• Research Report

    The Health Effects of Air Pollution: Separating Science and Propaganda

    posted May 2, 2006 by Joel Schwartz
    Air pollutants of all kinds in North Carolina and the United States are at their lowest levels since measurements began back in the 1970s. The weight of the evidence suggests that these low levels of air pollution are at worst a minor health concern.
  • Research Report

    School Choice and the North Carolina Constitution

    posted April 24, 2006 by David Roland
    In spite of our state's record of commitment to education, there continues to be a significant debate as to the most effective means of providing our children the best possible education. The one point upon which a great majority agree is that, despite substantial increases in funding, public education is not meeting the needs of students. This report presents parental school choice as a promising alternative to the educational status quo. And it will show that it is consistent with NC's historical commitment to education.
  • Research Report

    Money to Burn: New Hanover County’s WASTEC Incinerator

    posted March 19, 2006 by Joseph Coletti
    New Hanover County’s waste-to-energy incinerator (WASTEC) was built in 1984 to extend the life of the county landfill and also to make money from selling the energy it generated. The incinerator was never able to make money, relying instead on subsidies from the landfill and a higher tipping fee. New technologies and competition have made this costly option obsolete.
  • Research Report

    Breaking the ‘Hockey Stick’: Global Warming’s Latest Brawl

    posted February 28, 2006 by Dr. Robert C. Balling Jr.
    Evidence from throughout the world shows that the planet was relatively warm 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period and relatively cold 500 years ago during the Little Ice Age. When the 1°C (1.8°F) of global warming of the past 100 years is considered in the context of climate variability of the last 1,000 years, the recent warming looks quite natural and nothing out of the ordinary. In 2001, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prominently featured an important graph of northern hemispheric temperatures over the past 1,000 years, and the plot resembled a hockey stick. This same graph was recently highlighted in testimony to the North Carolina Legislative Commission on Climate Change.
  • Research Report

    State Can’t Change the Weather: Even Global CO2 Reductions Have Little Impact

    posted January 17, 2006 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Dr. Thomas Wigley from the U.S. National Center for Scientific Research has calculated that if the Kyoto Protocol were implemented with 100% compliance it would reduce the increase in global temperatures by between 0.18º F and 0.37º F in 100 years. This amount would be undetectable by standard measuring devices. It is unreasonable therefore to expect that North Carolina, acting along or in consort with other states, could do anything to mitigate future global warming.
  • Research Report

    Lopsided Commission: North Carolina’s Global Warming Commission Lacks Expertise

    posted November 8, 2005 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    The North Carolina Global Warming Commission is tasked with examining the relationship between greenhouse gases and climate change, but only one of its 16 members so far is a climate scientist. It is also supposed to study the economic impact of climate change and policy proposals, but none of its members are economists. Rather than experts, the commissioned is stocked with representatives of environmental pressure groups and particular industries. Such a commission is unlikely to propose reasonable, scientifically sound policies — and far more likely instead to advance their own ideologies and bottom lines.
  • Research Report

    Ozone in the City: NC Cities on Track for Third Straight Year of Few High-Ozone Days

    posted August 10, 2005 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Despite record high temperatures during the month of July, North Carolina’s metropolitan areas are experiencing a third straight year of relatively few high ozone days. Unfortunately good news doesn’t sell and there are some “environmental advocates” in the state who seem intent on sounding the alarm bells regardless of the facts.
  • Research Report

    Lung Association Chokes: Another Year of Misleading North Carolinians

    posted June 9, 2005 by Joel Schwartz
    Once again, the American Lung Association's annual “State of the Air” report misleads the public by exaggerating the data and issuing “grades” meant more to scare than to inform. The ALA claims up to 900 percent more high-ozone days than actually occurred and gives F grades to counties that are having no problem meeting EPA guidelines.
  • Research Report

    Global Warming Policy: NC Should Do Nothing (Update of Spotlight 199)

    posted April 11, 2005 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    The NC General Assembly is considering creating a new commission to develop state policies to combat global warming. But the scientific issues involved are complex and unsettled. If North Carolina were to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions it would have no meaningful impact on global climate or the health and well-being of North Carolinians. On the other hand it would destroy tens of thousands of jobs. In other words a greenhouse gas reuction policy would have only costs and no benefits.
  • Research Report

    Another Look at the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Test Scores in North Carolina

    posted April 10, 2005 by Craig M. Newmark
    A 2004 study on the academic impact and effectiveness of charter schools in North Carolina authored for the Terry Sanford Institute by Robert Bifulco and Helen Ladd reached some harsh conclusions regarding the performance of the charter schools. Using three different models that compare state end-of-grade (EOG) test scores for regular public school students and charter school students, Bifulco and Ladd conclude that North Carolina charter schools are not only failing to improve their students' academic performance, but are actually hurting it.

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