Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy


1 Comment

Sen. Inhofe (R-Denier) Plans Boycott of Senate Committee Vote on Energy/Climate Bill

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said Thursday that she is planning to hold a markup Tuesday on S. 1733 (pdf), the Senate version of the Energy and Climate legislation President Obama and a majority of Americans are searching for.  In usual fashion, the Cons in the Senate are trying to figure out ways they can continue to stall movement of the bill.  In much the same way that they convinced all-too-willing Democrats to push health care legislation further and further back on the legislative calendar, climate legislation has been bottled up in committee for months now.  If Sen. Inhofe (R-Denier) and his Con colleagues get their way, the energy and climate legislation will either never move out of committee or will be so terribly weakened that there might as well not be any legislation at all.

Sen. Inhofe and six other Cons on the Environment and Public Works Committee are planning a boycott of the markup come Tuesday, which would mean Sen. Boxer couldn’t hold a vote to move it out of committee.  She unfortunately needs 2 Cons to show up to move the legislation further along.  Those same Cons are more interested in trying to show how ineffectual government can possibly be by slowing everything down to no movement (thereby fulfilling their own sick predictions), especially when it comes to energy and climate legislation.  By doing so, they prove they are pleased with recent news that China and other nations are taking over industries the U.S. invented in the 20th century, industries that will determine which country dominates the 21st century.  Enslaved to their failed ideologies, the Cons work tirelessly to ensure it is not the U.S. that continues dominance in these fields and in 21st century geopolitics.

Despite ever-growing proof that our climate forcing is causing changes in Earth’s climate much faster than recently thought; despite ever-growing proof that switching our economy to more efficient and renewable-energy-driven technologies will save us billions every year (costing no jobs, wrecking no economies) and stop our climate forcing, the Cons cannot break away from their dirty energy corporate benefactors and do something positive for this country and the planet.

Instead, the Cons are whining about how Boxer runs her Committee meetings, planning senseless obstructionist tactics and demanding that the EPA undertake study after study after study, none of which will ever get one single Con to vote for the bill anyway.

Sen. Boxer opened the door to alternative approaches for moving the bill, including the use of Senate Rule 14 that allows the majority to discharge legislation out of a committee and bring it directly to the floor.  I hope she does it.  When Cons were trying to force their extremist political nominees and destructive legislation down Americans’ throats, they couldn’t talk enough about “Up or down votes” and how Democrats were holding them up.  Why won’t Cons support “Up or down votes” now?  Because their fringe party is now in the minority.  They’re truly being obstructionists, needlessly so on every issue.  Sen. Boxer and the Democrats should do whatever they can to push the people’s business forward – rolling over the Cons if need be.


1 Comment

Colorado’s Share of President Obama’s Smart Grid Investments

Did you hear all the talk about President Obama’s announcement that $3.4 Billion in energy grid modernization investment? It hasn’t exactly dominated the top-of-the-hour news reports, but made some small ripples on Tuesday.

While Congress remains bogged down on health care, to say nothing of energy and climate, legislation, the executive branch has been very busy this year starting initiatives and issuing new rules and threatening regulations. This is the latest in that series of actions.

Two projects in Colorado are receiving investment money. More on them below…

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Dubya: Popularity Is Fleeting

And he should know.  Can anyone point out another leader that had garnered 90% approval rating from Americans, only to fall to 23% by the time he left office?  I don’t think so.  It wasn’t because he wasn’t affable.  It was because he demonstrated how little he and his cronies cared about American values and priorities.  He occupied a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.  He put the final set of nails on the economic catastrophe that Reagan started.  He lied about anything and everything that Americans cared about.  Then he tells a crowd that they shouldn’t waste energy chasing popularity.  Well, he should know.  He never did.  He did what he set out to do, what leading conservative “thinkers” told him to do.  And the results were disastrous.

Oh, and to CNN’s Alexander Moody, this is a flat-out lie:

The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House.

Wrong, wrong and wrong.  He had a clear, steady decrease through 7 years, all of his own doing.  You could argue that Truman saw wild popularity swings during his Presidency.  Maybe even Reagan or H.W. had “wild” swings.  But not the Boy King.  He did exactly what he wanted to do, regardless of what people thought of him.  The only question left for him is whether those attending the motivational speaker meeting should follow Bush’s advice.  My advice is stay as far away from Bush’s as possible, lest you end up like he did: among the worst ever.

