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Showing posts from June, 2010
June 28, 2010 – While the mid-section of the United States swelters, and Arizonan’s endure the resumption of the wildfire season, let’s take a pass on the self-pity and talk about folks with REAL problems.It’s off to southern China we go ….MSNBC.com carried a story dated June 23, filed by Reuters news service from Fuzhou, China.It began raining in southern China on June 13.Ten days later, provinces and regions hardest hit by calamitous rainfall include Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Guizhou and Guangxi.All of these places have been on the receiving end of more than 39 inches of rain in “a few days” time, with more in the forecast.I’m unable to imagine that much rainfall, but I can comprehend the results: at least 211 people dead and 119 missing.Rivers have broken their banks, dykes have collapsed, landslides have severed road and rail links.Highways have crumbled.Two-and-a-half million people have been evacuated.Millions of acres of farmland are flooded, and roughly 195,0…
June 21, 2010 – If the people lead, will the government follow?A poll conducted by StanfordUniversity’s Jon Krosnick indicates that 75% of Americans believe human activities are causing climate change, and that the government should take action.(Read more at the Worldwatch Institute website, www.worldwatch.org) Krosnick goes further, and critiques recent Pew and Gallup polls which show much lower numbers.Thank you, BP?I’d say that was entirely possible.Now let’s get the Senate’s version of the climate bill passed!What do YOU do to conserve energy and clean the environment?I’ve been tallying up efforts at my house, and came up with what I think is a creditable list.My husband and I each purchased cars that got mileage in the 25 mpg range during the 1970’s. (Today our cars each get roughly 30 mpg.Talk about sad!)When I had the kids, I switched from chemical household cleaners to vinegar and baking soda.That was in 1985.I now buy Mrs. Meyer’s products in addition, because I love the lav…
June 14, 2010 - BP is now talking about capturing 50,000 barrels of oil a day. When did they admit that more than that was gushing out of the well? By mid-July, they say they’ll be diverting 80,000 barrels. Dear G-d in Heaven, how much oil is coming out of that thing? They don’t know, but they apparently know it’s more than that. These are the same people upon whom we are relying to drill 18,000 feet and hit the existing well in order to relieve pressure. You know, the same folks who said “there aren’t any plumes.” Heaven help us, they feel confident about being able to drill the relief wells accurately. That cannot possibly be a good sign. During his speech tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to call for BP to create an escrow account in the amount of $20 billion which would be used to pay for damage claims filed by businesses and individuals. He's also expected to recommend that an independent third party oversee the claims process. Now there’s an idea with merit, except…
June 7, 2010 – Imagine – the entire mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast under a tornado watch.I wonder if that’s ever happened before.Considering the damage done throughout the Midwest over the weekend, it was a logical step.America’s “outback” is enduring more and more violent weather with each passing year.E-magazine Grist has been running an outstanding series of articles by David Roberts about the American Power Act (APA).Lambasted by many for its replacement of the Clean Air Act’s stationary-source regulations with a cap-and-trade system of pollution control, there are, according to Roberts, still many reasons for supporting the APA.What might those be?-the cap part of cap-and-trade, as defined by the APA, will provide long-term predictability, something investors value highly-because the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is authorized to regulate atmospheric pollutants, it will have authority to enforce this cap-the new legislation includes …
June 1, 2010 – What a lovely experience: my husband and I drove up to Chicago for the holiday weekend.It’s a trip we have made countless times, but this time we were treated to a sight I hope will become much more common during the years ahead.As we drove north on I65, in the vicinity of Lafayette, Indiana, we came upon windmills.At first we saw them on just one side of the expressway, placed in rows that reached the horizon.Then my husband exclaimed “Look!They’re on both sides of the road now!” The graceful behemoths were as thrilling a sight as coming upon a group of whales might have been.There was an unexpected grandeur, even dignity, in the propellers’ leisurely pace.The fact of their seemingly independent motion conferred upon them a sentience they did not possess, but which was heightened by their uniform activity, almost as if they all agreed with regard to something of considerable importance.Actually, we did see an occasional turbine standing still; however, the majority wer…