Saturday, November 29, 2008

A new source of power

A new technology that generates power with heretofore unusable slow hydraulic currents shows promise.

Ending Whaling

A sad way to bring an end to whaling is to make the whales too toxic to eat. Research on the Faroe islanders has shown that the practice of eating whales is slowly poisoning them.

Jeff the Trucker

Peter Dreier publishes the details on the Oak Harbor trucking strike. It would seem that the company's only interest is in breaking the union rather than bargaining in good faith.

Krugman: What to Do

Here's a well-reasoned way out of this mess we are in.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tri-Cities is Hot Spot for Republicans

The Other Side notes that the Tri-Cities have become a major stronghold for Republicans. Fellow Tri-City liberals, the gauntlet has been thrown down before you. The task ahead of us is demanding. But if we can change hearts and minds here, we can change them anywhere. Hoo-ah!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tough Love for Detroit

This is something that should satisfy those critical of too many free bailouts. Any company that comes, hat in hand, for government assistance should be expected to pay a price for that. On Detroit, Laurie David has this:
If Detroit needs more taxpayer bailouts to survive, we ought to demand some serious and real concessions in return, starting with an immediate cease-and-desist order for Detroit to drop its lawsuits against California, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico and any other state that passes clean cars legislation requiring more efficient, less polluting vehicles. Enough already, Detroit. Stop fighting and start building clean cars now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Modest Proposal

As a species we are victims of our own success ecologically. Everywhere that humans exist we disrupt the natural balance. And because we are intelligent we are able to take counter-measures to natural consequences that would tend to restore that balance thereby exacerbating that disruption. At some point we need to strike that balance in our own actions so that human life on this planet is both productive and sustainable. Until we reach that sublime level of self-control our only hope is to limit the impacts of our uncontrollable destructive behavior. Historically the warlike nature of mankind has tended to be an ecological blessing. Every so often human populations would undergo convulsions that resulted in massive attrition. Then the ecosystems were given a respite in which to recover from the ravages of human settlement. In modern times we have thankfully been able to limit those convulsions for the most part. But the environment is not getting a break.

It is reasonable to see that the earth's environment will continue to deteriorate unless or until we are able to reign in the population growth and decrease our footprint on the landscape. To-date only the few countries in which population has reach crisis levels have taken any action to control the growth. If we wait for all countries to attain such crisis levels it will be too late for everyone and the human race and much of our planetary life-forms will be doomed. I think it is time that this be voiced as a political issue.

It's easy to see why it has been avoided. There are powerful political and economic forces that benefit from an ever-expanding population. It doesn't take much of a brain to see that anyone who promulgates the idea of population control will not ascend to the halls of power. But if we are to survive, it must be done. It is past time to begin discussing the idea and putting it before the populace as an option. Even if it is a most quixotic pursuit it must be done by someone.

I invite my readers to look up the works of Jacques Yves Cousteau, Ted Turner, Paul Ehrlich, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Robert Muller and consider them. Perhaps it is not yet too late.

As I googled this subject it became apparent that many see any attempt to limit population as an elite left-wing conspiracy. I look forward to taking those ideas apart in this blog in the future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Follow the Money

TVA see nuclear power as the cheaper alternative:
"In the past fiscal year, the restart of TVA’s oldest nuclear reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant helped the utility save an estimated $800 million, TVA Chairman Bill Sansom said. The $1.8 billion restart of Browns Ferry Unit 1, originally forecast to pay for itself within eight years, should now end up paying for itself in 2 1/2 years because of the unexpected jump in the costs for other power generation.

“Nuclear power is still very cost-effective,” Mr. Sansom said earlier this year."

More Work to Do

Despite the pleasure at seeing Obama elected at the national level it appears to me that we have more work to do at the state and local level. The 4th CD will be poorly represented by the same lame republican. Governor Gregoire won but the quality of her record should have made the win more substantial. The Washington 8th LD's sole Democratic candidate is behind in the count against a single-issue, light-weight Republican. We couldn't even field a qualified opponent in the race for the other position in the 8th LD. But then neither could the Republicans as Rob Welch spent election night on suicide watch at the local mental health facility.

The work begins now to develop new candidates for the next cycle. Also beginning now is the work to expose the flaws of the heart of the Republican world view. After all, how can you expect people who think strong government is the problem to govern well or even competently?

Obama wins, period

As I listened to McCain's gracious and conciliatory concession speech I wondered where this John McCain had been. If he had used more of that kind of rhetoric on the campaign trail he would have been a more formidable opponent. It makes me wonder if he hadn't planned it this way all along. The negative campaigning, the choice of a running mate, are almost like a part of him wanted to take the dive. Being the good soldier that he is he may have been going through the motions as a duty to his party.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama wins Dixville Notch

From NYTimes:
"And in tiny Dixville Notch, N.H., which casts its ballots just after midnight, Mr. Obama won 15 votes to Mr. McCain’s 6. President Bush won the vote there in 2004."