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Archive for the 'Global Warming' Category

COMMENTARY: ON AL GORE’S PROPOSAL TO TAX WHAT WE BURN, NOT (ON) WHAT WE EARN.

Posted in Clean Energy, Consciousness, Global Warming, News Brief, Renewable Energy on July 18th, 2008

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT CHALLENGES NATION TO PHASE OUT ALL NON-RENEWABLE, CARBON BASED SOURCES OF ENERGY GENERATION WITHIN TEN YEARS

AlGorerecent.jpgLess than a day after our nation’s poor excuse for a president taunted our equally lackluster Congress for failing to open up pristine costal areas and sacred animal sanctuaries for oil exploration, the man who should have been president, Al Gore, issued a challenge to the nation to phase out all non-renewable, carbon based sources of energy generation within ten years.

Mr. Gore made his pitch for the adoption of a new energy paradigm, yesterday, in a speech before a packed audience at Washington’s historic Constitution Hall. It was during this speech that Mr. Gore noted that eliminating fossil fuels would not only solve our nation’s ongoing problem with global warming, but would also eliminate the economic and national security crises that result from our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Additionally, Mr. Gore stated that America’s switch to wind, solar and other carbon-free sources would boost the country’s economic position because, as it turns out, the “real solutions to the climate crisis are the very same measures needed to renew our economy and escape the trap of ever-rising energy prices.”

At present, renewable resources – specifically wind and solar power – generate about 8.6 percent of America’s power needs, currently in the area of 3.7 billion kilowatt hours, annually. A drop in the bucket by any standard.

Most of our power, better than fifty percent, still comes from coal, a highly toxic substance known to be responsible for more than a third of the United States’ carbon dioxide pollution.

What’s worse, if the carbon fuel companies are allowed to continue unregulated – and if Pappy McCain wins the White House, this will surely happen – it is estimated that coal’s share of the eclectic generation pie will continue to grow, particularly if the coal companies succeed in selling Congress on the fantasy of clean coal, something that at the present does not exist, and it is doubtful, ever will.

While Mr. Gore places the cost for such a radical transition in how we generate our power in the area of $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion dollars over thirty years, he believes that this is an obtainable goal. To that end he encouraged Republicans and Democrats to “overcome their partisanship” and to institute a policy change to where citizens and corporations are “taxed on what they burn, not (on) what they earn.”

I happen to agree with him on the need to take drastic action and feel that the money that he estimates such a transition will cost, would be money well spent. This is particularly true when you consider that by the time that the last shot has been fired, the last soldier brought home, and we have rebuilt all that we have destroyed and prepaid for the education and long term care for our people who fought in the conflict, we will have spent practically as much making the region safe for Texaco, Shell, Exxon and British Petroleum to do business, as it will cost us to guarantee the heath and wellbeing of future generations, with one major difference: No one, not a soul outside of the war profiteers and the aforementioned oil companies, and the corrupt politicians and lobbyists that they support will have anything to show for Mr. Bush’s illegal, immoral little war.

In a perfect world there would be repercussions for Mr. Bush and the men and women who lied us into war; repercussions including trials and prison sentences, and, perhaps, even extradition to the international court in the Hague for prosecution for their crimes against the Geneva Accord.

But my friends, unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. This being the case, I would settle for our nation never again trusting ANY leader, regardless of ideology, political party or theological belief, coming to us, armed with mountains of unsustainable aka confidential data, with the goal of convincing our proud, honorable nation to go to war.

In my lifetime, we as a nation have misled along these lines two times: now and in Vietnam. I do not think that we could sustain another such instance, and retain our identity as a nation.

-Denis

Watch Al Gore’s speech on YouTube

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HEALTH WATCH! SKIN CANCER ON THE RISE AMONG YOUNGER WOMEN

Posted in Global Warming, Health Watch, New Scientific Data, News Brief on July 12th, 2008

DESPITE PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN, DANGEROUS MELANOMAS UP 50% SINCE 1980. EXCESSIVE TANNING BLAMED

operatingroom.JPEGMore bad news for sun lovers, particuarly for younger females. A just released analysis of government cancer statistics from 1973 to 2004 revealed that the rate of new melanoma cases – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – in younger women has jumped 50 percent since 1980 going from 5.5 cases per 100,000 per year at the start of the survey period to 13.9 per 100,000 per year in 2004, while the number of cases among men of similar ages remained static.