By the way, this clown obviously learned nothing about being used:

“We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush,” Powell said.

Not according to any intelligence analyst currently employed, Mr. Powell, and you know it.  To say otherwise reinforces the disgrace you set upon yourself by lying for Cheney.


Leave a comment

Sen. Inouye (D) to Gut Sen. Franken’s Anti-Rape Amendment?!

Republicans obviously don’t have a lock on immoral legislative maneuvers to satisfy war contractors.  Here’s what you need to know:

An amendment that would prevent the government from working with contractors who denied victims of assault the right to bring their case to court is in danger of being watered down or stripped entirely from a larger defense appropriations bill.

The Senate is considering taking out a provision known as the Title VII claim, which (if removed) would allow victims of assault or rape to bring suit against the individual perpetrator but not the contractor who employed him or her.

In what world is preventing someone who was raped the right to a court case a bad thing?  There’s being a war contractor lackey and then there’s this.  This defies explanation or excuse.  It’s sickening.


Leave a comment

Electric Car Developments in France

There’s some good news for a country that is being much more proactive about energy use and climate change than the U.S.  A nationwide electric car recharging network is going to be built in France.  An energy utility and a car maker are leading the way on the project, set to debut in just two short years.

The project will receive €400m of state backing over the next four years, which has been personally guaranteed by President Sarkozy.

To be worked out is who will be responsible for the charging station infrastructure, which is nothing to sneeze at.

The early front-runner is California-based Project Better Place, which has confirmed it is in talks about the project. The company is already building electric car recharging networks in Denmark and Israel, based on a model that sees cars quickly swap empty batteries for fully charged ones at roadside stations.

I’ve been a fan of Better Place ever since I heard about them, about a year ago now.  I checked their plans out, which seem relatively well-developed for a new company.  They have been very aggressive about putting themselves at the fore of the electric car wave that is slowly (for now) building momentum.  The article actually skips over a number of cities that are also in contact with Better Place – including a couple in the U.S. that are planning on building out electric car charging stations.  It’s just unfortunate that it’s only a small handful of mayors and governors in America that recognize what the dominant form of transportation will soon be.  It makes sense that a national approach, such as Israel’s, Denmark’s and now France’s, should be pursued.

Interestingly, after fighting higher mileage standards quite vociferously for years in the U.S., Chrysler is among the competitors trying to get a foothold in the France electric car market.  But they can’t build their U.S. fleet to meet higher efficiency standards, they told Congress.  Nobody would buy the cars.  Uh-huh.  Their European fleet meets Europe’s standards, which are much more aggressive than the U.S.’.  After stupidly fighting a U.S. mandate, I wasn’t sorry to see their survival in question last year into this year.  They’ve done what they could to destroy the U.S. middle class.  They found out how untenable that approach was.  Hey, Chrysler, how about doing some fighting for this technology state-side?

Check out Better Place‘s ongoing marketing approach.


2 Comments

WeatherDem: Shut Up Already, Cheney

Dick “Puppet-Master” Cheney is one of the most immoral persons on this planet.  It appears he has more in common with Balloon Boy’s dad than I had previously imagined: he just can’t stand being out of the spotlight.  Seriously, what happened in this guy’s childhood home that he has to invade foreign nations, destroy economies and societies, then feels it necessary to lecture other Presidents when they don’t do the same?

Cheney wants President Obama to stop ‘dithering’ on Afghanistan.

Well I want Cheney to shut up.  He has no credibility with this nation or with any other nation on this planet.

“Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries,” Cheney said.

No, dumbass, our adversaries are emboldened because we’re occupying two Muslim nations with no plans to get out completely of either.  They’re emboldened because we continue to bomb residents of those countries who aren’t fighting us.  I know for a fact that Cheney’s daughter Liz would take up arms against a country that occupied the U.S. and bombed her father’s house.  It’s the same thing.  And the fact that he isn’t man enough to admit that to this country tells you all you need to know about his so-called “patriotism”.  Which is why he continues to make a fool of himself.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

NASA & NOAA: Global September Temperatures Nearly Broke All-Time Record

In the past week or so, NASA released data and NOAA released a report confirming climate activists’ fears: 2009 is going to challenge global temperature records.  There are a number of reasons this is especially troubling to me, which I’ll get to below.

