Skip to main content

Is a Half-Truth Really Better than None?

Hi Everybody - Well, once again I must apologize for my tardiness. This time, Google/blogspot isn't allowing me to copy and paste my articles into their posting app, so I had to re-type. Sorry for the delay.

July 4, 2011 - It just keeps getting better: during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) sorrowfully pointed out that, if the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA) of 2003 had only been fully implemented, the forest fires out West wouldn't be burning. It's all the fault of the Forest Service, she lamented. Come to find out, the HFRA was never - you guessed it - fully funded (as was the case with so many of GWB's "great ideas"). Furthermore, says Roger Sedjo of Resources for the Future, Murkowski, along with other members of the committee, fails to account for the type of forests found in the Southwest - pine. Pine trees have evolved to go to seed as the result of being exposed to the heat of forest fires. I would be remiss in not mentioning Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), who highlighted the real cause of the fires out West. "It would be all well and good for members to understand that this is related to climate change, and how important it is for us to address and take national action to reduce our carbon emissions." While Senator Franken cannot be lauded for his eloquence, he can for his veracity. Speaking truth to power always matters.

In other news ...

The board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released an open letter, following an incident earlier this month during which Australian university researchers were rushed to a secure location after receiving death threats. In the letter, the directors express their concern about the targeting of climate scientists, saying "Scientists should not be subjected to fraud investigations or harassment simply for providing scientific results that are controversial. AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions." AAAS publishes the journal Science.

Problems do not exist only in Australia. Here in the US, climate researchers have been the object of specious requests for detailed records, made by the American Tradition Institute (ATI). Make up your own mind about ATI by visiting their website. To understand why requests of this type would be considered harassment, you must first understand that the request ATI has made of the University of Virginia is for thousands of emails and documents. Every item must be located and copied. Think about the last time you needed to track down an old email - just one. How long did it take? What did the search keep you from doing that was at least as important? Where thousands of documents are concerned, what kind of recordkeeping would be required, so that all parties concerned know that the request has been fully met? How much would a copier be paid to copy the items? How long would it take? Whose job is it to refile the originals, once they've been copied? Should double copies be generated, based on the assumptionh that the university's legal department will probably need them at some point in the future? Annoying UVa isn't enough, of course; they've gone after James Hansen (of NASA), as well.

They want to know if he's complied with federal ethics and disclosure rules.

Next, I think they should demand to know if Al Gore is keeping his Oscar polished ...


Popular posts from this blog

We Are Still In

June 13, 2017 - Trump's announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord on Climate Change has produced a remarkable backlash: hundreds of cities, states, universities and colleges, and businesses in the United States have declared their collective intention to reach the country's 2025 emissions goals, with or without federal leadership. America stepped up to the plate when Trump stated that he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," to which Pittsburgh's mayor responded "we [Pittsburgh] will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy and future."

Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, is a member of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, the creation of Sierra Club, to which Michael Bloomberg is a major contributor. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and a billionaire philanthropist, is also the United Nations Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
In a letter written by Bloomberg to…

The SunShot Initiative

In 2007, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. was 1.1 gigawatts (GW). As of 2017, that amount has increased to 47.1 GW. Enough to power 9.1 million average American homes. If you're thinking "we've still got a long way to go," you'd be right. On the other hand, increasing installed power by 4300% deserves some attention.  How'd we do it?

The Department of Energy played an important role. In 2011, they initiated a program called The SunShot Initiative. They set targets for the years 2020 and 2030, by which times generating solar power would have become more affordable. More affordable on a utility scale, more affordable on a commercial scale, and more affordable on a residential scale. Thus far, they've succeeded in hitting the 2020 goal for utility-scale generation. Needless to mention, they reached that goal three years early. The goals, it should be mentioned, don't take subsidies into account. It's the technology, in the case of util…