Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy


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Arctic Will Be Opened To Drilling

Among the reasons: Russia, Canada and Norway will drill, so we should also.  This from a “Democratic” administration.  This development is the result of increasing  corporate control over a government.  When people voted for “Hope and Change” in 2008, did they really think that any part of Obama’s administration would stand up to fossil fuel drilling in the most sensitive areas left on Earth?  In Colorado, policy allows natural gas drill pads physically closer to elementary schools than are marijuana dispensaries.  All this is occurring just two years after one of the worst oil spills in world history – how short is our memory?  Maybe people figure as long as the oil only destroys an Arctic ecosystem instead of an ecosystem which Americans might personally experience, then it’s alright.

Shell will receive approval for drilling later this year, according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.  The article also includes a couple of reassurances that any potential spills in the future will be dealt with quickly because sufficient technologies will be in place already.  Once a spill occurs (as they always do), every politician and corporate executive interviewed will lament that nobody could possibly have foreseen an oil spill in the Arctic.

Solar panels and wind farms don’t explode or leak, to say nothing of the lack of carbon emissions from their energy generation.  The resources utilized are also common resources (nobody owns the sun or air – yet), so they directly threaten the obscene profits realized by a handful of corporations who now  have more rights than American citizens.

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Obama Administration: We Can Kill American Citizens Overseas Whenever We Want

The Obama administration says they have the Constitutional authority to kill American citizens overseas if they think those Americans are in the process of planning attacks on American soil.  No courts; no due process.  And most Democrats don’t bat an eye in response – which is troubling news for our “democracy”.  An obvious question: Would those same Democrats have voiced their displeasure if President Bush said the exact same thing?  Absolutely they would have been.  But see – it’s okay since Obama is a Democrat.  What Obama says goes.  Even though those same Democrats spent years insulting Republicans by calling them mindless drones for accepting whatever Bush said just because.

For too many in this country, Party if more important than Principle.


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Democratic Machine Wants The Occupy Movement

And that includes President Obama and his advisers, by the way.  Obama’s team is planning on challenging Mitt Romney as being too closely associated with those who every day exert more control over the people’s government.  Really?  That’s Rovian in nature: attack your opponent where you’re weakest.  Obama flooded his economic team with former Wall Streeters once he took office.  The people who have PhD’s on topics like the Great Depression (which we’re still flirting with)?  They left the White House because their voices were being kept from the President.  You need only look at our pathetic economic “recovery” and dismal employment opportunities to see how well that has worked out.

While Team Obama and the Democratic Party establishment might be working overtime trying to figure out how best to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street movement for their purposes, this demonstrates how tone deaf the President is:

But Obama also defended his support for bailing out distressed banks after the 2008 financial crisis, saying he “used up a lot of political capital, and I’ve got the dings and bruises to prove it, in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown and that banks stayed afloat.”

Wow.  The President wants us all to feel very very sorry for his trials and tribulations “us[ing] up a lot of political capital”.  Yeah, the banks stayed afloat.  Better than that, they’re bigger today than they were in 2008.  They’re imposing new fees on the 99% and continuing to post record profits.  I’m so glad the President used up so much of his political capital to ensure continued abuses on the lower and middle classes.  I totally remember voting for that kind of change.

Millions of foreclosures in the past 3 years.  Millions more unemployed.  Trillions in taxpayer dollars given away for free to the banks.  Billions in bonuses paid to uncharged criminals who should be doing hard time.

Be careful, Team Obama.  I don’t think the Occupy-ers are stupid enough to fall for the same gimmickry they’ve been abused with in the past again.  Your hypocrisy and lack of principle have been on display.  Talking a harsher game doesn’t employ millions of Americans or put them back in their homes.  We didn’t get real change after 2008.  The ante has been upped.  This isn’t the hand where you bluff in return.

Be careful, Occupy-ers.   Do not let the Democratic establishment get their hands on the controls behind the movement.  They want to defang you and keep their favored elites in place.

But Obama also defended his support for bailing out distressed banks after the 2008 financial crisis, saying he “used up a lot of political capital, and I’ve got the dings and bruises to prove it, in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown and that banks stayed afloat.”


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Obama Administration: No Offshore Drilling In E Gulf of Mexico Or Off East Coast

President Obama finally took a tough stand on something that Republican Teabaggers expected him to yield on, and on which he initially did yield.  Reversing an earlier decision, the Obama administration has taken steps to stop offshore fossil fuel drilling in the eastern half of the Gulf of Mexico as well as off the east coast of the U.S. Those areas were opened by the administration in an effort to gain a Teabagger vote or two on the Senate climate and energy bill.  When the Teabaggers Obama was seeking decided to take their ball and go home instead of bring the bill to the Senate floor, endangering this country and indeed everyone on Earth, climate activists were rightfully angry with the President’s pre-negotiation capitulation on the drilling issue.

In a to-date rare move, the Obama administration has taken back the prize that was freely given to Teabaggers and their dirty energy corporate masters.  Deep-sea oil and gas drilling remains dangerous to the environment and to our national security.  Only the development of renewable resource infrastructure will stop the spigot of American energy tax dollars going to petrodictators, most of whom use the money to fund anti-American activities.  The Republican Teabaggers might enjoy supporting these tyrannical regimes, but most Americans do not.  This is but one tiny step in stopping that morally outrageous practice.


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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.

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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.


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EPA Will Review Potential CO2 Dangers

Back in the dark days of the Bush “administration”, the EPA was prohibited by the science-hating Bushies from controlling CO2 emissions.  Elections, as Bush famously said, have consequences.  In this case, the 2008 election means that the EPA will review the CO2 emissions control policy.

At a minimum, over 100 planned coal plants will be immediately impacted.  If CO2 is, as it should be, regulated by the EPA as pollution, the costs of operating a coal power plant will finally begin to more closely reflect reality.  Coal plants have operated for yeas at a lopsided advantage over other types of plants.  As a mature industry, coal should be able to pay for itself.  It should not receive any more taxpayer dollars and should instead by charged to operate according to its real costs on society and the planet.

More generally, operating costs for everybody will go up in the short term as those costs are passed along.  That, in turn, will have a direct influence on the imperative to develop clean energy infrastructure that doesn’t have the same costs associated with it.  The “sky-is-falling’ message will be incessant from the over-indulged coal industry.  Keep the following in mind as they gear up their multi-million dollar marketing campaigns: more jobs will be created and maintained with renewable energy; the health of people will improve with time as old coal plants are shuttered; our emissions of climate change-forcing gases will slow down and eventually decrease.

Kudos to the Obama administration. This won’t be a silver-bullet solution, but it is one step in the correct direction.