First, the news is this.  Two independent scientific agencies confirm that September 2009 had the 2nd highest surface temperatures on record.  Dating back to 1880, the only warmer September occurred in 2005.  From NOAA: the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.12 degrees F above the 20th century average of 59.0 degrees F.  NASA’s measurement, probably the best in the world, indicated a 1.17F anomaly, very much in line with NOAA’s calculation.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Apophis & Antoher Successful Private Rocket Launch

Scientists have continued to refine the asteroid Apophis‘ future trajectory.  Their most recent calculations show a decreasing probability of a potential strike by Apophis on Earth in 2036.  Previous work had already discounted any strike in 2029.  The recent announcement holds some interesting language:

“Updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million.”

So the probability decreased from 1-in-45,000 to 1-in-250,000.  Notice how much unlikelier the chance seems when the world million is used.

#######

Private entry into space comes closer to reality every day.  Progress is measured by relatively short-lived but attention-driven events like rocket launches.  A reusable private rocket test was successful last week.  Colorado had numerous connections to the launch, with launch services provided by UP Aerospace of Denver, CO and the program directed by Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Littleton, CO.

New Mexico is trying to secure its place in space history with the world’s first purpose-driven spaceport, currently under construction.  Lockheed Martin has already has three successful test launches from Spaceport America.  Hopefully there are many more to follow.


Leave a comment

Good Thing Harsanyi Is An Op-Ed Columnist and Not a Journalist

If there’s one thing the Cons have demonstrated perfectly for years, it’s that one doesn’t have to think to have an opinion. One should be able to think to form a news story, but this is too often not the case in today’s media world where entertainment corrupts journalism.

Some snippets of what has become standard drivel from Harsanyi:

Dunn went on to assert that when the president “goes on Fox, he understands he is not going on it as a news network at this point. He is going on it to debate the opposition.” Who knew debating the future of the nation was such a ghastly thought?

In this opinion piece, Harsanyi asks many questions that he should have asked of the Bush “administration” (they weren’t a legitimate administration any more than Fox is a legitimate news source). What about Bush’s policy of establishing invite-only events that were funded by taxpayers? Democrats, Unaffiliateds and Cons alike paid for these events, but only people who agreed not to debate Bush were invited. Bush definitely thought debate was ghastly. Crickets from the right-wingers’ bench.

Just like every other Con whining and gnashing about the obvious unfairness of the Obama administration labeling Fox as opinion-based, Harsanyi wastes plenty of pixels (ink, too) on how anyone could possibly think that the executive branch should be able to decide who’s legitimate and who’s not. Just like every other Con, Harsanyi tries to hide his hypocrisy from public view. Where was his concern when Bush did the exact same thing to MSNBC? More crickets.

Continue reading


2 Comments

Obama’s Admin: Fox Not Legitimate

It’s time to throw some parties!  It’s not the first time it’s happened, and I don’t at this point think it will be the last either.  Two Obama advisers went on two different Sunday TV talk shows and stated unequivocally what most rational people have thought to themselves for years:

Fox is not a legitimate news outlet.

They’re an biased entity with access to the airwaves.  They have opinions, which everyone and every entity has a right to have.  But having an opinion doesn’t make one a journalist or a news network.  They can think of themselves as whatever they want, but it’s impressive and encouraging that the Obama administration is forcefully keeping Fox away with a 20′ pole.  After all, there are thousands (millions?) of opinion-holders out there.  They can’t all get into Presidential press briefings.  Those should be reserved for widely accepted news outlets.

The difference between this administration and the Bush cabal in this arena is stark.  Bush’s cronies used Fox and other non-serious groups (remember the non-credentialed gay prostitute who was allowed into press briefings to lob softballs to the Boy King?) to push their agenda on America by force.  Obama and his staff are serious about actually governing the country.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 293 other followers