Thursday, June 06, 2002

Warming Jitters

Thanks for your input, Kevin. This is such a complex issue. There's plenty of room for diasgreement on approaches to the problem. What disturbs me is the level of denial. It takes adroit, committed leadership to move a culture out of denial. You won't get it from W on this issue.

What's he concerned about? His conservative base, apparently. After hearing their outrage over the EPA report, Bush is quickly distancing himself from said report. So it's back to square one: "Folks, don't believe what my experts are telling you. We don't necessarily have a problem here. Get on with your lives." Why am I not surprised?

The media are equal culprits in this. Have you noticed how back-page the coverage has been? Media defenders would probably retort that the media is just following the public. Joe Public doesn't give a shit, so the media isn't going to give a shit either.

It isn't just the prez that's got to provide the leadership. The media has a role as well. But where is it going to come from? What scares me is that the Republicans have developed too many political smarts. They know there aren't any votes in this. Forget the Earth. It's War, baby, all the way to re-election.

Anyway, Kevin, thanks for the link to Viridian. There's a lot there and I haven't had time yet to absorb it. It looks promising.

My wife tells me that I'm addicted to worst-case scenarios. While she may be right, I can't help thinking that a bit of alarmism is appropriate in this case. The threat of nuclear attack is the only thing I can think of that's more alarming than global warming.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Global Warming

OK, Tom, I'll take the bait. Kyoto would have done nothing to stop this. What would work is tradable carbon quotas, but Kyoto wasn't into that. If you want people to use less energy, put the price up. It worked for us in California.
Moving electricity generation baseload to nuclear from coal is the biggest, cleanest thing we could do about this. Strangely, this is never high on the list of pro-Kyoto activists either. Here's what I said in April:

US nuclear generation creates about 2,000 tons of high-level waste per year.
This worries people, and it is thus treated with lots of care, and its storage is the subject of much debate.

Coal generation, creates about 100 million tons. And it's exempt from being treated as hazardous waste!

Coal waste has approximately 20-30 parts per million of Uranium.

Lets do the maths then:

100 million tons x 25 parts per million = 2,500 tons of uranium from the coal industry per year.

So, the coal industry is generating more nuclear waste per year as the nuclear one, but they are just chucking it in landfills and the atmosphere.

And that's just counting Uranium, not other radionuclides - never mind greenhouse gases, Mercury and other toxins that last forever, unlike radioactive waste that has a half-life.

According to the DoE, there are 2-3 billion tons of coal finings already lying around near coal mines - enough that its worth them researching a way to turn them back into coal.

Getting us weaned from coal generation onto nuclear and other alternatives should be the focus of energy policy.

Now what we really need is a massive class action suit against coal companies for poisoning us, creating greenhouse gases and dumping radioacive waste into the atmosphere.

For a Gonzo approach to this whole subject, go visit Bruce Sterling's Viridian group

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Blogtank Massive Failure Project

Hey guys. Just wanted to invite you to a discussion to put Gonzo Marketing into practice at Blogtank. I asked a question and people responded. I also wrote some ideas about how to proceed. Come over and Make Some Noise. Thanks

Monday, June 03, 2002

Revival Anyone?

Maybe we need a little political crossfire to get this blog moving again. It's worth a try, at least. So, in that spirit, I'll reprint my post today from my blog:

Catch Those Alpine Meadows While You Can

Time to bestow another one of my "Huh? Lemme See If I Got That Straight" Awards. This time the award goes to George W. Bush and his entire environmental team. They quietly issued a report today--"U.S. Climate Action Report 2002"-- admitting, after years of denial, that, yes, global warming is actually happening and, yes, it presents a serious threat to the quality of the environment.

Oh, and the responsible party, according to the report? Human beings. How about that? Thought it might have been those pesky dolphins.

If you're tempted to say, "Way to go, W! Glad to see you got it right this time," consider the Administration's recommendation for responding to the threat. I'll quote from the New York Times so that you won't think that I'm making this up:

"It recommends adapting to inevitable changes.(my emphasis) It does not recommend making rapid reductions in greenhouse gases to limit warming, the approach favored by many environmental groups and countries that have accepted the Kyoto Protocol, a climate treaty written in the Clinton administration that was rejected by Mr. Bush."

And what are the changes which the report predicts and asks us to "adapt to?"

"the United States will be substantially changed in the next few decades — 'very likely' seeing the disruption of snow-fed water supplies, more stifling heat waves and the permanent disappearance of Rocky Mountain meadows and coastal marshes, for example — (yet) it does not propose any major shift in the administration's policy on greenhouse gases."

The Bushies are trying to have it both ways. They will try to say to the environmentally-conscious swing voters that they've cleaned up their environmental act, while at the same time doing nothing to offend the Big Energy Crowd to whom they're beholden.

You'd like to think that they won't get away with it. I wouldn't count on it. First of all, the candy-ass, pussyfooting Democrats have shrunk from developing any authentic voice to effectively question and counter-attack this mean-spirited, dangerous mindlessness to which we are being subjected.

Secondly, according to political observers, suburban Moms are no longer the swing vote that counts. Suburban Dads have deftly been identified by the Repubs as the new swing vote treasure. This group, by and large, loves the beat of the war drums, and they're too exhausted from all those hours in their office cubicles to give a shit about Alpine Meadows.

Well, I've managed to break my self-imposed rule against ranting. I couldn't help it this time. Sometimes those shithead Boys-Currently-In-Charge just cause me to lose it.