Though the aforementioned survey did not officially take into account the reasons for the increase and for the fact that the cancer rates did not increase in men of the same age group, scientists believe that the discrepancy can be attributed to two distinct lifestyle choices: the tendency among younger women to spend more time outdoors, and their habit of more frequently pursuing artificial tanning than men of the same age group.

In the area of 62,000 melanoma cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, with more than 8,400 people annually dying of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society

The findings are significant because they point to the failure of public education campaigns to educate Americans about the risks of skin cancer from sun tanning.

Read more.

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NEWS WATCH! GREEN CAR UPDATE

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, Corporate Responsibility, Global Warming, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living on July 1st, 2008

GLOBAL AUTO INDUSTRY RUSHES TO MARKET ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES

vwtwindriveunderhood.jpgAfter years of stalling hoping to wait out the Environmental fringe’s calls for cleaner, less-toxic automobiles, the global auto industry – well, most of it, anyway – appears to have gotten the message that the public is serious in its desire for greener vehicles.

The result of the automakers newfound environmental evangelism is that rarely a week goes by without one announcement or another from a former proud polluter – oops, I mean conscientious, environmentally responsible auto manufacturer – about their latest green product either in development or about to be released to an impatiently waiting world.

These new products take many forms from tiny two passenger run-abouts all the way through larger 8 passenger SUV’s. Variety is the name of the game where power sources are involved as well with some of the new vehicles being designed to run on biodiesel, while others derive their power from electricity or from hydrogen fuel cell technology. Then there are the hybrids with gasoline electric, diesel/electric and hydrogen/electric the most popular.

Here at Libsearthwatch.com, we have made it a priority to keep you up to date on the latest products headed to your driveway in the months and years to come. Prior to now, this was an easy task to accomplish as the product announcements were few and far between. I am happy to say that this is no longer the case. Information announcing new products now floods our in-box on a consistent basis. To attempt to accommodate this wealth of new info, we are debuting the GREEN CAR UPDATE as a regular feature of the site. Hope you enjoy it.

-Denis

BATTERY COMPANIES READY TO ROLL OUT KITS TO CONVERT HYBRDS INTO PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS

For those hybrid owners longing to take the next step and make their cars totally electric comes the news that several battery manufacturers are preparing to roll out conversion kits that in some instances will make it possible for their hybrid to get upwards of 100 miles on a gallon of gas.

Read more about this great new development

Speaking of Plug-In Hybrids…

VW TO ROLL OUT PLUG-IN HYBRID NEXT YEAR

Veritable German auto maker, VW, has announced that it too will have a plug-in hybrid rolling off the assembly lines sometime in 2010. Helping VW fund this new entry is
the German government, which has agreed to kick in 15 million euros. The new VW will have an estimated all-electric range of 31 miles. Power supplies include an 82-hp electric motor and a 2.0L turbodiesel producing 122 hp.

Read more about this exciting new advancement

Let’s not forget fuel cell cars…

HONDA ROLLS OUT ZERO EMISSION CAR

hondafcxx-large.jpgAlways a leader in alternative technology, Honda motors has announced that it has shipped the first of their new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell cars which should be showing up at out local dealers in the not too distant future.

The FCX Clarity, which runs on hydrogen and electricity, emits only water and none of the noxious fumes believed to induce global warming. It is also two times more energy efficient than a gas-electric hybrid and three times that of a standard gasoline-powered car, the company says.

Read more about this exciting new advancement

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COMMENTARY: SHOULD WE JAIL ENERGY CO. CEO’S WHO LIE ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, New Scientific Data, News Brief on June 28th, 2008

NASA’S DR. JAMES HANSEN THINKS SO. BLAMES SPECIAL INTERESTS FOR STALLING TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

hansen.jpgDr. James Hansen, a noted climatologist and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, in a posting on the NASA Web site, has called for the incarceration of fossil fuel executives for “spreading disinformation about global warming”. Dr. Hansen, an outspoken environmental advocate, is recommending that the executives be “tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”

Special interests, according to Dr. Hansen, have blocked our society’s “transition to our renewable energy future.” Their “methods are sophisticated, he notes, including funding to help shape school textbook discussions of global warming.” “They (the fossil fuel companies) are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual,” Hansen continued, as he likened their actions to those of the tobacco companies who initially attempted to “discredit the link between smoking and cancer”.

