Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Random Pieces 7/31/08


I love “regular guy” John McCain. See, he hasn’t shown up to do his job as a Senator since April 9th, 2008. No committee hearings, no votes. No work at all. Ah, what a life! For the perpetually curious, how much salary has Sen. McCain received in that time period? $51,345.08. Just to put that in context, how much is the median household yearly income in America? $48,201.00. Yes, that’s correct: in just under four months’ time, John McCain has taken home more money than the median household does in an entire year. That’s how much of a regular guy John McCain is. It’s also another example of how Republicans throw away taxpayer money that could go to someone who actually wanted to do their job.


I eagerly await the day when the “land of the free” includes the freedom to enjoy cannabis. Tax and regulate it, just like alcohol and cigarettes.


States looking to save money in their budgets should be looking to energy efficiency instead of approving any new coal, natural gas, or nuclear power plants.

California has cut annual peak demand by 12 GW — and total demand by about 40,000 GWh — over the past three decades. The cost of efficiency programs has averaged 2-3¢ per kWwhich is about one fifth the cost of electricity generated from new nuclear, coal and natural gas-fired plants. And, of course, energy efficiency does not require new power lines and does not generate greenhouse gas emissions or long-lived radioactive waste.


Memo to Congressional Democrats: when you quit capitulating to Mr. 23% on everything, maybe he’ll start taking you seriously. So the fake cowboy unveiled an overhaul of intelligence powers without consulting you first? Too bad. If only you had figured out how to exercise the oversight you’re obligated to do by that quaint antique, the Constitution, I might find some sympathy for you. I just don’t see the point in complaining about being hit by the stick that you chose to hand to the bully.


The grid can deal with a conversion from internal combustion to plug-in electric cars. That’s the verdict from utility companies. Among the worries: they want a slow transition to electrics. Unfortunately for the planet, they might get their wish. Hybrid vehicles can’t be manufactured as fast as consumers want them. Electric vehicle manufacturing won’t be any different in the first few years they’re around either. The good news: combined with an expanding wind and thermal solar electricity portfolio, electric cars will be able to help power the grid during peak hours.


I missed this:

Creation of a new Earth Systems Science Agency is urged in this week’s edition of the journal Science, by merging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey.

“The United States faces unprecedented environmental and economic challenges in the decades ahead. Foremost among them will be climate change, sea-level rise, altered weather patterns, declines in freshwater availability and quality and loss of biodiversity,” the group warned.

I agree that research could benefit from joining forces.


4 thoughts on “Random Pieces 7/31/08

  1. I must have missed all of Obama’s time and accomplishments in the Senate this year.

  2. Ben, I guess you did. Barack Obama has placed 150 votes during that time period. Now, Obama’s attendance hasn’t been perfect in that time frame. But I don’t remember Obama voting against a bill he wrote, like McCain did, either. You get the kind of government you vote for, that’s for sure. I want a government that shows up and gets things done.

  3. Pingback: CT Getting Ready for Plug-In Cars « Weatherdem’s Weblog

  4. I don’t care too much about House Republicans’ whines, but since I gave some free advice to Dems in the post, I thought I’d pass some along to this guy too. Hate to break it to you, Peter, but you can’t ignore or rubber stamp the Bushies for seven years, then suddenly decide one day your toes got stepped on too. You deserve this run-around for abdicating your responsibilities for so long.

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