mac Donald mulls the politics of policing New York:
For the last decade and a half, anti-cop advocates and their political allies have assailed discretionary stops as racist because the vast majority of stop subjects are black and Hispanic. This argument ignores the reality that the vast majority of criminals and victims are also black and Hispanic. Given that fact, the police cannot deploy their resources to the neighbourhoods where law-abiding residents most need protection without producing racially disparate stop and arrest data. The NYPD’s stop rate for blacks is actually lower than their representation among known violent offenders. Blacks, who constitute 23 percent of the city’s population, committed 66 percent of all violent crimes in 2011, according to victims and witnesses, and 73 percent of all shootings — but they were only 53 percent of all stop subjects. By contrast, whites, who constitute 35 percent of the city’s population, committed 6 percent of all violent crimes and 3 percent of all shootings. They made up 9 percent of all stops.
As usual, feel free to add your own links and snippets in the comments.