A Careful Look at Issues

The Gulf oil spill is producing two crises. The obvious one is the disaster with coastal fisheries, but it poses an ideological crisis as well. For liberals, government is supposed to be the solution to all problems. The oil spill is a big problem. So if the government is impotent in solving it, what does that say about the possibilities of government? If the oil spill is a problem that government cannot solve, might there be other such problems? That thought is too horrible to contemplate

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The main objection to developing the oil resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the potential impact on the Porcupine Caribou herd that migrates through the area. The arguments are made in terms of broad generalities, along the lines of “caribou are in the same area, so they are threatened.” If one tries to quantify the threat, is turns out that perhaps 1% of the herd might be impacted in some way, but the actual reduction in the herd size is probably a good deal less.

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