Monday, May 2, 2011

Hundreds of Miles of Wind Farms, Networked Under the Sea

Although I worry about what such an ambitious wind farm project would do to the ocean and fisheries, this report from Dave Roberts outlines an impressive strategy for supplying clean energy to much of the Atlantic coast.

Now that we’ve killed Osama bin Laden, let’s kill oil

This piece shows that oil money has fueled terrorist organizations around the world and points out that adopting the EPA's proposed standards for trucks (47) and cars (62mpg) would save $500 billion over 5 years and dramatically reduce the black oil money in play.

Death's door - Fukushima Radiation Update

This essay updates information on conditions in Japan as the country continues to grapple with the terrifying specter of radiation contamination, and authorities continue to understate the dangers that its citizens are facing. The Fukushima nuclear meltdown story is fast fading from mainstream media coverage but there are still many independent and progressive journalists on the Internet following developments. Let's not forget about the horrors of radiation unleashed on the Japanese population, that ultimately affects all of us, as politicians and industry in the US continue to promote nuclear energy here at home.

Aide to Japan PM Quits Over Radiation Limits

Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Laden’s Death

Reflections on the reported death of bin Laden by a former reporter for the NYT who covered the first Gulf War and 9/11. Food for thought as we contemplate the euphoria that bin Laden's death has sparked in the US.’s-death/1304343151

Inside the GOP's Fact-Free Nation

This is a terrific primer and review of the power of lying to promote policies and mislead public debate. The national media is the prime culprit in the "ends justify the means" philosophy that punctuates our national psyche today and this excellent piece steps through some of the major events and behaviors that have resulted in deception of the public becoming the chief tool of governance in America.

Climate legislation advances in 16 major countries

I'm not sure this is really big news but it is instructive to keep on top of what changes are being implemented around the world to reduce carbon emissions and fight global warming. The US is lagging in this effort while countries such as Germany and China are moving much more aggressively in a positive direction by stimulating investment and implementation of sustainable energy alternatives. We have an important fight here in America to refocus on the climate issue and mute the climate deniers of the GOP and the oil and gas industry.

Is there a toxic mercury hot spot near you?

Coal-fired power plants in the US produce all sorts of dangerous pollution that undermines the health and quality of life of the American public. Mercury is a particularly toxic pollutant emitted by these power plants and this article highlights a number of hotspots with high concentrations of Mercury that are poisoning people near these plants. The GOP is actively fighting against proposed regulations to cut these emissions by 90% and it will take concerted resistance from the voting public to counter their reckless, pro-businaee-at-all-costs agenda.

"USA! USA!" is the wrong response

I, personally, was disappointed to see the throngs outside the White House deliriously celebrating Bin Laden's death when the news broke out last night. What is there to celebrate in the post 9/11 world in which the US is now engaged in four wars or military occupations (Libya and Yemen recently added to the mix) supported by a political complex that not only tolerates but defends and empowers war profiteering on behalf of our massive and powerful industries. No doubt there are many speaking once again about "American Exceptionalism" now that we have finally killed Osama Bin Laden after ten years of not really trying. Yet there is very little that is exceptional about our country today beyond the ignorance of our population and manipulation of opinion by our media, as the US increasingly projects a militaristic agenda that seeks to strip its own people of individual rights, jobs (through globalization) and subvert the potential for reform and justice that our democracy has promised for so many generations through the corruption of our political process. Money is king and it controls not only the business priorities of the nation but the very essence of governance across the spectrum. The boogie man is dead but wars and exploitation of our populace will rage on despite the empty promise of hope offered by the breaking news.

This piece from The Nation illustrates the way we now blindly celebrate patriotism at sporting events and the backlash that comes to those citizens and athletes who question the wisdom of the wars that came from the tragedy of 9/11. The author reminds us of what happened to NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman when he began to openly question the legality of the war in Iraq.

Sports, bin Laden and the New Normal

A Star Silicon Valley Investor Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is For Sustainable Ag

I was pleased to learn of two startups supporting sustainable agriculture that Ali Partovi, hot-shot Microsoftie and Facebook investor, has helped bring to market: Farmigo and BrightFarms. The first allows consumers to order directly from farmers, cutting out middlemen and reducing transportation fuel burn while the latter is a company that proposes to build greenhouses atop supermarkets to create local produce in a most efficient and climate-friendly way. Partovi's endeavors are a welcome antidote to Bill Gates' major investments in biotech.