Now, this is not the first time that Dr. Hansen have taken the heads of polluting industries to task. He has been a thorn in the side of the oil and coal industries ever since initially sounding the alarm about global warming in an appearance before a Senate subcommittee over twenty years ago. It was this appearance that is credited with helping to “raise broad awareness” of the global warming issue.

In the intervening two decades, Dr Hansen has angered the Clinton administration, advised Al Gore in his highly successful evolution into America’s environmental conscience, and been censored by the Bushies. He did all this while pissing off the fossil fuel companies to the extent that they tried and failed to have their flunkies in the Bush administration rein him in.

This took the form of everything from having senior NASA administrators attempt to coerce him to change his public statements about the causes of climate change, a move which, of course, failed, to ordering NASA public relations staff to review his public statements and interviews. The latter was instituted following a 2005 lecture at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

But the attempts to silence him did not end there. During a appearance on the iconic, 60 Minutes, Hansen revealed that White House staffers had edited his climate-related press releases with the intention of “making global warming seem less threatening”. To make matters worse, the person charged with doing the editing was a former oil company executive, who after being outed for his part in this fiasco resigned from government and returned to the waiting arms of Big Oil.

At the time Hansen commented that in three decades in the government, he had “never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public.”

Among Dr. Hansen’s other unpopular positions – unpopular for the fossil fuel companies, that is – are his calls for retiring all coal-fired power plants that don’t capture carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. Currently there is no practical technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.

His contention is that society will reach a “global tipping point” by 2016 if the human population is unable to reduce greenhouse gases.

-Denis

Read more about Dr. James Hansen

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COMMENTARY: DOESN’T THE ENVIRONMENT DESERVE BETTER THAN JOE LIEBERMAN?

Posted in Clean Energy, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, News Brief on June 5th, 2008

COULDN’T THE GREENHOUSE GAS BILL FIND A MORE CREDITABLE ADVOCATE THAN FORMER VP CANDIDATE CHAMPIONS LEGISLATION TO FORCE POWER PLANTS, STEEL MILLS AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS TO CUT CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS

lieberman.jpg

Sen. Joe Lieberman, for some strange reason the man that my personal idol, former Vice President, Al Gore selected to round out his ticket in the 2000 election, has allegedly turned the corner – well, at least for this week – on the dark side and is championing legislation, which if it is fortunate enough to pass Congress – a major victory in itself – would force power plants, steel mills and other industrial operations to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Sadly, at this point in time, Senator Joe has little if any political creditability, residing as MSNBC’s Tom Curry observed, in a “political no-man’s land, neither entirely out of the Democratic Party, nor exactly in it either.” Additionally, there is that little matter of him supporting Republican Senator, John McCain for president over either Democratic Party option that has and continues to further Senator Joe’s estrangement from the party hierarchy.

The Boxer-Lieberman-Warner bill – California Senator, Barbara Boxer and Virginia Senator, John Warner are the other sponsors – would create a complex system of trading carbon dioxide “allowances” between businesses. Apparently, this is a reasonably decent piece of legislation, or at least it was in its original form when it received the blessing of no less than America’s own environmental guru, Al Gore.

Missing from the list of the bill’s supporters is the previously mentioned, Senator John McCain. Presidential candidate, McCain, is reported to be holding back his support until the bill contains more handouts for the nuclear power industry. To accommodate Pappy and his ilk, co-sponsors Lieberman and Warner are said to be are considering an amendment, which would provide funding for the training of nuclear power plant workers and engineers.

So let me see if I understand this, there is no money to educate American veterans of George Bush’s wars, but there is cash to train people to work in the nuclear power industry? And to think that there are those who wonder what is wrong with our current system?

But the gifts do not stop there. Plans are also underway to add language, which would provide funding to redevelop the manufacturing of nuclear power plant components in America.”

Of all the energy businesses that this country could invest it’s taxpayers money in, nuclear is nowhere even near the top of the list. What about solar, or wind, or geothermal, all of which are far safer than nuclear? Do we need another Three Mile Island incident to refresh people’s memories as to why we abandoned nuclear the last time? Frankly speaking, the technology is not safe, at least not the way we slap things together in this country. Then there is the little matter of what to do with the nuclear material when it is no longer usable?

But then what does the safety of the many matter when it is weighed against profits for the few. Besides, someone has to pay the politicians for their labors, and the measly few hundred grand that they receive from the taxpayers is clearly not enough to buy these characters’ loyalty.

WHAT A SHAME THAT IS!

-LIB

Read more about this topic…

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NEWS WATCH: WHITE HOUSE PLEDGES TO VETO CONTESTED CLIMATE BILL

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Clean Energy, Global Warming, Health Watch on June 4th, 2008

PRESIDENT CLAIMS HE IS DOING SO FOR THE CHILDREN.

coalplant2.jpgThe fucking hubris of George W. Bush thinking that the you and I are so damn stupid that we will suspend our disbelief and accept, without any real question, anything he has to say, let alone on a topic as important as the climate bill.

Reality check time, my friends: George W. Bush does not give a damn for the electorate in this country, a fact that his job performance these past seven years makes irrefutably clear. Would a leader who cared have burdened future generations with as much debt as this administration has to finance a war that has succeeded in little other than to smooth the way for his and sidekick, Dick Cheney’s, oil buddies to tie up Iraq’s oil reserves?

Could a caring man have sat back and done nothing to help restore New Orleans, one of our greatest cities, recover from the devastation wreaked on it by Hurricane Katrina; devastation that it’s important to add, could have been avoided had Mr. Bush heeded the warnings of the Army Corps of Engineers and retro -fitted the levies when it was first proposed.

I could go on and on recounting the sins of the Bush Bunch, but to be honest, what good would that do? Either you know these things or you don’t. If you don’t, it is doubtful that anything I could say here will change that fact. Moreover, if this is new information to you, chances are your problems are far worse than anything that the “decider” and his creepy band of loyalists could or would have done to you.

In summation, let’s just say, I am tired of elected officials who lie. Saying that you cannot sign a climate bill because it is an “unfair burden on future generations” is a lie. OUR ADVICE, SHOW SOME BALLS MR. BUSH! TELL THE NATION THE TRUTH, THAT YOU WILL NOT SIGN THE CLIMATE BILL BECAUSE THE PEOPLE IN THE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS WHO PULL YOUR STRINGS WILL NOT ALLOW IT. This type of candor I could respect. Chances are, I would still hate everything that you stand for, but I would respect you and at least listen seriously to what you had to say.

It is situations like the above, which make me so glad that Barrack Obama is our party’s nominee for President. Imagine the concept, a president who stares you in the eye and tells you the truth. There may be hope for this crazy planet, yet?

Kudos also to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which earlier today announced that it was coming in line with the policies of it’s candidate and rejecting financial contributions from lobbyists.

-Denis

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NEWS WATCH! BUSH EASES CLEAN-AIR PROTECTIONS FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Toxin Alert! on May 17th, 2008

THIS LATEST GIFT TO POLLUTERS WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO BUILD POLLUTING POWER PLANTS NEAR PROTECTED AREAS

coalfiredpowerplant.jpgThe administration’s war against clean air and water scored another victory today with the announcement that Corporate America’s man in the White House is putting the finishing touches on a plan, which would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas.

The new regulations, expected to be finalized this summer, rewrite a key provision of the Clean Air Act as it applies to “Class 1 areas,”, Beltway shorthand for these precious natural resources.

This initiative is the latest in a series of administration efforts to weaken air quality protections at national parks.

Continue Reading:

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NEWS WATCH! JUDGE TELLS BUSH TO STOP STONEWALLING THE POLAR BEARS

Posted in Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Endangered Species, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Humane Treatment of Animals, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Sustainable Values on May 8th, 2008

ADMINISTRATION ORDERED TO DECIDE ON POLAR BEARS ELIGIBILITY FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION BY MAY 15th

polarbearice_djc.jpgGood news for our furry white friends, the Polar Bears, came earlier this week when a courageous federal judge ruled that the Bush Administration had violated federal law by delaying it’s decision as to whether it will allow polar bears to receive protection under the Endangered Species Act.

In her ruling, Judge Claudia Wilken of Federal District Court in Oakland, Calif., ordered the Bushies to make such a decision by May 15th or be held in contempt of court. Additionally the judge ordered that the decision take effect immediately, setting aside the usual 30-day grace period

Currently, our nation’s polar bear population faces the threat of extinction from rising temperatures and rapidly melting sea ice, two conditions, which have caused food shortages, and led to the destruction of much of their native Alaskan habitat.

Kudos to our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Biological Diversity, and Greenpeace for pursuing and financing the litigation, which led to this important victory.

Not surprisingly, the boys and girls in the executive branch have used the delay to ram through questionable gas and oil leases in the area in question.

Additionally, if I had to venture a guess as to whether the polar bears will receive endangered species protection from the Bush administration, my guess would be no. Drilling in the Artic has long been a goal of the Bush administration and granting polar bears protected status would bring an end to such activities.

Thankfully, the NRDC, for one, has pledged to continue the good fight until all of America’s polar bears win the protection they so urgently need. Should any of our loyal readers have a few spare bucks lying around – I know, what’s the chance of that in this economy – consider sending them off with a letter of support to the good people at any of the groups listed above.

- LIB

READ MORE ABOUT THIS COMPELLING STORY

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NEWS WATCH! BUSHIES TAILOR SCIENCE TO POLICY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Living on April 24th, 2008

NEARLY 900 EPA SCIENTISTS REPORT EXPERIENCING “SIGNIFICANT ADMINISTRATION MANIPULATION” OF THEIR FINDINGS

bush_dunce2.jpgNearly 900 of our nation’s best and brightest scientists and climatologists working for the Environmental Protection Agency have reported experiencing firsthand meddling by Bush administration political operatives as the Bush flunkies fought to make the scientist’s findings fit administration policy.

This is according to a report issued earlier today by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit environmental organization.

While this latest data is not particularly surprising, the sad thing is that these findings are in keeping with what was found in other government agencies.

Per the report, nearly 900 of the aforementioned scientists claim to have “personally experienced at least one instance of political interference in the last five years”, while 394 scientists reported experiencing “frequent or occasional statements by EPA officials that misrepresent scientists’ findings.”

But the bad news does not end there. An additional fifth, or 285, reported “selective or incomplete use of their data to justify a ‘specific regulatory outcome’”.

As might be expected, an EPA spokesman, Jonathan Shradar, denied all allegations.

-LIB

READ MORE…

Union of Concerned Scientists Web Site

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COMMENTARY: MORE OF THE SAME GIBBERISH

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Clean Energy, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Toxic Living on April 17th, 2008

BUSH’S LATEST ENVIRONMENTAL NON-PROPOSAL ALLOWS CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS TO PEAK IN 2025

s-bush-and-the-bunny-large.jpgWith the release, yesterday, of the latest White House plan to stop the growth of global warming emissions, George Bush all but guaranteed his standing as the most anti-environmental president in US history.”

The administrations proposal, sketchy that it is, calls for letting U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peak in 2025, though Mr. Bush has proposed no specifics on how to do so.

The President was specific, however, in refusing to consider any new taxes, trade barriers, or plans to abandon nuclear power, saying that the coal-burning electric utilities — the biggest single source of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions — need to find new high-tech ways of trapping greenhouse gases.

Per da prez, “if we fully implement our strong new laws, adhere to the principles I’ve outlined, and adopt appropriate incentives, we will put America on an ambitious new track for greenhouse gas reductions,” he said, before adding, “we’re doing a lot to protect this environment.”

Now any even marginal student of environmental issues knows that the president has no plan, whatsoever, to implement conservation policy at this late hour in his presidency, and this entire discussion is just empty words intended to placate an ever more environmentally aware population.

From the day he took office, Mr. Bush and his administration have rejected any and all attempts to enact any serious legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions, citing on the rare occasion that he deemed to explain his actions, his belief in the Market Economy and the ability of corporations to self regulate.

We all know what a lot of crap that that is!

Moreover, I am willing to go out and a limb and speculate here that we will not see any significant change in environmental policy until Barrack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

-LIB

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